The following article is free, ongoing advice for actors, models, and bands on how to do the right things in Hollywood, that are rarely taught in acting schools, and rarely told to models and talent by anyone in the entertainment industry.
HAVE GOOD ETIQUETTE:
Be a professional. Don’t talk to your agent, manager, or other professionals in the industry necessarily how you would to your friends. Be a pro. Actors, models, and bands, unless you are making your representation big money, don’t be too casual. Don’t for example, call your agent or manager dude, girl, chick, man, woman, or the like. Call them by their first or last name, whatever they prefer.
HOW TO USE YOUR CELL PHONE:
Keep your cell phone charged. There is nothing much more irritating than being mid conversation with a client and then ones cell phone dies and they can’t be reached. Keep the T.V. turned down and cease any other noise when you are talking. Don’t talk with other people other than the party you are on the phone to when you are on the phone. Don’t take down someone’s number over the phone by punching it in to your cell phone. No one wants to hear beeping in their ears. Write it down, and punch it in later when the call has ended. Think before you act.
KEEP YOUR PHONE SECURE:
Don’t lose your phone. There are more models and actors I know that have lost their cell phones, or dropped them in toilets, than there are pot holes on Wilshire Boulevard. When someone tells me they lost their phone, it indicates to me that they are careless, unreliable, and not in control, and generally, they end up flaking and they end up losing not just their phone on a regular basis, but their representation. Be alert of yourself, your possessions, and your surroundings.
ANSWER YOUR PHONE:
The biggest reason things don’t happen for someone in the entertainment industry is because they don’t answer their phone. Don’t fail to answer your phone, and then complain that you would have called back if a message was left and you knew how important it was. Most agents and managers do not have time for phone tag or leaving lengthy messages. Simply answer your phone, so you won’t have to try making a lame excuse, and you won’t miss opportunities. When a model, actor, or musician makes excuses for not answering, they usually go to the bottom of the call list. If they continue to not answer and make excuses, they usually end up complaining that their representation does nothing for them. Eventually they are dropped.
Don’t ask your representation if they will communicate with you more when you don’t even answer your phone every time they call. Don’t complain that your representation never answers their phone, and don’t complain if they complain when you don’t answer. Don’t make excuses for not answering. You are on call, not your representation. Your representation may have a dozen, twenty, or fifty other models, actors, or bands to deal with in addition to you- you don’t.
If you are talking with someone and the call drops, and you call them back right away and do not get through, or get their voice mail, do not keep calling again and again. Chances are, they are trying to call you. Relax, and wait a few minutes for your phone to ring. Give it a few minutes before you try again, and regardless, don’t call any one over and over in a row, they may be on another call, and you don’t want to upset them or be a pest.
HOLD ON A MINUTE:
Never say those words to someone in a position of power that you want something from. If you do, when you actually come back to the phone and give them the attention you should have to begin with, don’t be surprised if your line is dead. Don’t even get on a phone call until you are ready to speak, but if you do need someone to wait a minute, you need to ask them please to hold, not order them to. People in greater positions of power than you are not going to take orders from you, unless they just test you to see how rude you may be.
DO IT NOW:
If you have an agent or manager on the phone, or casting, and they want to give you information, don’t ask them to e-mail you the information when they have you on the phone and want to give you the information immediately. Never complain that you would rather them e-mail it and why can’t they do this or that. Be respectful of others time and let them control how they are going to help you. Don’t expect someone to look for work for you for free, on commission, and then complain to them about how they provide you the job information.
BE PATIENT WITH OTHERS:
Do not expect to get signed, and have anything happen for your career as a model before you have professional zed cards, and a portfolio that your agent or manager accepts. If you are an actor, don’t expect anything until you have great headshots and a reel they accept, with a great resume on the back, and training, meaning, you actually know how to act. Being in a school play in 1st grade does not count as training. You need training now, as an adult that is ongoing for years with the best in the field.
Do not expect many things to happen as a singer or musician until you have a complete press kit your agent or manager accepts, have at least ten thousand friends on MySpace, and are gigging at least once a month. It is your responsibility to get yourself a band together if you do not have one and get gigs, not your representation, unless one is your booking agent who has agreed to do so. If you are a singer, you need to constantly have vocal training and practice vocal exercises daily.
TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN CAREER
I have encountered many model, actors, and bands that are so impatient, that they blow up and get angry because their career is not going where they want it to. That is the wrong thing to do. First of all, you need to look at yourself and see if you did or are doing all that your representation asked of you. Did you sign the contract they wanted you to, or is it still sitting there in your inbox? Did you complain about it and demand they change some lines, and they did, but they are not comfortable with the changes and so you are not getting the most out of them that you could? Did you get the materials they asked you to get a half a year or more ago? Did you get more training, or do you think you were too good to do so? No one is too good for more training. Even the biggest stars in the world get more training for specific movies before they do certain scenes.
Did you ask your representation what you can do to make yourself more marketable or to get work? Or do you have a bad attitude and act like everything is their fault every time you talk with them? Did you ask them what the problem is with you as they see it? Finger pointing and blaming your agent or manager without looking at what you can do is the wrong thing to do. Think about it, suppose you had a friend who asked you to help them get work, and did nothing you asked, and then started getting mad at you, blaming you for not helping them be a star. Agents and managers go through this on a regular basis.
Are you going to be more inclined to help someone who is nice to you, or mean to you? Are you going to be more willing to do a favor for someone who is sweet, polite, and professional, or rude, arrogant, and complaining about you and to you? If you are not getting what you want out of some one, being upset with them is certainly not going to make it better or make you get what you want any more. It will make it worse. They may be as upset with you as you are them for some reason, but not tell you, because they want to be civilized. It may make you feel momentarily better for a minute by going off, thinking to yourself, “Well, I sure told them off!” But really, did it benefit you in the long run? Could you have gotten more of what you wanted, or at least a chance at it, with a different attitude? Yes you can. Be patient with others.
(Continued in the next article – Hollywood 101 – How to Succeed Against the Odds.)