Frustrated

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    I am really pissed off!

    I've just been in a play for the last month in kentish town, it was a brilliant play, new adaptations of Chekhov's Farces never seen before.

    It was so much fun, we had nearly full house for most shows, and had a pritty good review as well! I was playing 4 different parts, so a real good show case!

    BUT... I wrote to over 100 agents, followed up with phone calls, and not one came! What's a man to do?

    On top of that, I've just missed out on a well paid job doubling for a high profile actor, as I had to work for 2 hours today, to get £20 and missed the call. By the time I got back to them the job was gone! :-(

    • 7th Aug 2008
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    How awful! I know how it feels, for my first year in London I was so busy trying to survive I had no time to audition at all. It's a bloody hard life at times. I wrote to 38 Agencies recently and only two responded. Trust in timing, when it's right something wonderful will happen. Why don't you write to those Agents now saying how successful your play was? Just keep at them!

    • 28th May 2008
    • 1
  • Gemma Hepworth

    Actor

    I bet you were frustrated! Looking on the bright side you have a good credit on your CV and you have the personal experience of being involved in a great production.

    I've had a similar experience of missing that important call but you must not let it get on top of you too much, keep at the agents and keep applying for those parts!!

    • 28th May 2008
    • 2
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    Shocking. When did it start being all about them? Without us they wouldn't have a job. Makes me so incensed. About a month ago I was feeling utterly despondent and tragically incapable of even getting myself out of bed then I saw a casting for a part I have dreamt of playing since I was a little girl. Fate I thought. So I dragged myself with what petty courage and conviction I had left, all the way from the core of the earth where I had fallen, phoned the casting lady and she yelled at me, actually yelled at me for calling her on a Friday afternoon. Back down I went. Even further. Their behaviour sometimes is uninhabited.

    Honey, I think 'frustrated' is beyond polite!

    • 28th May 2008
    • 3
  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    Well, if they have someone like you on their books they are not going to come and see you. This is the reality.

    I think its best to get recommendations actually- mass mailings never normally work. A friends recommnedation has worked in the past for me and maybe thats the way you should do it...

    • 28th May 2008
    • 4
  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    Also, it may be worth seeing a film coach or a theatre coach for your technique, working with them and then getting a recommnedation from them. Many of the really good agents will accept established professional recommendations and will also even audition you in their offices if they like you enough. They will sign you even if they are full up if they can make money out of you!!!!

    • 28th May 2008
    • 5
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    I'm inclined to agree with Blake on the agent front.

    No excuse for Casting Directors to yell at you. Thats bad.

    I lost out on a big job years ago by not getting back to my agent in time with a yes... who knows what would have happened?

    When I'm a bit low I play my Hairspray CD. And if that fails, I play my sing-a-long-a-Dreamgirls CD.

    Usually does the trick.

    How sad am I???

    S x

    • 28th May 2008
    • 6
  • User Deleted

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    Thanks for your kind words pips!

    And yeah I will keep plugging away, were gonna take the play on to somewhere else as it was a great success, and we all feel that it's worth it! So we'll see eh.

    Maybe you can all come and see it...

    And recommend me to your agent! :-)

    I will think about trying your ideas Blake, anyway you can get through the door is worth trying, and it's always good to keep working on ones technique!

    Much lov

    • 28th May 2008
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  • Andrew Lawden

    Actor

    like roy castle said "dedication is what you need" . even with good credits, it can still be hard sometimes. making friends with people who can employ or help employ you , is crucial . sometimes , there are not enough parts to go round , even for the names !! xxx

    • 28th May 2008
    • 8
  • Sharon Cannings

    Actor

    Blake's right- mass mailouts make you think that you're doing something positive but they really are a waste of time, even if you've got something to invite them to. I targeted the agents listed with "books open" on CCP and after a few months I've hooked up with a new agency who are very keen. We'll see how it goes...

    Even when approaching the "books open" agents be prepared for 80% of them not to acknowledge you. All those lucky actors out there who have agents that are so busy that they can't put together an e-mail!

    Good luck!

    • 29th May 2008
    • 9
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    Believe it or not, my mailout was not a mass one as such! I looked at every agents website in detail, or tried to find out what I could about them, and who was on there books. I contacted all the agents that had open books, where based in London/surrounding and others that I liked the look of! As well as agents that friends where with. 70 - 80% said no either by email, or when I called to check they had recieved the invite.

    Most popular excuse was our books are closed, we have too many clients, or were not taking on anyone new at the moment. I was quite impressed with how many agents took the time to write back to me, and I thanked them for this.

    Of the 90 - 100 or so, I did get about 5 maybes... And 1 that seemed real possitive... But hay ho!

    Keep plugging away...

    • 30th May 2008
    • 10
  • Alice Brockway

    Actor

    If it's any consolation there's an agent who lives up the road from me who has flatly refused to walk across the road to see me in anything and they haven't even bothered to reply! The mass mail out does seem to have very limited success. I did so many on my own and with casts I was in and got nothing. I guess the point is agents must get about a dozen of these a day but can probably only get to, what? Five a week if they're really dedicated. Probably far less if they've got a large client base already.

    As for the audition, I sympathize fully. The last audition I got I missed cause it got sent to the wrong email address. Very, very annoying!

    • 30th May 2008
    • 11
  • Micahel Ziggler

    Actor

    It's never a good idea to call a casting director, lol i dont even have the courage to do so 1, but because i know they really hate that.

