“I had a dream I was going to speak to you,” Ryan Hayden said when I got him on the phone this morning. I asked the self-employed talent agent if he’d been having a bad day when he wrote the nightmare of an email below. “Actually, I was having a great day,” replied the one-time ICM assistant. Go figure:
From: Ryan Hayden from Ideal Talent Agency
Date: Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Subject: Open Letter About Pilot Season
The majority of you don’t need to be told this, some of you I only included so that you know how serious I am about pursuing pilots for you, and everyone please know that post pilot season, its back to nice, forgiving Ryan and business as usual.
But we are now very much in pilot season. I am making a call to upwards of 100 casting directors or studio casting heads every day, often multiple times to the same casting director.
During the next month, if what you’re calling or emailing me about does not pertain in some way to a major feature film role that you know definitively is currently casting or does not pertain to a series regular role, I do not want to know about it. Period.
If you have an issue with that, I ask that you kindly find an agent whose priorities are chasing SAG Ultra Low budget roles rather than potentially multi-million dollar pilot roles.
Yes, I will close deals on smaller projects. Yes, I am still submitting on these projects and even still emailing on these projects – the reason is that at point almost every client is programed into a drop down menu so I can fire off a pitch email in under 10 seconds.
But from this point till April, if you call me about a two line part in an indie, I will drop you. Don’t email me about a co-star or ask me about some role in an ultra-low, I will drop you. Understood? If you ask me about a project that isn’t casting, or that you heard might be casting on some BS source, or that was something you heard about on a blog, I will drop you – and probably on the spot. Consider this your warning.
I am in the business of building and representing stars. This is the time where I can best make that happen. I don’t care about your co-stars right now, I don’t care who you met in a workshop (unless its directly related to a pilot), and I don’t care that you have a job and need to reschedule. All of that is a time suck you will be dropped for. I’m dead serious.
I care about getting my Emmy nominees, my recurring Guest stars, my former series regulars, my Oscar nominee, my hot comedy name, my insanely talented kid actors, my clients whose hard work earned them 20M+ hits on Youtube, and a slew of others on my list – I care about getting them the series regular roles that they deserve every chance at getting. I care about landing the pilot roles I have wanted for so many of you all year long. I care about giving clients the big break you have been dreaming of since the day you stepped foot in town. You didn’t dream of a co-star. So don’t even speak of one till pilot season is over.
Most of you gave up so much to chase your dream of becoming a successful, acclaimed actor. Leaving your family, leaving your home town, leaving behind a stable life and a stable existence. Not everyone will be lucky enough to get there this year.
But those who have sacrificed so much to chase the dream of being a rich, successful, widely respected actor – which is most everyone of my clients – they deserve every chance I can give them of making their lifelong dream a reality. I hope to provide you all with every big chance available to you during pilot season – and unapologetically at the expense of the small stuff. If you care about the smalls stuff, you’re a small time actor I do not wish to work with.
This time of year can be a roller coaster ride.
Let me still make one thing clear, I’m here for that when you need it in obtaining the big dream.
For pre-big audition jitters, for placating fears, for consoling when things don’t go our way, for all the things an agent should be there for and that make you a stronger artist and actor. I’m willing to go above and beyond.
This week I already dispensed several pep talks and quick psychology sessions, because that was needed. I am there for you as an artist. Its part of the overall goal. Landing that role of a lifetime is just as much psychological as it is professional.
I am there for everyone of my clients in making that dream a reality – in any facet – but I will not tolerate anything that stands in the way of that for any of you. If you stand in the way of my facilitating the fruition of a clients’ dream, even for an extra second, you will no longer be one of my clients.
I hope this is understood. You may email me to ask any questions pertaining to this letter.
Ideal Talent Agency
PS: After pilot season, I will go back to being the less intense, more laid back version of myself – especially if I have multiple regulars on series. I also will make some allowance for discussions about small stuff or to quiz me on the weekends.