Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Finally, it's a new year

A few weeks late, but now I've got my headshots done and my website updated with new photos throughout and my Actors Access profile updated as well. That's a relief.

Just as I get a warning in overnight e-mail from an old, but lately inactive, agent saying they can't submit people with outdated, B&W headshots.

That's still something I've got to figure out. I still have several agents but have not been working them all that hard. One's in Milwaukee and I just don't have the time to go up there these days for auditions. Work is too busy to take 4 hours out of my day a couple of times a week. To say nothing of the expense and inconvenience of renting or borrowing a car.

Another one's basically a joke. They sign everybody who walks in their door, make you pay to be on their website and send you mainly to cattle calls. I get a few calls from them a year and lately I've been ignoring them. From what I hear, even if I book something with them, getting paid for it is no sure bet.

Another was the first agent I signed with and had a very good reputation. They sent me out pretty frequently, but then had several turnovers of staff and I didn't do a good job of getting to know the new people, so I don't hear from them that much. (They're the ones who sent the e-mail, btw.) Which was fine, because I was being sent out a lot anyway by my other agents.

So that leaves us two in Chicago who are really active. One wanted me to go exclusive, which I was hesitant to do, because the other one has sent me on, I don't know, three or four times the number of auditions. The booking ratio is similar.

Everyone says this is the way it goes. You initially sign up with a lot of people and it gets winnowed down from there. (And I didn't even include in this tally the two other agents I initially signed with -- one went out of business and the other just does trade shows, which I'm not really right for, or up for. My god, I had SEVEN agents! Nightmare.)

The winnowing has been fairly mutual, I think. It's too much trouble to work with so many people. And it's difficult for them, too. I think I need to get down to one, but that would involve formally breaking ties with the others -- or maybe all three, if I decide to go somewhere else entirely. So that's what I've got to think about.

It would be nice to have a really close relationship with one agent. Someone who really knows me and my strengths and with whom I feel comfortable discussing my career. It's a two-way street, though. I have to provide enough value to warrant the personal attention. At least one of my agents feels I do -- maybe others do/will. We'll see.

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