I'm only going to tell you about the meeting that matters.
Remember, I had sent out 25 heavily researched submissions to agencies that, based on my resume, would laugh at my chutzpah.
They did exactly that; I got nothing.
Frustrated that my agent said I couldn't get auditions for the last seven months because my hair is curly, I contacted a casting director who had cast me before asking him what I should do. He helped me pick a headshot, instructed me what to write on my cover letter and to put "Referred by" with his name on the outside of the envelope. He also changed a few names and eliminated five agencies on my list.
I got two bites (5%!! That's HUGE!). Here's the first one's story.
I got a voicemail. I left a voicemail. I got a voicemail. I got an assistant, who put me through to the agent, Peter, and before he even said hello, exclaimed, "Well, aren't YOU adorable!?"
Uh....what? Gosh, thanks! And yes, I guess I am!!
He tells me that he's moving offices from Santa Monica to Beverly Hills and to call him next week to schedule a meeting.
I call next week to schedule a meeting. He says that everything is still in boxes and to call back next week when everything is settled.
I call back next week. The boxes are only somewhat unpacked, and the place is still a mess. Call back next week.
I call back next week. The office is still in bad shape, he says, and he wants to wait for it to look nice so he can impress me. "Why don't we schedule a meeting for next week?" I ask. We do.
Beautiful art is on the floor, waiting to be put up, boxes are still unpacked, the conference room is partly storage, and really, I think nothing of it.
I had learned that being a responisbile actor means asking them such things as, "How many people of my type do you have?" and a few others, but I've also read from agents that they hate that question, because if they are bringing you in, it's because they want YOU. I had seen his client list on imdb, I recognized the first page of names, everyone has a starmeter (not that it means anything!) under 10,000 and I'm wondering why he's interested in me.
I am Serious Actress.
I am Attentive.
I am Also Boring.
He asks me, "How do we know each other again?" We don't, I reply, I submitted through the mail.
"Wow. I never open submissions. I got lucky." You got lucky? No. I got lucky.
We talk for a bit. He asks me if I have questions. I don't. He didn't even ask to see my other headshots. This guy is completely charming and avuncular, and with his work history, I am pretty sure I'm in good hands here. He asks me if I have another meeting. I do.
"Let me offer you some advice, if I may."
Let me translate that for you: "Let me give you some tips on how to come across better to another agency you may like better and ultimately go with - but I want to help you regardless because that's the type of guy I am."
"Don't let there be dead air in the interview. Show up with your personality in the room a little bit more. People are going to fall in love with you; own it."
It's true. I was boring. I had done my research; I knew who this guy was and because I was trying to come off as smart and invested in my career, you know, professional, I was boring. I thanked him. "I'd be lucky to have you." he said. "I want to work with you. So after your meeting, please, give my ofice a call either way so I know." He then asked, "Since you've been in LA, which agent meeting has been your favorite so far?"
I didn't expect that question. I thought about it. It wasn't the one with Kathy who made me feel like I was stupid, nor was it with Casey who didn't know how to present himself or his company, nor was it the agent who kept me waiting 40 minutes while he shot the shit with another client, making me angrier by the second and contemplate leaving.
"This one." I said. I meant it. He smiled, said Good, and walked me to the door.
A week goes by. I call his office. I get a voicemail. I get him on the line and told him I'd love to work with him if he'd have me. "The other guys weren't as nice as me, were they?" he asked, laughing, and I said, "Honestly, I can't imagine anyone else giving me advice on how to succeed better at another meeting with another agency just because they want to help me. That says so much about one's character. I want that person on my team." We schedule a time for the following week for me to come in and meet the team.
I met the team. Yesterday.
And almost cried in the conference room.
....to be continued.....