You would think that after working in the industry for several years, I wouldn't be surprised by it anymore, but I just don't get it, still. I don't understand the lack of loyalty, the self centered-ness, the disrespect that runs rampant.
Personally, I am an extremely loyal person. Once I become a fan of an actor/musician/ect, they pretty much have my support through all. I've been know to travel to see them preform, or make an adjustment to my sched in order to go support them in something last min. Some people may think of it as obsessive, but really it's just my version of being supportive. Everything is very professional, and even though over the years a more friendly relationship has developed with certain actors, I am still hesitant to call them "friends". Each and everyone of them knows that if they needed something, I would do everything in my power to help.
The point of the matter is I believe in loyalty and Karma, do unto others and all of that. In my years of working in the entertainment industry I have worked for two different agencies. The fist one, was tiny, the have since grown larger, but by industry standards, at least their NYC office is minuscule. The second, is a great deal larger, though by no means one of the BIG names. We may not be William Morris, but we have plenty of up and comers and names you'd probably recognize. Both agencies worked hard for their clients.
Here's what blows my mind though, actor's (or in some cases their guardians') utter lack of loyalty and their disrespect for the people who got them to where they are. I can not tell you the number of times I've seen an actor book a job, or two, that seems to be getting some heat, then drop their agent and/or manager for someone "bigger". It is almost as if every actor who books one thing looses all common sense. Don't even get me started on those who end the relationship with an email as opposed to manning up and doing it in person, or at the very least, picking up the phone.
First off, dumping the people who believed in you and fought to get you where you are, the first chance someone bigger comes to you is bad Karma. Don't get me wrong, I think it's perfectly fine to leave your rep if they are not working for you. If they are neglecting you, which they never should be, not listening to your wants/needs or if you have gone as far as you possibly can with them. However, to leave them, just as you start to gain momentum, because someone "Bigger" began showing interest? That is the dumbest move an actor can make.
Let's face it, the smaller agency you started with knows you. When I worked at my first agency, and worked on a desk not only did I speak with the clients nearly everyday, I also knew a wealth of information on them. I knew their schedules, who worked where on the survival jobs, various random skills they had, who slept in, who was an early riser, who was horrible at directions, ect. And when a client started to get heat they were the number one priority.
Though my position has changed, I still know a great deal about our clients and again those starting to gain momentum are always a top priority. If you leave for a bigger agency, you are more likely than not going to become just another name on their list. And when the lists includes names like George Clooney and Julia Roberts...you're gonna be much further down that list then you want to be.
Please don't misconstrue this, I have no problems with the BIG agencies. They do great work, I'm sure, but coming from a background of smaller companies, a move like that just doesn't make sense to me.
As I said before, I just don't understand why people think in order to make it be a success they need to sell their souls, that bigger is better and whatnot.