i’m lucky enough to be an actor in hollywood who has a sensational agent. and i’ve had a number of people ask me how to go about getting an agent, or how to make a good impression, or what’s important. so here’s a quick skinny of what’s important to agents, things to remember, and things to avoid.
i don’t mean a couple of good pictures that your friend too for free. i don’t mean some photos where you look great. i mean specific, professional and varying pictures. you NEED to be able to walk into an office (of CD’s AND agents) and be able to say “this is me as the runaway, this is me as the drug dealer, this is me as the sexbomb, etc” and have the headshots to back it up. because agents and CD’s are immediately then thinking “well fantastic, i don’t have to do anything, this person knows EXACTLY who they are.”
agents will tell you things once. and once only. mommy and daddy holy your hand. your agent will not. a good one will be out there pushing you to EVERYONE they can saying they have the best f**king actor on the planet for every job they submit you for. now they do this on the ASSUMPTION that you’ve done everything they’ve told you to do. headshots, casting workshops, classes, postcards. if they do this, and in walks a hung over, unprepared, uninterested actor… you’ll be off the roster. very simple.
3. invest in your acting career
i see so many actors with flat screen tv’s, cable, gym memberships, and flash cars… but often don’t have the money for new headshots (and they continue using the ones no one cares to see), for casting workshops, picture uploads on casting websites, etc. wtf are you doing? if you’re a f**king actor this stuff is tax deductible. and even if it weren’t you have to spend money to make money. this is coming from me. and if you have less money than me, there’s some serious shit going on. live in the yes and make it happen.
and also going back to headshots (can you tell this is important?) you need to be updating them often. if they are not working, CHANGE them. a good agent will be constantly harping on you for this. not because they have nothing else to talk about, but if they are selling you like a machine, they NEED to be able to show the casting office’s they have something that’s PERFECT for them.
i’m going to add that every single person in hollywood is going to have an opinion. this is mine. you may discover something different, but this is what i’m working with.
ps – thanks LB for just being sensational
i was lying in bed thinking about a chat i’d had with a friend last night. i wanted to get this down before i lost it… i’m then going back to sleep. the conversation had turned to losing direction. they said they had grown tired of what they were doing. but it occurred to me that it wasn’t actually the acting (in this example) that they’d grown tired of. it struck me that the reasons behind what he was doing were more the issue than anything.
you know what’s exhausting? needing to prove something to someone (be it yourself or someone else). using this as your core motivation gets exhausting, because at some stage, you get to the point of “well fuck them…”. and it’s not until you can muster up the bitter pill and or get pained with the chip on your shoulder that you can pony up and continue on.
however, doing things because you’re continually looking for self fulfillment. and doing things because you love them and are continually looking to better yourself. that never gets old. doing something for yourself, and becoming better every day; that’s something that can be within us, a lasting and sustainable source of motivation.
imagine a car, one with a rough, limited fuel. you drive around with your eye on the fuel guage, where can i go with this much gas? how close is the next fuel stop? am i needing to stop for gas again?
now imagine another car. that runs on solar energy. you don’t need to look at the level of gas. it’s always replenished. all you think about it where you’re going, what route to take and how great it’s going to be to get where you’re going. doesn’t mean the journey will be too much easier; but at least you’re never worrying over something as petty as if you have the gas to continue.
i haven’t felt much like writing lately. i’ve had a few things leave a bad taste in my mouth; truth is that when i’m pissed off, i write in my journal instead. that aside, there are some of you who have been asking me what i’ve been up to. i want to respond with a positive note.
i’ve finally started earning a bit of money (whoever thought acting would actually pay me anything??), and so athena and i are eating better. this is a good thing. but reading ninemsn.com.au today i noticed an article about the earning capacity of some of hollywoods elite. angelina jolie pulled in $30m last year, with jennifer and reese pulling in $28m each.
can you believe that? i guess i mention reese witherspoon because i had the pleasure of working with her last month. filming a commercial for LINDEX, i was sitting on set with her waiting for cameras to roll just having a chat. you’d imagine there would be this incredible gulf between the two of us, but the truth was that she’s as lovely as people say she is. talking to her about which actors she enjoys with me (turns out she likes leonardo dicaprio as well) i found myself taken aback at how normal she was. imagine the funny goofy girl at high school… but with every single person hanging off whatever she said. that’s what she’s like.
the way it was, for the two days of filming it’s was one of the most wonderful experiences of my time in la so far. at one stage reese caught me grinning between takes.
r: what’re you smiling at?
ross: … i’m just happy to be here.
r: it’s so great to see young actors really enjoying what they do.
it almost sounded like a compliment. to be honest, at that moment, i didn’t need $28m.