Last Monday I had a commercial audition. Two days later I had the callback. The next day, Thursday, I was put on avail. I spent the last FIVE DAYS in a state of limbo, wondering if I was going to be released like I had been for the last one just a few weeks ago.
Got the call from my agent. I'm booked. I shoot on Thursday.
Because, man oh man, is there something to be said about opening up your mailbox and finding a letter with your agency's logo on the return address and finding money inside. Magic Money! From an agency who looked at me and said, "You will make us money. We want you." And that's what I'm doing. Yeehaw!
And now, another type of letter in my inbox - reader mail!
Do you have any advice for people starting their search for a theatrical agent in LA? I've been booking a lot of jobs myself, but it would be great to have a member on my "theatrical team". Some people think that you get a good theatrical agent just by doing a lot of great work on your own... that they will eventually find you. But I keep thinking that I should start my search while I'm booking my stuff. What do you think?
I'm passionate about working on great independent films (that's my first love), but I've been branching out and doing a lot of different projects lately.
Yes, it's true that that you'll get a good theatrical agent by doing a lot of great work on your own, but when people say that, they mean you had a boutique level agent who got you in the door of a big project and you booked it, and then WME or CAA come in and lured you away.
But when you're without theatrical representation now, the above isn't very likely to happen.
So do what I did (or don't, cause I'm a Struggling Actress, ya'll) and clean up your resume (with the how to here), contact a casting director who has cast you and ask if they wouldn't mind you using them as a referral, write a short and sweet cover letter stating that Casting Director knows your work well and is happy to talk to the agent about your skills (put down their phone number!). Then mail it --- wait. Did I just jump ahead of myself here? Oh dear.
You can buy the Agency Book at Samuel French which has the addresses and little notes about each agency and whether they might be looking for your type. But you ALSO have to get imdbPro (can't afford it? try their FREE 14 day trial) and look up each and every single agency. Daunting? Have a friend help you. Have three friends help you! Go through every agency, see who their top stars are, and where the starmeters (which really don't mean anything) of their average clients are. Let's say you have a starmeter of 78,000. You want to be at an agency that has lower starmeters than you. You want to be with those around 30,000 and lower. So you double check the address, make notes on notecards, and you and your friends get together and put your packages together. (also, very important, write "referred by "so and so" on your envelope. It's way more likely to get opened.)
Last summer (and summer is the best time to do this!!) I had my top 20. I submitted, made notes on my card when I submitted, felt incredibly proud of myself and ....I got a phone call!!! From the HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES!!! The voicemail said thank you for submitting but they weren't taking on new clients at this time.
Want to know what is depressing? (incidentally, not the phone call from the House of Reps; I thought it was so lovely that they called me to let me know. Who does that?!) Submitting to 20 agencies and not getting a meeting out of it.
Well, eff that!
So I changed my headshot and did it again three weeks later.
AND THEN AGAIN.
It took me three tries to finally get some one to call to set up a meeting. But - I got TWO meetings on the third try. That's weird. But perseverance and a little chutzpah pay off.
It's stressful and daunting as hell, but I had my top 20 list and no more. I only had 20 agencies I wanted to be with. I knew that most of them were mostly dreams, but the ones that called me were the ones I wanted to be with and I wasn't going to settle for less than what I wanted.
Persevere. Perseveres. Persevere.
And good luck!!