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The best place to find advice, analysis, and information on demo reel services Los Angeles, whether for actors, singers, dancers, journalists, or anyone else with an interest in promoting themselves.

Dance-tress Acting Up: Happy 25th Bloggerversary to Me! Part 2

Feeling optimistic, I drove my butt over to the Samuel French book store to pick up a copy of this falls "Actor's Guide to Agents" book. I wrote a new cover letter and also attached a headshot that I had designed to look like a magazine cover. Everything written on it was a pitch of who I am. Dancer/actor, great at comedy, girl next door, etc. I also attached all of my links and contact information below the picture. I spent days and hours submitting to EVERY single agent in the Los Angeles section that would allow email submissions. BTW, it's 2014, everything should be done electronically. Sending actual hard copies is not only an extremely costly practice, but it is a complete waste of paper that will 9 times out of 10 be thrown in a trash.

For the first time EVER, I got a response right away. Wow! I've done this process many times and I've never gotten a response before let alone an hour later. Boy was this an awesome feeling. The next day I got another response followed by two more the rest of the week. I couldn't believe that I actually had options. This must be how lucky people feel.

After doing some research, and scoping IMDBpro, I noticed that option 1 had a LOT of red flags. There were a lot of really awful things written online by many different people. This was definitely alarming, but I decided that I should set up a meeting to decide for myself. I show up early to the address that was listed on Google and I couldn't find the office I was supposed to be going to. I wandered the area for about 10 minutes until I called them up and realized that their office was listed incorrectly on Google than on their website. They knew about this, but why hadn't it been fixed? Well, as my luck would have it, I missed my meeting because I was at the wrong location. Oops.

Let's move on to my next meeting with option 2. We schedule a meeting in Glendale early Thursday the morning. Glendale is not the easiest to get to from where I live. This was the second time we have had to reschedule because the agent I was meeting with had a family emergency in Colorado. 150% understandable. After getting ready, sitting in morning rush hour traffic and preparing a scene I show up at his office ready for my meeting. Specific instructions from the email say to call from the lobby when I arrive. Once I freshened up in the ladies room, I made the phone call and it went straight to his voicemail. I left a message and sat around for 15 minutes assuming he will send someone down when he is ready. Nothing. So I call again and it went straight to his voicemail. Hm.

Then, I ask some of the girls working in the downstairs lobby if they could call him. Maybe I misunderstood the directions and they were supposed to make the call for me. Their response was, "oh, he's out of town". Followed by my eyes widening the size of Texas, "no, we rescheduled for today. He said he would be here". Confused, I sat down for another 10 minutes hoping I'll see someone coming to get me within the next few minutes. Nobody came, but my phone finally rang. Turns out he had to return to Colorado and apparently the 3rd rescheduling email he sent last night did not go through. Or in other words, "I forgot to send it".

*We did end up meeting and just chatting for about 25 minutes. He never had me read the scene he asked me to prepare, but he did offer me commercial representation. 

Option 3 did not respond to any my follow up emailS.

Time to set up a meeting with option 4. It was an agency that I have never heard of before, but I wanted to give it a shot. He had me prepare THREE scenes before my meeting. For an agency that nobody has ever heard of, that is quite a lot. But whatever, lets do it! The agent I met with is a young guy. Not only is he an agent, but it is his agency. This could be good. He's young, fresh, and probably ready to work. They just opened their theatrical department last month and are looking for new clients. This was perfect. I liked the idea of being fresh on someones mind as opposed to being lost in the crowd. He offered me both commercial and theatrical representation right then and there. This has NEVER happened to me. 

I'll spare your curiosity. This is who I decided to go with for a 90 day trial contract. If at the end of 90 days I haven't gone out and made X amount of money I can leave and go elsewhere if I choose. The decision to go with this agency can either be really good or just so so. Because they're new, they can either be 1) completely young, unprofessional and naive- I didn't get that vibe from them at all 2) lack connections or 3) incredibly motivated and ready to work.

