How to Prepare for an Agent Pay-to-Play

Last blog I wrote about why Pay to Plays were actually a GOOD thing… particularly if you are an unconnected actor.

This week I want to talk about how to PREPARE for Pay to Plays when meeting an agent.

1)     Know who the agent is. Look them up on IMDB PRO (not regular IMDB – IMDB PRO) and find out what kind of clients they have. If they have clients whose resumes are way out of your league – chances are this is NOT the best use of your time nor your hard-earned money. Look for agents who have some clients with your level of experience and just a bit above – that is your sweet spot.

2)  Research as many projects as you can of TV shows that are shooting in your market. If you live in LA, NY, or Atlanta – this can be a challenge, as there are MANY. But get a good 10 shows that you are right for and watch 2- 3 of those shows’ most recent episodes and gather evidence of why you are right for that show – and KNOW who the name of the Casting Director who casts that show. Bringing in this kind of informed and well-researched knowledge into a meeting shows an agent you do your homework and know the market.

3) Choose material (if you have that option) that reflects the type of characters you see actors LIKE YOU (same age, sex, race, energy) already playing on those shows. Make clear choices. Know that material up, down, and sideways. Master it. Know that you are GOOD at that scene and be excited to SHOW IT OFF!

4) Ask yourself… am I ready? Not is the Work ready, we covered that in # 3. But are you – the core of you ready? Is your motive clear? Are you excited to go in and meet this agent and show them your work, or are you wanting this agent to validate that you are a good actor? Hint – it is NOT the latter.

5) Understand that this is a process – sometimes a long one. You may need to pay to meet LOTS and LOTS of Agents. But if someone says to you – stay in touch. STAY. IN. TOUCH. They are not saying it for their amusement, they are saying it because they actually want you to stay in touch and they have so many people to keep track of – they are ASKING you to help them keep track of YOU and where you are at in your career. Staying in touch means a postcard or email (always ASK them what their preferred method of follow up is) every 3 – 4 weeks. BE CONSISTENT and PERSISTENT.

6) Always put that Agent on your postcard/email list to let them know when you have booked a job, gotten a callback, or are pinned or are on hold for a job. You can send these types of postcards/emails 1 -2 a month – but only when you have something (a booking, a callback, or a pin/hold) to say.

I hope this was helpful to you. Please always feel free to suggest blog topics – I am always open to suggestions!

To learn more about what it takes to be a working actor and how to get there, join me at our Weekend Intensives where we break down aspects of the business into easy, workable steps.

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