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Meeting with an Agent

(by Tony Martinez/Talent Agent
Author of An Agent Tells All)

 

Congratulations! You did it. You managed to get my attention and Iíve agreed to take a meeting.

That means you get one shot to convince me that my career as an agent cannot continue unless your name is on my list. 

The process is simple. First, I always meet one on one with potential clients. This gives me a chance to really get to know the person.

If that goes well, I ask the actor to come back and meet the other agents. Itís essential that everyone be in agreement. One agent should never try to convince the others to sign someone.

And thatís basically it. The only problem is actors tend to be their own worst enemy. Believe it or not, actors seeking representation are always convincing me NOT to sign them.  Pretty depressing, right?

Iím always amazed by how much effort actors put into getting a meeting with me but none of you ever know how to behave once youíre actually in my office.

Before we tackle this subject, letís make something clear. I want to like you. Itís my job to sign actors and if youíre sitting in my office, that means you did something right. Maybe I noticed your submission. Maybe someone referred you. Or maybe I saw your work in a showcase. Whatever it was, something positive happened to get your butt into that chair. So donít turn a positive into a negative. Youíve got 15 minutes to make an impression. Thatís 900 seconds. You have to use that time wisely.

So how should you behave in my office?  Well, think of it this way. Meeting with an agent is like a first date. Youíve got two people in a room. Theyíre sizing each other up.  And theyíre both wondering if itís going to go any further.

     

Now ask yourself this: whatís the worst thing you can do on a first date? 

Answer:  Talk about yourself.

Thereís nothing worse than being stuck on a date with someone who spends the whole night going on and on about themselves. Itís the same thing in a meeting. I tend to tune out actors who waste their time by doing a non-stop monologue about who they are and what they want. 

So donít play into the stereotype of the narcissistic, self-involved actor. Itís dull. Itís boring. And worst of all, it doesnít give me a chance to really get to know you.

Instead, walk into that office and create an atmosphere where you can both get to know each other as people. I have to forget that youíre an actor seeking representation. Thatís boring. Instead, I need to see you as an individual. I have to get a sense of who you really are outside the world of show business.

How do you do this? Easy. Try to have a normal conversation. Maybe thereís something in my office that catches your chair. Or maybe you just saw a great movie. Whatever. The idea is to get into a give and take situation where youíre talking about anything but acting. This will give me a chance to get to know the real you.

I once met with a young lady who had ďtarot card readerĒ listed on her resume under Special Skills. It just so happens that I love anything having to do with the occult. So we started talking about it and the next thing you know, weíre both sitting on the floor and sheís giving me a reading. As a result, we really got to know each other and I ended up representing her for many years.

Now thatís what I call a good meeting.

Remember Ė itís easy for an agent to pass on an actor seeking representation.  We do it every day.  But saying no becomes just a little bit harder when weíve spent 15 minutes getting to know you as a human being. And that might just be enough to get you signed as a client.

   
Tony Martinez is the author of ďAn Agent Tells AllĒ.  All rights reserved.  Not to be reproduced or distributed without the direct written permission of the author.  For more information, visit http://www.AnAgentTellsAll.com.




 

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