Dropping Your Agent: When is the Best Time?
In this business, you are always growing and changing, and we do outgrow relationships; therefore, it’s important to know when to consider dropping your agent or manager. These types of decisions are obviously personal and vary from case to case. Often, we become quite friendly with our representatives — even meeting members of their families and socializing with them regularly. So, letting go of a representative can be a difficult thing to do. Nonetheless, unless you grow and expand with the exact same agent or manager for the duration of your career (this does happen with managers — it is very unlikely to happen with agents), you are inevitably going to need to move on from a representative at some point in your career. Generally speaking, this is when you can consider dropping your agent or manager:
You have not received an audition in over six months.
If you have note received an audition in over six months, you may want to consider dropping your agent. Regardless, it’s definitely time for you to have a conversation about how you might work together to shift things. Does your agent have all of the tools she needs? Perhaps it’s time for new headshots, or new footage. Always try to work with your current rep to move your career forward. If, after a few such conversations, you do not see any changes, it could be time to part ways.
You have outgrown your current agency in terms of the types of roles you are booking.
Perhaps you signed with your current representative when you only had a few co-star credits, and how you have a few guest star credits under your belt. Look at your agency roster on iMDb Pro (if you haven’t done so multiple times already — I would recommend doing this before even signing!). Do the other clients have lots of guest star and series regular credits? Does your agent have a strong track record for getting clients series regular auditions? If not, it could be time to consider dropping your agent, and moving to an agency that represents clients at a higher level. Again, this varies case by case.
A new agent is interested in you.
This happens, and this is a great and flattering thing. If a new agent is interested in you, and you feel that this individual is even more aligned with your goals — and has more of the types of relationships that would help your career to move forward— it could be time to consider dropping your agent.
You know without a doubt that your agent is jeopardizing your career in some way.
This is a sensitive thing to discuss, but we are going to meet all kinds of people while working in entertainment. There are so many wonderful, generous, hard-working, and positive people working in Hollywood. These are the types of people you want to work with! Your team is an extension of you — in that they are the first people that casting will interact with. Also, if they are doing their job, you will be communicating with them regularly. If you feel that your representative is at all jeopardizing your career due negative behavior — either in dealing with you or with other professionals on your behalf — it could be time to consider moving on. I hope that you will never encounter such a circumstance. If you do, know that you deserve to have a team that is supportive, and has a great reputation in the industry.
Whatever you decide do, express gratitude.
Being an agent is not easy. Even if you haven’t gotten an audition in months, chances are that they have been working on your behalf. In fact, they could be working very hard! Don’t underestimate the number of emails they receive every day. Appreciate how much work goes into getting an actor from audition to booking to contract to set. So, if dropping your agent feels like the next step for you, no matter what the circumstance is, do so with kindness and gratitude. Thank your rep for her hard work — preferably again with a handwritten note, after you’ve officially parted ways — and wish your agent well on her path. She is learning and growing, just as you are.