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He’s Just Not That Into You: Agent Edition

August 30, 2013

“Wait a minute….wait a minute….have you ever been a relationship, where it’s not exactly the best, and it’s not exactly the worst…. and then all of the sudden…out of nowhere comes this HUNKKK????  …………MEADOWLARRKKKK!”

Ok…that’s a really bizarre for introduction the song “Meadowlark”.   However, in her 1980 concert at Les Mouches, one of our favorite divas  (Miss Lupone, herself) did describe my recent tales of love and loss (and love again) with my agents.

So…long story short, I recently broke up with my agency of over 3 years.  It was your classic tale of young love (fresh out of showcase)….hot and heavy, at first.  Then…gradually, we grew apart. Then, came this “HUNNKK” of an agency and I was faced with the decision of staying in my relationship of 3 years, or taking the leap, leaving my comfort zone, and trying to start from scratch with someone new.   I took the leap….now, I’m happier than ever….and, you know what I learned?

My ex just wasn’t that into me.

When I first realized this, I was kind of pissed.  I’d given them MY YOUTH! 🙂 However, as clichéd as it seems, I think it has taught me invaluable lessons that make me a better partner to my current professional other half and I want to share some of these with you…..

1.  Make sure it’s Love…not Lust – Young love is a beautiful thing.  You put on your favorite dress, you paint your nails, and you let the suitors come to you.  They are excited.  You are excited.  It’s a whirlwind.  That being said, when you both come down from the initial high…you are both just people.  Do you like the person behind the facade?  Before you sign on the dotted line and they slip that proverbial ring on your finger, be sure that this PERSON is someone you genuinely like and vice-versa.  Otherwise, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

2.   Make sure they see you for YOU!- I actually took a couple of meetings when I made the decision to leave my ex.    I was so excited to go on a date with door #1.  However , within 5 minutes of meeting me, they asked, “Have you gone in for Mormon?”.  First, I love that they presented this as if the thought had NEVER OCCURRED TO ME. Secondly, I had just sung “If Ever I Would Leave You” and not ONE of the roles on my resume pointed to me having ANY tap ability, or any dance ability at all, for that matter.  They then told me I should take a tap class, as if A) that was an overnight skill or B) I was only worth what they could make the steadiest paycheck off of.  I then went to my meeting with suitor number 2, and one of the first things that came out of his mouth was “I mean…you look like you can be in Mormon but…you’re a baritone…and I see you more as a leading man than ensemble…I mean, you aren’t a dancer, right?” .  I said, “No.”.  He then replied, “Well, you can’t be what you are not.”. I was in love. You see folks, often people like to see what they want to see in their partner.  Your agent/other half should 100% challenge you to be the best person/performer/singer you can be.  They should challenge you to expand your horizons and achieve your potential.  However, they have to love you for you. One of my favorite rom-com quotes is from Juno.  Juno asks her dad about love and he says:

“Now, I may not have the best track record in the world, but I have been with your stepmother for 10 years now and I’m proud to say that we’re very happy. Look, in my opinion, the best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you, the right person is still going to think the sun shines out your ass. That’s the kind of person that’s worth sticking with.”

I think that’s what you want in your agent.

3. Be Wary of Open Relationships– Look, you do you, boo.   I know a lot of agents like freelancing and that can be a great way for both of you to test the waters without commitment.  That being said, like Juno’s dad said… “the right person is still going to think the sun shines out your ass”.   There is nothing worse than a relationship where someone is indifferent about you.  I was in one where my ex was complacent when it came to me at the end.  I think it ended up being more of a handicap than help.   At this point in my life, and career, I want to be with someone who loves me enough to commit, but AGAIN…That is me.   You do you.  There are many happy relationships that started with people just getting their feet wet.

4.  Remember That You Are PARTNERS–  The best relationships are ones where BOTH partners are on an equal footing.  Initially, someone is always going to do the chasing.  However, when you commit to each other, you are committing to a reciprocal agreement.  No one makes money without the other.   If he never returns your call, you should think long and hard about this relationship.  I don’t mean to be THAT person, bragging about their relationship.  However, one of the things I love about my new relationship is that they always return my calls and my emails.  It actually made me uncomfortable and confused when I got my first email response from my new agent within seconds of my email to him.  I think I had Stockholm Syndrome from my first relationship.  “I’m not worthy!!!”.  However, now, I realize I should expect nothing less than a timely response to me legitimate questions.   Now, DON’T BE A NEEDY, NAGGING SPOUSE.  That’s a good way to find yourself single.  You should trust that your agent has your best interest in mind.  That being said, trust is earned and sometimes, we all just need a little acknowledgement that was are loved and being taken care of…even if it’s just an “I’ll check on that…have a great day!”

5.  Don’t Be Afraid to Be Alone– This is probably the most important.   Listen, relationships are wonderful.  Being in a healthy, productive, relationship is the best thing in the world.   However, being in an unhealthy, unproductive relationship IS NOT better than being single.  Being in a relationship where your agent doesn’t have your best interest in mind, can be more detrimental than helpful.  I’m not saying they would do anything to hurt you, but ultimately you represent each other, and if one partner is not doing that to the best of their ability, it hurts the other partner; both mentally and career-wise.  Being alone can be scary in this economy,  you shouldn’t need an agent to feel validated as an artist or as a person.   Don’t be so eager to be in an agent-client relationship that you settle for anything less than LOVE.  You deserve to be love and to love.   You deserve your own “god of the sun”… I mean… ask Patti… “settling” didn’t turn out so hot for the meadowlark…..


One Comment leave one →
  1. California Triple-Threat permalink
    September 10, 2013 10:44 am

    I knew what that reference was instantly because I’m OBSESSED with that recording of Patti’s. “We’re saving that for Carnegie Hall…”
    Great post!

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