Well, it’s my last week in LA, and it was quite a big one at that. I had four meetings lined up these last seven days, from one with a tiny commercial agency to one with a top ten theatrical agent.
I learned one more lesson about talent agencies: the higher the floor of the suite they’re on, the higher up the agency. Either that or they have to have their own building. It’s quite difficult to estimate the power and reputation of an agency with the thousands that are here sometimes, but the view from the office is a good indication. Up until last week the highest floor I had been on was the 19th, but this week I had a meeting on the 22nd floor. You do the math which meeting that was.
My expectation was that the small commercial agency would work out, since a) it’s a smaller agency and b) commercial agents are easier to get than theatrical agents. Of the top 10 theatrical meeting I expected to just plant a seed without even coming close to signing. It panned out quite differently…
After having had a relaxing time last week with a birthday, champagne from Francis Ford Coppola’s vinery and a Hollywood pool visit this week was gonna be pivotal. This week was supposed to be the week where everything would finally become clear.
Small Commercial Agent Meeting
I headed to the meeting with the small commercial agency on Tuesday, going by bus in the extreme LA summer heat. Once I got there, I was super early so waited outside for a bit, like any sun-appreciating Dutch person would. I was getting sweatier and smellier by the second but oh well…Years of living in a rainy climate taught me that if the sun is out, you must be in it.
Then 1PM came and I put on my happy face, my best American accent and stepped into the office. The agent wasn’t feeling it. He told me quite an elaborate story of how I was too different, too big (as in work I had done, not size…although I did eat a lot of Doritos lately) and a bunch of other things that I didn’t all fully comprehend. Bottom line: they saw some opportunity, but not a lot. Not enough to sign my visa, and that was exactly the thing I picked them out for.
I went home gloomy and deflated and bought one more bag of Doritos. I felt this was the last chance of getting my paperwork signed, and if not even a tiny commercial agency saw opportunity in me, then who in the world would? I set my self pity alarm for midnight, because I had to be cheery and energetic again for the big meeting the next day.
Top Ten Theatrical Agent Meeting
Wednesday started with my last class at The Groundlings, of which I have become such a fan that I go to at least one show a week. Improv is always a good way to make you happy again, so I was off to a good start. Then I was planning to take the bus to my big meeting first and then to a manager meeting all the way in the valley afterwards, but someone offered to be my chauffeur for the day. Another good thing to happen that day.
On 3:30PM I walked into the insanely stylish and impressive lobby of a big building on Wilshire Blvd. ready to go to -oh,yes- the 22nd floor. I spent about half an hour getting nervous/excited and reading Entertainment Weekly‘s, until I was called in. The first thing I noticed was the view, you could see the city and the mountains and the valley and it was stunning. The second thing was that the agent I was meeting looked different from what I expected and usually meet, much more kick-ass and tomboy.
As the meeting progressed I started thinking to myself “Oh my, this feels surprisingly right.” I had expected to be met mostly as a favor, and to be out of the office in ten minutes. That’s just how it often goes; a lot of agents don’t even view your reel before you come in. But this agent had not just viewed my reel, she had also checked my taped scene, and the meeting went on for about 35 minutes. It was just a really nice, casual conversation and I felt the agent really got me.
And then it ended. And for some reason no one ever says the exact words “yes, I’m interested” or “unfortunately we’re not going to be able to…” etc. at these meetings. Maybe people with superior social skills get it but I didn’t, so I just asked: “Do you like me?” Very professional I’m sure.
And the answer was yes! I would love to go on an OMGOMGOMGOMG rant now but we’re not there yet. Now I need to be run by the rest of the office, and it will take another week before I hear back from them. There’s also still the possibility that the manager I met with will sign my papers, but that too, is not yet decided. So as I fly back to Holland on Tuesday it’s all still up in the air…Get it? get it? ;P
But if top ten agency becomes a yes, I will live on a soft pink cloud with Fererro Rochers and non-fat Doritos and cheesecake cocktails for a few days. I will sing and dance through life and smile until it becomes annoying. I may have dreamt of finding someone to sign me and my papers, very rarely did I dream that it would be a top ten agency.
But I’m ready for it. And I feel like I’ve worked hard for it. So pray to your Gods and sacrifice your firstborns for me! Just keeping fingers and nose hairs crossed again is also acceptable. One more week!
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