There's a saying in Hollywood: "it's either a fast yes, and you never hear no."
What this means is you either hear yes immediately -- you sold it! They want to rep you! The actor wants to attach to your project!
Or (what happens far more often) ... you or your reps have submitted your piece to whatever decision-maker and ... crickets.
You hear nothing for weeks or months. Having heard about the importance of following up, you make yourself call or email -- "just to check in!" -- increasingly shrinking into the ground and turning into a corncob as it feels more and more awkward and unnerving and humiliating to do so. ("But I'm supposed to follow up right? Isn't that what they say?" Ugh.)
It's one thing to "never hear no" from the decision-makers, but it's perhaps even worse when you're waiting for your reps to follow up and deliver you a decision either way. Because every time you call your reps "just to check in!" you can almost see your heat evaporating into a Siberian winter. And heat is the most important currency you have in this town. It's the jet fuel that gets things done.
Why do things work this way? Don't they understand that as an artist, your heart and your soul are lying out their naked on the table under florescent lights, and they don't even have the decency and the kindness to tell you "no" and let you cover yourself and withdraw in shame?
The reason they never say no is because (as I've said before) ... no one knows who the next rocketship will be. You could very well be the person who runs Hollywood next week, the writer setting up multiple huge deals. And there they are, looking like an idiot, the last person to say "no" to the hottest writer in town. Or they're the person who passed on the Beatles (as one of my producers told me he did when he was an agent at the William Morris Agency in the early '60's).
So better to just never say "no." That way, if your project is suddenly on fire, they somehow still have retained the option to find your number and say "yes!" It's a big if, but at least they. never said "no" to a supernova.
I thought of this old Hollywood maxim tonight waiting for a guy to text me back. "It's a fast yes, and you never hear no." UGH.