My agency hasn’t gotten me any auditions since I signed with them in January. I’m thinking about changing agencies, but I really like my agency and I don’t want to leave them. However, for my career’s sake, I think I have to. What should I do?
Of course, I have questions about a few things. Are you in Los Angeles? Are you signed across-the-board or commercially only? Are you SAG? What does your resumé look like? Were you going out a lot before you signed with this agency?
Since I don’t have the benefit of your answers to those questions just yet (feel free to email a follow-up), I’ll answer in the very general sense.
You are represented by an agency that hasn’t sent you out in more than a few months. Fine. How long is the contract you signed? Did you sign for a year? Three years? Longer? If the contract is for a year and you’re pretty much at the halfway point with it (and you’re repped theatrically), I’d say stick it out and see what episodic season brings. However, it’s a standard provision in a contract that you can ask for an “out” to the contract (and relationship) after three months (90 days) without an audition. Some agencies adjust this to four months (120 days), but either way, there is almost always a protection within the standard agency contract that you, the client, can part ways with the agency without retribution if you have not been sent out on any project within the term designated by the contract.
If you were going out a lot before signing with this agent and now you find yourself not going out at all, I have to ask whether you’ve stopped your own efforts at getting seen, assuming that your agent will be doing all of the work now that you’re repped. If that’s the case, it’s not an issue of your agent doing his or her job. It’s an issue of YOU doing your job. You should still be getting yourself out there and self-submitting when appropriate. Until you’re at a very specific tier within the industry, you will always be doing most of the legwork that leads to bookings. It is your career, after all.
I know plenty of actors who get themselves into casting offices through self-submissions or showcases and then hand over the negotiation process to their agency. Why cut them in on the deal, if you did all the work? Well, when you signed with an agent, you committed to the relationship as a whole. And while there will be times that you are doing more than 90% of the work, there will also be times that your agent is doing much more than 10% of the work, but still only collecting 10%. So, you must see the relationship as a long-term one and know that you both committed to getting you seen.
That said, if you have another offer to sign with a different agency before pilot season starts up in January, you might consider moving forward with that, and terminating your current contract at its year-end. If you have good credits and didn’t go out at all during pilot season and find you’re not starting to go out now (episodic season), you could consider making that move.
Of course, there are so many other factors possibly at work here (your photos, your union status, your geographical location, your credits, your look) that it is hard to lay down an absolute piece of advice on the topic. I’m a big fan of open communication, so before making a move, I’d be sure to schedule a meeting with your current agent and “regroup.” Make sure everyone is on the same page about what sort of projects you should be going out for (use examples from the trades or ActorsAccess.com of projects for which you should’ve been seen) and keep your agent aware of what you are doing to keep yourself “out there.” Supporting one another’s efforts to get you working is one of the best uses of your energy right now. If nothing gets cooking by mid-October, be ready to consider a new agent before the winter hiatus.
Let me hear how it goes for you! Good luck! And do good work.
Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/000053.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.