Remember the Saturday Night Live skit from way back when which featured Mark and Wendy Whiner? Anything and everything they experienced in life they had to complain about it, non stop.
In the entertainment industry, no one wants to hear a whiner. If you’ve got complaints, work it out, don’t go to your agent, cd, manager with a complaint unless you’ve got a solution. The last thing any talent should be referred to by anyone guiding them, is a complainer, a high maintenance talent, a fuss budget. Entitlement doesn’t happen in this arena, this is competition, like it or not. The best talent are chosen for each job, the people who are not chosen are not the best, sometimes that’s something you can control, sometimes it isn’t.
Your representation is going to accept you on board and may critique your head shots, audio demos and or demo reel, but there’s a reason for this, they want to do all they can to help you booking work. When a talent starts critiquing their representation back, whether kindly or rudely, said talent need to think over their actions before making this move. As a talent, you manage yourself and only yourself. You are responsible for being where your commitments are and doing your job. Your representation is potentially responsible for hundreds of talent, constantly juggling their jobs in the air, prioritizing what is done where to who and keeping it all under a manageable balance to provide opportunity to you and many others.
If you encounter a situation that your representation needs to be aware of, decide how much of a priority this is. Below is a list of urgent situations where your representation must hear from you immediately:
- You are an actor and your vehicle broke down on the way to a shoot
- You are a voice actor and your power went out for a directed session in 5 minutes
- You are a model scheduled for a shoot but you got stung by a bee and have hives all over your body
Below this line are some examples to where you need to communicate with your representative but it is not urgent to communicate it instantly:
- You are a model and you sprained your ankle. You have a catwalk scheduled in 2 days, you think you will be healed by then but unsure at this moment
- Your daughter is scheduled to work a dental shoot next week, age 5, but she lost her first tooth, will they still want her without a full smile next week
- You are a voice over talent and your source connect will not connect for tomorrow’s scheduled session
Finally the following are situations where you do not need to contact your representative at all. Use common sense to figure this out.
- You received a script but the sentences do not necessarily make perfect sentences. There’s a typo and a misspelled word
- Your representative sent out an audition with a due date a month beforehand. The month just changed, remember no one is perfect, this could have happened on the representative level or client level
- You haven’t booked a job lately, you are waiting, where is the work? Your representative is a small part of your annual income. You as a talent must work to get yourself heard and seen by getting coaching and investing in your career.
If your representative is a working professional, they are working 12-16 hour days. What can you do to keep things positive with them?
- Read the details and try to decipher what you may not understand before reaching out.
- Remember you are not the “only talent” on the roster
- Don’t complain. Ask questions to learn but do not be a high maintenance talent. If you are high maintenance then know you may already have a mark next to your name to be removed if you continue to act up.
- Don’t contact your representative evenings and weekends unless it is a dire circumstance. Everyone needs downtime.
This write up was not posted to state that representatives are insensitive and impolite, it was written to identify that as professionals, frequently you need to make decisions on your own without hitting your panic button, think things through to see if you can get a grasp on what may be happening.