So… here comes drop season. If you were your agent’s top pick for a tremendously successful pilot season and got nothing but crappy feedback from every audition, you may find yourself on a drop list this month. It’s not your fault. Most agencies have to take a look at their roster after pilot season with a critical eye, to be sure they have bookers as clients and to make room for new actors to come on board for midseason. It’s a reality of being repped.

Let’s be clear, though, that drop season can also be the time for you to make a move away from an agent or manager whose pre-pilot season pledges were exaggerated. The idea that “having *any* rep is better than having *no* rep” is sometimes just as bad as saying being in a bad relationship is better than being single. No. When you’re on your own, you have options. You can shop around. You can hustle.

In case you’re facing a drop, please frame it appropriately: It doesn’t mean you’re not talented. It doesn’t mean you won’t book. It doesn’t mean you have to drop a tier to land a new agent or manager. It just means this particular relationship is over. For now. It’s absolutely zero-level big deal.

But what if you’re not dropped and you don’t drop your rep… but you’re not getting out? You’re finding yourself signed but shelved. You’re doing everything a self-managing ninja should do, yet your team simply cannot push you into the rooms whose doors have always been closed to you. What then?

Let’s assume you’ve checked off everything: Your headshots are awesome at conveying exactly what you bullseye, your footage is wonderful at showing your target buyers exactly what to expect, your resumé is focused on how to cast you next (not simply regurgitating a list of everything you’ve ever done). Great.

Then you schedule the CTJ meeting to make sure your submitting team is, well, submitting you (and doing so correctly). Whaddayaknow. They want you to get new headshots. Again. They want you to shoot more demo reel footage. Again. They want you to add or remove credits. They want you to train with a different coach. They want you to plunk down the initiation fee and go from “eligible” to a union member. They want you to hit more workshops. Something. Anything. It’s gotta be a tool issue. (It couldn’t *possibly* be that they don’t GET you or don’t have the relationships that complement yours perfectly.)

Please, please, please consider — before you head off to shoot more headshots or more demo reel footage, to train with another coach or hit more workshops — that it’s the agent or manager that needs to be changed up. Now, I’m not saying you should rep-hop any more than I would suggest that you bed-hop. What I’m saying is that you need to be sure you landed the right rep, to start with. This is why I feel so strongly about not rushing into a rep relationship, which so many actors do.

Assuming you signed with a hell yes agent or manager, trust what they suggest when you have this important regrouping meeting. And don’t obsess about how much they got you out this past season. Don’t compare the number of shots you got on your own to the number that came through your rep. Whatever you do, don’t compare the number of auditions your top-of-show buddy got to what you got. Scorekeeping is for amateurs. Pros are too busy hustling to keep up with such nonsense.

If you’re finding yourself in a creative cul-de-sac in which your rep is simply not getting you out, consider that it might not be your agent or manager who is not working hard enough for you… but perhaps that YOU are not working hard enough for you.

Next week, we’re gonna compare what reps are looking for vs. what you think they’re looking for, in deciding to sign you. Get ready!

NOTE: Our free quarterly SMFA Tune-Up call is Friday, April 11th, at 2:30pm PDT. Please RSVP here!


Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!


Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/001803.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.

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