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HI! YOU HAVE AN AUDITION!!!

So you received an email and text notification with info about your audition. FANTASTIC!


PLEASE make sure to read ALL details including time, date, location, wardrobe and ANY SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS. They are VERY IMPORTANT!!! Sometimes you will be asked to wear specific items, or to not wear certain colors. You may be asked to bring three headshots and resumes. You may be asked to bring your real-life husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend/brother/sister/dog/iguana. You may be asked to go to a completely different location altogether. It's really in your best interest to READ ALL THE DETAILS!!!


(Remember that short "trick" quiz from school where the instructions were to READ THROUGH ALL QUESTIONS BEFORE WRITING DOWN ANY ANSWERS? Question #1 was "Write your name, last name first, in the upper right corner of your test paper in BIG BLOCK LETTERS." Question #2 was to draw a huge five-point star in the upper left corner. And so on. And then you get to the last question and it says to disregard all previous questions, DO NOT write anything down and to just put your pencil down, turn the paper over and sit quietly until the bell rang (usually about two minutes later)? Well, don't be THAT guy/girl who turns in his/her paper with his/her name emblazoned in the upper right corner in BIG BLOCK LETTERS with a stupid five-point star in the upper left corner! D'Oh!!! In this scenario, be THE guy/girl who reads all the instructions and BOOKS the job!!!!)


Always bring a headshot and resume to every audition. For LAC commercial auditions, always check for sides posted on the site whether or not the notes say they are posted. Also, bring your CF barcode with you, in your wallet or keep them with your headshots, just in case. Sometimes they forget to note that sides have been posted or that a barcode is required. It's good to prepared. (If you have any questions about barcodes or how to access sides, please email us ASAP!!!)


Also, for commercial auditions, you will most likely receive more than one notification for each audition. Melody and I both send the notices out, so you will get at least two LAC emails and two LAC texts. If you don't confirm on LAC or if we don't hear from you via text or email, we will probably send it out again, followed by personal texts. Remember, if you cannot get to a computer to confirm your audition, let us know via text ASAP and we will confirm for you!!! (And please make sure that your phones are text-capable. If you cannot receive texts on your phone, you won't be able to receive audition texts or urgent messages from us so we will hold off on submitting you. Send us a text when your phone is text-ready!)


One more thing: HOPE YOU ALL ARE ENJOYING THE HOLIDAY SEASON!!!! Stay safe and warm!!! We look forward to a fabulous new year full of WOOHOOOS!!!










Xoxo!



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"FOR A GOOD TIME CALL..."

You may as well write that along with your personal contact info on a public bathroom wall if you're going to write any personal info down on sign-in sheets and info cards at auditions.


Please please please remember to NOT write down any personal info including but not limited to phone numbers, email addresses, home or work address, social security number, etc. Please only write down the
agency address, email and phone. (This goes for RESUMES too!) Don't think that the more info you divulge, the better chance you have at booking the gig because they can get a hold of you faster (seriously, one newbie client actually thought this was the case!). Trust me, you will know if you got a callback, have been put on hold or if you *woohoo* booked a job the nanosecond after we find out! SO, IF YOU BOOK THE JOB, THEY WILL ASK FOR THIS INFO AND YES, IT IS OK TO PROVIDE THE INFO ONCE YOU ACTUALLY BOOK THE JOB.


One of our newer clients didn't know any better and happened to write down their email and phone number ("because they asked for it") and after the audition, the "casting director" contacted them at home and proceeded to praise their daughter's audition (but oh, they still haven't made final casting decisions yet) and said that she was so talented and had such potential (well, duh, she is an L & L girl after all!) and they would love to invite her to participate in THEIR workshops. And she even had the nerve to tell them that these were DISNEY Studio Workshops. And that DISNEY directors would be at the classes and that the kids would be cast in DISNEY shows. WHAT WHAT WHAT? And all this for a fee, of course.

Umm, hello???? Stop right there. Did she just SOLICIT paid classes to our talent? And did she actually lie and say that these were sanctioned and sponsored by DISNEY??? I'd like to say "OH NO SHE DI'UHNT" but unfortunately, she DID!!! Guess she didn't know (or doesn't care) that it is AGAINST THE LAW to do this. Especially if the "casting director" happens to actually BE the "workshop provider" peddling her wares. Can you say "unscrupulous"? How about "ILLEGAL"? See below:


Workshop Providers will notify Casting Directors that they are not allowed to solicit actors to attend their paid workshops. Workshop Providers will notify actors that this practice is illegal and that, if it occurs, a complaint may be filed with the Office of the Labor Commissioner at one of its offices throughout the state, or the office of the City Attorney of Los Angeles, and/or the Casting Society of America.


