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Laurieby Karen Michel Pavlick

My child is stuck in the body of an actor!

Thank you so much for all of your heartfelt questions and stories.

YOU inspired me to open a Facebook page in order to get to your questions sooner! Go to QUESTIONS & ACTORS and if you like what you see, click LIKE IT and then start posting questions and stories. I encourage parents and actors to start interacting with one another as well. We all have experiences and the more we share with one another the more we help one another!

I want to start with some questions I received regarding agents and managers.

QUESTIONS: A producer approached my son and said he had the perfect look. I found out she was legit, sent in my son’s headshot and resume and never heard back. Can you get a job this way? And would it have helped to have an agent, which I have no idea how to get?

ACTORS: It is always best to have an agent who is registered with The Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) and you do not need to be with the Screen Actors Guild to have a SAG agent. You can find SAG agents in your town by calling your nearest SAG office or visiting their website. Samuel French bookstore carries an “Agent” book with current information about agents and the “types” that are being considered. The best way to get an agent is through a referral.

Having said that, I can say most positively that the reason your son was not called in had nothing to do with not having an agent. When a producer likes you, they will find you and fight for you! However, I have been involved with a number of similar situations where the project was either cancelled or the producers decided to go in a different direction or the role I was going “in for” was “written out.” This is one of the benefits of having an agent; they will inform you which eliminates the “guessing game.”

I found out I didn’t get a role because I looked too much like the director’s ex-girlfriend!

Your son could have blue eyes and blond hair and the producer had to go brunette and brown eyes to match the mom’s. There are a number of reasons and so many of them have nothing to do with one’s acting abilities!

My best advice is to NEVER TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY. First and foremost, this is a business and the more aware you become, the less it becomes about you.

New York Casting Director, Stephen DeAngelis, says it best, “There is nothing wrong with a smart actor; there is nothing better than a smart actor.”

How do you become a smart actor?

Keep asking questions!

QUESTIONS: My daughter’s manager can be cold, rude, disrespectful and intimidating. How do I know if my daughter’s lack of auditions is due to her performances or representation? My friends believe if I leave this supposedly “big” name manager, my daughter may never work again?

ACTORS: I love this question simply because one of the biggest misconception actors have is that an agent or manager hires you.NO!YOU hire them! You choose an agent or manager because you feel they are going to represent you in the best light.

I did a print job for Bank of America and was excited to see the big poster hanging in all the offices. When I ask my agent why I had not been paid, they denied they ever got paid. I ended up calling the photographer that hired me and was informed a check was sent to my agent weeks ago. When I confronted my agent they started yelling at me, calling me names and said they would ruin my career. This was the “biggest” agent in town and sure enough they did call a  “big” casting director whom I actually worked for at the time. However, I knew if I stayed true to myself this would all pass. A few months later this “big” agent went out of business for embezzling money from their actors! There was a lawsuit and I received a small portion back.

Soon thereafter, a powerful, respected woman sought me out for representation and I worked more than I ever had!

When choosing a manager you are looking to go into a partnership and if the manager chooses to go into battle with you instead of for you, then it’s time to jump ship!

In life in general, I want to be around positive, supportive people who inspire me to be my best and it is no different in business. Communication is key. If we are not getting auditions, we need to know why. And if we are intimated to ask our manager, then years go by with no work. This is a no win situation.

I stayed with my agents for years longer than I should have because I liked them so much, but liking them wasn’t paying the bills!

If you don’t stand up for yourself, no one else will.

And I learned this from a seventy year-old woman who was playing my grandma in an American Airlines commercial. We were standing outside this beautiful Victorian home on a hot summer day in Northern California “waiting” which is often how you spend your time, to be called to set. This lovely lady was looking for a chair and found none in site and said, “ I am going to go ask for chairs.” My first response was in fear, “Do you think we should ask for chairs when they are so busy, maybe that will give them reason not to hire us again?” She sweetly smiled at this naïve twenty something year old and simply said, “First, it’s a SAG rule that they have to provide chairs for the talent and secondly, they will respect you more for asking.” Not only did I learn another SAG rule, but also, more importantly, this sweet lady’s voice continually reminds me, “They will respect you more for asking.” She asked for chairs in faith and graciously received them!

Knowing the business takes away fear and empowers.

When we hand our power over, we become powerless.

In order to receive respect, we first must give it.

Those that “act” bigger than they are usually have less to offer.


Go to my facebook page, Questions & Actors, click LIKE and start communicating with fellow actors and parents!