Posts

So You're Saying There's a Chance?

Episodic season is upon us and it is really the best chance you have as a work a day actor to getting in the room and advancing your career.  Unlike the myth of pilot season, which I addressed in a previous post, episodic season is ripe with opportunities.  Here casting is more willing to take chances.  The stakes aren't quiet as high.  They have time to pre-read you or look at your reel.  Casting isn't looking for someone who can carry a series on their shoulders, but someone who can service the story.  Don;t get me wrong, you will still be competing against actors with tons of credits, but at least you can get in the room.  You should especially concentrate on long running shows.  Shows that have been on for many seasons have used up the pool of multi credited actors.  They want to bring their producers new faces.  After multiple seasons show runners get bored by the same actors.  Fresh new faces, who can act, are a gift to casting.

There are so many outlets now and so many …

Social Media...Neither Social nor Media

How important is your social media in the new landscape of show business?  Your social media numbers can be the difference in the hiring process, but so many actors get is so wrong.  Back in the days when I had to walk to school 10 miles uphill in the snow, both ways, we had a thing called a Q rating.  Every actor of any recognizability had a Q rating.  This was derived by giving a stranger , in a mall, a big notebook full of pictures and seeing who they recognized.  The most recognizable had the highest Q rating.  Highly scientific.

Now one of the first questions we get is, "What are their social media numbers?"  The real question they should be asking is,"How engaged is their following?"  This is really what you should be working on.  Build the number, but get your followers engaged.  I have 15,000 followers on Twitter (@commeagent) and only a tenth of them are really engaged, maybe not even that many.

Really look at your social channels and make sure they are te…

Mutual R-E-S-P-E-C-T

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We had an actor call our office today about an audition they heard about and had not gotten an appointment for.  This actor asked us why she hadn't been submitted for this project, why the agent hadn't had a conversation about her.  I always find this approach so counter productive.  Here's a big news flash for actors, we don't make any money by NOT submitting you.  Maybe I should have given this actor the casting directors phone number and said,"Why don't you call them and ask why they didn't see you."  Would the actor have had the same aggressive behavior with casting?  Would they assume the casting director wasn't doing their job?

Perhaps we can all agree that we are professionals and we are all doing our part of the job.  We generate the auditions and the actors go into the room and audition. Castings role is to take the director or producer's vision and bring in the best actors for the roles.  I get being frustrated.  I get frustrated as…

The Myth of Pilot Season

January is upon us and now begins the mad dash to April.  This is the time affectionately known as "Pilot Season".  I use the quotes here because the basic truth is that pilot season is a Brigadoon for most actors, a mysterious Scottish village that appears for only one day every hundred years. Eighty percent of the actors in this town will never experience a real pilot season and most are not prepared to.  I know this is harsh.

 I often ask groups of actors at the seminars I give, if they are really ready to carry a pilot and thereafter a series.  Do you really know what that entails and the incredible pressure that is on you when you are number one on the call sheet? It isn't just about playing your part and doing the best you can.  Very often you will be on every page of the script, every week.  You will have wardrobe fittings, makeup tests, photo shoots, interviews, ADR and still carry the show on set and lead a cast and crew who are counting on the success of this s…

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Face Time

The holidays are here and, though you wouldn't know it from the ring of fire surrounding our office, a good time to get some face time with your agents.  I know it is daunting to add one more thing to your day, but this is the time we are most social and your chance to spend time with the people who represent you.  The business slows down near the holidays.  We have a bit more time to sit and chat with you.

This isn't about gifts.  You can come and hand out holiday cards.  Just come and see your agents and let them see you.  This is your opportunity to meet members of the staff you have not met yet.  Got a new haircut?  Come in and show us.  We are happy to see you.

It can be daunting.  You walk into your agents office with a gift basket from Costco and your agent has twelve huge baskets surrounding them.  You feel like yours doesn't matter or stand out.  We appreciate any gesture.  Come in with a plate of cookies, or if you really want to stand out, bring fruit or real fo…

Submission Control

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The number one question I hear from unrepresented actors is, how do I get an agent?  My answer is, use the people you know.  Using people is the core of this business.  It has bad connotations, but it is the truth.  I use the people i know everyday to get actors into doors that may otherwise not be open.  My friends use me to find the right actors for the role they may be casting.  When they say this business is about who you know, they are not kidding.  But who you know means nothing if you don't use those people to do your business.

You can submit to agents until you are blue in the face.  The envelopes may be opened.  They may not.  And if your submission crosses the right desk at the right time, perhaps you will end up with an agent.  Here are a few simple rules that may help your chances.  Keep your cover letter short and simple.  I read so many letters that are trying to be funny. Just the facts. You don't need to tell me you are looking for representation.  That's …

Everyone Tells Me.....

So I am sitting here listening to Nat King Cole at the Sands and hearing that one of a kind voice.  I am constantly bombarded with actors telling me that EVERYONE they talk to tells them that they should be doing voice overs.  The fact is that if I could find a way to monetize that one statement I could retire and spend my days at a surf shack on some remote tropical island.  I truly believe that all of these actors think they can have a voice career, and they probably can, but they are unwilling to put in the real work.

I can give you a Stradivarius violin, the most amazing instrument in the world, it doesn't mean you are a concert violinist.  You may have been blessed with the most interesting voice on the planet and it doesn't mean you can do voice over.  It takes skill and training to be a successful voice artist.  But the real key to VO success, is reading comprehension.  What is the copywriter trying to say and how can you best help him say it.  You would be amazed at th…