Thank goodness our client thought it was a bit strange that this "casting director" said, "Now I know all this may
seem like a conflict with your agency but..." so they checked with us first. Now seriously, it isn't a conflict with the agency -- we are all for taking classes and workshops to develop your skills and hone your craft -- but it IS a conflict of interest to procure personal information from an audition and use said info to SOLICIT sales. Actually, not just a conflict of interest, but is is AGAINST THE LAW in the State of California and hopefully everywhere else as well.

* * * * *

Another time, a client (who also didn't know better) listed his email address at an audition. And although this was listed as SAG audition on the breakdowns, it wasn't. Shady shady. This time it was the casting facility who took his info and contacted him after the audition to sell him their "exclusive" online service/membership so he could "view" his own audition online. Again, when he asked if they had made any decisions about callbacks, the answer was "oh, not yet..." And they dangled the online service in front of him to make him think it would improve his chances of booking the part if he signed up. And they continued to spam him with solicitous emails, but he just ignored them. This facility lets "casting directors" use the space for free in exchange for people's contact info so they call sell their services. So just DON'T give out your personal info.
(Apparently a lot of people who self-submit have had similar experiences at this facility -- email me if you want to know the name of the place so you can stay away!)

* * * * *

So please know we are just trying to protect you and your privacy. DO NOT GIVE OUT YOUR PERSONAL INFO. YOU NEVER KNOW WHO LOOKS AT THOSE SIGN-IN SHEETS. (Stalker alert!) 'Nuff said.

* * * * *

On a happier, positive note, we have been getting some pretty cool auditions and bookings lately! Keep up the great work guys!!!! :-)









Woof!





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ABSOLUTELY NO PHONE CALLS OR PERSONAL EMAILS. WE WILL ONLY CONSIDER ONLINE SUBMISSIONS. THANK YOU.

The title if this blog posting was cut & pasted directly from a breakdown for a feature film. I did this so actors can see that we cannot always call and bother casting directors! Of course we do when it is warranted, but there is a fine line between pitching and bugging!

A lot of our non union people have been joining the union! We are so excited for all of our new SAG members! This will make a difference in the caliber of auditions they get!

Please post and comment on the blogs, I would love to open this up to a forum for questions.

Happy 3rd Birthday L & L

So L & L Talent is now on Twitter... we will post some special castings there when we do not represent a certain type that a casting director is looking for. We go the extra mile for casting directors searching for specific types. Most agencies just overlook special castings because it does take extra time and effort. We facebook and tweet to help out the casting directors. Even on small jobs, this way they know we will always be available to them and they can count on the agency to help them in a pinch. So please follow us on twitter- MELODYLLTALENT and LARALLTALENT. This way you can see if you fit criteria that we are looking for, OR maybe you know someone that does. When a casting director is looking for a man over 60 that is 4'10", bald, and pregnant with no thumbs-L & L Talent will tweet and find it for them-hopefully.

October has been very productive, especially for the younger clients! Congrats to all of the bookings this month. I have had quite a few disappointments this month as well: 6 bookings fell through due to my clients. This is unacceptable! If you book a job you HAVE to work it. We are currently rewriting our contract to send out to clients adding revisions and we are including booking info. If you book a job and miss it it makes the agency look REALLY bad! From now on you will owe the agency the commission on the missed job and an apology gift basket to be sent to the casting director! Not sure if I can put the gift basket clause in the contract, but I am gonna try!

SO L & L Clients should expect the new contract in the next few days. I hope.

We are going to continue to push and work especially hard for the next month. Once Thanksgiving hits us things tend to slow down until pilot season. There will still be work, but we wont be as slammed.

Please continue to utilize our email and texts. It is easier for us to get back to you that way.

