Tripp Stryker continues his week of fill-in columns while The Bitter Script Reader is on vacation. Bitter will return next Monday.
I see a lot of people discussing various strategies about how to get agents. How should they politely query them? What should they put in their email subject line so that it doesn’t get deleted? How many months can they wait before calling to check on it? If you call to check on an email submission, will you be blacklisted? If you push more than one script will you seem arrogant?
Good God, you people are wusses. Worse, you’re insecure. And you know what people think of those who are insecure? They’re losers.
Getting an agent is like getting laid. In fact, it’s exactly like getting laid.
Most women decide in the first 30 seconds they meet you whether or not they’re going to sleep with you. It’s true. In less than a minute, they know if they are ever going to fuck you – so you Ducky’s out there waiting for that girl who sees you as “just a friend” to wake up and ravish you… it ain’t gonna happen.
The same is true with agents – they know right away. There’s no need to woo them, it’s just a numbers game. Some agents will say yes, some will say no. What you need to do as a writer is get through the “nos” fast enough so you can reach that “yes” without wasting your time on dead ends.
I recently went on a date with a young actress who’s currently a co-star on a very popular show. It was sort of a set-up through mutual acquaintances and we ended up meeting at the restaurant. We showed up, checked each other out and made the expected small talk for a few minutes until I cut right to it. I flat out told her that I could tell there was heat between us and that deep down she was just dying to get crazy with me. Before we’d even gotten past drinks, I suggested we take this to my place.
Well, she got all huffy and left right there. Most guys would says “Bitch!” Not me. She saved us both some time. I had a Saturday night free to prowl and find easy prey, and I hadn’t wasted more than 30 minutes. Hell, I hadn’t even wasted money on dinner. Pretty sweet, wouldn’t you say?
If she wanted to sleep with me, that totally would have worked. She totally would have been thrown by the fact that her lust was that obvious. Deep down, all women are insecure, especially the hot ones.
Don’t believe me? Do what I should have done in high school: go to the library and read every book about teenage girls and low self-esteem. They're manuals for how to hit the right insecurities. It’s like having the plans for the Death Star and being able to spot that one thermal exhaust port. I didn’t figure this out until the end of college, but it absolutely is effective.
The very next night I’m out a club with some agency buddies. You know the type, trying way too hard to act like they’re on Entourage. If I'm being truthful, they’re a bunch of posers, but they’re useful because they’re cocky enough and hot enough to lure the chicks in, then just big enough douchebags to make me look sexy by comparison. At best they’re bait. They’re no threat to my game because these guys have no idea what they’re doing.
So another TV starlet comes over. Total hottie. Her show’s not quite as big as the first girl’s but it’s been on longer – or at least it was on longer… really not sure if it was canceled. The point is, you’d know her face and body but you might have to dig for the name. Agency Tard #1 lures her in, having met her when he assisted her boss. Turns out the friend she came with just left with a hookup. Anyway, TV Girl’s totally giving me the eye, to the point of ignoring Former Assistant to keep engaging me in conversation.
The music’s loud, which gives me the perfect excuse to lean over the table and talk right into her ear. If the physics of this worked out, I’d usually suggest just moving to sit up against her. That wasn’t an option, but it did have the effect of shutting down all the other guys. Nothing makes it clear that she’s into only me by the fact that she leans across a table just to chat rather than respond to chatter from other guys trying to talk her up.
I waste little time dropping the bomb. After some cursory chit-chat, I say, “Let’s get out of here and take this back to your place.” She looks shocked at my boldness, but then I accuse her basically of undressing me with her eyes and suggest she should stop embarrassing herself. She denies it – saying she’s not looking for that tonight. I tell her that if that was true, she wouldn’t have bothered wearing her sexier underwear tonight.
I can tell I caught her off guard with this. She doesn’t know what to make of this – if I’m joking, if I’m insulting, or if I’m coming onto her. She tries the flirt. Big mistake for her. “What makes you think I am?” she says, in a tone of voice that totally tells me I’m right. I tell her, “If I’m not, let’s head out back and you can show me how wrong I am.”
She doesn’t have an answer for that. She leans back and just looks at me. I’ve run this game before, so I know to back off and let her think she’s losing my attention.
Three minutes later her foot is massaging my crotch. With her panties dangling from it. She’s got my attention. Our eyes meet, and we’re out of there before our companions even notice we’re missing.
It’s a numbers game.
Agents are just as insecure, and just as quick to judge if you’ll fill their needs. Sure, their logical side might say to take a day or so, really weigh the merits of you as a writer and then render a decision. But at the end of the day they can’t afford to open the trades tomorrow and see your name with another agency.
You have all the power. They are nobody. Their whole system is designed to make writers feel like the agents hold all the cards. It’s not about them letting you into the agency, it’s about you letting them get your work.
TV Girl wanted to fuck me. Her logical side probably was trying to tell her to get to know me better, or to feel me out first before taking that step – but deep down she wanted to do it. It was an instinct that was begging to be followed – all I did was jumpstart it before she found a reason not to listen to it. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain by being forward.
And it’s exactly the same with agents.
Contact Tripp Stryker at TrippleThreat69@hotmail.com.