Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Models and Actors advice to further your career from Craze Agency

When we get complaints from hiring clients or if a talent does not perform well it's usually because they have not practiced or read this information.
1-Please do not go out or submit for on an audition unless we have approved your headshot, portfolio and resume that you will be using.

2-Before going to a job or audition please make 100% sure you know the address and directions. If at all possible go the day before or very early. You cannot be late or panicky. We often get calls when we are not open or last minute calls of talent forgetting the address or lost and usually it is too late to help! First impressions are so very important in this industry.

3-When you are auditioning in front of a camera and are asked to slate , wait for them to say slate or action or camera rolling then look directly into the camera and say “Hello my name is (first and last name) ____________________.
(Please do not rush it, sound confidant and give them a sincere smile). If you would like to (but not mandatory) you can also say I am represented by the Craze Agency and I am auditioning for the role of (example) Mary. If you are under 18 say your age.
(If they ask you any questions on camera just listen to them and answer them confidently). After you have slated you then read your scene to the reader NOT THE CAMERA! (If you are not 100% sure of yourself please attend a class the next time Craze President Troy Lee is offering them, I guarantee you it will help immensely).
4- When you are booked for any job, write down the director, producer, casting director, TV Network etc. You need this information for your resume. Talent will often call Craze a few months after the project and seek the info. It is hard for us to remember every detail because we literally book thousands of different jobs. Remember name of the part or character you played. (If it was extra work you must put that in a separate Extra category not acting). Always update your resume the day you do the project and get us copies. You would not believe the amount of work people lose out on because their resumes are not updated or we do not have any and they are not updated on our database.

This also applies to getting copies or tearsheets from clients for your own personal portfolio. Again talent will often call Craze a few months after the project asking for a copy. Often times clients will move on to their next project as well as Craze. We are constantly working to get you new and exciting opportunities.

5- To insure payment when you are booked on jobs that are SAG film projects, please remember to bring appropriate ID and fill out all forms legibly and correctly. Keep a copy. Also keep track of the dates you work the name of the client and what the job was just in case.
If it is not a SAG project Craze agency will generally bill the client and we will contact you when they have paid.

6- Keep your look close to the agency approved photos we use to promote you or you must update the photos. Clients really get upset when you do not match your photo or if we send you out to meet them and you have gained or lost weight, have longer hair or a different color of hair, etc. We could lose that client permanently. The reason you have photos is so they know exactly what you look like. This is why we refer you to photographers that understand this. Don't think you can just get by, because a legitimate agency cannot promote you without the correct photos. Also do not use a different photo than we suggest because you like it better. We know what is appropriate for you, this is our job. Some actors have seen other actors with different agencies use photocopies or poor quality headshots and say to us “they were able to get the audition with a photocopy so why is it a big deal”. The reason it is a big deal is because chances are that photo will go directly into the client’s garbage can and that person will be thought of as an amateur. Also, that talent and or agency does not realize they have probably missed out on numerous auditions because in this business first impression is everything!

7- Never ever say a negative word among fellow actors or models or clients! Even about other agencies. It never helps you or us in the long run! Let's all take the high road even though many people and agencies don't. It is better to not say anything unless it is positive. It always catches up with people. Sometimes it really is irritating to hear others bad mouth or say unsubstantiated comments about you, the clients or us, but those people usually burn enough bridges over time and end up out of the industry.

8- A successful Modeling and Acting career is like any other career, it takes time, persistence, dedication, knowledge, skill and patience! We work with almost every major client in our region. We do everything in our power to represent each and every one of you effectively. Sometimes there are not any opportunities that your look and skill level match, other times you will be too busy to do everything offered. Try to be well rounded, you will receive many more bookings. We do everything in our power to get you booked.

9- Many National Clients will take their sweet time to pay you and us, even when we bill them with a 30-60 day voucher. We hate it as bad as you do (we all have bills to pay). We will do everything in our power to collect but it has always been that way and will probably never change with the some of the big national companies and even some local companies. They know they get a lot of people work so if you harass them too much the client will just use someone else next time. Many times the specific client that pays you the talent, has to first bill one or two other clients for them to get paid, and many times each of those clients are on a 30-day voucher. Unfortunately it is the agency and talent that are paid last. It has always been that way. Trust us; you will be paid as soon as possible!!! If you cannot work under their system do not accept the job. Usually the Major Films do not take more than 30 days. Talent that threatens us will not be sent out again, because it is out of our control. Please remember we are not the ones paying you to do the job. We do promise to do everything we can to help; we all want to get paid for our efforts.