Last note is Happy Birthday L & L Talent, we have been going strong for 3 years now. I am especially proud of my first group of L & L family members that are still with us! The charter group of actors had 35 members, we still represent 18 of you. Among that small group we have had 5 non union actors join SAG, 8 print jobs, 3 movie roles, 4 pilots, 4 co stars, 2 guest stars, 4 Public Service announcements, 15 commercials and way too many auditions to count. Thank you L & L Talent O.G.s for trusting a new agency. I am proud to say that we wont be calling ourselves "new" anymore. Its crazy that this agency started in my house with a baby on my lap...oh wait that's still going on!

October=BUSY

Lets Get Ready to RUMBLE! October is usually super busy. Get ready to audition for all of the Christmas commercials -and possibly- the mother of them all---the super bowl commercials. There are also a lot of guest star and co star spots out there for the grabbing! Get out there to those casting director workshops and make connections. We are already feeling the crunch, auditions are really picking up and the breakdown lists are getting longer.

We had to drop a few members of our L & L Family last week. It was hard on us, but the agency #s got too big and we had to let actors go that don't make auditions or don't get chosen by casting directors to go on auditions. Lara and I text, email and call out audition notifications so there should never be any confusion. If you need to miss for a specific reason, please let your agent know. DO NOT EVER JUST MISS. This reflects the agency and YOU as an actor. Casting directors remember those that are flakey and call and tell us when you miss! We love our actors, but have to realize sometimes that maybe a different agent would better suit you. We love for actors to leave on a good note with no bad feelings. Those that leave the agency are always welcome to ask us questions or ask for letters of recommendation for other agencies. The talent agent community is small and a lot of us know each other and are willing to help each other out.

Thanks to all of you that make your auditions. It is really not that hard to stay on top of things.
Some reminders
-have a passport, you never know when a job will whisk you off to a foreign land
-update pics as you change, you need to look like your photos
-update size changes, if your child grew 4 inches this summer I need to know
-be savvy, know the casting directors, know about the shows you are auditioning for
-communicate with your agents
-don't be a liar, make sure everything on your resume is true, experience and skills!
-thank your agent....this isn't an easy job

Patience

This is not an industry that you can immediately break into. Sure we have all heard the stories of people that arrive in LA and become famous in 2 weeks. What we don't hear is that they have studied for years, have contacts and probably have really really good karma. In all seriousness this is a hard road to walk on. If your goal is to be famous you probably need to rethink your goals. If you love to perform and are constantly challenging yourself to play new roles -you may just have a good chance. JUST BEING GOOD LOOKING IS NOT ENOUGH! Maybe for print work-but there are a lot of really good looking people out there and a lot of them know people in the industry. You need to be savvy and meet some of these people. Make something happen for yourself-do shorts, do free theater. Make your own experiences to build up your resume. Patience is important too, don't bother your agents and manager asking them whats wrong or why your not getting out. Its a waste of time for people that are working hard for you.

Now I need to amend my last blog about my son. The missing auditions for important childhood milestones. I have a client missing an audition for the first day of school- he is 6 years old. This is an important day for him and I think that this is a valid reason to miss an audition. Kids have not chosen this path for themselves, they are discovering who they are and what they like. Being involved in all sorts of activities is a part of being a kid. Forcing an audition is never a good idea. BUT...you adults out there have chosen this path, you know that you want to be an actor, adults should not miss auditions! Adults are waiting tables so that they can make auditions, doing odd jobs in hopes of making it in this industry. Don't miss opportunities. Even small jobs can turn into big jobs. Maybe you will meet a up and coming director that will remember you in the future, or a small casting company may grow and want to hire you later down the line.

Congrats to all of the L & L Talent peeps that worked this summer. Thanks for helping the agency grow with your talent!

here are some links to some of the jobs that our clients have worked on.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vSYU421-tU&NR=1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qCQaLVkWwg&feature=related
http://www.us.playstation.com/PSP/Systems/rockband.html?ILC-lps&FTTR=RBUGDPgutter_gutter_left_rockbanduninfo

Daniel, my client- my son

Today is my son Daniel's 4th birthday. He was the inspiration for me starting L & L Talent. I didn't want anyone else to represent him. I started the agency from our home in Sierra Madre, while watching him play with his duplo blocks and toddle around.

I think he is so beautiful and perfect. Many parents think the same of their children. It is how it should be, every parent should think-and know that their child is the most beautiful child in the world. I often get emails and phone calls from parents echoing the same phrase-"my child is so beautiful. Everyone always tells me that he/she should be in commercials or be a model." These parents are testing new waters, most have never done anything in the industry before. Most parents of young children are not seeking work to make money, rather, they do it for the thrill of seeing their kids on television. Which is fine because many jobs are very low paying for children.

