3 Blunders to Avoid in Hollywood

September 27, 2016

It never fails to amaze me. Over the years, I’ve seen educated, talented actors pull off the biggest boners you can imagine. And I know those people weren’t stupid, but when it came down to their own careers, the wiring in their brains must’ve misfired and the foolishness flowed like lava on Java.

If you’re a regular reader of this column, you’ve heard me rant about clients not booking out, not showing up on time for auditions, and not keeping their pictures and reels up to date. But this week, I’d like to go deeper. So here are a few specific examples of actors who live in crazy town and chose to get in their own way—and mine.

I recently hooked up one of my people with an audition for a web series. Quite frankly, I wasn’t sure he should go in because the guy is very experienced and this job paid next to nothing. The only reason I even bothered was because there was a heavyweight casting director working on the project, the kind that normally does studio films, and my client had never met her.

READ: “How to Get Casting Directors to Find You on Backstage”

When I explained my reasoning, the actor responded that he had no interest in the project but wanted to audition anyway. I asked why. He explained, “Well, I can read, make a new fan, and if I get the part, we can just pass.” I waited to see if he was joking. He wasn’t. So I countered, “If you go in to read, get an offer, and pass, she’s going to be furious that you wasted her time.” His response? “I guess. But I should still go in, right?”

Sometimes, 10 percent is not enough.

You know what really upsets me? When clients fail to acknowledge the work I do. Like just the other day, I made a pest of myself trying to get an audition for one of my people. After multiple calls and emails, the casting director finally gave it to me. I was thrilled. And you know what my client said when I called with the good news? “Oh, I met that casting director three years ago at a workshop. I bet that’s why she’s bringing me in.”

Really? She hasn’t seen you in three years and all of a sudden, out of the blue, she decides to bring you in for a huge guest star role? There’s absolutely no possibility that your agent had something to do with it?

Sometimes, I’m not sure 20 percent would be enough.

I often have clients calling after they’ve worked on a job to complain they weren’t paid correctly. They send me their paperwork and all their claims and, since my agency doesn’t have an accounting department, I have to spend an obscene amount of time researching their complaints. And you know what? The actors are always the ones who made the mistakes, not the payroll companies. It’s insane how many hours I’ve wasted investigating errors that never happened.

READ: “How to Be an Actor on a Budget”

Sometimes, not even 30 percent would be enough.

The actors who behave this way always end up on our drop list because my job is hard enough without having to deal with all that nonsense. Unless, of course, those clients are making a lot of money. Then all is forgiven and life goes on.

Welcome to the real Hollywood.

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