    That being said, Agent's are really funny i agree with the person who said if they have someone like you already they wont be interested in coming to see you at all, when i got back from America, i relatively had about 8-9 agents who were willing to come see me at a showcase and i think it really is the fact of if they dont have someone like you they will be interested, i dont think you should frustrate yourself, instead i think you should continue doing what you're doing and dont give up, you will eventually get noticed for you're good work.

    good luck mate

    • 4th Jun 2008
    • 12
  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    Well,

    I have to say that the above point n never calling CDS is not always the truth-

    I have called a few Cds most of the time who have been lovely on the phone, and totally willing to engage with me. I have even gotten a few auditions this way.

    They are NOT monsters. They are human beings trying to make a living and also just as terrified whedre the next casting is coming from- like us actors.

    If you are professional, speak welland know how to behave like a business on the phone, a lot of Cds will talk at the very least- some of them ARE off hand but i think if you call, ask if you can send your stuff, be quick and polite, many of them are quite congenial.

    If you go on the phone, whine and behave like a needy child, then who wouldn't get annoyed?

    My two cents.

    :)

    • 4th Jun 2008
    • 13
  • Micahel Ziggler

    Actor

    I actually dint know it was ok to call CDS. (i have the same mentality with cds and agents)

    That being said, you really can't go wrong writing or emailing them.

    • 4th Jun 2008
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  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    Of course its okay.

    They wont bite. I promise.

    :)

    • 4th Jun 2008
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  • Micahel Ziggler

    Actor

    LOL yeah i can see it now.

    Hi... yeh.......um.....yeah... the reason..... i'm calling.......... errr... yea... it's cos... ye i..... well i got ur number... on......erm.. contacts... erm...... im an actor.. (CD hangsup).... Hello??..... helllo??.... :(

    Hehe jus kidding, no i'm sure they are very human too.

    • 4th Jun 2008
    • 16
  • Robert Wedig

    Actor

    Hey man, what\'s up I saw your blog and couldn\'t help but want to contribute my 2 cents for what\'s it\'s worth. I assume you\'re talking about the Lion and Unicorn Theatre in Kentish town. I\'ve done 2 shows with them, and I will say that although the casts on both occasions were great, sadly the theatre has a well earned bad reputation among industry professionals. And to give u further prospective, I\'m currently in a show called Hannah and Martin at the Courtyard which is a UK premiere and which has received fantastic reviews from all of the major reviewers except for the Evening Standard( didn\'t come) and yet casting directors and agents( although most us have one) are still reluctant to come. They just can\'t be bothered and they\'re inundated with actor requests. For the vast majority of us who aren\'t with William Morris or Curtis Brown it\'s a very difficult situation. Keep plugging away!!!

    • 10th Jun 2008
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  • Antonio Rochira

    Actor

    Thought I\'d like to say s few words, hopefully helpful, with this discussion...even though it is a few days old.

    I still occasionally do mass mailings, but as already noted they are pretty useless. I think the reply ratio, statistically, is about 2%, so if you\'re getting more than that you\'re doing really well.

    The truth is over the years I have invariably spoken with many Agents & CD\'s (as I\'m sure we all have) and they do get about 100 letters from actors per week! That\'s a lot of mail to sift through while you are trying to find work for your current clients.

    I have also been advised over the years to NOT call on a Monday and NEVER on a Friday as this is when they do most of their paperwork, or general \'catching up\'. During the week tends to be ok, and infact I have always found this to be perfectly acceptable.

    I often will call an Agent and politely \'introduce\' myself and ask if their books are currently open. About 90% of the time they will say \'send me a CV and photo\', otherwise they will just say \'not at the moment\' and often THEY suggest trying again in a few months; at which point I thank them for their time.

    The follow up call is a tricky one. Some say it\'s ok to call about 2 weeks later (allowing the Agent time to get through all the mail and actually get to see yours), others have suggested sending a notecard (with a small photo of you) asking whether they\'ve had a chance to look at your CV and/or whether you could call them on such & such a date.

    The truth is if an agent is intereted in you they WILL get in touch. If they already have someone similar to you on their books they probably won\'t.

    With CD\'s I have to say I have always found them to be really nice when I call them to invite them to shows, or even sometimes just for a \'chat\'. They may not turn up, but they have been nice on the phone. I also think some do turn up but don\'t tell you so as not to have you \'pestering\' them afterwards. If they are interested in you they WILL call...it\'s their job to find new talent.

    Another note on Agents. I once called an Agent, many years ago, to invite them to a play, and was asked \'where is the play showing?\', when I told them they said \'oh...they don\'t have very comfortable seats there do they?!\' which I was a little annoyed at the time, but then having thought about how many invites they get, I said to myself well if it\'s a choice between two hours in a plush comfy chair with an air-conditioned theatre, or a dingy room in the back of a smoke filled pool hall with rock music coming through the \'sound-proof\' doors I know which one I\'d choose!

    And yes I have performed in these places! I think they have a certain charm though.

    Anyway, the main thing is to keep at it. No matter what. If we look at what EVERY successful performer has in common, it\'s not looks or a type, it\'s not background, whether they had a \'hard\' life or not or had money to spend on nice photos. The ONE THING they all have in common is \'PERSEVERENCE\'!

    The truth is it\'s easy to give up. We could all do that, and get nice jobs in a nice office with nice stationery, and tell everyone it\'s too hard to be an actor...well, yes it is. But think about how you feel when you\'re not acting...and then think about how you feel when you\'re performing. There\'s nothing quite like it is there?!

    • 10th Jun 2008
    • 18
  • Nathan Head

    Actor

    i suppose its worth it to keep contacted CDs and argents and keep trying \'cos one day- one of them may just turn up! you never know....

    • 10th Jun 2008
    • 19