CULLING SEASON

  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    Hi all,

    What are peoples thoughts on Culling season with agents? Its that time of year when new graduates come in and those that have not worked are dropped...would be intersted to hear peoples thoughts....

    Blake

    • 3rd May 2007
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  • Toni Brooks

    Actor

    Nasty isn't it? My agent hasn't got me any work since she took me on in September(ish) - now I don't know if that's because she's sent me up for things but they didn't like me or that she's not been sending me up for stuff. I hope it's the latter really - oh the ego! - but who can tell. I might call her later today and see what's what.

    • 1st May 2007
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  • Fiona Cuskelly

    Actor

    Oh my god! I've heard of people being dropped alright but I've never heard of this automatic thing when new grads come out. I'm not ready to be culled - sounds painful!

    • 1st May 2007
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  • Toni Brooks

    Actor

    Visions of little baby seals Ahhrrggg!

    • 1st May 2007
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  • Sheri Copeland

    Actor

    hmm, thanks Blake for that cheery thought on this work-less tuesday morning!

    • 1st May 2007
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  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    Sorry all,

    Did not want to stress people out. I know that it does that. Mnay of the so called top 10 have a quarterly review ehere stuff is done that way and if you have not made a certain amount of money they ask you to leave....

    But I spoke to my agent this morning and they were shocked I even thought that!!! So maybe not all agents are money hungry, power happy bastardos!!!

    In South Africa, the agents are friendly, nice and really supportive. They dont lie or play games- here- I have had more stress with agents than theatre companies ( barring the USA issue).

    I think its far better to assume that agents will stick with people they believe in and not just drop someone for being out of work.

    Many agents promise the world and you never know what they are thinking etc, and I had an agent when I first moved here who was like that. Within six months they dropped me.... by email.

    Any thoughts????

    • 1st May 2007
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  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I've never known anyone personally who has been dropped by their agent.

    But in all fairness, if someone isn't working over an extended period it's really only common sense that it's time to be moving on.

    Naturally this excludes things like taking a break for whatever reason, having a baby, travelling etc etc. I actually took a year out not so long ago and went travelling and my agent didn't mind at all.

    I'm sure it's a mutually benificial situation though. It might not seem it at first I imagine, but sitting on someones books doing nothing at all isn't helping either party!

    • 1st May 2007
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  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    It happens more often than you think. But I have seen it mainly happen iwth the top agencies- its more about money as they are based in West End offices with high rent etc and it costs a lot to keep someone on that isnt working....

    Its only happened to me once, but the majority of actors fear it-

    • 1st May 2007
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  • Lucy Perkins

    Actor

    I think Che's right. I've known 2 people who have been dropped and while every situation is different, there's usually a good reason. It does make more sense to quit ech other if it's not working out. We as actors wouldn't think twice before dropping an agent who wasn't getting us any castings/work, and it goes both ways. We could be on someone's books for 10 years thinking, why don't I get put up for stuff? If the issue is never addressed then that's a massive chunk of time and you're career down the pan!This is a business, through and through, I think we should all learn to be a little less sensitive about it and accept it for what it is, cos it's never gonna change!

    Lx

    • 1st May 2007
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  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    You have a point Lucy. We actors expect agents to be so supportive and understanding about our inability to get jobs etc, but we never consider that agents also have thier own battles as well.

    And we actors can always justify why our agents are no good, but I like to believe that the majority of good agents are upfront and honest in their dealings with actors.

    • 1st May 2007
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  • Andrew Lawden

    Actor

    i was once told a great piece of advice by a someone senior in spotlight which has proved helpful and true to some degree.

    if you go with an agent and you are not working or being seen for things , whether they are things you wish to do or not , it is time to consider moving on. The reason for this is that you will be known as an associate of that agent in that time and they will have used all their contacts/influences in that time.

    Life is too short to sit on someones books doing jack!

    • 1st May 2007
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  • Toni Brooks

    Actor

    Now that's interesting. I emailed my agent today and she said she's been putting me forward for things but nothing's happened so she suggested we 'leave it for a while' and then look at doing some different looks for Spotlight. Now, I don't really want to leave it for a while so I'm in a quandry. I go for things myself and I get parts all the time - just got a short on Friday - okay, so it's a short and not Holby or something like but these people seem to like what I've got, I get offered auditions and then given parts. I don't know what's going on. Maybe I'm doomed to doing shorts and low budget stuff for the rest of my acting life! How depressing is that?

