There are some basics that you should know before getting an agent. Most talent don’t know what to expect, and therefore, can’t accurately assess whether or not they are in a position to be able to do talent work.
Castings, go-sees (also called a look-see), and bookings all happen with 24 hours notice on a common basis. I tell my talent when they come in for an initial interview to plan to have 24 hours notice. “I will call you today; you will have to be somewhere tomorrow.” It’s the standard issue answer when I’m helping a talent decide if this is the right industry for their individual situation. Of course, there will be exceptions. I have called a model with only a few hours notice for a direct booking when another model broke bones during a rehearsal. We have also had clients want to secure talent a month in advance. Those cases are not the norm, however.
Before contacting any of them, figure out how flexible your life can be. Can your day job be flexible for casting opportunities? Do you have vacation time or can you take time off for bookings? Some talent are able to work out details with their employer before getting started, which works well. Others have to find a new job – which is why so many talent end up being servers or valets. See if someone at your job can pick up shifts for you (and you for them) on short notice. Teamwork can make your life so much easier!
If this is what you want to pursue, you will need to position yourself so that you can be available to the opportunities that present themselves. Contrary to popular belief, the client will not rearrange their schedule for the right talent. They won’t fly you across the world, either. Everyone is on a budget in today’s economy and as a talent, you must realize that the client has other options (and local ones, too)! So it is your job to be available when they need or want you. Am I saying that you should ask “how high” when they say “Jump!” . . . well, yes I am. You are running a business, and it’s your job as the business owner to accommodate your customer’s needs! The flip side of this situation is that you have to pay your bills, and talent work is not full time or consistent for the majority of the talent pool. Find a job that can be flexible, but where you can make a living. Mutually respect between yourself and your employer (or your customer/client) is the key to lasting relationship and long term growth when building a successful business!
What consistent jobs work best for talent to live a healthy lifestyle, but still work bookings and make casting calls?