Congratulations on signing with a brand-new agent. That’s great news! In this business, every accomplishment should be applauded, so go ahead and start clapping.
Now, what’s your next move? I guess you could sit back and wait for the auditions to pour in. Or you could head down to the local Porsche dealership for a test drive. Those are fun ideas, but I’d like to present a third: You could try to forge an effective relationship with your new reps.
As the latest client to join their roster, you’re just a name on a list. They have placed you in a generic category like “white male, 25–30,” and that’s how you’re being submitted. The problem is you’re not the only one there, so you have to find a way to rise above that pack of familiar faces.
You can start by not disappearing. Seriously. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve signed someone and then never heard from them. I’m not suggesting we hang out on the weekends, but it’s a good idea for us to have some kind of a relationship.
I imagine the reason for this vanishing act is that actors have always been told not to bother their agents with too many calls or emails. There’s some truth to that, but you can’t just go into radio silence mode. You need to find the middle ground.
So if my assistant calls you with an audition, feel free to send me a quick email explaining how excited you are about the opportunity. That’s a positive moment of connection. And you should definitely give me a call after the audition to tell me how it went. As an agent, I set up auditions, but I don’t get to be there; I will always take a call from a client who just had one and is eager to fill me in on the details. That’s another positive moment of connection.
There are also personal ways to accomplish the same goal. I remember this one time when a client bonded with me in a quick but effective manner: When we first met, I mentioned that I live in on the west side of Los Angeles. A few weeks later, he gave me a quick call to tell me about this amazing restaurant he had discovered in my area. And that was it. No business was discussed. That call seamlessly bonded us on a more personal level.
You might be thinking the burden is on me to know my clients better. I’ll carry some of that weight, but consider this: My office has three agents and 140 clients, and there are only so many hours in the day. You could help me out by at least making an effort. I promise I’ll respond in kind!
Now, it’s time for a quick note about managers. These days, everyone seems to have one; and that’s totally cool, but your manager should never act as a buffer between us. This means that if I need to speak with you, I will call you directly. I will not go through a manager. And that’s that.
Once again, congrats on your new reps! Now, take the time to get to know them; just be smart about how you do it. Don’t be a name on a list when you can be so much more.
This story originally appeared in the Oct. 22 issue of Backstage Magazine. Subscribe here.
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