Sunday, October 3, 2010
Preparing to Get an Agent (or How to Tap Dance without Tap Shoes)
This isn't the first time I've talked about this subject (you can find that posting here). It more than likely won't be the last. There seem to be very few topics that we actors like to talk about more than AGENTS (except for maybe ourselves). We love them. We hate them. We want one. We want a different one. We have oh-so-many stories to tell about them (mostly bad).
In short, we can't stop talking about them. Help...I'm talking and I can't shut up.
So, we're going to go over some salient points.
1) Don't move to Los Angeles or New York to try to land your first agent. Period. End of statement. If you already live there, don't despair, just know you'll have to work harder.
2) Before you begin to set up meetings with agents, make sure you're prepared to do so. Not sure what it means to be prepared? Don't worry. I'll be giving a workshop that will include a checklist.
3) Don't just sign with the first agent who says "yes".
4) Don't expect your life to drastically change the moment you've signed.
5) Don't stop looking for work yourself once you've got an agent, because no one will ever represent you better than you will yourself!
6) It's always better if you can get an agent to set up a meeting with you rather than the reverse.
7) Always be working.
8) Treat any prospective agent with respect, honesty and LIKE A REAL PERSON! (because...well...they are)
9) Once you've signed with an agent, keep those lines of communication wide open.
10) And probably one of the most important--don't assume that this advice doesn't apply to you. Is it possible that your experience will be different from mine? Absolutely. Is it likely that it will be different from mine and everyone else's that I've had the pleasure to work with and teach? Unlikely.
Okay, so some of those points may have been eye-opening, even disheartening. But that's why you're here, right? To hear from someone who's been there how not to have to go through all the same crap? Because, trust me, I've been through some serious poopy poop.
You may not have perfectly understood everything I just listed there. For those that have been through it, most of what's here will make perfect sense, but it may sound like gobbledegook if you've never been there. That's okay. Working in the industry is a process for all of us.
The industry is not set up like others, where you go to school, intern, get offered a job and start working. That doesn't mean that there isn't a fairly standard pattern that can be followed to help you get where you want to go.
There are no guarantees here. Guess what? Last time I checked, there are no guarantees anywhere in the job market. Real estate agent was a pretty hot job a few years ago. (Yikes!)
So, rather than flog a dead horse here, I'm again going to be offering an online workshop talking about getting an agent. As always, I'll try to keep it cheap, and as always, I'll give you a discount if you leave a comment here with your twitter handle or email address. I look forward to hearing from you all!