Has it been a while since your last audition? Wonder if your agent is still alive? Getting worried that your agent may be getting ready to give you the boot? It would make sense-if you’re not being called in for auditions, then you’re not making money for either you or your agent. If you’re not making anybody money, then you’re not an asset to the agency, right?
So you did it! You finally got an agent! Someone who believes in your work. Someone who has the connections to get you more and better work, and someone who has the business sense to get you the best deal and most money for gigs. Congrats!
Then your biggest fears start to come true. Your agent stops taking your phone calls. You go months with no auditions or bookings. You meet other talent who have been waiting to get paid for gigs from months ago. All of the sudden, your stardom dreams are turning into a nightmare! What have you done? Did you sign a deal with the devil?
Times are tough right now for every industry-but especially advertising. With marketing budgets being slashed for small businesses and national corporations alike, companies are spending less money on placing ads, which in turn means less commercials and print ads. Because these are the bread and butter of most regional talent agencies, many are being forced to close up shop.
“Hey, I want you to introduce you to my friend Brian. You’ll really like him. He used to hang out with us back in college. And he’s an actor!”
“An actor, huh?” (Snicker and sneer). “So what’s your REAL job?”
Does this conversation sound familiar? I’ve been through it myself many times throughout the years. I’ve gone down a different path since I’ve had my family, but for a long time I was trying to make it as a working actor. Even when I was making some money, this was a pretty disheartening conversation. As soon as the word “actor” leaves your mouth, people form a mental picture of you waiting tables or living in a cramped apartment with half a dozen other wannabes.
Well, it appear that the old adage of the “starving artist” is not necessarily true. According to Hollywood Reporter, the film industry reported has reported an average 2% year over year increase, reaching a record of $9.78 billion in gross box office sales. And those figures are just the box office–they don’t include rentals, DVD sales, licensing, or any other ancillary sales. According to figures on the Digital Entertainment Group’s website, DVD shipments in 2008 reached almost $10.3 billion just in North America alone, almost double the amount from three years ago. Though there are many changes happening in the industry with the advent of file sharing and availability of online media, it is evident that the industry is still making money, and still has huge growth potential.