Many new actors are not really clear about what it takes to have a good working relationship with their commercial agent. It is very beneficial to understand what is expected. So here are the responsibilities and expectations as it pertains to most commercial representation.
Upon signing with your commercial agent, there will be tasks for you do:
• If your agent doesn’t love your photos, he/she will expect you to shoot new pictures.
• You might be expected to redo your resume.
• If you have not taken a commercial or Improvisation workshop they may strongly suggest you take one or both to do better auditions.
• You will be told to sign up for one or two of the casting websites.
These actions must be completed before submitting new clients for auditions.
Once you start auditioning, your agent(s) have lots more expectations.
• Have a cell phone with voicemail
• Have appropriate wardrobe for the types of roles they will be auditioning for.
• Keep agents supplied with current pictures and resumes
• Update their profiles on the casting networks with new photos and resume’ changes.
• Always return agents calls within a few hours to confirm auditions
• With a few hours notice, be available for auditions
• Show up for auditions
• Book out with the agency if going out of town or for any reason are unavailable.
• Be on time for auditions.
• Let the agency know if you make or plan to make any changes to your physicality (i.e. large weight gains or loses, braces, hair color or major style changes, etc,).
Signing with representation doesn’t guarantee that you will always be with that agency. After a year, agents often drop clients if: they don’t get a good percentage of callbacks or booking; are not available for auditions or bookings; if they miss confirmed auditions; act unprofessionally at auditions; or are a problem client.
RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR AGENT
Most actors want to create a relationship with their agent(s) but are not sure if they should visit, call, send emails and if so, how often. Your relationship at least for the first year or two is just business. If you are going to visit, call or email, have a business purpose, i.e. to show video of acting work, to select new pictures, get direction on which workshops to take, invite them to a show you are in or to watch a TV program you are on, report any major changes that affect your availability or physicality, etc. Agents are busy working for you and their other clients. They don’t really have the time to hold your hand or hang out with you. If you do have a valid reason then making contact once every six or eight weeks is appropriate for many commercial agents. If you have been with your agent for at least a year and you have booked a few jobs through them, then inviting them out to lunch or giving them a small gift for the holidays would be amenable to most.
LEAVING YOUR AGENCY
If you are unhappy with your commercial agency because you are not getting out on many auditions, the auditions you get don’t feel like a fit, your agent is always unavailable for conversation, – first, try to talk with your agent before you make a move to leave. And only if your issues are not addressed should you drop the agent (only after you have interest from a new one).
To get more info about how to have the best relationship with your agent(s), check out my FREE video BEING A REPRESENTED ACTOR at mastertalentteachers.com in which three top Los Angeles agents talk about what they expect from thier clients.
If you missed the first two articles in this Commercial Agent series, you will find them and the accompanying videos in the archive on my COMMERCIAL page at mastertalentteachers.com.
There is a lot involved in learning to do your best at commercial auditions. For additional insights and tips, check out my book Hit The Ground Running @ www.hitthegroundrunningbook.com and for more information on Commercial Acting Classes: http://carolynebarry.com/workshops/commercial/