After teaching so many actors for so many years “How to Get and Keep an Agent” my first reaction when I was invited by the head of the agency to train in the commercial department of 90210 Talent, and then take it over, was a resounding NO. My almost 2 decades of being one of the owners of Actors Connection prepared me for what I knew was going to be starting another new business. My gut instinct was in play and since my coaching/consulting company, Act Outside the Box, was doing great things with all of the insider info I now had, I felt it might not be the right move. But after several days of thinking about it and conversations with the head of the agency, he convinced me to “try it on for size”. So I decided “why not”?
I took the opportunity to expand into what I thought was the natural progression of my own career – to become an agent. Seemed like a good fit, but it actually wasn’t. Here’s why…
I quickly came to realize that I liked, and was great at, HALF of the job.
The part of the gig I loved was what I’d already been doing as a coach and marketing consultant, however the other half was being at the effect of outside influences that truly sapped my physical time and emotional energy. These days, being an agent means being constantly tethered to a cell phone, computer screen and clients, casting directors, and crowds of other people (actors seeking representation, production folks with details for bookings, contract info, the union and the list goes on…) in a 24/7 business that never stops demanding attention.
First and foremost, I teach people that if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing and pursing your passion, move on…and fast! Life is meant to be a joyful endeavor and we spend a majority of it at work, so you have to love your job. Being an agent is hard work and though I’m one of the hardest workers I know, I soon knew I’d dug myself a hole that I had to get out of because I didn’t enjoy this kind of hard work.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of people and plenty of agents who thrive on this constant activity and do LOVE the fast pace of technology, but there are just as many others who are getting out of their line of work because they started out when the industry was quite different.
As a coach and consultant, I have always had a huge respect for agents and have taught you that, in most cases, they work much harder in service of your career than you think. And in many cases more than you do. Yep, I just said that. Working at the agency, I unhappily found that last statement to be true.
When I realized that I worked all day, every day, in service of actor’s careers and that most of my clients did not treat their own career like they were actually in a business, I knew I could serve a LOT more actors by giving them yet another perspective on getting and keeping a rep.
My thoughts about what the job would entail and what it actually was were very different and I’m going to share in my next several posts everything I learned so that you’ll have all of the vital and important information you need when seeking a rep or working with the one you have now. Stay tuned.
To Your Success, Lisa