Agents & Show Reels"
This letter was received at The Rehearsal Room at the start of the year. It represents questions that actors ask over and over again. It represents the aspiring actor's dilemma's and ambitions. It represents a difficult problem to which there is no easy solution. The letter is printed below and so is my reply but you may have experience or advice you might like to share on this topic. If so email it to contact@ rehearsalroom.com and we will add it to the discussion.
I hope the New Year finds you well. I'm looking for a bit of advice. Do you know anybody who acts as a "career adviser"? I think I need a new agent, but I don't know who's who. I have tapes of all my work but don't know how to put them together to make a show reel. I've been Studying and working for the past 3 years, with a credited role in Child Star, a few national TVC's and a great new 3rd year VCA film, I have all the ingredients to make a career but someone needs to teach me how to bake it!
I'd love to hear from you and your thoughts ...
No, I don't know anyone who acts as a career adviser. And anyway, if I did, would they be the right career adviser for you? Finding a career adviser is much like finding a financial adviser - there is no guarantee that they will do much else than pedal their own products to you. If they are doing it on a business footing it is sometimes hard to tell if they are looking after themselves or you. Besides, on occasions I have also heard very bad advice handed out by very experienced people for free.
So it seems as far as career guidance goes it's up to you.
To Your Agent
The other possibility is that your agent has not seen enough of your recent work to have a confident view of where you are 'at'. Is this because you haven't been doing much or is it because they haven't had the time or didn't bother to see you? If it is the former then maybe you need to find ways to keep working. If it is the latter then maybe you do need a new agent. Being a good agent I imagine is a demanding task. So make your enquiries intelligently. You may end up achieving a move but not making progress.
Is the Agent
In addition the actor who has been most recently working has a higher chance of doing well in an audition. Confidence is up, skills are up. Self-confidence and trust are big factors. They can make a huge difference to a performer's capabilities.
a Show Reel
The Rehearsal Room provides a show reel advisory service - but is this just someone else pedaling their wares. Beware - it can also be a demoralizing if your professional advisor finds there is not much material that should be included. But remember the goal - your reel is an advertisement for you. It should be short, engaging and always show you off to advantage. It needs to be neatly edited.
The Rehearsal Room believes show reels are of limited value. So be careful how you spend your money.
To have a chance of working more regularly it is not necessary to be a FANTASTIC GENIUS. But it is necessary to be competent. Do you receive advice that plainly tells you where you are 'at' performance-wise and exactly what you need to do to maintain or improve your skills? These kind of assessments might be tough but that is the level of assessment that happens in the audition room.
It's tough being an actor. But there is hope.
Many years ago now an actor came to The Rehearsal Room workshops with a determined career plan. Perhaps it was because there was so much determination and commitment that the performance outcomes were not very good. This actor determinedly got an agent but didn't get much work. Many derogatory things were said about both performance skills and presence. The actor determinedly wrote scripts, made video's and appeared in co-op plays. Workshops were attended and hard work was put in. At one Rehearsal Room workshop some awareness seemed to have been awakened but only with marginal improvement. As time went by, believing that Melbourne casting directors were not going to ever offer employment the actor determinedly change cities and agents - and moved to Sydney. Here work started to happen and became quite regular. This actor now works out of Los Angeles. I am not clear how significant the work is but a full time acting career has been achieved which few thought was possible except of course the actor himself - obviously he found a way.
So I am afraid I can't offer much helpful advice. Being an actor is tough. And only a few get it easy and then probably not all the time. We are only a small acting community with small resources and even less opportunity. But the best advice I can give you is that it is up to you. So good luck.
So keep working.
All the very best.
Copyright © The Rehearsal Room 2003. All rights Reserved.
OTHER READING - "Creating Your Showreel" - A discussion about the approaches and pitfalls when creating a showreel.
INTRO | ABOUT | WORKSHOPS & CLASSES | TESTIMONIALS | LATEST NEWS | WORKING ACTOR
GREENROOM | DIRECTOR'S NOTES | QUOTARIUM | DIARY | OFF-CUTS | AUDITIONS | CONTACT
All contents copyright © The Rehearsal Room unless othewise stated