11:40 am - Wed 10/02/02
For some reason, I'm having a hard time getting into this entry, so I'm just going to come out with it; On Friday, I have my first meeting with a commercial agent!
Not too long ago, Bryan K., an actor, started working at the bookstore.
He'd just finished doing a national commercial--for Yahoo--so I immediately pegged him as a successful actor who might be able to give me some helpful hints.
And he was helpful. He did probably the most helpful thing an actor who has representation can do for an actor who doesn't--He told me I should send a headshot to his agency, and use his name as a referral.
So I sent them a headshot, with an appropriate cover letter...and nothing happened (This was last week, or actually maybe the week before).
But Mark B., hearing that I'd done that, basically said, "What am I, chopped liver?"; He reminded me that he'd previously offered to give my headshot to his agent, and said if I wanted, he'd hand-deliver it.
So I said "fine". Mark gave it to the guy who runs the agency, who said I was a "good type", and yesterday there was a message from them on my voicemail, wanting to set up an appointment to see me.
So, if I've been working with Mark for the past year-and-a-half, why didn't I do this before now?
Well, there are a number of reasons:
1. When I first got out here, I wasn't thinking in terms of being a viable property for commercials. I also didn't think a commercial agent would be interested in me, fresh off the Michigan turnip truck.
2. Mark is definitely a "glass is half empty" guy, and the first things he had to say about his agent--and his career-to-date, for that matter--were not very positive.
3. Because Mark is a neurotic mess, and drives people at the bookstore crazy (Sometimes even while acknowledging that he's basically a "good guy" and they "like" him), I had concerns that he might be too much of a pain-in-the-ass at his agency to be of much use as a reference.
But obviously, I don't know everything...
When I first got the message, then made the appointment, I was practically giddy with excitement. But in the past 24 hours or so, I've had the opportunity to go from "giddy" to "anxious", then back to "giddy", to finally settle in somewhere between "happy" and "optimistic", which I think is an appropriate response to this development; This isn't a key to the bank vault or anything, but it is unquestionably a step in the right direction (Success in commercials would mean visibility, more money, probably a better shot at getting a theatrical agent, and maybe more time to chase down legitimate acting opportunities).
The trick for me will be to not get lost in fantasies of commercial success, but at the same time, not let my anxiety overwhelm me; Fantasizing about getting a national commercial next month probably won't help me deal with day-to-day existence, and worrying about how I'll get to commercial auditions while working at Borders will effectively squeeze all the fun out of what rightfully should be a very happy development.
Have you noticed something while reading this? I'm not feeling any concern about whether this agency will actually want to sign me or not; The perception I've formed out here is that the trick would be just to have someone let me in the door, so if they like my "look", and they're okay with my credits, I don't see any other issue in the way.
(And in the event that I sign with them, and it's not a good fit, I think there's an automatic "out" clause with agencies, that if they don't send you out for anything in a 90 day period, the contract is broken.)
Anyway, this is a very positive thing. And I will deal with the repercussions when and if they happen, and not before.
(Just got back from lunch with Tony B. Great fun!)
Another nice development is that the artistic director from Santa Clarita Rep actually called me. I called him back--got his machine--but I'm just pleased that he actually looked at my headshot.
Well, as usual, time has slipped away from me, and I'm feeling like I'm going to be "Cranky Bookstore Guy" if I don't lay down for a bit...
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