The problem here is that everyone thinks that their kids are made for this industry. Many are, however, there are limited jobs out there for babies and kids. A lot of the ads are reused for years and years, that pampers baby that you see on the box could very well be 12 years old now! Having a child actor is not easy. There are lots of trips to and from LA, a lot of waiting and disappointment. It is the parents job to keep things in perspective for the child. School and activities should come first, then auditions.

I think Daniel has a great outgoing personality and is beautiful. I submit him on everything I see come in. He has only been on 8 auditions in the last 3 years-been on avail twice and booked once. I would never have him miss something that he wants to do at home or with his friends to go to an audition. He missed an audition 2 weeks ago for "wacky water Wednesday" at preschool. To an adult this seems so silly, but to him this was the most important activity for the week. I wasn't going to let him miss out on this to go to an audition. When we do go to auditions I tell him that he is "meeting new friends." He loves meeting new people and it takes the pressure off of him feeling like he needs to perform.

Happy Birthday to the little man behind L & L Talent, my first son and my very first client.

On your side!

We are on your side. Agents are not against the actor, neither are casting directors. We want you to succeed! There are so many scams out there that I try to stress to clients and potential clients that we are legit. We never ask for money, the only time we get paid is IF you work. Some potential clients interview us as if they are taking a chance on us. In reality we are taking a chance on the talent. We put a lot of effort into each client and sometimes we see no monetary rewards from the months/years of work. A bad actor can give the agency a terrible reputation.
Auditions do go in waves, you may go out 2x a week-you may go out 2x a year. Just make it good when you do in the door. We are sending you out-we have to in order to make any money at all!
I have a new little baby client (9months now) She has only been on 2 auditions since June, she booked both! She is doing her job and I am doing mine. My part of the deal is to get you the audition-the actors part is to book the job.
We are looking forward to a great year! Sept should pick up and we hope to get everyone some amazing auditions. Dont forget to follow us on twitter "melodylltalent" and "laralltalent".

LAST MINUTE AUDITIONS

Some actors hate last minute auditions. We call you at 10am and say "you need to get there before noon!" its a frantic race for all involved, changing schedules, getting out of work or school. learning your sides etc.
Dont blow off last minute auditions if you can help it. There is less competition, some people cant get out of work or just cant make it with little time. Also if they give you a last minute audition they usually have hand picked a few people for the job.
We just had a client get a last minute same day audition. She only had 4 hours to get to the audition and decided not to go. I got a call from the casting director very upset that she was the ONLY person they called in. They just wanted to make sure that she did in fact look like her picture. The casting director was very upset as was I. The reason for missing? She had a conditioner in her hair and didnt feel that she had enough time to blow dry it. To that I say throw on a cap and run in. Casting directors are smart, they can see the potential if you are rushed into an audition.

Importance of a Smart Phone

I cannot stress the importance of a Smart Phone for an actor. This industry is quickly becoming more and more electronic and the actor needs to keep up. It was only about 5-10 years ago that we started online submissions. Before that it was all hard copy submissions and couriers. We slowly have switched to 98% electronic submissions. The next phase of the industry going electronic is audition notifications. No longer does the Casting director call out auditions. Now they are emailed out. The agency in turn now forwards the emails and texts information on.

As an actor it is important to stay in touch with your agent. Confirming auditions quickly!
An actor also needs to be able to receive texts and be able to text back. We are constantly submitting on breakdowns and it is easy for us get a text confirming an audition. Stopping to chat on the phone greatly interrupts the very important work we are doing trying to get auditions for our actor.

Even with the recession and the cut backs on commercials as well as the SAG negotitations-our agency has done very well. I think that this is because we are available constantly to our casting directors via email, text, cmail, and phone. This industry has a lot of time constraints and using technology is very helpful. Some agents are working the way they did 10 years ago, refusing to utilize technology and are suffering.

I personally think going electronic is amazing. Not only is it green, the amount of paper that is being saved is incredible. It is saving the starving actor a ton of money-Not having to reproduce photos as often. Also it saves the agent money by not paying a courier and printing costs. The cost of text messaging is minimal. Missing audition information is devastating.

