How To Break Up With Your Agent

Hello artists!

I wanted to write about this because a colleague of mine recently asked me how to break up with an agent. There was another person present in the room and they jumped in and offered a viewpoint. Their viewpoint was negative (“Fuck them.” “Fuck the agent.” “They drop clients all the time without letting them know, so why should you let them know you’re dropping them?” etc.)

After this person shared their viewpoint, I offered mine. For me personally, I don’t like to burn bridges. I don’t want to establish a reputation in this town for being unprofessional and for having a bad, negative attitude. This is a small town and word travels quickly.

If I want to end my business relationship with an agent or manager, I write an email that has a sense of ethics and principles behind it. I don’t blame. It’s not filled with anger. I don’t point the finger at whatever upsets I have with them. It’s a respectful letter to end the business relationship, and at the end of the day, I sleep better at night because I ended it cleanly.

The problem is that most actors complain about their agents, but what are YOU doing to strengthen the relationship? Are you providing them with clear casting? New headshots that reflect that clear casting? Are you providing them with new demo reel material? Are you in training in acting classes? Are you utilizing social media and your relationship map to build relationships with people in the industry? Many actors don’t do shit, but then want to blame their agent for not getting them out. So before you break up with your agent cause “they’re not working for me” or “my agent doesn’t get me out”, take a good look at your part in this relationship because it takes two to tango…unless you’re into threesomes and orgies.

Many actors are ENTITLED and/or DILETTANTE. They don’t want to do any of the work, but still expect to receive all of the benefits, accolades, job bookings, etc. Fuck that. It doesn’t work like that.

So with that being said, here is an example of a letter I sent to an agent a few years ago. I left this agency because the agent was hostile. However, I still kept my letter clean.

Dear so and so,

Hope you and your colleagues are having a great week. It’s been a little over a year since we started our journey together. I want to thank you for all the work you and your colleagues have done for me from submissions to making my acting profiles more specific.

I’m writing because I’ve been assessing my statistics and journey as an artist, and after much thought and consideration, I am officially giving my official resignation to your agency. As of today, I would like to officially step down from your client roster. It’s a decision I feel is best for me at this time.

Again, thank you for everything and I wish you, your colleagues and your clients much success and artistic fulfillment. I will do my part and remove your agency from all my acting profiles as soon as possible.

Please let me know you received this.

Take care and thank you again.

Best,

Jorge Ortiz

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Another Day, Another Pilot Written

Hello Artists!

I just finished writing a new half hour pilot! I shared it in my Professional Development Program 3.0 class at the Richard Lawson Studios to hear it out loud and get feedback on the characters and the storyline. I’m excited for this new series!

And to reiterate the point of my blog, Chasing The George, it’s to include people on the journey I’m on to carve out the career that I want (and to provide industry advice along the way)

So here’s a few of the things I have planned to Chase The Ambulance, to Chase The George, with urgency and intention:

**Write the second episode (Which I started doing on March 2nd!)

**Write the third episode

**Carve out an 8-episode bible for season one

**Submit the pilot episode to writing competitions to use as leverage and attention

**Secure a new literary agent

And there’s more administration planned around my new series. And remember that all of my career administration is directly pulled from my Declaration of Independence (aka business plan)

With all of the streaming platforms that are currently out there and that are coming out in the near future, I will get a development deal.

Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Apple, HBO, etc…………………

Part 2: Are You A Pain In The Ass?

Hello my fabulous artists! My last blog entry, “Are You A Pain In The Ass?”, was quick and to the point. Here is the link to that entry: https://wp.me/p8uI5M-Fq

And a few people reached out to me to expand on what I meant by being a pain in the ass. So, here is a short list that reflects sentiments collected from casting directors, producers, teachers, stage managers and assistant directors. This list is not exhaustive. I’m sure there are more.

Below are things that will make people not want to work with you:

**You have a bad attitude (So you’re not directable or teachable and then some)

**You know everything already (So you’re not directable or teachable and then some)

**You are non-compliant with assignments or with direction that is given to you (So you’re not directable or teachable and then some)

**You have a bad attitude (So you’re not directable or teachable and then some)

**You arrive late to a meeting, to an audition, to class, etc. and don’t communicate about it

**You talk down to people because of their gender, their ethnicity, their “lack” of credits, their “lack” of experience

**You complain and complain and complain, yet come up with no solution to be at cause

**You have a bad attitude (So you’re not directable or teachable and then some)

**You make other people’s job exponentially harder

**You are entitled and feel that everything should be handed to you

Get the picture?

