Now it is time to defend the agents and reach out to seasoned actors, as well as new. July and August were not only very busy, but most of the work was SAG. If there is ever a time that casting is going to be busy in New York, it is the summer. I have been doing this for 30 years; summer is busy.
I am going to give a major tip on how actors can make their relationship with their agents better and create less stress between casting directors and agents. I am going to start with Abrams Artists and the agent that I work with there, Tracey Goldblum. She works 20 hours a day and only cares about doing a great job. She will also defend an actor even when they have not done their part, so help her do her job.
Now for the most important tip and the thing that is making our jobs the most difficult – stay in New York and be available to work in the summer. Come November when there are no auditions, it is not fair to complain to your agent.
On top of so many actors wanting the summer off, you do not inform your agents of your schedule and the agents learn that you are unavailable after I have spent the day prepping and scheduling you. That means I have to do my job twice, sometimes even three or four times. I am so confused as to why sending your schedule is such a big issue. If you had a full time job you would have to put in for vacation. Also, how many e-mails does everyone send in a day? This is just one more and it is part of your job as an actor. Give your agent your schedule. It doesn’t matter if it is work related or not. For an agent to take their time to submit you and push for you, get an appointment, and then find out that you are not available is unfair to all of us.
Your commercial agent should be made aware of any pending legit work, booked work, readings, vacations, etc. In this day and age, keeping your schedule up to date is easy. If an agent submits you, thinks you are available because you didn’t book out, calls you with the appointment only to find out you are not available because you “forgot” to book out, it will not only be remembered but the agent might hesitate to submit you the next time.
It does not matter if you have not gotten an audition in a month. Agents still need your schedule so if an audition comes up they are prepared. If you have a secondary job and can only audition part time, it is so important to inform your agent. You are not just another body. We are all working hard to do great casting sessions, but lately the lack of responsibility has made it very difficult.
Doug Kesten at Paradigm and Carol Ingber of Ingber and Associates, will get a breakdown from me and check everyone’s schedule before they submit. Actors that have not updated their schedule will not get submitted. Doug, in a lot of cases, will pick up the phone (I know…a new concept) and check in with some actors that he thinks will be perfect, before submitting them…very time consuming. Other agencies, like Don Buchwald and Associates, that have a much larger client list do not have the time to do that, so it is really important to update them with your schedule.
Agents want appointments and do not want to take a chance on someone that hasn’t checked in. I don’t give an agent a time slot or a time span. I give an agent an appointment for a specific actor. If lose the actor, the agent loses that appointment time, and has less of a chance of booking the job.
The lack of responsibility is costing actors auditions and making me hesitate on scheduling you again. You are also driving your agents crazy.
Please, all actors, even if you have more than one agent, keep your full schedule up to date with all of them. Do not assume your legit agent is communicating with your commercial agent or that your manager is keeping your all agents in the loop. We are all grown ups and need to be responsible for ourselves. Please help this business; become responsible again. It might make casting easier and create a situation where we don’t have to set up such big casting sessions to make sure we are covered.
One last request, give Tracey Goldblum a hand. She has more scheduling issues than anyone and I think her clients need to help her out.