- Submitted by SAG Member Alex Hyde-White
My agent, Ann Geddes, is known as the best theatre agent in Los Angeles. Ann started in Chicago, and was part of that town’s theatrical renaissance. She runs a "boutique" agency in West Hollywood, and has been booking actors exclusively for over 20 years. It can't be easy, suffering through round after round of consolidations, labor threats (both real and imagined), star-name shopping and all the rest. 2009 was a struggle for many, myself included. A silver lining to those conditions was a return to theatre. Just before Christmas, I went in to Ann's office and plopped down in her well-worn but comfy chair opposite her desk and said something to the effect of “I feel competitive in the arena now and would like to work proper Equity roles.”
At the end of January, Ann called me and asked if I wanted to audition to understudy at The Geffen for Annette Benning’s latest play. I was on a public bus in Park City, Utah at the time, having driven there to participate in some independent films. Ann prefaced the offer by saying "it's boring hanging out at the theatre but it gets you in with a very good, legit house.” I quickly thanked her and accepted the meeting for the following Tuesday in Westwood (some 800 miles away!). She finished with "good, I’ll tell [the Casting Director]. They didn't know you over there, so this will be good." That made me laugh, since Ann had started the conversation making me feel like I had been sought after and ended it, in illuminating fashion, by revealing it was actually she that had pitched me--which is great!
About an hour later, the Geddes office called back with a guest star audition for NCIS at Paramount, for Monday. Yes, I would be returning home early.
I got both jobs.
If I hadn't been with Ann Geddes, and sat in her chair before Christmas, I wouldn't be one step closer to a mid-career reformation through legit theatre. Since we know confidence feeds on itself, it’s fair to say that I may not have gotten the top-of-show guest star on NCIS to start off 2010 if Ann Geddes hadn't listened and responded to me. Ann has given me a sense of empowerment and validation.
I love being an actor. It’s probably the most capricious of all pursuits. But, if one believes in the concept of one's talent, works to maintain it, stays ready and available to meet a destiny-filled moment when it comes (most unexpectedly), and has an agent like Ann Geddes, then...it can be the most joyous of pursuits as well.
Are you represented by a terrific, franchised agent that you believe does not get the recognition that he or she deserves? Let us know and he or she may just be our next Agent of the Month. Send entries by e-mail to email@example.com, or by mail to SAG Agent of the Month, SAG Agency Department, 5757 Wilshire Blvd., 7th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90036-3600. We look forward to hearing from you!