"The label you give yourself cannot impact external forces that are not motivated by your own psychology or influenced by a third party's pre-existing consciousness of you. We are all presented with reasons to struggle which come from completely external forces; to pretend that one is not struggling is either arrogance or an admission of defeat. To admit that one is struggling is a sign and a source of strength." - Evan A. Baker

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Struggling Actress Can Answer Your Questions!

Loyal reader Lost and Lonely sent me this question:
The agent I first signed with after college (when I was 21) calls me once a year to send me on an audition. Mind you, I have never been in to the office, or given new photos. I've had other representation, and feel like i wanna just give her the big "F-YOU!!" What do you think?

Well, L&L, this is a great question. Your agent is still sending you out because it sounds like, as far as she knows, she hasn't ever been dropped. She believes you are still a client.

So give her the big ole F-You, but do it officially and pleasantly, because you never know what may happen in the future. She could hire on another agent in two years who discovers you at Jennifer's Coffees over in Studio City and would work extra hard for you, so always be kind in your drop letter.

From the start of the initial contract, (when you sign your contracts and give them to your agent [after having made a copy for yourself!]) SAG allows a 120 day opt-out for whatever type of contract you sign with a SAG franchised agency. If you don't get work (not just auditions, but a bona fide offer of employment) with them in the first 120 days, you can terminate your contract with your agent but you must notify them by certified mail. That's right. Certified mail. Remember the last time you did that? For college apps? Well, the postal service still offers it for around $3.
But since you've been with your agent longer than that, I've got good news: If you haven't received an offer of bona-fide employment from your agent in the last 91 days, you can terminate, or drop, your agent, again, by certified mail.

And keep your letter short and simple, something along the lines of:
I am afraid I must release myself from our contract due to no employment offers in the last three months. I wish you continued success for your clients and your company. Best, Lost and Lonely.
Your relationship is still good as you're just stating a fact instead of blaming your agent.

Agents work hard. They don't get paid until you get paid, but sometimes the agent you're with isn't the right one for you. Keep on trucking. You'll find the right one eventually. And then you won't have to struggle anymore.


  1. What if there was no contract ever signed? This agent didn't call me for 3 years, I had moved on to other representation, and booked work through them. Out of the blue, I got a call from the old agent saying "Now a days, people are using color head shots." told them I was with someone else, and then they didn't call again. Now, about a year later, they call me to send me out. I told them I was unaware they were still representing me- they still have my head shot from when I was 21- and she said "We send you out when we think you are right for something." Obviously, this woman is not listening to me. Does this still warrant a certified letter?

  2. Yeah, this is weird. You have no contract with her? If you've removed her from both LA Casting and Actors Access, the only way she can submit you is with hardcopies. That's bizarre.

    Call your current agent and let them know about this. They'll be able to notify her that they are repping you within all current SAG guidelines, or they'll advise you on the proper protocol for handling this situation.


Play nice.