Agents and managers. Whether you have one or not, most actors have a complicated relationship with agents and/or managers. You want them, you think you need them, once you get one you wonder if you need a better one. And during Pilot Season, when you expect to be busy with wall-to-wall auditions, that relationship gets even more complicated.
Here are 4 ways you can get the most out of your agent during Pilot Season, and 4 ways to do Pilot Season without an agent.
4 Ways to be successful this Pilot Season if you have an agent or manager:
You need to be communicating with your agent before, during, and after Pilot Season. All the time. If you’re collaborating (which is what your relationships with your agent or manager is) you need to be in touch. Don’t send sad, desperate emails. Communicate your goals, and inform her of the myriad of things you’re doing to help her sell you and your talent. Don’t ask…Offer. Offer your goals and your work. “I just got into this great class, I’m shooting my web series, I’m putting up a play, etc, etc, etc.”
2. Don’t wait for a call…
…or email or text, or smoke signal from your agent or manager. Yes, communicate, but don’t get stuck waiting for a response. TAKE COMMAND. There are so many things you can do to be in and of the work, thereby making your agent’s job easier. Focus on doing those things. You’re an actor. So, act. Create. Turn Pilot Season into three months of unprecedented creative output.
3. Act as if you don’t have an agent.
You want someone working for you but don’t think that means you don’t have to work for yourself. Tell yourself that your career is your responsibility and that no one should be working harder than you. Then whatever your agent or manager does is icing on the cake.
4. Be kind.
It’s easy to turn your agent or manager into the reason you’re not where you want to be. She can become the scapegoat for all of your career disappointment. While you shouldn’t spend time in a working relationship with someone who doesn’t appreciate you, believe in you, and communicate with you, be aware of your part in that relationship. Look at your ability to express your needs in it. Remember that she’s not the great-and-powerful Oz; she’s a human being, likely already crazed by the tsunami that’s coming. And know that at the end of the day, your agent has a mortgage to pay and needs of her own.
4 Ways to be successful this Pilot Season without an agent or manager:
1. You probably won’t get an agent during Pilot Season.
Agents and managers are busy during Pilot Season. Pursuing an agent during Pilot Season isn’t the best use of your time. Step back from that pursuit. Focus on…
2. You’re not missing anything.
Know that plenty of actors with agents can’t get their agent to return a call during Pilot Season. Don’t buy into the narrative that you are less-than because you don’t have an agent or manager. Start with the mindset that you are your own agent. There’s great freedom in that.
3. Call everyone.
Ultimately the TV business is a small town and most people are only a couple other people away from a decision maker. So now’s the time to reach out to anyone and everyone. That entertainment lawyer you know, your assistant director friend, other actors, the guy at your local pub who you see every week who writes for TV. Don’t pitch them. Offer them your talent in good faith. Don’t present yourself as something you’re not, don’t try to be fancy. Just politely ask them if you can send them a representation of your work. Remember you have something to offer. And you never know.
4. Put yourself in the game.
Self-taping is the new norm and you can fill a need in a casting office by offering them your tape. So tape. Everything. All the time. Make sure it looks great (we’ll tell you how in our next post), and that it captures amazing work. But get the breakdowns and the scenes any way you can, and use the self tape process to get yourself out there.
Agent or no agent, you have the power to TAKE COMMAND this Pilot Season. It’s all about you deciding how your career is going to go for the next 3 months. You have to own that. You have to start doing the work of a working actor now. We’re here to help.
Win Pilot Season by taking one of our classes. Be ready, starting here.