Parents Q&A: My kid has had no auditions, my agent says it’s slow… what do I do?
My son is now a part of the Union and I am under the impression that this may be part of why he isn’t getting calls for background and commercials. I have been told that because he is union now he is out of 90% of commercials and that there is no point in applying for them. He’s has only had maybe 6 auditions since January. We have been told that it’s been a very slow year and also because he is changing from a boy into a young man there are not many roles for this age group right now. I understand there are slow times and have accepted that however I am seeing how he is losing his confidence from not being called to auditions. I guess I am just wanting to be sure that in fact that it is truly a slow time right now. I am feeling as if his agent has let him fall off their radar? Would it be beneficial to look for another agent? I feel with only a handful of auditions this year we might need to change something. We are wondering if we have made a mistake by joining the union?
It has been very slow, there were eight projects shooting here this past summer, compared to twenty last year. It’s also true that kids often experience a slowdown in auditions when in the transition phases of adolescence. And it’s true that 90% of commercials are non-union and union members can’t audition for them.
Your options are:
- be patient and trust your agent
- find a new agent
- leave the union and see if it helps you get more auditions
The associated risks are:
- your current agent is slacking off
- a new agent would have the same situation as your current one
- even if your son was non-union he may still be too old for most commercials, which tend to be heavily weighted to kids under twelve
His agent is a good one, it’s also possible that your son has become “low priority” for them and a new agent would push harder just because he’s new. Given the age/slow/union factors I’m not sure how much difference a new agent would make, but it doesn’t hurt to make inquiries. I’d have a conversation with his agent about potentially leaving the union and see what they advise. The advantage of being in the union is that it makes a young actor look more “professional,” but it’s a pretty intangible benefit compared to the reduction in auditions.
No matter what happens, your son is going to have to cultivate patience. The industry is always up and down and nobody likes it, but there’s also no control there. He’s a great actor, and the only thing six months or a year or two years is going to do is give him time to be an even more skilled actor when the opportunity *does* come. And trust me, the opportunities do come for everyone, just not on any predictable schedule. Staying ready is the hard part.
I hope that helps,
“Helping Young Actors Book Work in Film & Television.”