Why Time (and Your Casting Director) Waits for No One

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Photo Source: Spencer Alexander

Pop quiz.

What’s the single most valuable thing in the world? Is it love? Sorry, no. Love can come and go. Is it money? Nope. Money can be made and lost. So what does that leave? Well, the answer is obvious. The single most valuable thing in the world is time.

Think about it. Time is a constant. It’s like the Terminator. You can’t reason with it. You can’t stop it. It just keeps on going. And that leads to the point I’m trying to make. Time is an unlimited resource, and yet I’m always running out of it. Why is that? Could it have something to do with my chosen career?

Agents spend a frustrating chunk of their lives waiting. And waiting. And waiting. That’s a given we all know and accept. But that doesn’t mean I can’t grumble about it.

Just the other day, I had a client self-tape for a project that was being cast in New York. The casting director was crystal clear. She had a 3 o’clock meeting with the director to review L.A. auditions and I had to get mine in by then. If I was a minute late, the tape would not be seen. I passed that deadline on to my client and he totally understood.

The next day, his self-tape came in 30 minutes early, and he did a fantastic job. So I sent it off to the East Coast with pride. Then the casting director called to explain my client had forgotten to make the file downloadable, which is a must when you’re self-taping. Freaked, I called him right away and got his voicemail. Then I sent an email. And then I texted him. Waiting for a response was torture. I must’ve lost 10 pounds in sweat. Luckily, the guy finally called back just in time to fix the link so I could send it off with seconds to spare. Everything worked out in the end, but did the situation really call for that much stress?

My life of waiting extends beyond my client relationships. Over the years, I’ve found myself waiting for managers to return my call, for lawyers to send me paperwork, for casting directors to set up auditions, and for the Doctor to show up in his TARDIS and take me back in time so I can choose a different career.

READ: 13 Self-Tape Mistakes That Sabotage Your Chances

You know who doesn’t keep me waiting? My assistant. I call him Bob because I don’t actually know his name, but the kid totally gets the stress level I deal with on a regular basis. He understands that agents are dancing as fast as they can and even one small delay can throw a wrench in the works. So do yourself a favor. Don’t be the reason for my pain.

I’m sure there are people out there who can handle waiting better than yours truly, but I wasn’t born with the patience gene. That sucker went missing when my mother popped me out into this cruel, cruel world. But I’m trying. I really am. And you need to keep that in mind when you’re dealing with your reps. So return calls quickly. Respond to emails fast. That’s your job. Please do it so I can do mine.

After all, that’s why you signed with me, right?

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Secret Agent Man
Secret Agent Man is a Los Angeles–based talent agent and our resident tell-all columnist. Writing anonymously, he dishes out the candid and honest industry insight all actors need to hear.
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