To List or Multi-list? That is the Question:
I come across this question all the time. This is an age old question, that everyone seems to have an opinion on. I, am no different. My students often come to me saying. "Don't I want as many people as possible finding me work?" Time and time again my answer is, "No." I am aware that this answer and BLOG may make me extremely unpopular, but it's been on my heart, so here goes...
You'll Tick People Off: So you're new to the industry, and you submitted to every agency in town, and now you have 6 agents, it seems like a dream come true, only, sadly, this will work against you. The Central Florida market is a small, but thriving market. A majority of agency castings come from 3-4 casting directors in the area. They reach out to most agencies here in Central Florida for castings, so essentially many agencies are all receiving the same castings.
This leaves you in the predicament of accepting the casting from 1 agent, but turning down 5 others. When agents call for you, and you've already been called, they get annoyed pretty fast, and soon you could find yourself down a multitude of those agents, and perhaps maybe even all of them. Agents do not like to feel like they have to rush to the phone at 6 am when the casting comes in to get you, they like to know that they can call at 9 am when they get to the office, and have coffee in hand, to give you the time slot they have already saved for you.
In my humble opinion, it's better to have ONE go to agent, per genre, (I will explain this further later) in Central Florida. As long as you can trust that this agent is sending you, or your child on every casting that comes in that fits, you are more than covered.
Keeping Track STINKS: When you are super multi-listed it's really hard to keep track of things, from who sent you or your child to the casting, keeping all your websites and agency accounts up to date, and most importantly, keeping track of your conflicts, book-out dates, and upcoming jobs and auditions. This can all get so messy! I have heard horror stories of booking conflicts. You book Pepsi and another agent books you on Coke and says, "I think it's fine..." you take the booking and the next thing you know you're in trouble. When you are booking everything thru one agent, it keeps too many hands from muddying the water. Your agent will be completely up to date on all your contracts and conflicts... and you can breathe a lot easier.
You'll Come Back to the core Eventually: Eventually you streamline. You will find an agent you LOVE and you will stick with them. It's better just to start that way from day one to avoid the stress it will cause you. Most successful actors I know, have one CORE agent for bookings, and MOST of them also did things the hard way first. To me it compares to a romantic relationship... You may start off dating multiple people, but you can't sustain it. You eventually settle on the best choice for you, someone who you have the best chemistry with. Avoid the headache and start with one!
Loyalty Goes Really Far: I find complete joy in knowing that my agent will call with something that I, or my child is right for. I know I am not going to have to make anyone upset, I know she has saved me a slot, and she knows and trusts US that we have her back. When you are loyal to an agent, you get A LOT more in return. They are willing to put more on the line for you, they take time to help you grow by offering tips and suggestions, and they will LISTEN to you, because they KNOW you. You can also make good decisions together as a team. If an agent feels like you are loyal, most of the time they will go above and beyond for you. Relationships like this, make us all SUPER happy.
There ARE times it's OK to multi-list and I will list them below:
1. You are at a weird age range... Those tween to early 20 somethings, often multi-list because it's a really rough range. I don't blame them. Sometimes you only get a couple slots and this age range can be very competitive.
2. You've gone 6+ months without an audition... At this point, BEFORE seeking representation elsewhere, contact your agent. Request a meeting or a phone call, to see what's going on, but ALWAYS give them a chance to defend why they haven't called. You all may come to an agreement, or part ways, or come back closer than ever, no matter what the outcome, give them a chance to explain.
3. You have Representation for different things: My daughter has one commercial agent, an agent that reps her for print and private clients ONLY, and ONE TV & Film agency. This has worked out for us amazingly well! I wish I would have thought of it sooner... it could have saved some heartache, and sleepless nights. All these agents know where they stand and it keeps things easy breezy, for everyone!
I will also add, that Multi-listing works well for some people, so if for YOU it ain't broke, don't fix it... ;)
If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below...
Thanks for reading!