We’ve worked so hard to get to this point! After sealing the relationship, though, the excitement can wear off at an alarming rate. Most talent make their career mistake at this crossroad. I like to picture the misinformed young model or actor sitting at home in the afternoon curled on the couch watching their favorite soap opera and popping bon-bons . . . all while a little cell phone nestles quietly in their lap. (Of course, in my mind, it’s still an old 30s style black phone with white ivory numbers on the end table beside them.)
If you aren’t supposed to sit around waiting for the phone to ring, though, what ARE you to do? The answer isn’t simple, but we’ll start with the obvious. Scroll down to the very first blog post and start working the full system again. Agent or not, it’s your job as the talent to continue working the clientele as much as possible – that includes digitally, via mail, in person at events, and of course, in the casting room and on sets! The breakdown of financial gain is a good balance to base the amount of work each partner should be doing. If your agent takes 20%, then you should be doing 80% of the networking, marketing, etc. Of course, take into consideration the amount of time you spend on actual paying sets, as well (your agent won’t mind picking up the slack if you’re constantly booked, trust me).
After you realize that your level of responsibility hasn’t been diminished, focus on the new responsibilities to which you have committed. First, give your agent every chance to experience your abilities and learn your strengths. I love it when my talent give me comp tickets to their theatre shows, for example! I also find reels of their work beneficial. Every time your face, name, or body are in the presence of your representation, you secure a stronger place in their mind and confidence in your skills.
Second, take the time to show appreciation to the people supporting your career – most obviously your mother and your agent, who both have a vested interest in your success. Thank you notes/postcards are a great way to reinforce your relationship and encourage your agent to put you at the top of their list!
Start with these two simple baby steps and you will be guaranteed to launch a good foundation to a career. Continue on with the next blog post suggestions, and you’ll grow into the charming young talent that will make a momma proud!