Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Folly of Meet-the-Agent Events

Actors get so much advice from people in "the industry".  One of the standards is "Go to those meet-the-agent events, they're great for networking!"  These events for which agents and casting directors are paid to attend and for which actors are charged a fee, are big business in NYC.  In L.A., they're illegal, but folks get around that by presenting the events as "workshops".
It always smelled funny to me to pay someone for the honor of being in their presence and the actor testimonials were just never convincing.  There was just too little evidence of real partnerships building from these.  Still, we're encouraged to spend our cash in hopes that the magical moment will happen there for us.
I was considering coughing up another couple hundred bucks for one of these, when I read an article in Back Stage today that knocked the sense back into me.  Basically, Michael Kostroff, writer of the "Working Actor" column, suggests that paying money to meet people only makes you look pathetic.  Right on!  Finally, some common sense!
The best way to network (besides performing your ass off!) is to use connections you already have and/or socialize with the people you want to work with.  No pay to play!

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