Are you feeling like you just aren’t getting enough auditions from your agent? Does it feel like your agent is not doing enough to get them for you? Okay, before you start “blaming” your agent let’s look inward. Let’s start with YOU.
I’m going to be the firm but fair voice. Sometimes thoughts come without facts. For example, you think you SHOULD be getting more auditions than you are.
What is the basis of this thought and why? Who, or what. are you comparing it to? In my opinion, it’s a bad idea to compare an apple (you) to an orange (another actor). Not everyone is an apple. Sometimes the audition brief wants bananas. You can’t possibly be the right actor for every audition.
Now, sometimes thoughts come with facts. For instance, you haven’t heard from your agent in 3 months, 4 months or 6 months. If that’s the case then yes, you have some factual information to go with. I don’t want to blame agents in this blog, I don’t think it is appropriate, and it is unprofessional for anyone to be slagging. There are many agents who work really hard for their talent. Not only are they at their desks working away, but they are watching whether it is on stage or in film/tv – supporting their talent, or seeing new potential clients. They don’t stop.
Back to you…There could be a combination of variables that can lead to you thinking your agent isn’t getting you auditions.
Our Industry Is Still Growing
Firstly, the Australian industry is still growing so getting one audition a week is impressive, getting two a week is a great week. Sometimes you may get one for the month. I’ve been in many pockets. I’ve had seven in a week right down to nothing for a couple of months. I don’t take that as a reflection of my talent. I am aware of the industry and the circumstances that play into that.
Our Industry Ebbs and Flows
The industry ebbs and flows with trends. Three years ago when I was doing pilot season in LA, there were so many auditions looking for Latinx roles. I was told by my manager that there were many doors opening for Latinx actors which was very exciting. Then that wave de-escalated.
There Are Busy And Quiet Times
The industry will have busy and quiet audition periods and the time of year affects it too. For instance, at the end of the year, things start to wrap whereas at the beginning of the year, auditions pick up. This is generally speaking as streaming has changed the way these waves happen. Pilot season is definitely not what it used to be.
Your Industry Area Affects Auditions
The type of industry you’re in affects it. If you are a commercial dancer for eg: live performance is difficult right now, for musical theatre – there are only a certain number of musicals a year that come out (and they seem to spurt out at the same time!), for acting – film/tv remains pretty consistent but there are still peaks and troughs.
The Diversity Factor
More than ever in previous years, there is a community callout for diversity and inclusivity. It garners the perception that anyone who does not fall into that realm has now “lost out” on roles. That’s not true. It just means we have broadened the opportunities for everyone to participate as much as possible.
Casting May Have Limited Spaces To See People
Your agent could very well be submitting you but the casting director only has a limited number of spots for auditions and unfortunately, you don’t make the cut. You don’t see or hear that information because of how fast the industry moves. Remember the apples, oranges and bananas? Well, perhaps casting was after strawberries at that time. But also, sometimes they do want the apple and you may still miss a shot. It can also happen that they know you so well that you don’t need to audition! Think of yourself as the shiniest apple of the bunch!
Your Agent’s Relationship With Casting Directors
You sign with certain agents because they have great networks and relationships with casting directors or producers. Sometimes, without you knowing, agents may also not have these great relationships. Perhaps they are working on fostering these as well as building you up with them. There is a level of trust, and thus a reputation that is upheld by agents with casting directors. Do you know where your agents are at with their relationships outside of the agency? Or, are YOU the one bringing in the relationships, which in turn they can benefit from? This will be a reflection on the auditions coming in for you.
You May Have Areas/Skills To Work On
Your agent may not be getting you more auditions because there may be some feedback from casting that you need to work on. Perhaps you may need to go and do more work on your American accent. Perhaps your self tapes haven’t been up to scratch. Time needs to be allowed for this work and progress to take place on your end. Impressions mean everything and you have a small window of opportunity to put your best foot forward. If you do substandard work, expect substandard feedback in return.
You may not be showing up professionally
Professionalism isn’t sitting back and waiting for your agent to do all the work. You have to be dedicated and do great work. The growth will develop in making lasting impressions with casting directors. But if you miss the brief, don’t click on the link, show up without a script – and you say nothing to anyone about it until the day, what does that say about your professionalism and the result of that in future?
Your Agent May Not Be ‘Hands-On’
Some agents don’t even watch your tapes back which then can affect you to the above point I just made. There are agents who are very hands-on and like to give feedback and will ask you to tape again and others just pass it on. That chain of events can affect whether you will get seen by a casting director again.
So, what can you do when you feel like you aren’t getting the auditions you want?
First and foremost, organise a conversation with your agent. Ask regarding your headshot, CV, and showreel. Are they up to date? Do they need a refresh? What is the turnover of submissions? Then after that, you will have something tangible to work with.
Create your own work (self tapes, meet with other artists, collaborate on something, do class) if the opportunities are dry for the moment from your agent. Think of it as a window of creativity just for you. Then when that audition comes in, you won’t feel stagnant or uninspired because you did nothing.
If you do happen to reach out to your agent for a check-in to see what has been happening behind the scenes, I recommend you have something to talk about. Whether it’s something you are working on, any type of upskilling or sharing a new tape. Agents ALWAYS appreciate a committed artist. If they are committed to you, they want a committed artist in return.
Sometimes, there are those situations where you don’t hear back from your agent within a reasonable time. Unfortunately, there are situations where this is repeated. There may be an incongruence between you and your expectations with your agent regarding the agent/client relationship and that definitely needs resolution. That may be the time when you will need to be on the same page.
Remember, this is a business, you do the business of acting/singing/dancing (whatever your field is!) and auditions are an integral part of keeping your business running. While it’s easy to blame all the things outside of yourself, like your agent, don’t forget to check in with how you are running yourself as a business.
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