You should still be looking for acting work even if your agent is unavailable. It will be beneficial to keep looking for work, provided it does not interfere with auditions or jobs your agent has placed for you.
There is no one type of actor. Therefore, there cannot be one set of advice for all actors. When evaluating your options, think like an agent.
Think like an agent
Your agent wants you to work. Agents want you to continue to improve your skills and be prepared for anything. They are looking for paid gigs and will be putting you forward. They want you to be in the room, taking down the tape and booking that job.
They are responsible for multiple people during their work hours. Keeping an eye on the scene (especially in the indie world) will help your agent and you. Indie films, indie plays, student films, play readings, development workshops–get the feelers. Your agent will benefit if you do your research, send your EOIs and make your contacts in the industry. Double-check with your agent if you have a lead for a major gig.
Agents have a vast network of industry contacts to help you get into the right orbit. Your industry contacts will help you keep your skills sharp and create creative relationships that will last a lifetime. It’s essential to think like an agent in selecting projects to do your best work.
Do I have to do Unpaid work?
Yes! Yes! Indie projects can have as much artistic merit and even more than any paid gig.
Do you feel the Project speaks to you?
Consider the pitch and read the script to see if the Project is for you. You should not seek out a project for the sake. It can cause you to be committed to telling a story you don’t care about with a creative team you aren’t learning much from and making little or no money.
Who is on the Team?
As your agent would, find out who is already attached to the Project. It’s possible to inquire about the information if it isn’t listed in the audition brief. Find out with whom you could be creating great work. This is a crucial step, especially if you don’t know anyone on your team.
How does your calendar look?
While your agent wants you to work hard, he also wants you not to burn out. So do I!
You’d be amazed at how many jobs you can find once you begin looking for work and start doing projects for a low price. You must ensure that you aren’t limiting your ability to complete the work your agent has asked for.
Find work by going forth.
It’s never a bad idea to do the legwork and get your talent into cool projects. Your career will have its ups and downs. You may find yourself in a rut or drowning in work. It is important to see the process of obtaining work as a collaborative effort and not as a transactional one.