When To Get An Agent or Manager

This is a question I hear often: When should I get an agent or manager?

At the end of the day, this is just my opinion. Rules are definitely meant to be broken. However, based upon what I’ve learned and how I’ve applied those lessons to success, this is what I can offer…

Get an agent when you are ready. When you have something to offer to them. Come with a full arsenal of tools that they can work with. If you’re at home and thinking about getting an agent or manager, take a look below to see if these dynamics are in place:

**Do you have a clear vision for yourself and what you want? Can you walk into an agent’s office and clearly lay out what you’re about? I have discovered that agents and managers really like it when someone is clear about their journey versus someone who is not clear about their journey. Having clarity about yourself gives them something to work with. Having clarity about yourself lets them know that you don’t expect them to do all the work. Think about it, if an agent is receiving a 10% commission on every job you book, that means you’re receiving the remaining 90% on every job you book. So you better be pulling your weight and doing the majority of the work in your journey. I have also discovered that some agents and managers are against/resistant to someone who is clear about what they want. For me, these representatives are not worth my time because they are not going to be supportive of or in collaboration with or excited about my dream. We won’t be able to dance together.

I just shared my DOIN’ (Declaration of Independence aka business plan) with my agent and she was blown away. She wrote:

BRAVO! I think that is a brilliant plan of business action. Very impressive! My pleasure to read such a complete well thought out plan. Keep up the great work towards goals. Extremely proactive of you.

So we are dancing together because she saw first-hand what I’m about through my business plan. And so when I ask her to pitch me to this person or to look out for this TV series in production or this TV series in development, she’s excited to do so because she gets my plan. She gets my dream.

**Do you have specific, current headshots that reflect your first circle of casting? First circle of casting refers to those characters that come easily and naturally to you. Characters you have mastery over and don’t have to work so hard at playing. You walk into a room and we immediately get, “Oh, he’s the college star athlete.” “Oh, she’s the bitchy high school ‘it’ girl.” “Oh, he’s definitely a cop.” “Oh, he’s the gang member.” These specific headshots will help an agent submit you, pitch you and market you into the right neighborhood of shows, films, casting directors, producers, etc.

**Do you have a reel that reflects your first circle of casting? A reel containing a few short scenes that reveal what you can do? It’s one thing to have a headshot, but it’s another thing to have scenes on your reel that show you can actually play these characters in your headshots and that you know how to act on camera. Recently, I added a new scene to my reel as a computer hacker. I uploaded the clip to Actors Access and let my agent know. A few days ago, she emailed me:

By the way you were submitted on a IT tech expert role…Guess what video was attached? Of course, the new one! 🙂

**Are you in an acting class which shows the agent or manager that you are staying current and sharp with your training? That you are working out in an artistic gym? That you are pushing yourself artistically?

These are just the basic dynamics to have in place the next time you find yourself asking, “When should I get an agent or manager?”

Again, rules are meant to be broken. There have been actors who have secured representation without the above dynamics. For whatever reasons, they were able to secure representation without the above dynamics. Maybe those actors were in the right place at the right time. I can only speculate. Ultimately, you have to decide for yourself when to get an agent or manager. For me, I’d rather invest the time to build my arsenal and my artistry first before securing representation. I feel that I would get more mileage out of my journey with them if I do that first.

Until next Sunday!

 

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The Revolution Begins!

“Human Revolution” that is! “Human Revolution” is a 22-minute SAG-Aftra dramedy film that I had the honor of executive producing, co-writing and co-starring in last year. This film came to life and was made possible through the collective efforts of the Richard Lawson Studios community. From crew members to actors, many people came through with their love and talent.

My fellow co-producer and I approved the final cut on July 2nd of this year and we’ve just recently entered the next chapter of film festival submissions and seeking distribution!

For myself, my co-producer and our director, our goal with “Human Revolution” was always about the bigger picture. To use this film as a calling card to spotlight what we can do as artists. And we want to do that by submitting our film to targeted/specific film festivals, to seek avenues of distribution and to share it with key influential people on our relationship map.

I’m very excited for this new chapter!

The first film festival Human Revolution was submitted to was the Vassar FilmFest in D.C. on August 4th. Vassar is my alma mater, so I knew I wanted to personally submit there. A few days later, “Human Revolution” was submitted to Slamdance, SXSW, the Atlanta Film Festival and the Taos Shortz Film Festival in New Mexico. Upcoming film festival submissions include: the Sarasota Film Festival, the LA Diversity Film Festival, the Utah Film Festival, the Mill Valley Film Festival, TriBeCa, the Bentonville Film Festival, Dances With Films, etc.

I will keep you all updated!