I guess time will tell. Unfortunately, it is holiday season so I'm not sure how much work is out there right now anyways. I'll keep you posted and feel free to share your stories. If you have any suggestions, questions, or comments, let me know!

Dance-tress Acting Up: Happy 25th Bloggerversary to Me!

This marks my 25th blog since I started in this Spring. If you've ever wondered why I write this blog, I'll tell you. 1) Because I want to share with my fellow artists and entertainers my experiences, struggles, and success'. Perhaps they will avoid a mistake that I have made, or maybe I am doing something that they like and will want to try. 2) It's kind of cool for friends and family members not in the entertainment business to get a bit of insider info. To hear the stories nobody talks about and what you don't get to see or hear about on the Kardashians. *Note* I do not watch their show. There's only so much nonsense I can handle. 3) I plan on taking all of my blogs and turning them into a book in a few years. How cool would it be to have a series regular role on a tv show and my fans (if I have them) could read, directly from me, the journey it took for me to get to that point. I like to plan ahead. Also, it's on my bucket list to write a book :)

Moving on. One of the most difficult things for me has been finding representation. I've heard every excuse in the book as to why an agency won't take me on. 

-You're too green (not enough experience)

-Not talented

-Not pretty enough

-Too old

-Too white..."plain". In case you haven't noticed I'm not quite ethnically ambiguous or "exotic" looking. And by ethnically ambiguous they specifically mean Eurasian or Mulatto. 

-Your credits aren't strong enough, you don't have any TV credits. Um, well, how do I get TV credits without representation, that's why I'm here. Catch 22.

-Already have someone on my roster just like you <--This one WAY too often. Damn you brunettes.

-I am having a hard enough time getting my current clients work <--Also this

-Just not interested in your look

For my current look and age range, I am a dime a stinkin dozen. If you don't have a connection, or look like Megan Fox, it's going to be really hard for you. And yes, I've also heard that before. My search has taken me YEARS. I have even had several friends refer me to their representation with no luck. Maybe I am too ugly, inexperienced, untalented, etc? Psych. You can't let that stuff sink in too much, although if you are going through a similar struggle, I can relate to how you feel. Stay strong, its ROUGH and it can take a mental beating on you. 

I don't believe I am a lazy person, but after you've spent weeks making dozens and dozens of phone calls, sending out mass emails, follow up phone calls and no response, it might be a good time to take a little break. Maybe it's time to update pictures, or redo a resume or work on your reel. I've even tried dying my hair red and changing up my look to have a little "less" competition and to "stand out more". That didn't really do much besides leave me with orange hair once the red faded.

I've never really figured out why it has been such a struggle for me. I am professional (ALWAYS on time and quick to respond to phone calls and emails. Apparently this is rare in Los Angeles), I have a personal website for myself, business cards if I ever needed to hand them out, all my sites are updated, I have over 20+ IMDB credits and my reels are updated. I can assure you, I don't sit around twiddling my thumbs waiting for the phone to magically start ringing with job offers. I'm not really sure what the "issue" was, but I decided to give it another shot. Sometimes persistence, obsession, and fear of failure is key.

Breakdown Services aka Actors Access has a program called "Talent link" where you pay them an additional $35 (on top of your monthly or yearly subscription) and they will post your picture, resume, etc once a week for managers and agents looking for new clients to see. It was worth a shot so I signed up. The problem with this is that they don't change up the order in which the pictures are posted. Since I signed up towards the end of the month, my picture was towards the bottom of the 40 person pack of actors. The gal on the other end of the phone kept assuring me that agents "actually do scroll down to look at everybody", but if they're anything like me, they'll lose interest and stop half way through. I admit, my attention span is not good. 

I ended up getting two responses over throughout month. I emailed them both right away. One never returned my follow up, ever, and the other just wasn't right for me. Beggars can still be choosers :)

Stay tuned for part 2 next week