Book out!

For those of you who don’t yet know, “booking out” is when you alert your agent of an upcoming conflict in your schedule that would inhibit you from going out for an audition, etc.

For example, I am shooting a film in Memphis at the end of September. This will take me out of commission for roughly a week as far as auditioning is concerned. So it is important that when it gets closer to the date, I let ALL my representation and other ongoing industry employers (eg: producers/directors who hire me consistently) know that I will not be here.
This a really good idea for a number of reasons.
a) Potentially the most important factor: It is considerate.
Generally, agents submit you for an audition before letting you know about it. This means that a Casting Director (CD) has submitted a breakdown (job description and character details) to the agent. The agent has considered their talent roster and replied with a list of submissions along with their stamp of approval that this is the best bunch of actors for the job. The CD then responds in kind with their “OK”. THEN the agent sends out a round of calls to the talent followed by a confirmation to the CD of all the attending actors.
If the agent calls you the wheels are already in motion. The Casting Director is already considering you for the role. This doesn’t mean that you will book it of course, that part is up to you and a huge line-up of other variables. But this is the proverbial “foot in the door” as it were. If the agent calls you and you say “Oh! I’m out of town” or “I have another booking” this can make the agent look like they don’t have a grasp on their talent or that you don’t care. And it can make the agent resent you for not acknowledging the work and time they’ve put in to try and book you/them work. Also, it is even possible that if the CD has seen your work before and likes you, they may be excited to get you in because they think you’re right for the job – i.e. making their job easier. So when the agent calls to withdraw you from the audition the CD might get irked. And if I’ve learned anything about this industry, Casting Directors have precise and knife-sharp memories.
So if you book out with your agent in advance, the agent appreciates it as it saves an awfully lot of time and energy for everyone.
b) You are alive and working.
It can be a helpful reminder to the agent that you’re out here and not only that, but that you are WORKING.
Work = $$
$$ = happy everyone : )
I cannot tell you the amount of times I have been called in for auditions by an agent after months of nothingness within a week of booking-out with them. It is possibly coincidental, but I don’t think so.
How you contact the agent to book-out is up to you and that agent and warrants a chat with them if you can. Some agents like to receive an email, some prefer a phone call or even that you speak with their assistant. It all depends on the person. So the next time you hear from them, just ask them quickly what the best way is to book-out.
So BOOK-OUT! It’ll be the best for everyone concerned and you just may rekindle that stagnant relationship with your agent..
As a post script, I would urge you to refrain from booking-out when you haven’t really got anything going on or just for the sake of it. Agents are exceptionally busy folks and it doesn’t take a lot to piss them off. But a sure-fire way to do it is to be a pest by calling them constantly – unless you are truly THAT busy. In which case, congratulations!
Above all else, I would encourage you to develop and foster a considerate personality. That in itself seldom goes unnoticed in this rather ego-centric idustry.
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About The NYC Actor

Angela Dee is a professional actress working in Film, Theatre, TV, Commercials and Voiceovers. She currently lives in New York. www.angeladee.com

2 Responses to “Book out!”

  1. >Thanks Blair! I hope it is helpful to whomever reads it.

  2. >Really smart advice. I like the PS not about being considerate. I think with all things it often comes down to your personal relationships and communication. The work follows. So it makes sense to be someone who can say Yes I will be there when the call comes in. THIS BLOG IS AWESOME!

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