Pilot season is also the season of agency mayhem. Chances are, this pilot season your agent is completely swamped with phone calls, meetings, appointments, client crises, and general chaos.
Good news: There is a way for you to stand out like the shiny, sparkling, and talented actor that you are. You can be your agent’s dream client! By doing this, you will strengthen your rapport with your agent and enhance your reputation in the industry…which will lead to more opportunities and more bookings. Being your agent’s dream is a win-win-win.
With years of experience as an actor, educator, and Los Angeles talent showcase producer, I can vouch for the following actions, which when taken by actors, most definitely turn them into dream clients:
1. Always be reachable, within an hour, by phone, text, or email. Sometimes auditions come in the night before or even the morning of. Your agent is juggling tons of other clients and appointments. Be reachable! Respond right away. Nothing is more stressful to an agent than having to track down an actor for a big opportunity or appointment that s/he fought for all morning. Remember, your agent’s name is on the line, too. When you are professional and timely in your responses, it makes your agent look good. When you are immediately accessible, everyone wins.
2. Confirm your auditions immediately. Like, right away. As soon as you see that email or that text, confirm your audition in the way that your agent has requested. This makes things so much easier for both your agent and for casting. Once your agent knows you are confirmed s/he can have a peace of mind and, importantly, move on to getting you that next audition.
3. Save the logistical questions for Siri. Kidding, but not. Often, we overlook important details about location/parking in our audition breakdowns because we are so dang excited that we got an audition! Read the audition instructions carefully. The parking information is almost always included, as is any information about how to enter the building (specific gates, etc.). Map out the route to your audition on your own. (If you don’t have a GPS, invest in one.) Only ask your agent questions about the location of your audition when you are 100 percent certain that you don’t have the information you need.
4. Commit to your audition time. Unless there is a dire emergency, be there when you said you would. Casting directors have specific/calculated methods for calling in actors, and you are usually given a time for a very specific reason. You could be reading with another actor with whom you have been specifically paired. You could be auditioning when a certain producer is going to be in the room. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to read with, and for, the individuals that you are meant to.
5. Arrive at least 15 minutes early. Twenty-five minutes early if you are going to a studio lot, where you will be expected to show your ID, walk through security, find the building on a giant lot, etc. You want time to find the office, sign in, use the bathroom, and relax for a moment before your audition. Also, again, by arriving on time (which means arriving early), you are also making your agent look good!
Also, obviously, don’t miss auditions.
6. Keep your materials and profiles up to date. Make sure that you continually update all of your online profiles with bookings and that you are updating your demo reel(s) at least once a year—ideally, more frequently. Check in with your agent to see if your headshots are working well; if they aren’t, set up a meeting with your agent, and come up with a new strategy for headshots together. Keeping those materials fresh will help your agent tremendously.
7. Be kind and professional. This goes without saying, but who you are out in the world—whether it be in the supermarket or in the audition waiting room—not only impacts your professional life but also impacts your agent’s. Be polite. You never know who is standing behind you in the checkout line, or who is doing her mascara next to you in the casting office bathroom (often the casting director).
8. Give lots of notice when booking out. Going on vacation this year? Nice. Booked an independent film through your own professional connections? Amazing. Be sure to tell your agent, too—and with plenty of notice.
9. Get clear on preferred methods of communication. You are going to have questions, and you are going to be in communication with your agent on a regular basis. You should feel comfortable reaching out when you need to. It’s best to ask your agent directly how often and through what means they want to be contacted: phone call, email, or text. Do it their way!
10. Stay in class. A sharp, prepared actor is a booking actor. I have had students at my Los Angeles acting school stop attending, and upon their return to class almost immediately book a great job. Stay in class; it pays off!
Overall, enjoy the process of working with your agent to build your fantastic career. By being reliable, reachable, and prepared, you are continually building your reputation as the fabulous, talented, professional actor that you are. Good luck out there!
Like this advice? Check out more from our Backstage Experts!
The views expressed in this article are solely that of the individual(s) providing them,
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.