Do I pick up that phone??

What do you do when you eventually start receiving phone calls (because it’s going to happen – mark my words!) from agents and such regarding auditions and call-backs?

When I first got started in this industry, the pager was in. Eughh!! That makes me sound ancient.. Most agents and casting directors would simply call it, leave a message on a voicemail system and you’d return their call to confirm. Simple.

Then the cell phone caught on and actors started to pick-up the phone when an agent would call them. This is where the trouble started. Rather than the whole thing being a quick and painless transaction the actor felt like they could spend that time “catching up” with the agent/CD like a friend. This would piss-off the agent/CD to no-end and they’d even stop calling a given actor to avoid getting “into it” with them.

Most agents and other professionals in this industry are supremely busy and they don’t have time to have a nice wee chat with you when they call. So in general, they’ll call you with information and want a simple yes-or-no answer from you so that they can put the phone down with you and pick it back up again to call someone else.

What I do when I get a call from someone in the industry is let the call go straight to voicemail. I do this for a number of reasons. Firstly, because they will leave all the information I need on my voicemail. This makes it easy for me to transpose the pertinent info into my calendar without taking up anyone else’s time. Secondly, because it is now stored in my phone, if for some reason I loose what I wrote down, or leave home without it, or I need to refer to exactly what and how the agent/CD said to me, I can access it easily. Even if I don’t have my phone on me. Thirdly, the agent/CD doesn’t have to waste time with me on the phone going over the details. Lastly, when I call the rep back I will be able to have a very short and sweet interaction with them – a simple yes-or-no, if you will. See, you will eventually talk to whomever is calling you. So don’t worry about that. You will always end up talking to your agent or their assistant at least.

Some people disagree, but I find it works for me. I haven’t confirmed this with any representation here, either, so it is possible that I am way off-base. But, I’ve not had any negative feedback. So, it’s up to you. Main point is to make sure you have all the information you need without having to keep on checking in with the agent.

So let that call go straight to voicemail. It’s worth it in the long run.


About The NYC Actor

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

One Response to “Do I pick up that phone??”

  1. >I got this super-helpful response from David Licht via email:"I completely agree with your "agent calls go directly to voice mail" theory. To repeat my experience, a couple of years ago I took a call from my agent while walking on the street and could not gather my writing tools (or thoughts) quickly enough to take down the audition info he was trying to give me. He was, of course, annoyed, and asked me to let him call again and leave the info on my voice mail and call him back to confirm. I now do that as a rule even if I'm home. It also gives me time to consider my interest and availability in the project without dithering about it on the phone."Thanks David!!

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