Having a smart phone allows immediate notification of auditions, avails, bookings. If you have Internet access you can then confirm directly with LA casting or with your agent. You can also access sides and character information. If any last minute changes occur on the way to an audition we can stay in contact. Smart phones
have the capability to record auditions, voiceovers, take photos (some casting directors want a photo of actors as they look at this very moment, especially kids, since some headshots do NOT look like the actors). Maybe they want a picture of your hands for a hand modeling job, snap it, email it and you are all set!

Technology scares some people, but it is making our lives easier and those who do not keep up could be left in the dark!

Its a Job

I have been thinking about my actors and their frustration with not working all of the time. If you think of this industry as a business you cant expect to reach CEO level in one year. You need to work toward it. Put your time in. Sure there are a few people that seem to just come out of no where and become famous. But usually if you look at their past, they have put in the time and you just havent seen them. (or they have a famous relative)
Ways to put in your time and work towards a great career-
-TRAIN, a theatrical background is the best thing! Casting director workshops, College Courses!
-SKILLS, be interesting and different (every one can throw a baseball... but can you juggle 5 of them?)
-BE PREPARED-it IS hard to get an audition-so when you get one NAIL IT!!!
-NERVES-lose them
-DESPARATE?-Lose it, a casting director smells fear like a bee... go in confident, do your job and don't act like you will die if you do not book this job.
-BLAME GAME-don't blame anyone for not making it, your agent wants you to work-this is the only way we get paid...we are on your side and pulling for you. Same goes for the Casting director, they want you to be the one for the job, that way they can stop looking!
-BE POSITIVE-dream big and be happy-it looks good on you!

When I acted my first agent got me out all of the time, it was a small agency that no longer exists (Color Me Bright) I constantly blamed them for not getting out enough and for not gaining my union status. It wasn't until I took control of my own career that I started booking. I gained SAG/AFTRA status on my own with no agent, then seeked new representation. I worked hard. Even with all of the work I put in (about 5 years) I slowly eeked my way towards national commercials and some TV, with no notoriety and probably only breaking even financially.
If you think that being an actor is a glamorous and easy job you are mistaken. This is a long haul, filled with disappointment and rejection. It is truly for the love of the craft that we are all in this. If you are only auditioning because you think getting into night clubs and having your picture taken by paparazzi is exciting you are in this for the wrong reasons and most likely will not make it.
For kids this is fun stuff, enjoy the auditions and be yourself! The industry is into REAL people right now, real moms and kids, real soccer players, real kids...not model polished kids. They want confident kids with great smiles looking to have fun. Training for a kid probably isn't needed until age 10 and over. The competition and expectations get bigger and higher as you get older. By 18 you are expected to have a union and a big resume. My advice for kids is to take as many acting classes as you can in school-they are extremely expensive outside of high school and college. Even if you aren't in school you can take classes at your local junior college.

AVAIL

One of the most common questions I get from actors is "What is avail?" Its a funny thing. I will try to explain as best as I can.
When an actor goes on a first audition it is usually just a camera man and the actor in the room. The video is reviewed by casting directors and/or the production team. From there and actor may or may not get a "call back."
A call back is a little different than a first call. The actor will do the same thing, but the room will have the camera man, the director, producer and often the ad agency will be present as well. It can be a bit scary with the panel sitting in front of you!
After the call back your video is reviewed again. If they cannot decided between actors you may be place "on avail" until they decide. This way they know that the actor is available to work those shoot days. This is ONE reason for avail. Another reason for avail is that you (the actor) may be the only choice for the job but they do not know the shoot dates yet and will hold you for a longer amount of time to be sure they have you when they figure the schedule out. Another reason for avail could be if the project is not on for sure, or on the verge of being cancelled. Either reason for avail is an accomplishment.
As far as I am concerned a call back is a sign that you are doing something right! Its hard to even get in the door to be seen much less being asked to come back!
So all my actors out there reading should set goals for themselves to start getting called back and always be "AVAIL."

June Gloom

June is usually pretty slow for the entertainment industry. Pilot season is over, casting directors are on vacation. This year is already so slow, I expect nothing this month. Although commercially we have had a lot of auditions and call backs. I tell my actors that December and June are the slowest months. This is the perfect time for actors to take workshops, do some theater and build their resumes. Basically do an actor's boot camp to get ready for when things pick up again.
My family will be taking a much needed vacation this month! Although I will still have my laptop and blackberry on me, I am hoping to be able to separate from work while we are away.

