Saturday, August 6, 2005

It's my criminal record, isn't it?

After recent meetings with prospective agents, I have come to some conclusions:

1) "Can you lose your accent?" is a very silly phrase. Maybe if I've downed a bottle or 2 of Merlot, I might lose it. I'll certainly be speaking a different dialect. But no, I cannot "lose" my accent. It's not like I wake up now and then speaking English with a thick Russian accent, or Tibetan-flavoured consonants. What they're asking is "Can you do an American accent?". I'm not losing anything- I'm putting something ON. Needless to say, I usually go in to these meetings with my American accent - or, put it on for a few minutes as a whip-out-the-bag gimmick.

2) How well the meeting goes has absolutely nothing to do with how interested they are in repping you. In fact, the two may be inversely proportioned. The bigger the agent, the better the meeting, the more excited you get and the more crushing the "no". To be honest, every agent I've met has declined. But then every meeting went well, too. Weird. I'm hoping my next meeting will go so poorly, there might be a chance they're interested.

3) Agents cannot simply say "no". They prefer to deflect ownership of your rejection onto the organisation or industry at large. If they can throw in a compliment, so much the better. That way, they don't feel bad about giving you the boot - heck, they just told you that you're great! Examples:

"We loved your reel...It's the foreign resume"
"You're wonderful...It's just not the right timing"

4) Agents always say "call me next week", but are never available to field your call. In fact, "next week" can become two months from now. And so you call again. And again. And again. You don't want to appear stalker-like, but hey - an answer one way or the other would be nice. And when it's a "no", did it really take you 8 weeks to make that decision?

5) Working in a foreign country consistently with verifiable credits, heaps of press, great reviews and (I quote) a "great reel" means absolutely bugger all.

The upside of all this, is that I'm more distrustful of people than I already was. Tick. Most of the industry is indeed clinically insane. Tick. I am unquestionably certifiable for attempting this. Tick.

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