Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Break-Up.

"I survived because I was tougher than anybody else." 
Bette Davis.

My little blades... Tonight was the night of the break-up. Yep, my longest relationship in Los Angeles was the one I had with my voice-over agency. 9 years -- I was with them when I wasn't even technically living in LA... When I was still studying in NYC.

1. Honesty. Thus is the first time I have been SO honest about something that was upsetting me with an agent -- instead of drowning in a sinking ship full of apologies and soft-thank-you's, I was honest. I told her that I was disappointed with how they handled it. And I am especially disappointed with the head of the department, in fact, she created the VO department at my (former!) agency, who did not even call me -- this is the woman who signed me. I sat down and talked to her this past December about how I was ready for big, big things and how I wanted a push. And what could we do to create GREAT THINGS at the agency for me and for them -- for all of us?! Propserity. Helloooo. And she was like, yes! We need to push you. It is time. And I felt great. Renewed. Inspired. And then, here we are like 2 months later, and she does not even call me. She has another agent call me to break up. And then, when I called and spoke with that other agent tonight to share these thoughts with her -- she basically told me that they -- the 4 agents -- had had a meeting and had decided that there were other people who would be thrilled to take my place. And I was. Guys, I was honest. And strong. And I told her exactly how I felt.

Kind of like in Pretty Woman when she says, You work on commission? Big mistake. Huge.

2. Communication. I think it is so important when something happens to you that upsets you to ask yourself, what is my role in this? How did I create something that hurts? And I think what I have (re) learned is this -- always communicate. I found myself not communicating about an audition for VO. Like, I would actually forget about it. Or I would promise I would do it, and then -- I would not prioritize it and suddenly, I'd find myself thinking, Oh shiiite. I totally forgot. And I am a passionate woman -- I'm sure at this point, my passion is pretty clear to you all. But the thing is -- when I lose my passion for something, I have to listen to my gut -- and also to honor the people who are involved. And communicate with them about what's going on with me -- so that they don't feel frustrated with me, or hurt by my actions. So that they don't feel like their hard work is being disrespected. And so this is the lesson here for me. Always communicate honestly about what is going on with me. And make a plan. Tell them -- I need to take 2 months off. Or I am interested in going out on these auditions and not these, does this work for you? 

I had called today to express these things. And after 9 years with the agency, I feel that calling me and communicating with me what they were feeling -- upset -- before actually breaking up a nine year relationship would have been the kind and respectful thing to do.

I think what they did was not smart. But as one of my fave songs by Gabe Dixon goes, All Will Be Well, You Can Ask Me How But Only Time Will Tell.

3. Gut. I can't say this enough -- even when it's scary sometimes because we have no clue where it will lead us, we HAVE to listen to our gut. To that voice inside of us that says, this is no longer working. I am no longer inspired by this. I am not being a "first-rate version of myself" right now. And I have not been for awhile now. But alas... I was feeling ch- ch- ch- changes... And I needed to express it to my one agent who was frustrated with me -- I could feel it in her emails and phone calls. And so, I was talking to my friend Jeff this morning. And incidentally he is a Voice Over God. He has built his house on his voice -- he works as much as I drink chai tea latte. (And thassa lot!) And alas -- this morning, I was telling him that I wasn't as inspired as I needed to be. That I needed a push, a referral to an animation studio from the agency so I could meet the people who could get me great jobs, that I needed my agent to fight for me to get paid for my cartoon, that I was just not that same kid that I was when I signed with them. But I had been feeling this -- like I am working towards the movie and my books and my memoir and signing with a great manager and hiring a lawyer and finding a boyfriend -- Lord forbid! Hehe -- and that this was falling away from my passion. I simply wasn't feeling it like I used to back in the day -- though admittedly back in the day when I was easily making great $$$ doing it -- that I could feel. And I told the agent J -- I said, it's hard to get excited about this when I haven't been paid for my cartoon in over a year. And when I haven't made money doing this in like 2 years. And I am making $ in other areas. She told me that they had a client who hadn't booked ever in 11 years -- and he still keeps coming to every audition. And I felt like saying, Bless his soul... but has he been checked for mental illness? I mean, all joking aside -- how can an artist take that??? 11 years. Part of me thinks gosh... I admire so admire someone who sticks with it and gives it his all. And the other part of me thinks when it's not working bud, it's not working. And it's important to know when to out down the bow and arrow. And walk away.

And well, my little blades... this chickie has simply picked up her bow and arrow and is moving along the reservation to another tepee.... Hmmm... Not sure if that metaphor worked. Zoiks!

But you all I'm sure know what I mean. It is time to move along -- to ramble on... Lesson learned and I will miss aspects of being with them absolutely. My  beautiful and intelligent agent Luanne and my editor in the booth the lovely Brad -- And I do wish they'd handled it better -- call me in for a meeting, or at least call me to ask what we could do as a team of 9 years to ameliorate this situation because they were upset with me... But alas -- they will deal with the consequences of their actions. And for me -- I need to communicate and be pro-active rather than wait to upset someone.

All in all, quite  day. But -- I AM meeting with the lawyer next week. One of the other ones called me. I am working tomorrow and tomorrow night on organizing my memoir to send out. Bitsie gave me great advice last night, She said, "Go with your gut. (once again!) And so I am discovering a super cool way to prepare it to be sent out. Email or snail mail I am wondering. If it's email -- I am going to have to scan some photos as they are going to accompany my book.

And also -- this is my first interactive blog. But to all of your cyber-friends... Can you give me a homework assignment to prepare me for my movie? Like the one from my last blog -- 25 things about Eliza. I'd LOVE that.

Love to you all... And I am leaving you with a scrumptious quote to send you all to sleep or to wake or to the great in between...

The sun was like a great visiting presence that stimulated and took its due from all animal energy. When it flung wide its cloak and stepped down over the edge of the fields at evening, it left behind it a spent and exhausted world.
Willa Cather (1873-1947)


  1. Very well done. Gut feeling is always right. Too bad we couldn't catch up while I'm in San Diego.

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  5. Elliott, your audition idea is super cool -- In shall try it! And I love "the questions you ask, are almost always the answers."

    Thank you for your wisdom and well-read comments!

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