|Austin-Bergstrom International Airport|
More Lessons Learned
by Luis Olmeda
A newcomer has arrived in the entertainment industry. After one great performance in a local Georgetown theater, he heard a little voice saying, "This is your calling, your love, be an actor!"
"Whats next?" he asked himself. Well, like many beginners, he was clueless with no picture, resume, agent and no other recent acting experience. With the exception of that one play, he had no idea how to get into the market. Anyway, not long after that, he was asked to perform in another play by the same Production Company and an audience member, intrigued by his performance, hired him for a local public announcement commercial. That little voice returned, reiterating, "Whats the matter with you, didnt you here me the first time? This is your calling, so get your ass in gear and move man, move!" He then knew that his next step would be to enhance his skills in an acting course.
One day he came to me for advice on the subject. I provided him with a list of many good instructors with email addresses in the local vicinity and the outskirts of Austin. Within those classes, he will be able to network and obtain the necessary skills in no time.
He chooses an instructor and immediately mailed out a check for the full cost of the class. Days later, his manager notified him of a business trip that will unfortunately conflict with the scheduled classes. He had no choice but to drop the class a week before it started. He immediately got on the telephone and left the instructor a message explaining his situation, asking for a full refund. After numerous telephone calls and emails, the instructor finally got back to him, via email. Another telephone call was to follow up the next day to put a closure on the issue it never happened.
The day came when the class he supposedly was to take arrived. He went to meet with the instructor face-to-face to resolve the issue. For the instructor, this was not a good idea, in fact, a poor move on his part. The instructor scolded him for bringing his issues on a class day, refused to converse about it and assured him that contact would be made the next day to put this to rest.
The next morning, he opened his emails and found a note from the instructor. In so many words it read that normally the deposit is non-refundable, but that he would make an exception. In addition, he is never to contact the instructor in any way or form. Any additional comments or questions should be conveyed to the instructors attorney.
Eventually he acquired all of his money back. Now let us take a moment to learn something valuable from his experience. Some suggestions might be helpful to both parties, here they are:
Whenever emailing or snail mailing future classes, you may want to add a comment concerning the deposit amount and a statement whether it is refundable or not (with a cancellation notice policy).
If the information you have obtained is not clear enough, ask the following questions:
As you can see the above incident was a serious lack of communication and can be prevented by asking the right questions. No matter how highly recommended the instructor is, ask the questions.
Luis A. Olmeda