WHAT TO DO AT AN AGENT MEETING
Help! I Have An Agent Meeting…
Recently, actors at MMAS have been having requests for an agent meetings. The #1 question they have is….
…What do I do at an agent meeting?
Here’s my advice.
1. Be Prepared.
Have all of your acting materials ready. This means your headshot and resume, website, updated reel or acting clips and a list of casting directors you’ve auditioned for or who know you.
2. Dress Professionally.
Remember, this is a business meeting where you get to see if you like each other, how easy it will be to work together and if it’s someone you’d like to be represented by. It’s important to dress the part. Meaning, dress as if you’re going on a first date to impress the other person. No flip flops, ripped jeans, dirty t-shirts. You are representing your brand AND the agency wants to know how you’ll represent yourself out in the audition world.
3. Know Your Type And What You Are Selling.
Your type is extremely important because if you’re not clear on your type, it makes it difficult for the agent to sell you. For example, you give off are a high strung, energetic A-type personality yet you think you give off a chill, meditative and easy going vibe. This is now confusing for your agent when you meet because your “type” feels high strung and energetic, yet you feel you're selling "chill, meditative and easy going." This is more work for you AND your agent as you don’t lead with that type. You want to make your job and the agent’s job easy by knowing what type of roles you’ll go out for and if you’re confused on your type and what you’re selling then so are we.
4. Your Marketing Needs To Reflect Your Type.
Your marketing tools need to reflect your type in order for an agent to “sell or pitch you.” This means your headshot needs to look like the type of roles you would play; high strung A-type corporate lawyer, sweet loving innocent wife, wise-cracking best friend, military or cop role. You don’t need a gazillion headshots to show the agent a gazillion roles you can play. You need one solid headshot that reflects the type of roles you will go out for. If you are a cop type you don’t need to get a headshot dressed in a cop uniform. A simple denim shirt with white t-shirt underneath will give us that blue collar vibe.
5. Be Specific and Clear About What You Want.
If you don’t know what you want out of your career how is the agent supposed to help you obtain it? I can’t tell you how many actors when asked what they want say “I just want to be auditioning!” Really? You just want to audition for the rest of your career? It’s much better to be clear and specific about what you truly want. I asked an actor during our consultation together what he wanted and he said, “I want just want to work.” And I laughed because guess what? ALL actors want to work! So we talked about it a bit and he finally said, “I really would love to be a series regular on a sitcom. I’m also not interested in doing theater but I’d love to audition for commercials.” To me this much more clear and specific. This way the agent knows that you are working towards this goal and how to help you move towards that goal. And if the agent thinks it’s too much work to do that or can’t help you do that, then it’s not the right fit so move on.
6. Good vs. Bad Questions To Ask Agent.
Think about this as a business meeting. What would you want to know from your employer that’s going to help you do your job and assist the company at the same time. You want to walk confidently into your meeting with questions that will inform and empower you to make a solid decision when they offer you representation. Yet most of the time actors are desperate to get an agent that they forget to consider what they want and if the agent can provide that service for them.
The following are a list of questions you may want to ask/not ask…
-Who are the casting directors you’d like me to meet that aren’t on my list?
-How would you like me to check in with you? Email? Call?
-How often do I need to check in with you?
-If I see a casting role that is right for me should I let you know?
-When you want to freelance with an actor what exactly does that mean?
-If you suggest new headshots, what photographers do you like?
-Do you like to work with managers? If so, are there some you prefer over others?
-What percentage do you take?
-Do you think it’s okay to call you if I have a question?
-How often am I going to go out on auditions with you?
-Do you think I have a chance at stardom?
-Why aren’t I going out at all?
6. Follow Up.
Be professional and be yourself in your follow up. I’d suggest sending a handwritten card being specific about what you liked about the agency and thanking them for the opportunity. You can also send an email doing the same but remember EVERYONE emails! And sometimes it can seem a little impersonal. Don’t fake it. If you didn’t like the agent, you can simply send a professional thank you email. You never want to burn bridges in this industry. It’s too small and too close knit.
7. The Agent Wants To Sign You Now What?
Congratulations! Now you get to go over the contract to be sure you’re happy with the length of the contract and overall percentage they take. If this looks good to you and you feel good about the agent, then sign away! But remember, most agents take 15% which means you still need to do 85% of the work. No resting on your behind because your journey has begun.
Most importantly, be yourself. Not only is it refreshing for the agent, it also helps put you at ease knowing you were signed based on the true you.