Telephone Etiquette: Do not ask some one
to wait while you put them on hold when talking, at least not for
more than a few seconds. If you do try to put some one hold, ask
them, don’t tell them. When actors or models would order me
to hold while they got back to another call, they would call me
back and some times would or would not apologize for the dropped
call. The call didn’t drop I would say, I hung up on you,
because you didn’t ask me to hold, you ordered me to, and I
could not hold. After their shock, those that would get it would
apologize, and those that didn’t, would not make it past
the first phone call, and probably went on to a few other dozen
agents and managers and ticked them off as well.
If you are doing a conference call, always announce to all parties who else is on the line immediately. On your own answering machine, do not have music. The first thing most agents or managers I know of, including myself do when we hear music or something else unprofessional on an answering machine, is hang up. Even if I like the song, and most often I don’t, if I wan’t to hear music, I’ll play it on my computer, not on a phone call.
In Person Meetings:
If a person can not handle doing a face to face meeting, they do not belong trying to work in the entertainment industry. The goal of every business relationship should be at some point, a face to face meeting. Most communication between two humans in front of each other is non verbal, that is, through gestures, facial expressions, eye movement, and the like. Learn to master comfort in a business meeting, and you will begin to master your craft as a model, actor, or musician, and also in getting what you want from those that can help you.
Be on time. Being on time means, as I have stated before, be early. Use a navigator or map quest and back up with a Thomas Guide if need be. Never be late, and don’t bother asking an agent, manager, producer, or casting for directions. Get the address and figure it out yourself. You can ask if there is a certain door you should go in, and if there is a drive on pass or which gate if at a studio. Don’t bring other parties with you with a drive on, or in an appointment, you are an adult, and this is like a job interview, so lovers and friends stay home, or wait in the car. If it’s a drive on, leave them outside of the gate and don’t try to drive them on too unless the person you are seeing offers, don’t ask for an extra credential. When you show up early, don’t ask them to take you early, sign in under your agent or managers name and let reception know you are there. Other models or talent in the waiting room may be your competition, so be careful what you say to them, and you are better off just brining a book or your sides to read.
When meeting, make eye contact, smile often, speak up, offer to shake hands, and wait to be seated until the person you are meeting sits or offers you to. Do not chew gum, or be eating or drinking any thing in the meeting. One model I was interviewing, came in my office with a soft drink, and spilled it on my carpet. Bad move. Another was chewing gum, and asked me to throw it away for her, trying to stick it in my hand. Another I caught sticking her gum under my chair.
Treat the office of the person you are seeing as you would your own home. On second thought, treat it better than you would your own home! Keep answers brief, but long enough that they don’t think you are too scared to talk. Never talk badly about another agent or manager. Would you go in to a regular job interview as say bad things about a former employer? Act the same way as you would in that scenario. Don’t use bad language. Be a professional. Dress the role you want.
(We shall continue this more in the next issue).
Bruce Edwin will answer any of your questions in this forum by phone. Contact his office at 310-226-7176.
The Hollywood Sentinel, © 2009.