Well I just finished covering this subject at The Actors’ Network, but wanted to blog about it in a slightly different fashion. We use phrases like “Monday morning quarterback” and “Hindsight is 20/20” to remind ourselves that when it is over or past…it is easy to knowwhat the outcome was, so therefore it is easy to assess it or judge it. However, when you’re talking about games with scores it is pretty easy to have perfect hindsight, but relationships…especially one’s in Hollywood, are not as clear or simple as a game. Going into a professional relationship or relationship meeting requires preparation like everything else in life. In addition to the meeting, then you have the issue of having a rep tell you that they WANT to represent you. WhooooHoooo.
It is at that moment when we tend to completely close out all thoughts of any questions, concerns, working protocol, communication protocol or anything else. If you don’t go into a conversation looking to both get and give information then you’re talking about “accepting” a one-way relationship. Yes, technically we “hire” them, but we both know that unless you’re a big time working actor making tons of money…THEY hold leverage over us as a professional community. Therefore in hindsight, we are like a “new car” the second you drive it off of the lot…it begins to lessen in value. The second we accept representation and have not asked the proper questions and created the proper “inception” understanding to that relationship…it starts “disappearing” that second.
All of a sudden you wake up a month or two later, looking back in hindsight, and wonder what happened. What I mean by that is you are wondering where the auditions are, or is it really that slow, or why aren’t they/them returning my last email. Then you start thinking about things that got said in the meeting, and all of the questions you have, and in the end MY ultimate fear…is that you do not have an ounce of confidence to go in and have a meeting or even worse…that you feel they “won’t want to talk with you.”
This would have to be one of the worst feelings ever, for you/me or anyone else that is an actor. All of this, and I mean ALL of it is hindsight and it is anything but 20/20, it makes you even MORE blind, have even less clarity and be confident…of absolutely nothing. This is why when it comes to Rep relations you must be PRO-active in your thoughts, preparation, planning and questions to ask both in the initial meeting and “after you both” decide to work together.
At the end of the day most of this discussion has to do with confidence and experience. But at the same time, unless you’re a child, you know you’re suppose to prepare for meetings, you know there needs to be a, close to equal, share of information about ideas, needs, expectations, and working protocol before you do anything with anybody. So when you know this, what puts in the mindset that you should just “sit there” and hope they like you enough to sign you? Answer: FEAR. We all are suspect of it, and potential victims of its wrath as well. We “fear” that we’ll do or say something offensive, or think “how dare” I ask that…I’m just the lowly actor in this situation. Well, as soon as you have that attitude you are indeed likely sunk. So when hindsight isn’t 20/20, don’t leave yourself in that position. Have a plan, have questions, know you have to set up your relationship…because once the meeting is in your rear view mirror…it only gets more blurry.
Always on your side. Kevin E. – Follow me: @thekevine