For years, I sent cover letters, headshots and resumes to different agencies in the Bay Area. With very little success. I would get a thank you form letter saying that they had enough of my type, then I would grumble about how I was a real artist and didn't need to sell myself, and go back to doing theater for another year or so, and then repeat the whole process.
However, I also started to build up some independent film credits and some comfort in front of a camera. I took classes in on-camera/commercial acting (at a school that has closed its doors), and then classes in voiceover at Voice One. A few different classes at Voice One included 'one session w/a San Francisco Talent Agent!' as part of the class. I met a person from my agency at one of those classes, and was asked to come in and audition for them, or 'go on tape'
I came in w/a monologue and also got handed a piece of commercial copy to prep on the spot and record on camera. And I didn't hear anything. I followed up via email. A few times. I heard that they hadn't had time to review my tape yet. I asked a colleague who was repped by this agency to follow up w/them. Months went by. Nothing.
Almost one year later, I took another class at Voice One that had one of those 'Talent Agent sessions!' and it turned out to be the exact same person as before. He asked to talk to me after class, said I looked familiar and how did we know each other. I said that we'd met roughly a year ago, and I'd taped for the agency and then never heard anything from them. I got a funny 'Oh!' and he asked me to come in and tape again.
So again, a monologue, reading some commercial copy and having these both filmed. This time I was told to wait, they might be reviewing my tape right away, but then after the session person checked with other folks, it turned out that it was going to take them a few days to get back to me. By the end of the week, I'd been offered a contract, and started going on auditions.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
I'm not sharing this story because I think it has a moral or a lesson - each of us is on our own journey through the business. These are just a few steps of mine.
And hey, if you're into early Eugene O'Neill, and you're out in Danville (home of Tao House, former home of Mr. O'Neill) tonight or tomorrow afternoon, come and see this reading that I'm part of!