I share this because I want artists to WIN. Artists are powerful. We have the ability to create change faster than any other profession. We have a responsibility to our calling as artists. Don’t treat this responsibility lightly.

So please: DON’T BE A PAIN IN THE ASS! It will cost you in the industry!

Is This Thing On??????

And we’re back!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Here’s to a great 2019!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Let’s get right to it, shall we?

I was at a commercial audition recently and we were all put together into groups of four. And as you may or may not know, first impressions are everything when you walk into an audition room. Hell, first impressions are everything when you walk into ANY room (the bank, the grocery store, etc.) How you walk into a room is everything.

In the case of audition rooms, the casting directors immediately get a sense of who you are as a PERSON when you walk in. Is this person’s attitude light and fun? Or is their attitude dark and hostile? Is this someone I want to hire and work with on set? Your life force coming into a room is vital because the people in the room either like you immediately or they don’t. I have been a reader for casting directors. I have cast my own projects. I know the power of life force. You know immediately if you like someone or not just by them walking into the room. It’s ENERGY.

So, I say all of this because whenever I walk into an audition room, I am coming in with life force and I maintain that life force throughout the entire audition. I walk in with certainty. I am interested in the people in the room. I am present. I am aware that there is a camera in the room and that it may already be on. That camera may already be live and streaming into the office next door or into the office in another city. They already may be watching you. Or, the camera may be off and then it comes on right before they ask you to slate.

So, my point is that we need to be aware of our life force in the room. We can’t turn it off or forget about it at any point in the audition room. If we let go of our life force and become dead in the room and that camera is already on and streaming, what impression are we giving to the people watching us? Similarly, if we let go of our life force and become dead in the room and the camera isn’t on, then do we ramp up our life force and get ready again when they ask us to slate? Come into the room with life force and maintain it. In this way, it’s always there. It’s always present. You don’t have to get ready to stay ready. You don’t have to keep ramping up your life force on and off. On and off. On and off. Am I making any freaking sense?

Maintaining your life force during the whole audition is an energy that is palpable and exciting.

So, my group goes into the audition room and my life force is on. I’m interested and engaged in a real way with the session runner in the room. My group stands in a line and I immediately noticed that the other three had no life force. They were not engaged or present. They were just standing there. And the camera is pointing right at us. Again, is it already on? Is this thing on???????????????????

The session runner asked us to slate one at a time to the camera. I went first and I delivered a great slate. I was already living in my life force and so my slate was a natural extension and continuation of it. I didn’t have to ramp up. I didn’t have to get ready to do my slate. I was already in my life force and my slate was the extension and continuation of it. Stay in it. Maintain your life force. I watched the other three actors slate and they all did the same thing: They came to life when they slated and then went lifeless after they slated. It was so interesting and fascinating to watch. They turned on like a lightbulb when they slated and then they turned off after they slated. Not one maintained their life force.

And now by this point, we all know the camera is DEFINITELY on and recording. Don’t assume that just because you’ve slated that you can now go back to your inactive state. Don’t assume that the camera has moved over completely to the next person. Don’t assume that the camera hasn’t pulled out into a wide shot after the slates to get a full shot of the group. Imagine that: The camera is in a wide shot recording all of us and you look out of it. Or you look lifeless. Or you look like you have an attitude. Or you look like you don’t want to be there. I’m looking over at them like: “This is supposed to be fun!!!!!!! This is not a funeral!!!!!!!”

Again, life force. And I don’t mean you do cartwheels in the room and run for mayor hoping to be liked. I’m not talking about phony presentation and over-the-top theatrics. Because that energy also reads negatively in the room. That is also off-putting. Life force is connected to your purpose. Your sense of self. Your certainty. When you walk in, does the room light up? Do you make the room better? When I teach the Professional Development Program class at the Richard Lawson Studios, I ask the students after they watch their auditions: “Would you hire you?”

