I don’t know if many of you know this, but I owned and operated Gold-Levin Talent for nine years. During that time, not only did I learn the business from a personal management perspective, but it also gave me a sense about artists and their understanding of the business. One of my biggest pet peeves was an artist’s feeling of entitlement.
“Entitlement” is “the fact of having a right to something.” Given the perimeters of our business, it is true that your representation works for you, but the truth is, what are you doing to contribute to the success of the whole? For some reason, artists often believe that they deserve success just based on the principle that they are talented.
Just to remind you, representatives work for free until you work. So, therefore, they are not being paid for any of the work that they do to help you get work. With that said, I have been blown away when an artist feels that he or she is deserving and demand that they have these great opportunities without any contribution to the partnership. I sit down with actors on a daily basis and listen to their woes about their place in the world and how no one is helping them get opportunities to succeed. What they all have in common is their lack of understanding the business from a management/agent perspective.
Too many of us are always looking at the rep with anger, disappointment, and frustration saying that they aren’t doing their job. What about you? Are you doing your job to contribute to the success of the whole? Are you providing all the tools necessary towards the success of the partnership? Or are you just complaining about what you are not getting?
I have been an actors advocate all my life. I can honestly say that I understand. But, there is no justifiable argument when you are not bringing your A-game to the party. The energy that you use to feel your frustration needs to be funneled into getting your half of the partnership together. If you don’t have the necessary tools and are not doing your own work necessary to make connections on your own, how strong is your argument, really? Are you being reasonable in your demands? You need to be more conscious of what you’re contributing, not what you’re getting. Ask yourself, “What can I do to make this work?” And when you have done your part and the team knows what is to be expected and it still doesn’t work out, then maybe it’s not a good fit.
If you’re one of those people without a team, you might want to ask yourself, are you beating to your own drum all by yourself? Do you have your own preconceived ideas about how things should work in this industry without the proper guidance or understanding? Do you believe that just because you’re talented that you should make it?
If anything that I have written in this article sounds like you, then you need to realign yourself and figure out what you can contribute in order to create a successful team all working together for the greater good. You are not entitled to success. You are however, deserving of a great team when you have done the work. It is with that team, you will become a success.