A student of the A2O program recently asked a question about an upcoming agent meeting that went something like this:
“My actor friend set me up with a meeting at her agency. I get the feeling that they’re only meeting with me as a favor. How do I get them to see how great I am and make them want to work with me?”
Has this happened to you?
Have you ever had an upcoming meeting, audition or opportunity that you wanted to create a specific result?
When you become attached to the outcome, it’s stressful. Your body tightens, your breath becomes shallow, and you start to cling on for dear life.
It’s not a good feeling.
Attempting to exert control over another, or impose your desire onto the circumstances doesn’t work. It can’t work.
If it were a viable solution, we’d all have everything we want all the time.
So the ultimate answer to the question is you can’t get someone to see how great you are. You can’t make them want to work with you.
Just as you can’t force someone to be attracted to you, want to date or fall in love with you.
What you can do is shift your thinking about the process.
When you approach a situation with trying to get something – get them to like you, get them to sign you, you automatically set up a dynamic of taking. Where “they” have what you want, and your energy tries to take or get it. It also assumes that you are “less than” or lacking.
They have it, you don’t.
Ever had an interaction where someone just wanted to get something from you? It’s an energy that repels. The guard goes up. The harder they try to get, the more you shut down.
On the other hand, when you interact with someone who is giving value, it is disarming. The energy shifts to welcoming, open, and wanting to give back in return.
What if you show up to your meeting, audition, or other opportunity with the energy of giving?
The energy of giving owns the fact that you have something to give. Whether it be your talent, your experience, your presence, or your time.
You can’t control the outcome of…well anything, frankly. But you can control your behavior, thoughts, and actions.
Here are some ways you can shift your energetic approach toward opportunities from trying to get to trying to give.
Sit down and really think about your ideal agent relationship (or whatever type of relationship is relevant for you).
How do you want to feel when you talk with them? How responsive are they to your calls, emails, ideas and concerns?
When you know what you’re looking for, it’s easy to know when you’ve found it (and when you haven’t).
It can be hard to see your own value. You are used to your own experience and accomplishments, and we often look at our lives from the perspective of what we haven’t yet done.
But you’ve done a lot. You’ve accomplished great things and you have an enormous amount of value.
Make a list of the accomplishments you’re most proud of. Not just acting-related. Then translate them into value that does relate to acting.
Accomplishment: I ran my first full marathon.
Your value: I have incredible discipline, focus and stamina. I can handle long days on set.
What about your values? Do you value honesty, integrity and punctuality? Do you value creative innovation? What about kindness and common courtesy?
Is it all about the money for you, or do you need something more?
It’s important to be clear about your values so you can seek out others who feel the same way. Who wants to work with someone who doesn’t share the same, or worse, have any values?
Be a peer
When you are clear on your value, it’s much easier to behave like a peer (rather than a “please like me” “please validate me” type).
When you bring peer-to-peer energy to your meeting, you don’t get stressed out by forcing a result. Peers have mutual respect for each other that doesn’t depend on the outcome of the meeting. Peers can be honest and direct with each other without the fear of losing the relationship.
You’re interviewing them too
Just because someone as an agent, doesn’t mean they are the right agent for you. Don’t get so attached to the idea of “getting an agent” that you overlook your needs as a client.
When you take a meeting, make sure you ask the right questions to figure out if this is a good match for you and your goals.
Are you comfortable talking to this person? Are they on the same page about your career goals and castability the same as you? Do they listen to you with presence and attention?
Do they seem to share the same professional values as you do?
Remember, you can never force an outcome. But you can approach your opportunities from a perspective that brings out your best.
Your job is not to get the result. It’s to bring the best of who you are and what you have to give to the table.
The rest is out of your hands.
Trust that the best of you will attract the people you are meant to be working with. If what you’re about and what you have to give doesn’t resonate with someone, it’s just a built in filter to keep the wrong people out of your life.
Leave a comment.
How do you bring your best self to an opportunity without getting attached to the results?