This week has been the busiest week I’ve had in months. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, at all. I like to be extremely busy. Matter of fact, I go absolutely nuts when I don’t have anything to do…so nuts that I make work for myself…like WWDN, for example.
I had 2 really big auditions this week, and I major deadline at work. I talked with my boss, and she said that I still can’t talk about G4 at all…but I can say that I’m doing some really cool work there, that I’m already very proud of, and I can’t wait until you all can see it.
Many people have this complete misconception about actors. They think that actors just have their agents call someone up, and then that actor is magically placed into a role, or into a movie. The way things really do happen is quite different. It sort of breaks down like this: After a role is created, the writer, and producer usually sit down, and talk about “types”, like “we want a Paul Rubens type” or “we need a brooding, mysterious, handsome man for this role”. They then think of all their friends and relations who don’t come close to any of these “types”, and try to make that square peg fit a round hole. Then they hire a casting director, and the casting director goes through his or her list of actors who he or she likes to work with, and the casting director brings those people in for auditions.
Sometimes, managers and agents hear about roles, and they submit their clients to the casting director, but, more often then not, the casting director doesn’t want to hear from an agent or manager, because the casting director would like to work with the people they already know.
This trend can benefit actors, because there are lots of casting directors who have good relationships with agents, and they’ll call those agents up, asking for a type to fill a role, and the agent can then tell the CD that he has a client who fits the type, etcetera, etcetera. This works out great for relatively unknown actors, but if you’re sort of known, like I am, it can hurt me.
There’s also this thing about not being wrong. The entire entertainment industry is extremely insecure, because everyone knows that they’re playing to a very fickle public, who can be in love with someone one week, and hate them the next (see “Mariah Carey”). So casting people get it in their minds that they “know” a person, and they don’t like to be wrong about that. They’re not adverse to “discovering” someone, but they are (sadly, understandably) reluctant to take a chance on someone, because, more often than not, the casting person gets burned.
So this process goes on for a few weeks, and, ultimately, it’s weeded down to me and one other guy, and they hire Jimmy Kimmel’s cousin.
Here’s why I tell you all of this: I recently added management to my team. I was really reluctant to do this, because I’ve had managers before, and they’ve never really managed to make any major difference in my career, as far as getting auditions or work goes. Basically, I haven’t been able to find a manager who works as hard as I do for me, and who cares about my career as much as I do.
Until now, that is.
One brief thing about managers, that you have to know, so this makes sense: Managers really should be an extra set of hands for an actor. They should be able to make calls when the agent isn’t able to get to somone, or is being told “no” by a casting person.
I think I’m a pretty good actor, and I know that I’m very dedicated to my craft. But that’s really not enough these days. For example, it really helps to be related to Jimmy Kimmel, or have a nice rack. As I’ve said before, many months ago, there has been this misconception within Hollywood that I was still 14, or still on Star Trek, or whatever. Casting people knew me as a strong dramatic actor, but not as a comedic one. They knew me as a child, but not as an adult. Basically, they knew me as Wesley or Gordie, and that was it.
This is where a good manager comes in.
My agents, who are simply amazing, awesome, hard-working bad asses, have struggled mightily the last year or so to convince casting people that I wasn’t that kid anymore, and to just give me a chance to change their mind, and the casting people were always saying “no”. Until two weeks ago, that was the end of it…but this time, things were really different, thanks to my new additions to my team.
My agent submitted me for a role in a very big MOW, that will end up being what they call “an event”. That’s just slightly bigger than “a very special” episode, I’m told. The casting director calls back, gives my agent a few reasons why she won’t see me, and that’s that. But this time, my agent calls my manger, explains the situation, and my manager gets on the phone to the casting director, does his thing, and I have an audition three days later, because the casting director decided to trust my manager and take a chance on me.
I have a final producers and network call back on Thursday for this role. I think there’s 3, maybe 4 of us left, out of the entire entertainment industry, within our type, going on this call back. How cool is that?! I went from “no way” to producers and network call back. I’ve been doing the happy dance all week.
Then, this morning, I got a call from one of my managers (there’s 3 of them, and they all work together. I’m sure this is terribly interesting to everyone. But it’s my damn website, so get off my back.). She had called a very important casting director at a major studio, and talked him into seeing me. He had told my agent that I was a great dramatic actor, but that he didn’t know about me for comedy. So my manager talks to him, gets him to give me a chance to change his mind, and he relents. I go into the audition, and I did a really good job with the material. As a bonus, I really liked the guy, and he really liked me (we know some of the same comedy people, it turns out). My manger was calling me after she’d gotten off the phone with him, where he raved about me, about how funny and nice I was, and told her that he was bringing me back to producers for his show.
I think it’s just awesome that these casting directors gave me the chance to show them what I can do, and I’m so thrilled that I brought my “A” game, and didn’t let them down.
I’m really excited about all of this…I think my years of suffering as the constant runner-up are going to come to an end, and pay off, finally.
Besides, Kimmel can only have so many cousins, right?