"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

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Find Someone Who IS Excited About You

One of the reasons I believe I'm struggling is because almost all of the casting directors in town have no idea I exist. Even though I've had a few spots here and there on television, they've either been skits or recreated events shows. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, however, I'm at the point where I can't put those shows down on my resume anymore.

There's this idea in Hollywood, that after a while, you should move up in the acting world. Some agents, after their client has done a few co-stars, only submits their client for guest-star roles. You are supposed to move up to bigger and better things. Mo' money, ya'll!

So why have I stayed stagnant?

Okay, well, not stagnant, since this has been my best year EVER, but why have I only booked extremely small things? I believe it's because my agent hasn't pitched me to casting directors.

I had emailed my agent a few months ago, saying, hey, What can we do diferently? I'm worried my pictures aren't doing what we had hoped they would. I have not had an audition in five months. He wrote back that everything was fine.

Five months with no audition is a long time. SAG franchised agents use a SAG contract (the one I signed), where if you don't book work with an agent after 90 days (not auditions, mind you, but work) you are able to get out of your contract.

Now, pilot season came and went, and pilot season for me, a "developing" talent usually means no auditions. I'm low on the totem pole, ya'll. But five months in and no auditions, I'm really annoyed.
I should also mention that I have never EVER been impressed with any of my theatrical talent agents. I would like to say that I'm gorgeous, with great headshots, a ton of talent and spunk, but if I can only get a low level theatrical agent, that means I'm a low level actress. So: more classes, more networking, creating content that I want to do, and doing other people's passion projects for free. That's how a struggling actress gets ahead.

There's no problem, my theatrical agent said. But that's not what I heard. I heard, "Not my problem." I went into overdrive. Updated my resumes, researched new agents, sent out a few mailings and got...nothing. Awesome. Over $200 spent and not one bite. Shit.

Two months go by. I email my theatrical agent again:
Hey [Agent],

I know it's been slow, and now even slower since the summer started, but I was wondering if perhaps we should try a different approach with my pictures? I've had zero Los Angeles auditions since I signed back in January, and I'm at a bit of a loss with what to do on my end. What do you suggest?
and, the reply:
Yes, It has been very hard to understand on my end to….
We have submitted you 179 and pitched you 7 times  -- my average client would have at least 12 auditions… I don’t get overtly negative feedback on your headshots, but I know that have [sic] curly hair is not what most of the CD’s and roles they are casting are looking for.  I thought we might get more traction since [sic] DON”T look like every other gal in LA, but it is safe to say that is not the case…

Ya'll, I'm a hair model. I make money because my hair is so curly. And I wrote a whole post about how I am my hair, and that post even had a Part 2.

I won't lie. I am angry. Super frickin angry. First off, I understand that if I was his average client, I would have 12 auditions by now, or 1.7 a month. (1.7 a month!? Well, then, that's not an agency I want to be at anyways) but it's plain as day in the email, by offering no solutions, that he's checked out of our agent/client relationship.

And for reals, he believes I have had no auditions in SEVEN MONTHS






There's really only one thing I can say to that:

"You're fired."

I forwarded a casting director (who has booked me before) the agent's response, and he wrote
"Excuse my language, but he's a [redacted]."
The cd then helped me refine my list for submissions, with the words "Referred by [I wish I could tell you his name, but just know that actors LOVE HIM!]" on the envelope.

In this town, when you submit your headshot and resume to agents, you need to know that the odds are not in your favor at all. You need to submit to at least a hundred to get one bite.

I submitted to only 20. And 20 of them were out of my league. I knew this. But I crossed my fingers, said Thank You to the sky for the CD who has helped me, gave the envelopes a kiss, and sent them on their way.

I got a few bites!

An agent called me and after a few rounds of phone tag, we finally connected. Before a hello, he said, "Well, aren't you adorable?!"

And then I heard angels:

I met with him last week and he was so kind! He prefers phone calls over emails (UNHEARD OF!) and has had several clients for over 20 years. He even offered me advice for my next meeting, and everything he said just made sense. He CARED and had IDEAS for me.

I really like him. He's excited about me. I need to find and surround myself with people who are excited about me and my work because when the going gets tough, I have cheerleaders. We all need cheerleaders. This is a tough business. Surround yourself with people who think you're awesome. You can only move up if you do.

Maybe this agent can help a few casting directors know who I am.


  1. So happy that you ditched the agent who had already checked, found someone who had some pull, and found an agent who is fired up. That is awesome!

  2. I meant checked out.... I really should proofread my comments...

  3. Here, here! I agree. I have two cheerleaders, and I'm trying to set up a squad. We just need that support system. I'm glad you're getting some direction from your contacts, since your agent is being so passive. Keep us posted!

  4. You're absolutely right, cheerleaders are so important and if your agent isn't one of them, what's the point being their client? It's exciting to hear that you found a new fan and I'll keep my fingers crossed that his excitement about you and your curls is infectious!

  5. Hell yeah, girl! I'm so glad you're putting people on your team who know how seriously awesome you are.

    Keep reaching for the sky!

  6. Congrats! You are so talented and hardworking... you deserve it! Nooow, can you see what you can do about getting our KFC commercial to air?? :)

  7. Good for you! What a total cop out on the agent's part. I can't believe he blamed it on your hair! That's ridiculous. Best of luck with your new agent from one curly haired actress to another!


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