I can't read people's mind. There are many reasons why people say yes to watching your reel and don't. Here are a few:
1. It's on their to-do list and they will get to it.
2. They had every intention to, but life and work got in the way.
2.5 you continued to follow up with them and as your attitude got more resentful, your follow up got more obnoxious (and they either felt too guilty to contact you or just thought you were a jerk)
3. You put them on the spot when you asked them to watch the reel in the first place, and like a girl who gives out a fake number, they said yes, to end the awkwardness.
4. They think your reel stinks and they don't know how to tell you so they're avoiding the situation.
5. They misplaced your reel and they don't want to admit it.
6. They thought your reel was so great they passed it onto their agent and they're waiting to find out if he's going to take you on as a client so they can share the good news with you...
I can make up stories all day. It's probably what you've been doing. I noticed two stories in your rant. The bottom line is, you, me, and everyone we know, will NEVER know the actual reason.
All you can do is go back over the conversation of when you gave the reel to them in the first place. Were you professional? Were you in rapport? Did their physiology and tonality align with their "yes?" Did you ask them to watch it by a specific time and tell them that you'd follow-up accordingly?
If you feel good about how you handled the situation, then let it go. I have a pile of DVDs of people's documentaries, short films, feature films, and pilots, that they gave me, and I had every intention of watching them. The people range from ones I've met once at a speaking engagement to clients I've had for years. I still want to watch them. If I were living in a movie, it would be Duplicity, and one of my "selves" would watch them, while another self was blogging right now and working 16 hour days, and another self was on a romantic getaway in Hawaii, and another self was back in NY visiting my family and friends.
Unfortunately, there's just one me. And yes, I'd feel awful if someone was ranting about me for not watching something they gave me, the way you were ranting about "some people not watching your reel." But as awful as I'd feel, I can only do so much. I am doing the best I can with what I have. I'd like to think that everyone out there is doing the same. It sure beats some of the stories I made up in this blog.
For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit, www.TheGreenlightCoachBlog.com