“Human Revolution”: Four strangers who meet at a weekend transformational retreat center discover that the teachings and life lessons they are seeking are actually found in each other.

Left to right: Angela Robinson Witherspoon, Jorge Ortiz (Chasing The George!), Sayaka Miyatani and Robin Karfo

Human Rev 1

Human Rev 2

Human Rev 4

Human Rev 3

What Is A Win?

On Tuesday, August 1st, the Professional Development Program 3.0 class presented their 7-month wins (January through July) It was a great way to pause, acknowledge and celebrate our wins so far this year. I love when we share our wins halfway through the year and at the end of the year because it’s always a constant reminder of how much we have actually achieved. It’s so easy to get caught up in the grind, the hustle, the work, that we forget about how much we actually accomplished. We think we haven’t made any progress on our careers. We forget about our journey.

By typing out our wins and sharing them, we actually see how much we have accomplished, we realize we are on the right path and we are kept in a place of gratitude.

Sharing our wins also allowed us to identify and embrace all types of wins. Too often, and it drives me crazy, people only consider something a win-or consider something you’ve done a win-when you book work in the industry. That’s some fucking bullshit. Is that the ONLY time something is considered a win? When you book a job? How singularly anal is that? Gag me with a fucking mental spoon. We’re somehow taught to believe that booking a job is the only win that counts. And we are shamed into thinking that it’s only a win if we book a job. I hate that so much. But let’s stick with booking a job for a second. Why is booking the job the only win? Aren’t all the actions you took that led you to booking the job also considered wins? (e.g. Having the right head shots, knowing your casting, having good representation, building relationships with casting directors, preparing for the audition, having a causative routine, knowing how to deliver the same product at the callback, etc.)

So, what exactly IS a win?

Here are some definitions from dictionary.com:

2) to succeed by striving or effort

5) to succeed in reaching (a place, condition, etc.), especially by great effort

6) to get by effort, as through labor, competition, or conquest

9) to make (one’s way), as by effort or ability

10) to attain or reach (a point, goal, etc.)

Origin: Old English “winnan” to work, fight, bear
Synonyms: obtain, secure, acquire, achieve, reach, procure

The word effort came up in several of the definitions above.

Effort: something done by exertion or hard work; the amount of exertion expended for a specified purpose.

A win is a result of the effort you put into something. Of the hard work you put into a specific purpose. You made it on time to your acting class. Win. You put up a scene in class that required hours of rehearsal between you and your scene partner. Win. You wrote five more pages of your screenplay. Win. You had an audition that you were prepared for. Win. You submitted your film to a film festival–You know, the film that you wrote and/or produced and spent countless hours in pre-production, countless hours in production and countless hours in post-production. Win. You spent a lot of time building your relationship map through give, outflow and engagement. Win. You helped to raise money at a fundraising event. Win. You took new head shots. Win. You and your reps are on the same page. Win. You KonMari’d your home. Win. Or as Mary Thompson says, Calimari’d your home (you’re a riot!) You removed negative people from your career bus. Win. You thanked a casting director who brought you in for an audition. Win. You shared your business plan with your family. Win. You changed your attitude about something that was holding you back. Win. You paid off one of your credit cards. Win. You get the point. All of the above examples takes effort. It takes work. So these efforts are wins. They are wins because you are taking actions to reach a certain place or condition in your life; to change and enhance your condition; to reach a point.

Every effort we make in our careers and in our lives brings us closer to certain goals that we have set for ourselves. So when the goal is achieved, yes, it’s a win. But all the actions and efforts you took to accomplish your goal are also wins. These series of actions and resulting wins get you closer to the goals you have set for yourself. If your goal is to complete a feature film script, then all the efforts you make along the way towards completing that goal are also wins: From reading a book on screenwriting to joining a writers group to researching similar films to work shopping scenes from your script in a class, etc. All of these efforts become wins that lead to your goal of completing a feature film script.

If you are striving and making efforts on a consistent basis towards your goals, then you are winning. Keep track of all the efforts you are taking because each effort gets you closer and closer to your goals. You are making your way to your goals by your efforts, actions and abilities. And if you keep track of your efforts, you will see the through line of how you got from point A to point B to point C, etc. “Oh wow. I can see the entire journey it took for me to get from point A to point Z.” And then you can repeat that process in your next endeavor.

I see a win as any effort or action that moves me forward personally and professionally.

Acknowledge the work, the steps, the efforts, the actions large and small you are taking to achieve your goals. And celebrate along the way!!!!!!!!!

I hope this gives you a new perspective on what a win is!

A Big Win!

Hey everyone!

