How to Bounce Back from a Disappointing Talent Agency Meeting

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Meeting a Talent Agent

Meeting a Talent Agent. Gary Burchell / Taxi / Getty Images

Throughout your acting career, you will likely meet with multiple agents and/or managers until you find one that is a good match for you. Similar to dating, some of these meetings with potential business partners will turn out very well, and others may not turn out to be too great. What should you do if you attend a meeting with a talent agent or a talent manager and it doesn’t go well? 

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Understand That You Did Your Best

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If you leave your meeting with a potential talent agent feeling disappointed, or feeling like you didn’t do your best work, don't be hard on yourself. If you tried the best that you could do at the time of the meeting, then you did a great job! Let's face it, agency meetings are not easy. Actors often feel pressure to impress an agent, and this often results in feeling more nervous. 

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Acknowledge What Can Be Improved Upon

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It is at these frustrating moments that negative thoughts can creep into your mind - thoughts about giving up, or questioning your choices about your career. You must fight through these feelings, and one way to do this is to turn the seemingly negative situation into something positive! What did you learn from the experience? What can you improve on for the next agency meeting?

The career of an actor is filled with stories like this - feeling low to the point that you don't think that you can keep moving forward. On the other hand, the business is also filled with stories of disappointment and rejection which are subsequently told by some of the most successful people, simply because they refused to give up! An excellent example is Walt Disney, who encountered numerous obstacles to success, yet Disney would not surrender his dream

Don't allow yourself to give in to negative thoughts when you experience a tough situation such as a disappointing agency meeting. These challenges will not stop you from becoming the actor and person that you are destined to become. And speaking of your future and the destiny of your career, you – not your agent – hold the power in your own hands. 

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It’s YOUR Career, Not Your Agent’s Career

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A “bad” or disappointing talent agency meeting is not going to make or break your acting career. Regardless of the outcome of a meeting with a talent agent, an agent will not be the only reason that you will become successful in this business. Can hiring a good agent help you in your acting career tremendously? Absolutely. But, while there are some incredible agents in the game, it is your will to succeed, your work ethic and your talent that will carry you in this business. (After all, the only person you can truly ever depend upon is yourself). Remind yourself that - even if you experienced a terrible meeting with a top agent - it won’t stop you or your career from progressing. Only you have the power to stop or keep going – no one else decides. 

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Apply to More Talent Agencies

Apply to and meet with talent agents. Robert Daly / Caiaimage / Getty Images

There are more agencies out there than the entertainment business knows what to do with. There is an agent out there who is a perfect fit for you to hire. If you have recently experienced a disappointing agency meeting, make it a point to send your headshot and resume to others. Again, like dating, the initial hurt of a bad experience (or a rejection) can be tough, but once you get back in the game, you’ll feel much better. (Here’s a list of SAG-AFTRA franchised agencies.

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Be Your Own Agent

Be Your Own Talent Agent!. Diane39 / E+ / Getty Images

Even if you’re signed with the best agent in town - you should still always be your own agent too, in a way. Always put yourself forward and advocate for your own career - don't be afraid to take risks.

If you are pursuing an acting career, you are your own boss. It is important to remember that your career can and will become anything that you desire it to be. You can always obtain auditions on your own, and now with YouTube and new media changing the way that the industry operates on many levels, you have the opportunity to get yourself and your talent out to the world more than ever before!