So this man owned my life. When his office called I jumped to attention. I figured he was a highly respected agent (literally everyone knows him) so I would trust all his decisions and choices.
I mentioned the 3-way call from the last article, turns out this was his favorite form of douche-baggery.
The 3-way calls became a regular thing.
I went to a lot of auditions so he did his job in that department, I was non-union and very commercial. But when I hadn’t booked anything in the first few months he called me himself (usually we talked to assistants in the office) to ask why I wasn’t booking.
I almost vomited into the phone.
How was I supposed to answer that? Oh well because I don’t actually want these thousands of dollar jobs I just enjoy driving all over town for nothing.
Of course I was trying. And I was so new. Casting directors take time to trust new actors. It’s a slow build.
Not for this guy.
When I stuttered and stammered on the phone with him he cut me off (because this was clearly planned) and immediately said it’s ok I have a plan. You need a class.
Ok maybe lead with that next time dude.
Oh no. Not him. So he patches in the class office right there on the spot to get me in. Was I told how much this cost? What was involved? What the class dates/times where? ANY INFO at all?
Honestly fuck him. Sorry…I’m getting heated rehashing this.
Moving right along…
So the Commercial Class was bad. One of those classes where the teacher sets you up to fail every single time so he can point out the flaws. You couldn’t do a single thing right because he wanted to “mold you into a better actor”. It was run by a casting director who will remain nameless, but he too was an asshole. Very on par with the course here. He and agent of the year were close friends.
As this nonsense continued (for about 2 years) I acquired a manager. It was a team of two women who were really polite, really small-boutique style, and easy to get in touch with. It was very different than what I was used too.
Circa September of 2014 I had planned a once in a lifetime trip to go to Europe and meet two of my closest friends on the tail end of their backpacking adventure. We were going to Dublin and London. I was so excited, there was so many plans. And I had booked out with my managers/agents months in advance. *Booking out is when you let your reps know you’re out of town and won’t be available to audition.*
I got a commercial/print audition for an alcohol brand that was $500 shoot day rate and possibility of $5,000 if you were chosen for the final edit of the commercial. They were casting 11 roles, so the chances of that extra cash was SLIM. I went to the audition and a few days later got the call that I was on hold for the project. Meaning they wanted me to save the date and they were making final choices within a week.
And of course the shoot date was the day after I was supposed to be in Ireland.
So I called back the agents office to let them know I had not read the shoot dates when I auditioned (my mangers were also partly responsible but I take full responsibility here) and gave them my apologies. Please keep in mind that this was my fault, but I took responsibility like a grown ass woman and let them know the second I found out. And this was a HOLD. Not a BOOKING.
My agent himself calls me back and begins berating me like I can’t even explain. I was at my babysitting job at the time and standing in their backyard crying. He then (as is his way!) 3-freaking-way calls my mangers to add one of them to our conversation. And then he start berating her. It was the most unprofessional thing I have ever been a part of.
The line that sticks out the most in my head is when he said to her (a mom of two kids): “You keep saying you’re sorry?! If I hit your kid with my car and killed him and said sorry, that wouldn’t make him not dead!!”
Yea just take that in real quick.
He then proceeded to tell me that if I didn’t accept the hold and potential job (of which he would bank a MAX of $550 if that) he would drop me as a client. Just like that. I had made them thousands of dollars over 2-3 years, I was a small fish in the pond, but a fish nonetheless.
So I panicked and agreed. I didn’t know how to bounce back from being dropped by an agency. I was so scared.
And the company kept me on hold in limbo with a flight on the line for the next 6 days. I called the office every day to see if they confirmed me. And the day before I was set to leave there was still nothing concrete. So I had to make a call: stay home and have a 50/50 chance that I do a small shoot or possibly nothing at all. Or go on the trip and be dropped by the agent I had had since I started in LA.
I did the most adult thing I have ever done (with full support of my cool managers). Within a 5 minute time span, left the agency before they could drop me and got on that god damn plane.
The agent himself reached out to me via TEXT MESSAGE. He had hardly talked to me during our working relationship, but he texts me after I decide to get on the plane. And I never responded and it feels good to this damn day.
I have since had 2 other commercial agents. Not a single issue in getting a new one. No one quite like this guy. Don’t ever let anyone think they own your ass. You own your ass. And you will make mistakes. And it will all be fine.
Oh and I had a really good time in Europe.