Oh the lessons we learn in this crazy business we call VO. As my colleague Tom Dheere was no doubt penning his own blog http://tomdheere.com/blog/ about communicating with agents, I was once again slapped in the face with a similar business lesson.
I have been fortunate to have landed an agent to represent me in my short time as a voice actor, several in fact. One such agent is out of Philadelphia. When I signed with the agency the owner told me they don’t get many voice over requests. I appreciated the honesty, but sill signed. Though I live in Baltimore now, I was born and raised in Philadelphia so I was excited to be represented in my home town. This, as someone who still considers Rocky Balboa the greatest athlete to hail from the “city of brotherly love”.
At any rate, it had been some time since I had heard from said agent. Not one to rock the boat I had not followed up in a while. I assumed the agents were busy and they’d contact me when they had something. Then today I contacted them. I wanted to talk about doing some marketing to some local media contacts. The owner responded and kindly pointed out that some of the “paperwork” they ask all new talent to do was missing. There are several casting sites that I was to create profiles for as a new talent. I thought I had done this. When I went to the sites, however, both said my account was inactive! It seems I missed a step in both places and the account was deactivated after a few months! The agency was understandably miffed at me for not doing what they asked. Note, nobody told me this but I can read between the lines. I know how I would feel if I had been in the same position.
Well, suffice it to say I NOW have filled out all the requested information. The agent said “I’m glad you emailed Paul”. Probably not coincidentally, I also received an audition from the agent today.
So the moral of the story is, communicate, communicate, communicate! It’s great to land with an agent. As Tom points out, they are not a panacea for your career. However, if you want them to help you, make sure you let them! Follow their instructions, and for Pete’s sake, TALK TO THEM!