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.


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.
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.


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.