Saturday, November 6, 2010
An agent is a marriage. Choose wisely and work at it.
An agent only gets paid when you work. An agent isn't interested in wasting time talking to (let along signing) people who probably will not make them any money. An agent demands excellent sales tools from talents whom they represent. An agent demands a certain level of accomplishment and knowledge of acting, voice overs, modeling, whatever the person's skills are said to be. Sometimes, people contact me to coach them or create a demo for them and they say (amazingly!) that they've been searching for (or have signed with) and agent (s). I ask why they would have presumed to be ready when they also tell me they are rank beginners and, obviously, do not yet have the proper tools such as demos or headshots or resume. It is out of ignorance that this occurs...putting the cart before the horse as the old saying goes. Oh, they may indeed have been signed by an agent somewhere, a very 'minor' agent, not one in the mainstream, not one with power or connections or experience. And they may have been signed by an agent who honestly does not represent talents of their type or skills (for example, a voice over performer signed by an agent who primarily books musicians or models or theatrical work). Ignorance on both sides. So don't waste your time or agents' time by seeking representation until you are ready and your tools are in place and of top calibre. Then, go for it! And make certain that the agents with whom you sign are right for you and your focus. First, explore their website. Next, talk with them and not only by phone...try to meet face to face. Never 'drop in' of course, but make an appointment. That's being polite! Consider agent choices in that market (region). Once you've made your agent decision and signed with that person, promote yourself and your new agent affiliation widely and keep on doing that online and off. Prepare a postcard mailer. Have proper labels on all CDs and photos and cards. This means you'll have to have multiple print items because each agent needs personalized labels, cards, etc. You should be able to do this simply, at home, on your computer. If you're buying expensive printed materials for each agent, change your business model. Do this at home and save lots of money. So now you're 'married.' You may later get divorced (staying friendly, we hope), but so be it. It is like a marriage, an agent and you, and it takes work to make it work. All best to you.