Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 1218: what do I do when a stranger in my FB friends asks me about help with representation?

This happens a lot. A person whom you don't know either from Facebook (or other social media), someone from your union or acting class, or someone who you do know but don't know his/her work, asks you to connect him/her with an agent.

Now the person who asked this particular question, is referring to an actress who is a FB friend and a complete stranger. So consider this:

There is a difference between recommending, referring, and passing something of interest to you along.

Therefore, here are some options:

1. When you are recommending you are putting your name on the line basically telling the agent that you believe in this person. You can't do that with a stranger.

2. Referring someone is less of a trust issue and more of a relationship situation. You're saying to the agent that you can't speak for the person's work, but as for being a "person" you think very highly of them.

3. Passing along something of interest to you, is seeing a headshot (that you know truly looks like the person) that makes you say, "Wow!" You can pass that along to an agent friend, being clear that you don't personally know the person, but thought it was a great headshot. If the agent agrees, perhaps something will come of it.

4. Do nothing. This is a cold call and poor work practice. Why should you put your reputation on the line?

#4 Ouch! I'm mean! But, in my defense I'm not trying to be mean. I'm trying to demonstrate to readers that this is most likely what's going on in the peoples' heads to whom they're sending cold emails. This way, if they get no responses they'll know why. And if they get 1 or more responses they can feel especially psyched, because clearly something made people go out on a limb for them.

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