i want to be “e” but feel more like lloyd
In addition to my two day a week gig at Rhino Entertainment, I have also been working for three days a week at a small talent agency that happens to be right next door to where I live. And when I say right next door, I mean right next door. Think Ragtime close.
It is turning out to be an interesting gig. Unfortunately, they don’t rep musicians, only actors, but it has become my only source of income, if you could call it that, so I can’t complain. And we have some super hot clients!
The office consists of two agents and then I rotate with two others to cover the front desk. It sounded like I would be answering the phones and helping them submit our clients for projects (online and hardcopy submissions of their headshots and resumes). The process is this: “Breakdowns” (or casting calls) are posted to an online service – so if the TV show 24 is looking to cast some new characters, they post the info on there including what the character looks like, the role, whether its a guest star, co-star, etc. Then we print these and decide which of our clients to submit for the specific roles. After we submit the clients, the agents usually call the casting directors to pitch our clients to them. If all goes well, our clients will be able to audition.
So by day two, my boss is asking me to go ahead and put my ideas on some of the Breakdowns before he looks at them. This isn’t too difficult, except on day two when I barely know who our clients are. Definitely brings me up to speed quickly. The reason I use 24 as an example though is because a Breakdown for 24 came across my desk the other day and provided a pretty big spoiler for next season. Most of you probably know that I basically consider myself an employee of CTU during the winter months, so this was both annoying and cool at the same time. (If anyone is interested in hearing what the spoiler is, let me know – it has also made some of the entertainment news mags, so it’s not that big of a secret anymore.)
Now I have realized that what was supposed to be an internship has basically turned into me being an agent’s assistant and a junior agent all in one. To help you understand, it really is like Entourage at the big 5 talent agencies. To be an agent, typically you start in the mailroom for about 9 months, then if you are lucky, you might be someone’s assistant (answer their phones, schedule their day, etc) for a couple of years, then if you are really lucky, you might become an agent and move up through the ranks. Yes, these are JD’s and MBA’s as well – all starting in the mailroom. At a small place like ours, that happens over the course of three days. I feel a little bit like Anne Hathaway asking how to spell Gabbana and like Lloyd with Ari screaming in my ear.
The Junior Agent title has come about because they asked me to attend a couple of talent showcases for them – and I can’t really go to these and tell everyone I am an intern or an assistant, so they said to use Junior Agent. I went to my first showcase on Friday night. Acting schools pay agents and managers to come over, eat some food, and then see short performances from their students. Their hope is that we will call their students and sign them as clients. The only instructions I got before going on Friday was to report back as to who was “the best.” As if I am some sort of acting expert. So I made some uneducated symbols next to the headshots of the kids that I thought did well. And I ate some pasta and was out of there by 9pm.
Another Entourage moment came two weeks ago, when I had to order Sprinkles cupcakes for a Happy Madison casting director. None of us had every heard of Sprinkles before, but that’s what this chick wanted, so that’s what I sent her. A box of a dozen from Beverly Hills costs $56 delivered. Two days later, I see Ari delivering Sprinkles cupcakes on Entourage.
So although my boss is a control freak, is insecure, has me help him write text messages to his dates, and tries desperately to pretend he is an Ari, the experience is pretty good. At least I have something else to do and have achieved my initial goal of interning at a management company, talent agency, and record label. Now I just have to work on deciding what I want to shoot for once I graduate.