Back to my audition. So after we all slated, the session runner asked us to share a story about who inspires us. Again, I went first and delivered my story. I was a person in a place sharing a story. When I was done, I maintained my life force and listened with interest to each actor who went after me. I was engaged and present. However, each actor did the same thing again: They came to life when they told their story and they went lifeless after their story. Not one actor listened to the other actors’ stories. They just stared off into space like, “Is this over yet?” Again, like they didn’t want to be there. Like this wasn’t fun and exciting. JESUS MOTHERFUCKER!

When you go to an audition, maintain your life force from start to finish because that camera may already be on, you don’t know who else is watching you from another room and you also don’t want to rev up, amp up, re-ignite, turn on and off your life force. It’s like turning a car on and off. On and off. On and off. Turn that sucka on and let that engine purr from start to finish.

Happy 2019!

Your Mother-Effing Wins!

As 2018 comes to a close, I hope all of you have a chance to reflect on the numerous wins you’ve had this year. A win is anything that is an accomplishment. Something that moved your life or career forward in some way, no matter how big or small.

This being my last blog entry of 2018, I want to continue the tradition of letting the last entry be a listing and celebration of some of the wins I’ve had this past year.

Arrogant (definition means “claiming for oneself” and “pride”) So have some arrogance as you generate your list of 2018 wins. You’ll be shocked at how many wins you DO have!

Below is my list. Check it out. Let it inspire you to remember your own wins. Let it inspire you to see the different types of wins that exist.

See you in 2019!

A sample of my 2018 wins:

January 1st: Made it to another year

January 13th: Celebrated another birthday

January 20th: Drove down to Tijuana to do research on a scene I was doing from Weeds

January 21st: Attended the SAG Awards screening at the Alex Theater

February 1st: Put up a scene from Weeds

February 9th-12th: Went to San Diego for a mini-trip

February 15th: Put up a scene from Best In Show. Richard Lawson opened up my work to the class

February 17th: Acted in a table read for the feature film, Support

March 3rd: Met with the playwright, the director and the executive producer of the play, The Blade Of Jealousy, because they were interested in casting me in one of the leading roles

March 4th: Attended Oscars viewing party at the WACO Theater Center and delivered a kick-ass Best Actor Oscar speech to everyone in attendance. An once again, I predicted the Best Picture winner: The Shape of Water

March 5th: Auditioned for a leading role in the feature film, Moon Made

March 14th: Paid off my Wells Fargo credit card debt

March 23rd: Received a residual check from SAG-Aftra for a feature film I was in, Balls To The Wall

March 31st: Saw my favorite drag queen in the world, Bianca Del Rio, on her sold-out world tour, Blame It On Bianca Del Rio

April 3rd: Auditioned for the feature film, A Kiss On Candy Cane Lane

April 21st: The Haeggstrom Office submitted me for a series regular role (they don’t even represent me!) but I am friends with someone who is represented by them

April 22nd: Acted in the Homeward LA production at the WACO Theater Center

April 26th: Submitted myself for a series regular role in Tales Of The City

May 3rd: Did a scene from Black Mirror. Richard opened it up to the class

May 3rd: Received an offer for commercial representation from Green & Green Talent Group

May 8th: Officially signed commercially with Green & Green Talent Group

May 10th: Commercial audition for Fox Sports

May 11th & 12: Attended Drag Con!

May 14th: Commercial audition for Fed Ex

May 19th: Shot the scene from Black Mirror for my theatrical reel

May 22nd: Met with the LoveStone Agency for theatrical representation

May 23rd: Commercial audition for Honda Pilot

May 24th: Applied for the NHMC Television Writers Program

May 29th: Did a kick-ass prepared audition and a kick-ass cold reading for TV episodic director, Lily Mariye

May 31st: Acted in two scenes for scene study class: Girls Trip & Elaine Earnest

June 1st: Commercial audition for WALLY

June 4th: Got a callback for WALLY

June 6th Commercial audition for Universal Studios

June 7th Put up a repeat of Weeds in scene study class

June 8th Audition for Amex

June 11th Audition for Thermador

July 9th Audition for Google Chrome app

July 10th My weekly blog, Chasing The George, celebrated its 3rd anniversary

July 26th Finished paying off my Citicard credit card

July 31st Finished post production on The Doppelganger, a film I wrote, executive produced and starred in

August 3rd Submitted The Doppelganger to the Santa Barbara international film Festival and to Sundance

August 7th My blog qualified for the Word Ads program on WordPress

August 11th Submitted The Doppelganger to the Atlanta Film Festival

August 13th Audition for Toyota

August 15th Meeting with MZA for theatrical representation

August 16th Got a callback for Toyota

August 18th Submitted The Doppelganger to the Maryland Film Festival

August 26th Celebrated 16 years in LA!

