Talent Coaching by Courtney

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Tips to make you a GREAT talent...and an Agents BFF: Part Two

Posted on January 2, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Welcome to 2014! Hopefully 2013 was a great year for you, full of bookings and castings! My last blog was full of tips for how to make your Agent love you,  (if you missed it you can check it out here) and was met with such enthusiasm, that I decided to continue the series!
 Most of these tips are for everyone, not just Industry Newbie's. It is important to refresh and go back to basics once in awhile to make sure that you are always moving forward and continuing your education as a talent. So without further ado.......
#1 Agents work with you not for you: 

Now take a minute and re-read that sentence about 10 more times until it is completely en-grained in your head. It is so important to remember that you speak to your Agent in a professional, and respectful manner. Agents work day in and day out to try to book you, and deserve to be treated with respect at all times.
Agents are people, not robots, remember they too, have feelings. As a former Agent, I was always shocked how unprofessional some talent could be when it came to addressing myself, my colleagues and even my other agent and casting friends. Agents are not employed by you, you do not cut their paychecks or give them vacation days, and that 20% commission that they get at the end of a job, may not even go directly to them, or if it does, it barely covers the internet or phone bills they used to help book you. 
Make your Mom proud and remember your manners every time you email, call, or visit your Agent. Develop a good relationship with them by corresponding via friendly email, or sending a nice note in the mail. If you have a concern, do bring it to their attention, but remember that professionalism should always be at the forefront. You can catch a lot more flies with honey than with vinegar. Trust me, your Agent will thank you...
#2 Do not question why you were not sent on a job or a casting:
Agents are smart, proficient people. They have time as a number one concern at all times. Their time, your time, the casting directors' time. There are usually multiple steps to a Casting. Many times the Casting Director calls in advance and asks to see a head-shot and resume or comp card pull to make sure they are seeing only the talent that "fit" what they are looking for. This saves us all time, and rescues us from the dreaded "Cattle Calls"we all despise.
Another important thing to consider is that the Casting Director may request a certain ethnicity, look, age range, height, clothing size, talent that look like they would "match" a certain family, talent with strong acting or modeling background or even something completely bizarre like carny look-alike (it's happened)... you have to trust that your Agent sends a photo or gets you an audition time for every opportunity that they think you're right for.  Calling your Agent and putting them on the spot can make them feel awkward, and make them feel as though they have to justify the way they do their job. Not OK.
If a period of a few months goes by and you are not getting called and you hear about multiple opportunities you may have been passed up for, it may be time to call and schedule an appointment to meet with your Agent to discuss your career and how you might be able to gain more opportunities. Just remember to see #1 before you suggest such a meeting.
#3 Industry for Beginners:

If you are working steady and you have an established resume, this section may not be for you, and you can move on... however, if you are a newbie and looking to break into the Industry, listen up! The best advice I can give you, be open to any legit work, and be available!

If you are represented by an Agent then more than likely any work they offer you is going to be on the up and up. As a newbie, you really need to focus on building your resume.  That means no role is too good for you! Don't come into this Industry thinking you will only take movie roles, or lead roles, or that commercials just aren't for you... That kind of attitude will get you NOWHERE... Every opportunity is a blessing and can lead to bigger, and better projects. Conventions, Stand-in Roles, Extra work, these are all great ways to build your resume. Extra work helps you network, familiarizes you with how to be on set and take direction, gives you an opportunity for an "upgrade", and can even help get you requested for additional jobs in the future. Front Runner Casting is a great Casting company here in Orlando, they provide tons of extra work, and even cast for principle roles. They have provided talent for numerous Television shows, movies and commercials. Get signed up with them today, if you are not already!

Secondly, if you decide to get involved in this Industry, be available. Agents cannot book you if your schedule is crazy, or not flexible.

#4 Don't Be a Flake:

If you commit to a casting or job, PLEASE be there. It is as simple as that. An Agent, Casting Director, or Client is taking a chance on you and you owe to them to be there. Nothing upset me more than when a talent would commit to a client and cancel last minute without a good reason, good reasons being you are dead, or dying or you're on the way to the hospital because you or immediate family is dead or dying. The client goes to great lengths to select you out of the thousands of other actors or models in Orlando, even for extra work, so be reliable and punctual. 

The same goes for audition slots. You and your Agent now have a great working relationship, because you have been reading my blogs... so when they select you for an audition slot, you need to be there. If you are not going to make it, you owe them at least a 24 hour notice so that they can replace your slot. It is not acceptable to call the day of, 1 hour before, 5 minutes before and definitely NEVER just not show up. Really be in touch with yourself and others the days leading up to an audition. Do you feel even slightly ill? Hear your engine making a weird noise? Your child  is sneezing? Dog looks funny?  Whatever it may be, you owe it to your Agent to call and ask them to send someone else. I do exaggerate slightly, but you get the point. I guarantee that if you always keep this section in mind, and commit, your Agent will not only LOVE you, but continue sending you on auditions and jobs!

So this is FINALLY the end of Part Two, hope you enjoyed! I know I can be wordy, but these blogs come from a place of experience, so the information really will help! If you ever have any questions regarding my blogs, feel free to contact me [email protected]

Happy New Year!


Categories: Coaching Tips