Super Agent Mommy

The agency and children are my everyday life and sometimes I go day to day and dont realize just how much I got done. I think I should go by "super agent mommy." It wasnt until I did my taxes in April that I started to realize how well the agency went for its first full year of business. No, I am not a millionaire just yet. Not that I want tor need to be. But I wasnt in the negative and for a new business with overhead that is a wonderful thing. I am proud of how well we did last year.
Noticing that this is a good business and I have made good contacts, I decided to start to set goals for the agency.
National commercials are what keeps and agency in business. Commercials are usually not what actors are looking for...most want to be on tv or in films. But the commercials pay the bills-for both the actor and the agency. So Lara and I set a goal for ourselves to have 7 national commercials running at one time. It doesnt sound like much, but with only about 100 clients I think it is a realistic goal. Within 2 weeks of setting this goal we are up to 4! Crazy. Maybe there is something to "the secret" that Oprah recommends!
The next part of my goals for my actors are to have 10 or more guest star/co star roles. So far since I have set the goal we have 4. I also want 2 series regulars, but now that pilot season is over that will have to wait until 2010. I have to actually write the goals out, maybe seeing them everyday will help too---actors should do the same. There is something to be said for visualization. When I was a competitive swimmer our coaches had specialists come in and train us in visualization...seeing every aspect of the race from the dive to the finish. I think it really helps.

Proud Mommy

My favorite thing about being an agent is telling an actor that they booked a job. I am trying to think of a way to make it even more special. My clients work so hard-taking classes, doing stand up, working the theater circuit, auditioning and constantly facing rejection-it's so nice to give them good news and let them know that all the hard work is paying off. For the little kiddies its not such a big deal, they have fun at auditions and if they get to work a job they are excited. But for my adults that have given up so much, a booking is the light and the end of the tunnel for them. Non actors don't understand the turmoil of wanting to do something so badly and not being able to. For most people if you want a certain job and you work hard enough at it, you will achieve your goals. (if you go to medical school you are on your way to being a doctor!) For actors its so different. Its luck and opportunity. Some people that seem undeserving make it big, while a very talented actor is undiscovered.
A client I have had for a year now has really grown with the agency, starting off non union. Now he is union and booked a guest star role on a show and more recently a national commercial. My associate, Lara, texted him WHOO HOO! Then called to tell him he booked. So all my actors out there need to look out for a "WHOO HOO" text! He is filming his commercial this Friday.

The L & L Talent Family is truly a family. Seriously, my real life mommy is on avail for a commercial! I hope to be texting her "WHOO HOO" soon.

Meet and Greet

Last Saturday I invited the entire roster of actors to meet my new agent, Lara. Lara has been a Godsend for me. But most of my clients (at least half of them) had not met her. They only see the emails and texts from her. The meet and greet was such a success, clients got to network with each other, share frustrations with the industry, and of course meet Lara. I loved having all of them together and catching up with the L & L Family. I see all of my actors faces everyday on the casting websites and feel like I know them so well. Its nice to chat with them outside of "you have an audition, please confirm." I am thinking of having more gatherings, like park bbqs and activities-softball anyone?
So I have started to submit my actors on more theatre roles, not to be confused with theatrical auditions-which include TV and Film. Theatre and Musical theatre roles will only help the actor book TV and Film roles, most GREAT actors started in theatre.
Both Lara and I celebrated our birthdays this month. Mine on the 17th and hers on the 19th. I also celebrated my 7 year wedding anniversary. Life with the family is going very well. My son , Daniel, had his first film audition. I was so very proud of him. His only line was "BUTT" and laughter and he followed direction exactly. He is such a funny little kid. He is adjusting so well to having a new baby brother and sharing mom with the baby and her agency.

Technology



It is an amazing thing that people can text, email and phone. Its sort of a curse and a blessing. I use texting, email and phone calls to get in touch with my clients, as casting directors do the same for me. It is a great way to communicate quickly. Especially with me having a family and often working at home. Having a crying newborn (2 months now) or a whining toddler (3 1/2) never seems that professional. So I am happy to have the option of texting and emailing first. NOW for the downside. I feel like I am never done working. With owning the business myself I am constantly checking my blackberry for emails and texts. Even on weekends, after hours, vacations, even when I am nursing! It is getting out of control. The fact that people can find you ALL of the time is a little strange as well. I get irritated when clients do not call back or text right away. I shouldn't but I do!
On the mommy front, I feel guilty when I work and the kids need me. In the work force I feel guilty when I am at the park and I feel that I need to be working more. It's a no win situation. It makes me miss jobs that I have had in the past. When you leave work you are done-waitressing, teaching yoga, teaching swimming...oh and acting too!
I must say that if my actors saw how I worked they would be amazed. Often with a newborn in the carrier, laptop or blackberry in hand, driving while negotiating. Its an amazing feat. With the help of family, I am able to juggle it all--I wonder for how long?

