Monday, November 26, 2007

Actors ask: "Is now the right time to strike up a new relationship?" No!

I have heard from a lot of actors in the last two weeks who seem to think that this (writers) strike environment is a good time for them to seek a new agent or manager. Absolutely not!

While it is a positive sign that the writers and the producers have met at the bargaining table today for the first time since the strike began, let’s take a look at what the implications are of the strike time already passed, in terms of actors and representatives.

No scripts continue to mean no (or greatly reduced) production; no (or limited) production continues to mean less and less roles for (union) actors to audition for; less auditions mean less possible jobs, which translates to significantly reduced opportunities for everyone to earn money, from actors’ salaries to agents’ and managers’ commissions.

The result is that many agents and managers (and casting directors, for that matter) are struggling to hold on to what they have. Many have already had to made staff and/or salary cuts to endure the landscape, particularly small and middle-sized agencies. Many agencies are also using this time to review their client lists and are making drastic cuts and changes.

In short, don’t seek representation (or new representation) at this time. Let the dust from the strike settle, as soon as the strike is settled. Then, get pro-active about seeking what you need to help fill the many, many acting jobs that will exist as soon as production starts up again. Instead, use this time to do your research and to prepare the campaign you will undertake as soon as the writers are back at their laptops.

Hang in there, be patient, and let’s see what day one back at the negotiating table brings us all.


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