    • 1st May 2007
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  • Sheri Copeland

    Actor

    Hi Antoinette, the first thing that springs to mind is that if you are able to get work yourself and not your agent, then maybe they are marketing you incorrectly because they don't know you well enough or they don't have the right idea of what you are suitable for. I think this is a commen problem as mostly we are able to pinpoint what is suitable for us better than our agents, but they do insist that they know best!

    • 1st May 2007
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  • Toni Brooks

    Actor

    That's so true. I've only ever met her four times - the first when I auditioned for another agent so can't really remember her from that, the second when thought she was someone else (ooops) the third when she took a class I did and the fourth when she came to see a showcase that I was in and she didn't even come up to me afterwards to say if she liked it or not - despite my ex agent being there and saying how good he thought I was and what a lot of good feedback he was hearing - god, that sounds so big headed but I don't mean to. Oh well, maybe she just doesn't like me very much :-))

    • 1st May 2007
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  • Sheri Copeland

    Actor

    Doesn't sound like someone I would want to be introducing me to casting directors...

    • 2nd May 2007
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  • Nathan Sussex

    Actor

    I cant say i have ever heard of a culling seasin within agencies but i have cetainly heard of agents dropping clients if they think thay have done all they can for them. If the agent is any good and has any respect it will be a mutual parting and a good agent will always keep you on their books for a few months but wont actively look for any work for you so you are not suddenly pushed out into the cold. it works the same with us when we give our agents a bit of notice that we may be moving on.

    as for your agent not doing anything for you-well, i suppose we will never know that unless we work in the office with them. i can only speak form personal experience but every agent i have had has always submitted me for things and if i ever hear of anything they have already done it. i have always been submitted for good quality stuff. i would suggest to anyone if you have doubts about your agent to take a step back and really look at the agency. how well known are they? are they based in or out of london? have they got a good name? i am afraid all these little things matter so much to casting directors. My first agent was outside london and it was so hard to get seen for anything in london although he was submitting me all the time. sadly, if CD dont know tha agency they wont take a risk, beause like us they have a job to do and they have to deliver.

    this may be detracting form the original thread slightly but it does link in. If anyone has doubts about an agent or is looknig for a new one then you should talk to john colclough who used to be with spotlight but now runs his own advisory service, he does make a small charge but he has a vast wealth of knowledge on every agency.

    lastly, it is very easy to get attached to an agent because we are all looking for someone to build a proff relationship with but lets not forget this is a business and it works both ways

    • 2nd May 2007
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  • Andrew Lawden

    Actor

    thanks folks for pointing out mistake . i forgot to mention that 3 years is usually the time frame to work around , unless they have some other agenda they discuss with you.

    () i once heard from some actor about the "5 year plan" adopted by a big agency

    • 2nd May 2007
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  • Sally Beaumont

    Actor

    Antoinette- you need to meet with your agent again.

    The situation you described isn't good. You'd never dream of sending a salesman out who has never seen what he's selling.

    You need a meeting, and demonstrate the castings you do well at, the looks that work for you. If she isn't aware of you properly, she can't do a good job.

    It's fair to express that you get jobs, and to show how you do it. Ask to see her version of your cv, her publicity material. It's a two-way street, and I think just leaving it will make you frustrated.

    • 2nd May 2007
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  • Toni Brooks

    Actor

    Hi Sally

    You're absolutely right. I will have to make a point of seeing her - even though she's really miles away! I've also got some new photos so will take some of those with me when I do go.

    Cheers

    • 2nd May 2007
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  • Emma Sewell

    Actor

    Again off topic but I want to just say how fantastically useful this all is!! Thanks guys for sharing your experiences on here not just about agents but everything. I am picking up so much info just from reading what you all write!! If I'm ever in a position to offer advice I will but unfortunately I seem to be totally clueless. Mind you at least I realise this now.... unlike when I graduated!!!

    Antoinette, not that I seem to know anything but I was having a similar experience with my agent. I had a good chat with her about it and now I feel we both have the same idea about where I and she both want to go, and what I'm best at and suitable for. So I'm sure it'll be the same for you!

    E.xxxx

    • 2nd May 2007
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