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Austin Actors
Luis Olmeda

It's My Way or...I'm What?!
by Luis Olmeda

April 2000

This is based on a true story and goes something like this...It's early Monday morning and most of the employees are hanging around the break room. The coffee pots are full and ready to wake the dead. I start chatting with one of my co-workers while pouring a wake up call. He stared at me for a moment and asked if I had ever done a commercial. I said yes. He immediately snapped his fingers and recalls the ACC commercial he saw with his wife the night before. He was surprised that I could work a full time job and dedicate time to the field of performing arts. I told him that it takes a careful balance just like anything else and continued chatting about the business for awhile.

Moments later, after filling his brain with my personal life, he told me that his wife works for a company that hires actors for their clients. She personally does the casting herself. Some of her clients like to hire people that would normally shop at their stores, people with real stories. He told me a tale that happened recently with one of her popular clients. She recently auditioned several high school girls for a particular scene, a national commercial shot. When the call back was done, they pretty much narrowed it down to just a handful of talent. Not long after that, three under aged girls became THE CHOSEN ONES, but no contract was initiated. Since these girls had no agents for representation, their parents were the ones to manage the path of their success. Not long after the girls and their parents were notified, the guard dogs were let loose...the girls and their parents had DEMANDS!

The company was going to fly all the girls, with one legal guardian from each family, on an all expense paid trip to another state to shoot the scene. One parent demanded that more than one family member be flown out on the client's expense. Another parent wanted her daughter to wear only certain brand names. Obviously not the clothing that would clearly represent the client, and the last parent wanted to basically direct it all!

(I'm over exaggerating a little on this one, but the parent might as well direct it since he/she requested changes in the script.)

The outcome...since no contract was ever signed, the client simply decided not to go with the TEEN STARS and chose another set of girls to do the job. PERIOD! Well, so much for their first break in show business.

There's a lesson to be learned here folks...GET A SIGNED CONTRACT FIRST BEFORE ACTING LIKE A SNOB!

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