How to Be One of Your Rep’s Favorite Clients via Ammo & Communication
Now that you’ve celebrated and had your champagne, know that this is NOT the time to relax, sit back and wait for all those auditions to come pouring in. If you do, I promise, they won’t. Now is the time to really focus on building relationships, and one of those relationships you want to build, is the one with your new rep! 🙂
Here are some of my tips for creating a strong rep relationship:
Give them the Ammo
Reps are not wizards who can procure auditions out of thin air. They need you to give them the marketing tools in order to submit/pitch you to secure audition opportunities. You must provide them with high quality:
- Headshots— Branded to your type (Check out our branding & marketing class for guidance here), and depending on how drastically your look changes, you’ll want to update them accordingly.
- Footage— If you’re just starting out, you might not have a full reel yet. If that’s the case, you better have some incredibly high quality self-tapes that they can use to submit/pitch you with). There’s no excuse to not have footage anymore as we all have access to self-taping companies, cellphone cameras, and a host of other services. There are many companies who specialize in creating reel footage. Some of my favorites in LA are Rock Your Reel, Rapid Reelz, & Jig Reel.
- Relationship Info— Reps are not mind-readers. If you have relationships with casting, producers, writers or showrunners, share that info with them in a handy google spreadsheet. I recommend just including the contact’s Name, Office, some quick notes on your relationship history, and a spot for additional information if there’s something else they should know. Make different pages for different categories of contacts.
When you first start working with a rep, you can ask them, “how do you like your clients to correspond with you?” Most like email, but some prefer texts or phone calls. It’s a great question to ask because it shows your rep you care about making a strong relationship and are considerate of their style of communication.
I advise all my clients to keep their reps updated on what they are doing for their own careers with a brief email update every two weeks, ideally on Tuesday afternoons, so that you’re top of mind for the rest of the week. You can email them something like, “I want to make sure you’re always up to date on what I’m up to, so if it’s cool by you, I’m going to email you every two weeks and let you know what I’m up to. No need to respond, as it’s just for your reference. It’ll be something like this…” Then bullet 2-4 things you’ve been up to in your career lately.
- Met CD X at a casting panel at SAG. We chatted for awhile, she gave me her contact info and asked me to send her my reel. (As always, this connection is updated on my google contacts sheet here: [insert link])
- Taking class at X. Had a real breakthrough last week playing an addict – a type I’ve never tackled before. Sharing something like this w/ a rep can make them see you in a new way and shows that you’re always working on your craft
- Working on a short with some filmmakers – should be ready in the next couple weeks. Excited to share w/ you!
IMPORTANT THINGS TO COMMUNICATE TO YOUR REPS:
- If you are going out of town, book out. I recommend booking out about two weeks prior. So many actors are terrified of booking out, but believe me, reps would rather you tell them and let them know, then just not be available after they’ve spent time pitching you for a role.
- If you are running late for an audition, let them know.
- If you are pregnant, tell your reps.
- If you want to dye your hair or are thinking about a major body transformation like gaining or losing a lot of weight, talk to your reps about it. You do not have to listen to them, but talking to them about these things can be helpful to make strategic career decisions.
With that being said, while most of you are generally radio-silent with your reps, a small percentage are over-communicating and bothering them. Know that you don’t have to email them daily, before or after every audition or stop by every week. They are WORKING. They have a job to do. Your email update every two weeks and any other communication about important info they need to know will suffice. Some people become friends with their reps and some people remain in a strictly professional relationship. You have to figure out what you and your rep will be. Every relationship is unique and you need to find out what works for both of you.
Get Face time!
Make sure you see your reps 3 times a year in person. Maybe you stop by the office with a treat after you’ve been on a vacation or right after a booking. You can drop-off a gift after the holidays (I recommend dropping by in January instead of December when every other actor is going by). When you go in person, dress a little differently every time. Show them different sides of yourself and they may think you can play different types than they initially thought.
Invite your reps to work you’re doing – plays, showcases, etc. You can even invite your rep to networking events you think they would find valuable or perhaps even a social event if you feel comfortable doing so.
Be Your Best Actor
- Be in class. Be in class. Be in class. Should I say it again? If you are in class, you will be continuously becoming a better actor, and auditions will not feel as stressful if you are acting on the regular. Another great alternative is to work privately with an acting coach and coach on your auditions. Reps want you focusing on your craft and becoming a stronger actor every single day.
- Be PREPARED for your auditions. That means getting off-book (your sides are just there as a safety net) and with solid thought-out choices. Your audition should never be the first time you say the words aloud with another person. Rehearse. Prepare. Do the best job you can with the amount of time you have and don’t make excuses.
- If you get a self-tape, make sure it looks great. Shoot the best quality you can with good background, lighting and sound, and do it all in a professional and TIMELY manner. Reps love it when actors get their tapes in early.
Now that you have the main tips, let’s take some action!
- Take out your calendar and note when you’re going to send your rep updates.
- Draft your first update.
- Decide on a time in the next couple months that you are going to get face time with your rep and set yourself a reminder.
Reps are people, just like actors. They cannot work without actors and believe me, they would rather have a positive relationship with you too!
NOTE: If you are looking for a new agent/manager, I highly recommend THIS complimentary training that Jona Xiao will be teaching to help you Get Signed! You’ll learn creative ways to stand out and get representation!