Non-union jobs

Although I am a SAG agency, I still submit on non union jobs and represent some non union actors. When I first began the agency I took on a lot of non union actors. Since we were new most established or union actors wanted a bigger or more established agency. I love my non union actors, they are able to audition for both non union and union. They are usually extremely grateful for any opportunity given to them. They are building their resumes and careers and I really enjoy being a part of it. Its hard for non union adults to break in. For kids being union or non union doesn't really matter until the late teens. Casting directors do not expect them to be professional. I am in the process of considering being a SAG only agency for adults, or just to not submit on non union jobs anymore.
Non-Union jobs are so very frustrating. There is no way to force the ad agency or production to pay. I have had actors wait up to 4 months for payment. There is no recourse, other than small claims court to force them to pay. Its silly as most of these jobs pay so little. I am frustrated because I do love to help career build, but these jobs are such a headache for me. The worst part of it is if my client only gets paid $200 for a job-guess what I get paid? That's right!- days of work for $20.
ON A LIGHTER NOTE:
My husband's Grandfather booked a commercial and finished shooting today. It was a State Farm commercial. He has no head shots, I submitted his passport photo. He is actually a lawyer, still practicing in his late 70s. The Casting Director was having a hard time finding elderly Chinese actors and reached out to the agents asking us to dig deeper. So I submitted Grandpa and here he is! I have some actors that have classical training and cannot get an audition or a booking. Its crazy. I have had a few other bookings like this. My entire family (10 people) booked a print job together last spring for Cigna. My husbands coworker booked a job seeking real doctors for the American Medical Association. When I was an actor I hated it when people thought that anyone could be an actor--maybe I was wrong. Sometimes its not the training. Sometimes its the right look and having the opportunity. Especially on print jobs and non speaking parts.

WELCOME

So this is my first time blogging. I have never even been on another person's blog. So this is all new to me. I like the idea of a forum that I can basically journal and share it with the world, well whoever cares to listen that is. I am a "stream of consiousness writer" so I hope everyone is able to follow me.
So I am a talent agent in Los Angeles. I started out at age 21 acting in commercials and tv shows. I was building a small career when I got married and eventually started a family. I thought I would continue to act after having my son. But I found the drive to LA tedious and I missed my son everytime I went on auditions. The only auditions i enjoyed were those that I got to go on with my son. Before having children I volunteered to work at a few agencies in LA and I loved the fast paced environment and the excitement of booking an actor on a job. I started wanting to only send my son on auditions and started looking at all of the online casting sites.
When I first worked at an agency we pulled photos off of a big wall filled with actors head shots. We made packages and had a courier pick them up and bring them to the casting directors. Slowly this process has changed and now has evolved into submitting actors online via various websites. When I started submitting my son on auditions I realized that I could do this for many people. That is when I decided to look into the legalities of setting up my own agency.
It took about of year of research and trial and error before I was licensed, bonded and a member of the Screen Actors Guild. Being accepted into SAG as an agency (or as an actor) jusitifes you as being legit. This was improtant to me, there are a lot of scams out there taking advantage of peoples dreams of being in the entertainment industry.
I want my clients to know that they can trust me. I am not in this for the money. Small agencies do not make that much money. We make 10% of what our clients make. . which is not that much. Thank goodness my husband has a full time job that is not commission based!

So this is how I began. My mentor is my old agent, she has taught me everything about being a good agent and a good person. She is starting a blog soon too and I will point you to hers when it begins.
I hope to update actors on the state of the industry, how auditions are panning out, how many breakdowns we are seeing. I will also update you on my diaper duty ( my youngest son is 7 weeks old) and toddler tantrums (my 3 1/2 year old that jumpstarted my becoming a talent agent) It should be a lot of fun blogging and sharing my crazy days.