WHY YOU NEED AN AGENT PART 37 - Complications Ensue
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Friday, September 02, 2005

A friend of mine whose credits include one of the best and most successful shows in Canada is thinking about getting an agent. Up till now he hasn't had one because he was working with friends.

Actually, when you're working with friends you need an agent even more. You're not going to argue with your friends about money and credit, are you?

But your agent can. Your agent can say, "Look, Alex loves you so much he'd probably work for free if I let him. But I can't let him work for less than he's worth."

The mere fact of having an agent negotiate for you is almost always going to pay for itself. After all, your agent only needs to get you 10% more to justify her salary. And she's almost certainly going to manage that. But more than that, she's going to take on the roles you can't, being demanding where you wouldn't feel comfortable doing it, confrontational when you can't -- and tooting your horn where it would be offensive for you to do it.

Having an agent means you never have to be the bad guy. And that makes everyone more comfortable.

4 Comments:

Amen!

Looking into that right now...(because lately I've had to be the bad guy who stands up for himself, even though I'm working with friends...)

By Blogger Bill Cunningham, at 2:42 PM  

Interesting that you should bring up this topic now, Alex. I had brunch with one of CJ's stars yesterday and he was telling me about how easy-going he is about the business end of the acting profession. Even going so far as to negotiate down on the pay scale and *gasp!* offer to work for less than guild minimum on a few projects because he really doesn't care about money (having it, needing it, spending it). I think, if it wasn't for his agent, the producers of CJ would've gotten him for quite a bargain.

You gotta take as much as you can get because God knows it aint gonna last forever, and you can't take it with you to Heaven -- or hell, if you're a network exec. :)

By Blogger Kelly J. Compeau, at 11:36 PM  

Hmmm. If T wants to negotiate himself down, that's fine, but I don't like it when people take less than scale. That hurts other actors who producers then expect to do the same.

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 8:00 AM  

I think he was exaggerating/joking in an effort to get his point across about working to express himself in his art, rather than working for cash to pay the bills. I respect that, and I respect your opinion about not working for less than scale. It does make it hard for the rest of us, whether they're actors, writers or whatever.

By Blogger Kelly J. Compeau, at 12:14 PM  

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