10- Do not accept an audition unless you are 100% sure you can make it and be on time. Usually we are limited in the time slots we have and we do not have time to replace you. We also give the casting director a list the night before. It is too hard the next day of the audition for us to schedule someone else with them. They just figure you are unreliable. We always hear back from them! If you do not show up on time to auditions we cannot represent you.

11- When we post castings with age ranges for example 19-24 years old that usually means the client wants a 22 year old. Only respond if you fit the profile closely. Do not respond with things like I am 29 or 16 but I look much younger or older. Sometimes we get talent that say things like I have been told I can play much younger or older. Sometimes this is may be true but trust our judgment, we know what you can play, we would be crazy not to send you if you fit the description and the client would allow us to do so. Some jobs have an 18 and up age category if it says that do not respond if you are less than 18 years of age. They will not hire you.

12-Remember if you are difficult or bothersome for us to work with we will definitely not send you to meet our clients. All it takes is one bad experience and we can lose a valuable client we have worked years to land.

13- No matter how you feel inside at the time of an audition, you must portray self-confidence when you are interviewed. Clients never hire people who let them know they are new at this or who are not a polished finished product. You just cannot have excuses if you expect to be successful at this.

14- Do not show it or be shocked if the audition is not what you visualized. It usually isn’t the way you think it is going to be. There is not one set way every client auditions! A pro expects it to always be different and is ready to make quick on the spot adjustments. The pro does not mind if it is a tough audition because they know the amateur will let it affect them. Half of success in this business is being very adaptable on the fly. That is why it often takes continual training and experience to book the larger higher paying projects. The more prepared you are the less likely things will throw you off.

15- Just have fun with this business. Clients love to be around smiling, funny, happy people. Many actors, models get too serious when they audition because they feel the pressure. It then shows up to the clients. You need to make the clients feel comfortable with you. Enjoy the journey; often it’s better than the final result!

16- If a client contacts you personally, asks you your rate or would like to book you say, “Call my agent at the Craze Agency”, or let Craze know and we will contact them and work out the deal.
That is our job and we will make sure to get documents signed if needed and get you the best rate possible for that type of project. We know what you are worth in the market! Usually the clients that do not want to initially go through agents or behind our backs will either never pay or low ball you or work in an unprofessional manner. Plus you are responsible to let the agency know about these projects anyway. If we hear about it though the grapevine we will stop prompting you. We are here to be your Acting, Modeling and Extra agent and will take care of you!

17-Try to read your Craze casting site at least twice a day if not more!!!!
Many projects are last minute or only a day's notice. Some are on a first come first serve basis. Become very familiar with computers almost everyone in our industry is going that way. Read the casting call carefully, we receive tons of calls and emails asking questions that are answered on the casting call. We let you know as much info. As we have on each call. Sometimes we receive emails from talent like this. "I have been receiving tons of castings but recently have not received any I fit, please find me work! This will not help us help you! We cannot create new jobs out of thin air. We are relentless in our pursuit of work because we want to make money too!! If we have not talked to you or emailed you anything that you fit be patient or occasionally remind us that you are willing and available. Also please only ask questions that are absolutely important. We receive 100’s of emails and want to spend our time finding and negotiating you work! Use common sense. Occasionally we get the comment that talent only wants us to send them audition notices that they fit. There are many reasons why we cannot do this (trust us; it is not feasible with our time constraints).
Just delete them.

18-When we give you advice it is based on our wisdom from well over 25 years of 9-10 hours per day working with tens of thousands of good and bad hiring clients and talents. We thoroughly understand what is needed for the local, national and international markets and your specific talents in those markets and the budgets that you and the clients have and the ability to maximize all of these things. For some reason some talent think they know more than we do and always do it the hard way. Or they will take the advice from a couple of people who work in only one of the 100's of areas we promote in. It never works and we both then become frustrated! Yes you should use your best-educated judgment in the final analysis but trust our expertise. I would never tell a doctor how to treat and diagnose me, or an airline pilot how to fly the plane. Let us do our job; it will pay off for you in the future!

19- We have your best interest in mind and appreciate your hard work, loyalty and referrals. We are going to continue to grow and are always trying our best to improve and serve you better. We believe we have the most efficient and organized system out there, and will continue to work hard to assist you. Sometimes we know some talent would like us to spend more time visiting or talking with them on the phone etc., we want to spend our time finding you jobs and then assisting and negotiating them successfully. We want a long lasting, positive relationship and hope for nothing but the best for you! We really appreciate the opportunity to represent you and take the job seriously.

Troy Lee
CEO Craze Agency