August 27th My blog entry, How I Wrote A Script In One Hour, got published in Medium and Thrive Global

August 30th Signed with MZA for theatrical representation

September 7th Commercial audition for a national PSA for Teachers/PTA members

September 22nd Submitted The Doppelganger to the D.C. International Film Festival and the Florida Film Festival

October 3rd Got a series regular audition for a new TV series titled, People Just Do Nothing

October 8th Had successful eye surgery

October 21st Leased a new car

October 30th Voice over audition for a Slender Tone fitness product

November 3rd Did a kick-ass cold read audition in front of a packed room at the Actors Expo in Hollywood

November 14th Had a successful glaucoma surgery

November 15th Submitted The Doppelganger to the Phoenix Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival

December 1st Commercial audition for LA Tourism

December 4th Commercial audition for Diet Coke

December 5th Did an audition from All American in class

December 12th Re-introduced a new half hour pilot I wrote

December 12th Commercial audition for Facebook

Overall 2018 wins:

Taught many classes at the Richard Lawson Studios

Did numerous prepared auditions and cold read auditions in my PDP 3.0 class (Professional Development Program)

Increased my financial abundance

Quality time with my partner and friends

Made new friends

Supported many friends in their personal and professional endeavors

Go Out With A Bang!

Hello fellow artists! With 31 days left in 2018, is it time to slow down? Are the upcoming holidays tempting you to wait until the new year to get back into the game with your career? For me, this is not the time to slow down. Rather, how can I go out with a bang this year?

How can YOU go out with a bang this year? Is there a project that you can finally bring to completion? Is there a project that you’ve been putting off that you can finally begin? Is there a call you need to make to your agent? Or a meeting you want to have with your manager?

I believe that there are a plethora of artistic and administrative things that can be done over the next 31 days. For example, I had a great audition today. I have another audition on Wednesday. I presented the research I’m doing for my half-hour pilot a few days ago in class. I am still submitting my film to film festivals. I am still working on my relationship map in creative and engaging ways. I am still utilizing social media to put myself out there. I am going to re-post a fun project I did at the end of 2016 (“Elf On A Shelf”) on social media from now till December 31st.

And I know what you’re thinking: “I, I, I. It is always I” And you know what? You’re right. This is about me. You have to be a little selfish in the pursuit of your dreams and in the creation of your career. By the way, “I, I, I. It is always I”, is a line from the movie, “Lean On Me”. A little fun trivia for you all!

There’s something really powerful about ending the year with a bang. It’s like a stamp. A touch down. The boxer who triumphantly throws their hands into the air. You throw down till the very last day and the universe sees that. It’s a powerful energy that you have put out there. I think some people lament the end of the year and lose steam because they get caught up in whatever losses–or perceived losses–they have. They focus on the acting jobs they didn’t book or the projects they didn’t start or the film festivals they didn’t get into or the writing competitions they didn’t get into or whatever. So they throw in the towel and wait until the new year to tackle their careers again.

I’m like, “Fuck that.” Focus on the wins you’ve had. Focus on the lessons you’ve gained and how you can improve the next time around. See what wins you can have over the next 31 days. What new relationships can you start developing? What shows are you interested in targeting? Start reading the industry trades to see what’s going on. See if you can land yourself more auditions. Thank a casting director for the great work they do. Buy a self-tape kit for your self-tape auditions…and then practice auditions at home. Re-arrange your office. Or buy an office, a base of operations from which to work from, if you don’t have one yet.

And the key to all of this is to look within and ask yourself, “How do I want my year to end?” So that the actions you take are personal and specific to you.

And I know what you’re thinking, “I, I, I–” Just kidding. Yes, Hollywood starts shutting down during this time of the year, but that’s just one piece of the puzzle. Refer to the above again to get a sense of the things you can do to end the year with a bang.

The possibilities are endless. Have fun with the process. End the year with a bang. And remember to celebrate along the way!!