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How to Successfully Partner with an Agent

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If your career is really on a role and you manage to land a contract with an agent – congrats!  You should feel great about reaching your goals.  But, once you make it to this spot, you’ll have to ensure you stay there.  In other words, you’ll want to work well with the person and company who will be representing you.  This means you’ll need to be motivated without being too overzealous.

There are a few things that agents look for when they sign talent and a few things that will turn them off right from the start.  First, it’s important to have goals in mind.  Make these specific.  Your goals can change along the way, but you’ll want to understand where you’d like to head so the agent can help get you there. 

You’ll also want to be prepared with professional, updated marketing materials.  If you are presented a demo reel or link to your website, make sure the links actually work.  If you drastically change your look, make sure to update your headshot.

What will annoy your agent to no end?  For one, having defunct or irrelevant materials to present to clients.  If your agent is going to do a ton of leg work to present you to decision-makers, you don’t want make them look foolish presenting materials that don’t work, don’t fit, or simply don’t make sense.  Your agent will likely be engaged in multiple conversations behind the scenes and you want to enable them to do their job in every way possible.

Casting directors are also busy people.  If you can’t get through the first time because your submission is subpar, you’re likely to lose your spot.  There are plenty of others vying for the same role.  You can be a perfect match, but likely, so is a bunch of other actors who have materials to show the minute they’re asked for.

The bottom line is, your agent is responsible for a portfolio of talent.  You are only responsible for yourself.  Be your own best advocate when it comes to promoting your career even after you sign.  Double and triple check you have everything on hand that could be required, have practiced the part, and have a solid understanding of what the expectations are.

It’s also important to remember your agent has your back.  While you should follow up from time to time, they are working on your behalf all of the time.  Don’t overburden them with multiple calls.  Respect your agent’s time so they have time to get you booked!

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