Word to the Wise: Get Your Calendar in Order!

These are the words I said to myself in the mirror this morning (and the following few hours). If you’re a person who is chronically late, who forgets appointments, who double-books.. This post is for you.

I am pretty good with scheduling. I’m generally an “on-time” kinda person. And I pretty much always call ahead if there are delays/problems. But even I can forget or miss an appointment if I don’t have it written down in my calendar or unforeseen circumstances (a family emergency or train trouble, etc) take over. There are a lot of things that can get in the way of getting to a booking or an audition on time. One thing that can help is to be religious about your calendar.

If you are just getting into this industry and you’re one of those people who always has problems with scheduling, get a grip on it now. Things will only get more hectic and confusing the more you begin to get work. The sooner you nip bad schedule etiquette in the bud the better off you’ll be. I know there’s this weird thing about late-ness being a sign of importance, that it somehow alludes to your overwhelming popularity, but if you cannot get this ridiculous idea out of your head now, you will not last a moment as a working actor.

A helpful tool is a smart-phone (iPhone/Blackberry) with a calendar feature. The second you get a job/audition:

a) Enter it into your calendar. Make sure you have an app that synchs with your computer (I like iCal). This way you have the information stored in two places.

b) Then, set yourself a reminder alarm. Either set it for the night before to remind you or an hour or so beforehand incase you forget (the extra hour will give you enough time to scramble out of bed, into the shower and out the door without being late!), or both. Whatever will help you stay on top of your schedule. I generally have iCal send me an email the morning of. In the case of a Monday job/audition I will have the email sent the night before.

c) If you’re chronically 15 mins late or more, then always mark down your events as 15/20 mins earlier then they actually are. I know it’s hard to trick yourself, but it does work overall.

The truth is that life does occasionally find a way to screw with the plans you’ve made. So it’s best to save those “my dog ate my homework”-type of excuses for the times you’ll actually need them.

This morning I missed an audition due to unforeseen drama. It is the second time this month(!!) that this has happened to me. Totally coincidental and totally out of my hands. However, if I was already a problem when it came to scheduling/lateness, my agent would probably have given up on me. But because my record is pretty pristine, I think I may be OK. But I had to do some SERIOUS groveling, nonetheless.

Which brings me to my final point. If you are in the rare situation of missing an audition/job do the following:

a) Call the agent/assistant who booked you the audition/job immediately and tell them what the deal is. Try to reschedule. In the rare situation that you canreschedule move heaven and hell to get to there. Free yourself up schedule-wise to show your initiative and that you have your priorities in order.

b) Send a follow-up email if possible directly to the agent. Keep it short and sweet, acknowledging your mistake and thanking them for their help in getting you work. By showing them a little consideration for the work they do you are reminding them that you are worth holding on to because you are professional in the face of a crisis/mess.


More helpful links:

Book Out

Do I pick up that phone?


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

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