Imagine this scenario...
Your acting career really seems to be taking off; you’re getting auditions, booking work, and seem to have a great relationship with your agent.
Then, out of the blue, you receive an e-mail that goes something like this...
"... This is your 30 day notice for termination of your contract.
"I wish you all the best with your future endeavours..."
You have two choices here:
You can e-mail back, asking what you’ve done wrong - pleading with them to change their mind - declare your acting career over - and then cry into a massive tub of Ben & Jerry’s.
OR... you can reply with a polite e-mail, acknowledging receipt of your notice, end your working relationship with professionalism, then move on with a new plan of action.
Which do you think would be the most productive?
It’s easy to let emotions get the better of you in situations like this, but you need to understand that it is not personal.
There could be any number of reasons why your agent decided to end your professional relationship, but spending your time and energy autopsying what it was, will only drive you mad.
Instead, accept that they have their reasons, remain calm and professional in your response, and thank them for the work they have done for you.
Allow yourself a set amount of time to wallow - hey, you are only human after all - but do not allow yourself to think for a second that this means the end of your acting career.
When your ‘wallow time’ comes to an end, replace those feelings of fear and loss with the feeling of excitement - because this is a new beginning.
You may even begin to feel grateful that your previous agent gave you this push to action...
This is a chance for you to aim higher and find yourself an agent that you can have an even better working relationship with.
One who believes in you and who you can team up with to take your career to the next level!
You may even begin to feel grateful that your previous agent gave you this push to action - because isn’t it true that you had gotten a little too comfortable?
Everything was moving along nicely, but looking back, there was something missing - that fire you had at the beginning maybe?
It’s time to re-ignite that fire and put your next plan of action into place!
The first thing to include in your action-plan is researching new agents.
It’s important that you don't simply contact every agent you’ve ever heard of - through panic and fear. Take your time to research and find the ones you feel would be a good fit.
Look at the other actors they represent and what they have been cast in. Notice other actors who are doing well and look at who they are represented by.
Is the kind of work this agent normally get their clients in alignment with where you want your career to be heading?
For example, if you see your future mainly on-screen, but an agent’s clients seem to be working primarily on stage, they may not be the best fit for you.
Look at an agent's website and social media pages. Do they seem like somebody you would get along well with?
If you are confident that you'd both be a good fit, then go ahead and contact them.
When contacting a new agent for representation do not, under any circumstances, speak negatively about the agent you have parted ways with.
This is a sure fire way of not being seen in a good light.
No emotion, no pleas of how much you want this and how passionate you are.
Send an e-mail (unless the agent's website specifies otherwise), that is short, sharp and straight to the point - letting them know that you are seeking new representation and why you feel you would be a good fit for them.
No emotion, no pleas of how much you want this and how passionate you are. No fluffy talk - agents are very busy people, respect their time and get straight to the point.
It’s possible you could be offered alternative representation very quickly, but on the other hand it could take some time.
What can you be doing in the meantime?
Take control of your own career and do everything in your power to build professional relationships and book your own work.
Having the right agent will benefit your career tremendously, but I have known instances where an actor has been dropped by their agent, raised their game - and then gone on to book more work than they did when they had representation!
Network, build your own connections, apply for work through Spotlight, through casting sites, and find castings on social media.
Create your own work by putting on a show or making a film, build your online presence and get creative.
YOUR acting career is in YOUR hands.
Plan how you will raise your game, then get out there and make it happen!
You weren’t born to be ordinary... you were born to shine!