"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

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dear Struggling Actress

Remember Rachel? She wrote back to clarify her questions:

Hi, Lira, it's Rachel!

I'm currently in Philadelphia, where I go to school normally, but I'm going abroad from January 2- June 12 2011 through the institution. So yes,
(1) I'm wondering if I should look for a new agent once I return, since I know it's pointless to ask for representation when I'm just going to leave the country. Additionally, is it seen as irresponsible/flighty to change agents so quickly? If your agent isn't getting you out, then leave. All SAG franchised agents have the out clause, where if you don't book work within three months of signing, you can leave. Flighty, schmighty. But leave on good terms and very politely. Don't burn bridges!

(2) Should I resubmit your materials to the NY agent who wasn't interested in me the last time? Why not? She might have a spot that opened up for you.

(3) I would like to have representation when I graduate (and before) because I know it can be beneficial. I'm not so sure on this. You have to book out during all tests, midterms etc. Start submitting two months before you graduate, letting them know when you'll be out of school. When I had an agent when I was in college, it was more a curse than anything else. You only get so many missed classes before your grades start being affected, and you really don't want to have the conversation, "Oh, this audition you got me? I can't go, because I have my Directing 3 rehearsal that I HAVE to be at." Yes, school is important, but it's less important to your agent since all she wants to do is get you work to make her commission. You'll be hard pressed to find an agent who will take you on while you're still in school, and this is a good thing.

Thanks for allowing me to clarify; as you know, I can be riduclously wordy.


And, Rachel, I'm not sure you noticed, but Cole Matson commented on your original questions and had this to say, and I hope you take him up on it as he has way more East Coast experience than I do!

Cole Matson said...
Lira, I might be able to help out your first correspondent, since I both have a Philly agent (having worked 3 years in the Mid-Atlantic corridor) and am also studying abroad in England. I'd recommend she check her contract with her Philly agent first, since unlike in L.A., most agents in the Philly/D.C./NoVA region don't require exclusivity. I have a Philly agent, Baltimore agent, and Baltimore manager (though since my Philly agency is the first one I signed with, they require identification as my primary agency). She might be able to work with both her friend's agent and her current agent. Additionally, even if her friend's agent is exclusive, if they're mutually excited about working with each other, she may be able to cancel her contract with her current agent early if they haven't gotten her enough work (details should be in the contract). My Philly agency is one of the largest in town, and because they're so large, they don't spend much time on each individual actor. They got me 2 auditions in more than a year. I would also recommend she contact that NY agent when she returns from school. However, I wouldn't recommend her moving ahead on the agency question until she returns, lest she frustrate the agent by being eager to sign, and then not being available for months. She's also welcome to contact me at ccematson AT gmail DOT com in case she wants more info about my experience in the Philly market, studying abroad in England while having agents back home, or my time at NYU Tisch Drama. -Cole Matson http://colematson.com/about 


  1. Thanks for the follow-up, Lira. Keep up the great blog.

  2. I appreciate this post! I'm still in college and I was wanting to get represented as soon as possible - but you brought up some very good points. Its probably not the best idea. Thanks for sharing your advice!


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