The following interview is an excerpt from Judy Kain’s book, I Booked It.
Judy: How does an actor get known by your office?
Ross: Do a good job! There are people we take a liking to meaning new faces we see, and we’ll say, “Hey, let’s give them a try.” People who come in physically to the office too many times consistently get on our Do Not See list.
If an agent we like says, “Could you see Sarah for this? I really think she is great,” we may not put her on our Yes list for the first time, but we will probably do it the second time. I really do try to see new people forb a certain number of the slots I have, because again, that is important to my director. We rely on the agent for that; we can’t be out looking at a thousand people so we do rely on good agents who have someone who they push and to whom they refer, and we will try to get them in.
The other thing is being ready to audition. People come to LA and sau, “I’m here and I need to start auditioning.” What stands out is if you do a bad job. If you do a medium to good job, that is great-perfect! But if you do a bad job, that stands out and then it sticks in our mind. So be ready before you have your agent give it a shot.
Judy: Do you ever look at headshots when people send them to your office?
Ross: We do see them and go through them, and every now and then we’ll see someone and think, oh, my gosh that person is perfect for what we’re doing right now. That does happen. If someone has taken the time to send them, I am going to try to take the time to look at them.
Judy: Do you look through all agencies’ submissions?
Ross: We do. Rarely, maybe once or twice a year, when a job is really fast, we will just see 30% because we don’t have time to look through 3000 photos. But in general, it behooves us to look through them.
It is not like there are the top five agencies in town and theirs are the only people we will see. Out of the 484 agencies that are submitting to us, if some are getting five out of the 100 slots, that’s a big percentage. We need to see people from smaller places. One of my main directors likes really unusual people so I have to dig deep. On the commercial side, there are 700 agents and managers who are submitting.
Learn more from Judy Kain and receive personalized feedback from Ross Lacy Casting by signing up for Advanced Callback Class.