Last Sunday, I mentioned that I was taking a big action for my career on Monday, July 24th. That I was taking an action that would move one of my projects significantly closer towards my goal for it. I also mentioned this was a project I had been diligently working on since November 2014 and I postulated how everything would go on Monday.

The project was my feature film script that I wrote with James Franco in mind to play the villain and I successfully dropped it off to his production company!!! Shortly after I dropped off my script, my management company emailed his production office a PDF copy of my script! And let me say that this wasn’t an unsolicited drop off. This was a result and culmination of all the hard work I’ve done to get to this point. And I am filled with extreme gratitude and pride.

Monday was a lesson and RECONFIRMATION of many things.

#1 Postulates. I saw exactly how the drop off would go. I saw how the conversation would go with the contact person at his production office. I saw it so clearly. Now, on the day of, there were a couple of hilarious twists and turns that were thrown into the mix, but they still led me to the postulate I had. Everything played out how I saw it in my mind. And because I saw it in my mind, I was able to deliver my product successfully in person.

#2 Community. I could not have done this without the support of my teacher, my trusted classmates and friends. Richard Lawson for teaching me what it means to create your own career and to go after it. My classmates for asking me the next question when I would present my script in class and when I would present ideas I had to create exposure for it (e.g. From having a table read to creating an extensive social media campaign) Lindsay Hopper for researching and gathering info the week before. Reed Iacarella for being the best assistant a person could have. You are a great cheerleader!

#3 Research. Knowing what I’m walking into. Knowing who the buyers are. Speaking their language and vibe. When you take the time to do research and be thoughtful about your outflow to someone, it makes a difference. Research creates an honest connection and it was incredibly satisfying to see items that I had already been outflowing to them in their possession.

#4 Always be nice to the gatekeepers! They are the first line of defense: Security guards, receptionists, assistants, etc. We were so nice to the gatekeeper and treated them like a fellow human being, that they quickly became our ally. When we arrived, the person we were looking for wasn’t there yet. We waited. We knocked on the door. We made a phone call. We then decided to go downstairs and because we were so nice to the gatekeeper, they asked us how it went. When we told them that our contact person wasn’t there, they immediately said, “Wait, I just saw them go upstairs. Go back up there!” They wanted us to successfully complete our meeting.

#5 Celebrate. After all was said and done, I celebrated and let it go. I focused on that win. What happens afterwards, happens afterwards. The win was that I delivered my script to James and his staff. My manager also delivered my script to them. That’s the win. I delivered my product. The rest is out of my hands now. I DELIVERED my product and the rest is now out of my hands.

That being said, I WILL finish my social media campaign today (Sunday) just to complete that cycle of action (and so everyone can see all the cool celebrity endorsements I utilized to create visibility for my feature film) And I’ve already begun working on securing an attachment for the female hero and lead of my feature film script.

Onward and forward!

Taking It To The Next Level!

Hello everyone! Hope you’re all having a good weekend! In true Chasing The George fashion, I am taking a big action for my career on Monday, July 24th! I am taking an action that will move one of my projects significantly closer towards my goal for it. This is a project I have been diligently working on since November 2014 and I am postulating the way everything will go not only for Monday, but beyond.

I am very excited. I feel incredibly empowered. I feel gratitude for the career I am creating for myself.

Stay tuned for next Sunday’s blog for more info on what I’m talking about and how it all went!

Happy Birthday!

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Photo courtesy of Party Ark

Chasing The George is 2 years old! (Actual birthday is July 10th, but I post new blogs every Sunday)

I am so proud and grateful that my weekly blog has come this far and has inspired so many people around the world. What an incredible and magical ride it has been. I look forward to the year ahead and continuing my journey with you all!

I would like to thank:

  • Richard Lawson for encouraging me to begin this blog
  • My fellow friends and classmates at the Richard Lawson Studios
  • Chris Beber
  • My family and friends
  • My reps
  • The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
  • The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
  • Madonna
  • RuPaul
  • Alyssa Edwards
  • Bianca Del Rio
  • Sahsa Velour
  • Tatianna
  • Aja
  • RuPaul’s Drag Race
  • James Franco
  • Jennifer Garner
  • Evangeline Lilly
  • Harvey Weinstein
  • Tyler Perry
  • Vassar College
  • My acolytes
  • Champagne
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Superman
  • Three’s Company
  • The Twilight Zone

Hollywood 101 Recap!

Hey everyone! It’s that time of the year when I like to stop for a moment, recap and catch everyone up on the exciting blog entries I’ve posted over the last 4 months. From demo reel tips to maintaining healthy agent/manager relationships to paying it forward to sleeping with James Franco…again, here are the links below. Enjoy!

From older to newer: