• Sarah Parr

"We Love You, But We Hate Your Reel..."

Updated: Jan 19, 2021

“We love you, but we hate your reel.” These tough-love words came out of the first meeting Patrick Chang ever had with a talent agency.

At this point, Patrick knew he had potential for representation. Since an agency showed interest, the only thing holding him back was taking the next step toward big-name opportunities — creating high-quality, professional-looking scenes that casting directors could easily watch to envision what he could bring to their projects. That’s when REELARC came into the picture.

You may recognize Patrick as Agent Hsaio from Emergence, but he’ll be the first person to tell you that he wouldn’t have landed that role without REELARC. As one of REELARC’s three-peat clients, Patrick spent the entirety of 2019 as a working actor — whether acting on set, in the theater or in front of casting directors, no “side gigs” were needed to let him live his dream.

Having trained in New York City for four years, Patrick’s plan to become a professional actor seemed linear and simple: build a résumé, get an agent and book as many jobs as possible. But this is easier said than done. When Patrick started out — trying to get gigs all by himself — he worked mainly in small theaters and on independent films every now and then. The entertainment industry is hard and won’t work unless you do: that’s what Patrick had to learn the hard, blunt, upfront way.

Patrick shot three different scenes with REELARC, and that changed his audition game. If a casting director wants to see a fast-talking office guy, Patrick has a 30-second clip. If another casting director wants to see a crime scene investigator (which is what got him the Emergence audition), Patrick has a clip for that, too. Short, concise, specific scenes are what casting directors want to see when they’re deciding who even gets to audition for a role. The price of admission to an audition is good acting: casting directors understand that you can act (hopefully), so now they wanna see you in action — can your innate qualities serve a specific role in their project?

After obtaining a professional-quality reel, Patrick finally signed with the agent who would eventually send his REELARC video to a casting director for the role of “FBI AGENT” on Emergence. Chang entered the audition room nervous and left without getting his hopes up. But a couple days later, he got an email saying he booked the job. After Patrick finished filming his scene, he received an email from his agent saying to call her right away: the producers of the show wanted to give his character a name and bring him back for another episode the next day. When asked if he was available, Patrick replied, “Am I available? Of course I’m available!” Within 48 hours, he went from a co-star to a recurring character. All he did was his job, doing his best with the opportunities that came his way.

Now that Patrick is on his way to being the professional actor he’s worked so hard to become, he notes that one of the best things about working with REELARC was the mental security it gave him. “When you’re an actor, you have almost no mental security,” Patrick admits. But when you have something high-quality to show for your work, you have confidence. There is always room for improvement, but having a professional-quality reel is something you can control, and in an industry with so many uncertainties, that is a gift.

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