Actors always focus on the wrong thing. They’re constantly trying to impress me with details that aren’t important. And that’s true for clients as well as actors seeking representation.
This may shock you, but it would appear that every performer on the face of the planet has access to those precious breakdowns that are meant for my eyes only. I guess they pay for them under the table. This is 100 percent illegal, but then again, so is crossing at the red and when was the last time anyone you know got a jaywalking ticket?
Anyway, actors have this material and they always jump on every perceived bit of valuable information. For example, a client called me the other day because he “heard” about a movie set in L.A. with a character that was from Detroit. The actor explained he was from Detroit, too, so the casting director would definitely want to meet him. In return, I explained they were probably looking for the best actor and not just someone who was from Detroit.
Pop quiz: true or false? Last year, Ryan Gosling lost the lead in a film playing a cop who grew up in Florida because the studio discovered he was from Canada. (The answer is at the bottom of this column….)
Moving on, I’ve been receiving a ton of submissions lately from actors who list their current STARmeter rating on IMDb. Is this supposed to mean anything to me? That number is just a grade based on Internet searches. It has nothing to do with talent or potential. Even more shocking, there are services out there you can pay to help raise your rating. Call me paranoid, but I would think twice before handing those people my credit card number. Maybe you should, too.
Let me put it this way: If you believe in quantum mechanics and a multiverse with millions of parallel realities, I can assure you there isn’t a single reality out there where I give a damn about your STARmeter rating.
Here are a few other things that don’t matter:
If you’re trying to convince me to sign you, don’t tell me about all the nonunion work you’ve been doing. Trust me. There is no nonunion work. (Well, maybe porn.) SAG–AFTRA even has a category for first-time producers who are making tiny little movies on their iPhones with the money they made serving tables. And unless we’re talking about hosting or reality shows, there is absolutely no nonunion work on scripted television.
This is why I always crack up when actors tell me they’re putting off joining the union because they don’t want to miss out on nonunion work. WHAT NONUNION WORK? Are they talking about commercials? If that’s the case, then answer me this: Was that your dream when you moved here? To work on nonunion commercials that will never generate a residual stream?
Here’s something else that doesn’t matter: excuses. If you’re my client, I don’t want to hear that you’re late to an audition because you got stuck in traffic. And I don’t care about your reasons for not booking out or for not updating your reel or for not returning my call.
IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER!