One of the things that happens when you’ve been living a Self-Management for Actors lifestyle for a good amount of time is that you develop so much proactivity, so much discipline, so much joy for the pursuit that you may find yourself needing to ease back a bit, when you hit your next tier.
Case in point: During one of my regular coaching sessions with one of my New York-based clients, we talked about the progress that has happened — organically — since we first started working together, which has included the actor signing with a high-target agency.
Now, let me take a second, here, to say that this took time. Actually signing with a *high-target* agency — a Hell Yes agency rather than a Ho-Hum agency — is not an overnight thing for most actors. It takes weeks of research, months of laying the groundwork for an encounter, and loads of patience and persistence for the intersection to lead to a meeting which then leads to the great idea (on the part of the agent, of course — always let it be their brilliant idea) to sign the actor who laid breadcrumbs out for this to happen, nearly a year before. I don’t want anyone reading this to think that it was a twinkle of Samantha’s nose or a quick nod of Jeannie’s head and suddenly this agent was in the actor’s life. It takes a lot of work… and time.
Anyway, so after all this time, my client is signed with this high-target agency he had strategized to meet. He’s been with his particular agent for a few months and he’s gone out a few times. He’s gotten callbacks. He has booked. But whenever he sees a role in the Breakdowns for which he feels he’s right, he shoots an email or text over to his agent to say, “Wanted to be sure you saw the role of so-and-so in the project such-and-such. Would love to go in for that.”
Stop right there.
Absolutely, if — during your “getting to know you” meeting with your new agent — you had a conversation about how he’d like for you to maintain contact and he said, without question, reach out EVERY time you see a role in the Breakdowns that you’d like him to put you out there on, do it. But since what’s much more likely is that the agent told you to keep him in the loop about any really juicy opportunities for which your skills are extraordinarily well-matched, alongside any existing relationships you may have with folks in the casting office, which the agent could USE in his pitch, I say go easy on the this sort of thing.
Because you’ve been a self-submitting, self-pitching, self-managing actor for so long, you’ve got what I call a strong “muscle for the hustle.” It’s not a bad thing. Heck, it’s what has kept you working all the years when you’ve had no representation or such shitty representation that you were certain they’d forgotten they even signed you. So, don’t be mad at your overwhelming urge to micromanage your new — high-target, Hell Yes — agent now.
Don’t be mad at it… but fix it. Put it in check. Think about it. You spent a lot of time and energy targeting and then executing the meet-up with the RIGHT agent, and then you got signed because he agreed that you could make money together, right now. TRUST THAT. Trust that this guy knows there’s money to be made, when he pitches you into a great room where there’s a role that lines up perfectly with your bullseye. Trust that he is looking for opportunities for y’all to celebrate your next tier, and doesn’t need to be reminded that those roles are out there.
Let him prove that he knows he signed you with a full understanding of exactly how you can be a booking machine. Let him prove that you did such a good job in your targeting that you DID find the right agent and that he CAN pitch you into rooms you were just starting to penetrate. Keep him updated on your craft classes, workshops you’re doing, showcases in which your work can be seen, plays, networking events, screenings of your self-produced projects, your efforts at brand management, relationships you’re building that can affect his pitches, and all the rest of the goodies that can *help him* get you in front of targeted buyers. But to remind him that there ARE roles out there? That’s thinking small. That’s not TRUSTING that you did everything right, in all that targeting work you did. That’s not TRUSTING you’ve signed with a Hell Yes of an agent, after all this time. That’s overusing your hustle muscle. Let it rest. You’ve earned it.
Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/001666.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.