Your Agent Just Isn't That Into YouComplications Ensue
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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Q. Right before Thanksgiving, AGENT sent out my feature comedy to about 10 companies. After Thanksgiving, he called me about something else, and while I was on the phone with him, said:

AGENT: And you know that EXECUTIVE at WELL-KNOWN COMPANY wants to meet with you, right?
ME: No.
AGENT: I sent you an email about it. Didn't I?
ME: Let me check ... No.

He then said that EXECUTIVE wanted to meet with me, but not until January, as the holidays were nearly upon us.

In January, I left a message on AGENT's office machine to ask, "Wasn't I supposed to be having a meeting with EXECUTIVE this month?" Three weeks later, he hasn't called back.

1. Is this normal AGENT behavior? Wouldn't it would be in HIS best interest to at least make a call to EXECUTIVE and get me into her office?

2. You say don't nag, so I have not called him again about this; I'm just writing another spec so I have some good news to tell him soon (i.e., "I have a spec for you to read!"). But should I maybe call him again, this time perhaps on his cell? Did this just slip under his radar because I'm not a huge priority, indicating that a reminder is in order?

3. Is it appropriate to call EXECUTIVE and say: "I'm the writer of COMEDY SPEC YOU READ. I heard you wanted to meet"
When I say "don't nag," I don't mean "don't call more than once." I think you can legitimately call once a week, and maybe send an email too if your calls aren't being returned.

But it sounds to me like your agent may have lost his enthusiasm for you. Remember, the value of an agent is "enthusiasm x enthusiasm x clout," so when the enthusiasm is gone, an agent is just short of worthless.

("Just short of" because it's always better to have an agent than not to. You can still use the agent's assistant to send scripts to people you've had meetings with, and you have someone to negotiate deals you've got on your own.)

Time to start looking for a new agent. My feeling is not to tell your old agent -- that will reduce his enthusiasm to zero -- but start finding someone who cares. At the same time, put a couple more phone calls into your agent to see if he's really fallen out of love with you, or if you just slipped through the cracks.

I think you can probably call the exec. You can truthfully say to the exec's assistant that "my agent said she wanted to talk to me after January, here I am." It's stepping on your agent's toes a bit, but it doesn't sound like he's paying attention, does it?

It always sucks when your agent falls out of love with you. And they almost never tell you, they just stop returning your calls. I think I've been fired as a client only once, by my first agents. I fired all the others.

You may not be able to get a new agent in time for staffing season, which is already on the horizon. Fortunately you are already pursuing plan B, which is write a kickass new spec that will make your agent love you all over again.

Always work your career. That gives you good, fresh reasons to call. Arrange your own meetings, and get your agent to follow up with materials. Your job is to help your agent sell you.



That's more or less what I expected to hear; so, thanks!

By Blogger glassblowerscat, at 11:43 AM  

Well, in addition to my Master of Fine Arts, I am also a Master of the Obvious.

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 12:12 PM  

Hey retards! There was no email there was no meeting the exec doesn't want to meet with you! Your agent is jerking you around!

By Blogger Chris, at 6:35 PM  

UPDATE: I did call my agent back. When I asked him about the meeting, he said, "Thank you for reminding me."

Interpret how you will.

By Blogger glassblowerscat, at 11:14 PM  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:24 PM  

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