As an actor, making sure you have an agent and that agent is happy with you seems like a huge priority. I’m not going to go into details with this post about how much work you can do without an agent (check out the DIY posts here for some inspiration). But when you do have an agent, you make to make sure that you are an ideal client. And there are a few things that you can do that will make your agent love you no matter what.
The first thing you can do is be available when you say you are available. If you are going to be out of town or unavailable for any reason, you should book out with your agents. Even when I’m going to be somewhere without access to my phone for more than an hour or two, I book out. My agents have a policy where all their actors need to respond to text notifications of auditions or bookings within 1 hour. If you are booked out, they don’t expect you to be able to get back to them within that time frame. And make sure if you tell them that you are available so that you don’t cancel on auditions (or even worse, bookings). Most agents are willing to work with your schedule, but you have to be honest and upfront with them what that schedule is.
Be grateful for any and all auditions that you get. As a plus size girl, there aren’t a ton of auditions out there for me. And many times, I’m going for auditions for characters that are either older or heavier than I am (see my Audition Timeline post for an example of that). But even if the audition is asking for a 40 year old actress, I am so grateful for the audition. Lots of times, they aren’t exactly sure what they want the character to look like. So if you go into the audition prepared and doing your best, you never know when the character might change to be exactly what you look like. Whenever I confirm my auditions with my agents, I always include a thank you. They work hard for you even if you aren’t getting a lot of auditions.
Make sure that you look like your headshots. This one I need to work on a bit. Since my headshots were taken, I’ve lost about 30 pounds (I still have a long way to go so it’s not as drastic of a change as it sounds). I need to get new headshots. I still look enough like my pictures that it’s ok for now, but I know that if someone sees my headshot they are expecting a slightly heavier actress to walk through the door. But if you change your hair, your weight, or have some other major physical change; you need new headshots.
Always walk into the audition room at your very best. Make sure you are prepared. Have headshots with you because if the casting director wants one, you want to make sure to have one ready. Even if you aren’t right for the part, you want to do your best so the casting director knows you are a good actor. You might not book the role, but you want to book the office so they will bring you back for another part that might be perfect for you.
And since it’s the holiday season right now, if you can afford to and feel like it, get a small gift for your agents (and their assistants) for the holidays. I got the assistants Starbucks gift cards and my agents Disneyland gift cards (they both love Dole Whips at Disneyland). I didn’t spend a lot, but I know that the gesture was appreciated. Plus, it gave me an excuse to stop by and visit them (and discuss my need for new headshots).
Hope that these tips help you stay on your agent’s good side! And if there is something that you do to make your agents happy or show your appreciation, I’d love to hear about it!