What You Need to Know About Representation Post-Pilot Season

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Post-pilot season is house cleaning time at many talent agencies and management firms in Los Angeles and New York. It’s a good time of year for us to assess our client lists as we think about the needs of the upcoming television season. So once series pickups are announced at the network’s upfront presentations in May, we take a hard look at which clients went out during the pilot season and which didn’t.

If a client got out, got a call back, and booked a job, it’s great news all around. Even if a client got out and just got a callback, I still look at that as great news. While they may not have booked the job, they did book the room in the first call audition which was a strong enough showing to get called back into the room. If a client got called in and no call back resulted, it’s not necessarily their fault. In fact, it’s probably not their fault at all. I never look at not getting a call back as negative. Instead, I look at it as I look at every other audition a client goes out on: Either they were the right actor for the role or they weren’t. Talent has nothing to do with it and being the best actor isn’t always enough. So book the room, not the role.

If a client didn’t get out at all, it tends to indicate that it’s time to review the materials used to submit and pitch that client. Perhaps it’s time for a promotional material tune-up for the new production season? If this post-pilot season assessment indicates that a client hasn’t had much or any activity in a while, a deeper assessment is warranted. Perhaps in addition to a materials tune-up, the client needs to work on their craft with a new class, new coach, or new type of training that will help show their potential to move in a new season of audition pitching.

READ: How to Get an Acting Agent

Post-pilot season is, indeed, a time of change and for change. For some, this could mean finding yourself without representation as an agent or manager decides you should no longer work together. For other actors seeking new representation, this season could open doors to fresh opportunities.

With all this change, it’s a great time of year to seek a new agent or manager. Just be smart about how you go about the process. Do your homework. Research the people and companies who rep talent like you. IMDbPro is a good go-to resource for information on agencies, agents and managers, and the people they rep. It’s also a great place to access information that can lead you to an agency’s website where you’ll often find information about that company’s preferred way to receive new representation inquiries. If an agency’s website doesn’t offer up this information, they will most likely have a telephone number or email address where you can ask about their submission policy.

Change is good, even though it may be slightly uncomfortable along the way. Being dropped by your agency is not a career-ending act. On the contrary, I look at it as an opportunity for a great, new beginning even if it takes you a bit of time to land at the place you’re meant to be.

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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.

Brad Lemack
Brad Lemack is a Los Angeles-based talent manager, educator, career coach, and author. He established Lemack & Company Talent Management in 1982. The company specializes in the career development of new and emerging artists and the brand maintenance and career enhancement of legacy artists and working actors. He also teaches The Business of Acting at the Emerson College Los Angeles Campus. His latest book is The New Business of Acting: The Next Edition.
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