Thursday, March 11, 2010

Good agent, bad agent

I got calls from two different agents about two different jobs and I made two different decisions totally counter to what this economy would call for.

In the first one I agreed to audition for a job that would be unpaid. The second one was an audition for a SAG commercial, which I turned down.

The difference? The first one entailed an actual conversation and the second was ... well, it was like someone handing off a message.

In the first case, the agent explained to me that this really good photographer, who I've worked with before, was doing a project on spec for a potential client from France. Sort of a test shoot, I guess. The payoff for me? As he explained, doing the photographer a favor, building that relationship and also getting some new free shots to add to my portfolio (if they choose me).

That was great. That's a lot of good information that makes a lot of sense. So I said yes.

In the second case, it was a call from an intern at 10:30 this morning. The audition had to happen by 1:15 pm. Today. Obviously, I was a last-minute fill-in for someone who dropped out. I had to ask what it was for -- commercial, industrial, what? I had to ask whether it was union or non-union. I had to ask a lot of questions.

I hate these last-minute things. I think it's bullshit. I'm accustomed to the usual less-than-24 hours' notice, but less than three? That's crap. Now in the past, the right agent would explain to me something like, "Hey, we have this opportunity, it's totally last-minute, so I understand if you can't or don't want to do it. Obviously you're a fill-in, but it's a union job, a good client, and I think you match up well with what they're looking for. So if you can do it , I think it would be a good opportunity for you."

In that case I would have probably dropped what I was doing and gone on the audition. But when I get a call from someone who sounds like they know even less about the job than I do? Sorry. I was right in the middle of a client project and didn't feel like blowing up my day's agenda for what would have likely been a huge longshot.

But I would have. With the right amount of information and discussion.

I'm not difficult. I try not to be a prima-donna. But I do require a little bit, just a little bit of ... what? Consideration? Sure, that's it.

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