On Friday, February 24th, 2023, I locked myself in my office to get through another exciting list of career administration: Continue edits on my TV series bible, submit my half-hour pilot and feature film scripts to the Script Pipeline competition, look up classes on Casting Access, identify potential scenes I want to do in Scene Study, write my new blog entry, etc. I was firing on all cylinders.
As I recommit to my weekly blog, which chronicles the journey to build the career I want for myself, I couldn’t help but remember a recent meeting I had with a commercial agent. It was one of the best meetings I didn’t win.
I submitted to this particular agency because I resonated with its mission statement. I got a meeting with them immediately, and we met over Zoom. My virtual set-up was tight, from the lighting to the close-up framing to the background curtain behind me. I was ready to share what I was looking for in an agent and prepared to answer any potential questions they would ask me.
The meeting could not have been more excellent. We were on the same page. We were moment to moment. We were easy and comfortable with each other. I shared what I was looking for in an agency and what I wanted to create with them. I answered all their questions with confidence. They could see my professionalism and training on full display. They were everything I was looking for in an agency. The meeting ended, and they told me they would get back to me in a few days because they still had to interview a couple more actors. A few days later, they told me they decided to go in another direction. I was disappointed for a moment, but I realized that this is the nature of the entertainment industry. At least I knew I booked the room! I could go to sleep at night because I booked the room. So, I still won.
As 2023 continues to unfold, and I see what’s on the horizon for me this year, I remember various meetings I had or projects that I targeted that I didn’t win or land but won and landed in my heart because I failed forward. I risked and put myself out there. I made a valiant effort. I booked the room. So here’s to booking more rooms this year. KEEP READING BELOW…THERE’S MORE!
And just for fun, let’s stroll down memory lane of some past meetings or target projects that I didn’t win, but I did because I booked the room:
Lost: I targeted the hell out of this show. Eventually, I got a meeting with the casting director in Hawaii, and I was able to pitch a character I envisioned for myself for the next season. Ultimately, the character didn’t fit the story arc the creators had in mind for their next season, but it was a meeting I’ll never forget. And I got to celebrate afterward in Hawaii!
Martin Scorsese: He was attached to produce a movie musical that Madonna was to star in called “Hello Suckers.” His production company was notorious for keeping their address private. After searching high and low, I found an address. I mailed my materials to the company, but a week later, it was back in my mailbox. The post office placed a stamp on the envelope that said the company was no longer at this address, but they were at this address instead. What?! I couldn’t believe it. The post office provided their actual address. I booked a flight to NYC, walked into their office, and pitched myself and my materials to the front desk staff. Their face, their subtext: “How did you find us?” LOL. I think they low-key loved that I found them. Unfortunately, the movie never got made.
My TV series: Pitch meetings to CBS, Showtime, Youtube, a network in the U.K., and a network in Latin America. Each one passed, but I booked every single room.
Looking: I wanted to be on this HBO series so badly. I targeted this series for one year, building relationships, and expressing my love and passion for this show before I threw my hat into the ring to pitch myself for their next season. I reached out to the lead executive producer and lead director’s agent, and they were more than happy and willing to submit all of my materials to their client. Unfortunately, HBO cancelled the series shortly afterward.
OMG! I just remembered another show called Pretty that I also targeted. I utilized my relationship map to shoot a cool music video at a mansion in Brentwood…and the best part was that it rained that day, so we took full advantage of it…do you know how much it costs to rent a rain machine?!?! Anyway, I found the email I sent to my agent about my efforts: “Hi Sharon. I created and starred in a music video. I was targeting a show that I really wanted to be on called Pretty. It’s a web series entering its 3rd season in the near future. And one of the story lines they revealed was that the lead character flashes back to his old days as the leader of a boy band. So, I created a boy band-type video to get myself on the show. I just sent the video recently to the powers that be. They loved it, but they are reaching out to their celebrity friends to play the other boy band members. But, if circumstances change, they will bring me in for an audition. The video is funny, sensual, plays with sexuality…all the elements of a typical boy band video LOL.”
Onwards! Like Ralph Waldo Emerson says, “Speak your latent conviction, and it shall be the universal sense, for the inmost in due time becomes the outmost, and our first thought is rendered back to us by the trumpets of the Last Judgment.”