Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Leading to a twinkling future

In the almost two years that I have started working professionally I have not had it easy. After my honours year (for various singular reasons) I couldn’t get an agent. When emailing and calling yielded no results I signed a yearlong contract with a casting agency in January last year. I figured that it was better than nothing at all, and any experience would be good. A casting agency is very different from an agent, and although they were good to me I can’t earn a living from the occasional briefs they sent me. What I needed was an agent. An in November last year, a friend I had met on set graciously gave me the number of a friend of hers who is also a booking agent for a really good agency in Johannesburg.  

So I phoned him, and sent him my CV. I received a reply via email that they were interested in signing me, but it was problematic as I was still bound in contract to the casting agency. I informed him that I would be able to terminate the contract in January without hassle. He then told me to contact him in January once I had done this, and we would then be able to talk about me joining their agency. Thank heavens for mothers who make her overeager daughters call the agency before I terminated my contract. Because when I did call in the beginning of January voice mail and automated replies informed me that my contact was out of the country and that I should contact him again in February. So when February rolled around I called again. I was assured the head of the agency would look at my CV the following day and a decision would be made. So I called again the next day, and was told that my CV was being looked over at the very moment. I received an email moments later. After I had been following exact instructions I received correspondence that ran somewhat to the tune of:

“Unfortunately after speaking to the head of the agency it was confirmed that the position he wanted to place me in was filled. It’s a pity that we cannot keep open slots for so long.”

About a month after this communication a good friend of mine signed with the same agency.

So I started the whole dry canvassing and emailing thing again looking for an agent. I have many friends at agents, who I’m sure wouldn’t mind speaking to their agents for me, but a part of me at that stage still felt that somebody with my qualifications should get an agent without needing to ask friends for help. A resolve which I regretted after email upon email told me that they weren’t taking on actresses in my ‘category’. And it started taking its toll.

 So I stuck it out, focussing on my Masters. And I did have an incredible year, full of opportunities. But opportunities which I had to get all on my own, especially as I only did one job in January via the casting agent. So when October rolled around, the time at which most agents start bringing in new talent as the universities and colleges start closing I friend I was working with at the time who knew about my ‘agent situation’ and offered to speak to his agent for me. I sent my CV along, but as I learned earlier this year I could not rely on any one agency. So with new photographs I started phoning again. One of the agents I phoned was Leads Artists Agency. I was transferred from the general line to one of the agents in the company. He asked me a few questions, gave me his personal email address and asked if I had any footage, or youtube links to my work. I sent the links, my CV and photo, but had learned better than to expect anything. So when my phone rang the next day I was caught completely off guard.

I was told that they liked my CV, and that he also liked the sound of my voice. We made a date for me to go and see them at their offices. We had what I felt like was a good session. And by the end of the session I was told that if I still wanted to sign with them I needed to let them know within 2 – 3 weeks. And then, if they were still interested in me we could talk.

About two and a half weeks after I spoke to my Mom on the phone on a Thursday saying that I would phone Leads that Monday say that I would like to sign with them. The next morning I received an email from Leads…

And now its website official. Just when I thought the year was nearing its end for me the New Year is twinkling with the lure of possibilities.  

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