It used to be easier. Well, comparatively speaking.
The pattern was to take some classes, put a demo together and send it off to agents. If they were interested, they’d call, you’d go in, read, they’d tell you how they work and a contract would arrive after that.
And, they were patient.
Sometimes, for years.
That is so not the case any longer. That level is not as accessible as it once was.
It’s less parental and more of a partnership.
And, there’s an interim step in between I call Traction.
Traction is where talent first set themselves up for work and go after whatever they can get, wherever they can and start building a portfolio.
With showcase work and some impressive clients under one’s belt, the chances of getting a major market manager and/or agent to then want to help rev up the engine of the career are greatly enhanced.
Yes, it’s frustrating and time consuming, and not the image of representation we grew up thinking it would be. But wanting it to be the way it was will only slow you down. So will entitlement.
No one is guaranteed this career and anyone who might have trivialized the rigor and mind-blowing odds was being self-serving and did everyone a huge dis-service. And yes, I have been a part of miracles based on dint of will, and have seen lightening strike, but they are rare exceptions.
It’s basically a slog. It takes time, energy, patience and a substantial investment to establish, grow and re-invent as time, technology and the culture change the manner in which we express ourselves.
But, in the last few years, the end game seems to have gotten a bit derailed. The desire and need to be seen as a player, has eclipsed the time, due diligence and seasoning one must have to actually be one and be ready to compete on that level, read after read after read.
Producers did not go to the meeting in your head. They went to the one where reads consistently sound and feel they way they are supposed to sound and feel with them saying and doing as little as possible to get you there.
They went to the one where the traction you’ve gained has gotten you to the place where they see you as a player. That’s the end game because that’s where the career lives and grows.