What I am about to share with you could change everything.
Why didn’t anyone tell me…?!
Here are some of the beliefs that I had:
When I left drama school, I would be different. I would never be out of work because I would work really hard.
I didn’t really need to earn loads of money…I trained as an actor which was my dream so money necessary…
I was just grateful to work…payment is not an issue. I beat the competition…er yeah for a job that wasn’t paying me!
Surely I couldn’t be creative and earn well…I had to struggle.
Being an ‘artist’ is cool, I don’t want to be too corporate.
When I write these, I realise two things. Firstly many are not true. They are not factual. They were simply stories in my head. Secondly I wasn’t helping myself and I certainly wasn’t helping my agent.
I have been an actor that has struggled. I have had the ‘Oh shit- I don’t know how I am going to pay my rent this month’ 2am wake up call and the actor who has been stuck in day jobs that have made me feel rubbish, lost and disheartened.A great energy to take into a casting room?
I have also been an agent. I have seen how essential it is for an actor to have a job that works for them (pays their bills, keeps them comfortable, provides them with options) and for an agent to represent an actor who is comfortable, secure and open.
This industry is ever changing and you never know when the next opportunity is going to zip around the corner so you want to be in a position to receive it.
You place an enormous amount of trust in an agent, understanding they will nourish and nurture your career and provide fruitful opportunities.
It is crucial an agent also has trust in you. That you are level headed, reliable and deliver the goods. An agent understands that acting can be a hard, financial game, but also needs to know you have options to invest in yourself, so he/she can do their job and propel you to the next level.
The agent is looking at your profile on a daily basis but also has a great understanding of what breakdowns are arriving in their inbox. They can see where the gaps are- i.e. ‘You don’t have a headshot to represent X side of your personality’ or you need to attend X workshop with a certain casting director as you are a perfect fit for a future project.
It is your responsibility to leave yourself with financial options so you can fulfil these requests, not to ignore the email or brush your agent off with ‘I haven’t got any money at the moment’. This will not accelerate your career.
It is ok not to struggle. You don’t have to hate the times between acting. You can enjoy them. Both worlds can fuel and nurture each other. What blocks do you put on yourself? It is a fresh new week so I am extending the offer until tonight. I have all the tools to help you and they are waiting for you. Please don’t email me saying ‘I just don’t know what to do’ You have to figure out a better question. You have to identify what you need help with and be willing to ‘do the work!’.