The Importance of Respect: Part I

This business is all about reputation (see Building Your Reputation). Your rep can make you or break you, and it is so important to represent yourself well. You always want to show respect to the people whom you are trying to convince to give you a job. In turn, you also want to make sure your representation (e.g., your agents and managers) are treating those people with respect. There are pivotal factors to take into account when choosing proper representation, and demeanor and character are among the most important. You and your representation are a package deal, so you should make sure you each take proper measures to enhance, not hurt, your reputation (see our previous story Tips for Finding the Perfect Agent). 

            Casting offices have so much to deal with on a daily basis; they seldom have time to eat lunch, let alone go through feedback for every actor or hear agents ramble on about unimportant topics unrelated to the project or client. The last thing a casting company wants to deal with is a disgruntled agent hassling the office. It is imperative for agents and managers to remember that they are representing you the actor, not only themselves. As such, they should be respectful and pleasant to the people they work with in the casting offices. They have your future in their hands, and their conduct will impact what sort of future that will be. After all, why would a casting office want to bring in an agent’s client when the agent has conducted himself in a pushy or disrespectful manner? The casting office will do what they can do be impartial (at the end of the day, it’s the actor, not the agent, that they are bringing in), but, if they had a bad experience with your agent, the odds that they will call your agent again to work with them in the future are slim. Due to these high stakes,  it is essential to understand the nature with which your agent or manager conducts himself when dealing with other industry professionals.

Confirming auditions (or the inability to do so) is another major frustration for casting offices. If an agent does not confirm you, they have no way to know whether or not you’re going to show up for your audition. There are potentially hundreds of actors coming in for each part. If a confirmation is not received by the designated deadline, many casting offices remove that actor from the schedule and replace their time slot with another actor. They will even refuse anyone who shows up and is not confirmed, making the actor show up to an audition without being seen. It also makes you look bad when you are not only unconfirmed, but also show up to an audition unannounced. Rather, it is better to confirm if you think you can make it and then later cancel if you absolutely cannot. That being said, do not confirm every time if you generally have to cancel at the last minute–that is another headache.

Of course, it is difficult to monitor how your agent talks to another office, but be mindful of these things when meeting with your representative. They have your career in their hands. Therefore, they should be aware of the need to show respect in order to score you that audition. Converse with your agent and express what you are looking for in an agent. This is a cutthroat business, so friendliness and respect go a long way.

 

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lauren began her casting career as an intern for Sarah Finn Casting on films such as Captain America, Cowboys & Aliens, TRON: Legacy, and Faster. After her six month internship, she returned for her final semester of college, where she went on to become a casting director in Wilmington, NC on various independent films. She also spent over a year as a casting assistant with an independent casting director and acted in multiple films. She is currently working with Marcia Ross & Erin Toner Casting and also works as an actor and in production.

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