So I decided to ask my agent for advice regarding the photographer and to be honest I wasn’t a major fan of any of the ones she suggested, which puts me in a bit of a pickle. I have asked her for her advice, she has given it to me and now I want to ignore it…. Mmm, now I won’t be getting the pics done for at least a month so she may well have forgotten the email by then but still it’s annoying. I’m sure she won’t be fussed who I go with as long as they are decent pictures but I don’t want it to seem like a think I know better… but…. Wowsers, there are so many added stresses to moving agents that you don’t think about. With my old agent I would have simply told her that I didn’t really like the look of the photographers and that would have been fine. I’m sure it’d be the same case with this one but I think it’s a little too early to push my luck, especially as I haven’t made her any money yet. But then again I should really be saying she hasn’t made me any yet. This actually fits in quite nicely to the question of the week I was posted on my last entry “What is the craziest blunder you’ve ever heard an agent doing—something that cost him or her their job and (probably) their self-esteem?”
Now I have been fairly lucky to be honest, when it comes to agents. I started off in a co-op, which is effectively an agency run by actors. We all take it in turns to be in the office and act as the agent when we are not working and this is a great way to start out. I learnt a lot about casting directors and the process of auditions. Then my last agent was fab, very personal and honest with me, and now I’m with one of the big boys and so I don’t think, or at least I hope, I won’t experience any mishaps.
There was one instance when I was made to audition for a play which required me to sing. I CANNOT SING. I was very surprised that I was still advised to go as I think sending a client up for a meet when they are just unsuitable for the job does more harm than good. There are certain circumstances when it is good to go for a job even if you’re not convinced you’re completely right for the part, to meet the director or team involved but I think when you are just going to be crap you really shouldn’t. Anyway I painfully made my way through a Dylan song, thought as he isn’t exactly known for his beautiful voice this could be the best bet. Needless to say I did not get recalled and neither have I since heard from said director. This I think was more of a faux pas on my part; I think I should have just said no. There was also another time when I had done a really good audition and the director asked me to smile so they could see my teeth and for some reason I pulled the widest smile ever, so much so that even if I had had normal teeth it would have looked weird. Didn’t get a call back for that either. It’s funny sometimes the way you behave in an audition, it’s as though you suddenly lose all common sense and have no control over what you are actually doing and saying. I have on far too many occasions left an audition or a meet and thought “what the hell was that?!?”
I know the question was related to agent blunders as oppose to actor blunders, but actors are so wary of bad mouthing anyone, especially agents, that you don’t really here of blunders often. Honestly it really is a cutthroat business, any slight against someone, especially someone who bitches about someone else, is a no go. This reminds me of my first job actually which, looking back on now, was quite frankly wrong on so many levels. I wasn’t a member of equity then, I doubt they would have hired me if I was! Anyway, it was for a touring show and during the rehearsal stage we were to be staying at the director’s house (alarm bells should have sounded here) and we were to be paid 50 a week………… yes that’s right 50 a week, not per day, which is still below minimum wage, but per week. Anyway this was my first job and I was all excited so was prepared to let it go but I have advice, quite right at the time, to email them about the money situation. Now I worded the email very carefully, I didn’t just say ‘you’re not paying enough’, I said something along the lines of due to the low pay during rehearsals would it be possible for me to get some evening or weekend work whilst I am up there to help support me. Reasonable enough but as soon as I pressed send my tummy knotted a little. Well I waited for the contract to arrive and it didn’t. I called and they said it was in the post and when I called for the third time one of them finally had the balls to tell me that there had been a mix up in the casting and I wasn’t right for the part. I was devastated. Of course it was all rubbish, there hadn’t been a mistake they just didn’t want to pay more money and as they knew they didn’t have a leg to stand on they decided to cut me off instead. It actually resulted in them asking me two weeks later to reconsider, the girl they had given it to had gotten pregnant so wouldn’t be able to do the whole run. There was no pay rise and no apology but I took the role. I don’t regret it, it was a wonderful experience but I will never work with that company again and anyone I know who thinks of doing so I will warn them in advance, but then I didn’t make a point of bad mouthing them either. You never know who may know who and there is always the risk of there being a connection you wish there wasn’t. I know this post has gone off on a bit of a tangent but still all relevant, when it comes to blunders and general fcuk ups they unfortunately are not always made too public. I guess it’s a case of some things are better left unsaid, if someone is crap sooner or later it’ll come out. We hope!