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OTHER ITA SITES:
The Secret Formula To Getting An Agent
Today I want to talk a about getting an agent. It is perhaps the most important thing on the minds of artists. Yet, despite all the interest, it is perhaps the one area least understood.
In my lifetime, I have gone through a number of them. But the question should never be how do I get an agent; but more, "How Do I Get A GOOD agent?" Agents are a dime a dozen. Most are overwhelmed with clients. So if you happen to sign with one of those, you'll be another name in their client book. Even Spike Lee admitted that when he signed with William Morris they never called him for work.
So let's throw out the idea of getting one for the sake of just having one. Sometimes, believe it or not, a smaller agency that really believes in you can do more for you than a big-time agency. And as with any agent, it takes time to build up rapport and trust. As I said, because they have so many clients YOU need to stand out. Opening the channels of communication is the best place to start.
What bothers me is the fact that actors walk around with the notion that if they get an agent, all their problems will be solved. The agent will send them out on calls or get them studio work, etc. It doesn't work that way. Agents want actors and writers who are going places. If you are sitting back complaining, "If I only had an agent things would be different," then you need to get out of this industry. Why would an agent want anyone not willing to put the time and effort in, on their own, for the advancement of their career? Think about it.
Who wants to work with a lazy person? If you want a good agent, then you have to get their attention. If you are out there getting work on your own and making a name for yourself, then the agents will come to you. Trust me on that. After I did my first feature film, one of the biggest agencies in Hollywood, International Creative Management (ICM), called me! The best part about that is, if you have demonstrated that you are a hot commodity, then you may have more than one agency after you. So you'll have options and won't necessarily have to sign with just the first one that comes along. But on the other hand, if you are sitting at home eating potato chips and watching "Family Guy," then it is going to be really hard to get any agent's attention, good or bad.
It's your career. You have to treat it like a business. If you want a certain agency to represent you, then you have to bring something to the table. What is your body of work? What do your resume, reel, writing samples and or portfolio look like? Don't just have this magic idea in your head that your agent will put all that together for you. Sure, there are agencies out there that will sign you just because you have a dynamic look. But don't hold your breath on that one!
You should also build a list of names of every agent out there. Get to know them as if they were your personal friends. In LA there are certain restaurants, department stores and events they frequent. You should make it a point to frequent them as well. Some time ago, I attended an event in New York where I happened to run into a very famous director. The next day I had to fly out to LA to attend another event. Guess what? That same director was there as well. He was so surprised to see me that we become friends. He called me Mr. Jet Setter because it seemed I was bi-coastal. He even tried to help me get financing for my first film!
So, I want you to start thinking in terms of getting things moving on your own. Hit those auditions. Build your reel. Take your acting classes. Write more than one screenplay. Network with everyone in the business. Send out a press release. Put yourself on the radar screen! If you are truly working hard, I guarantee you an agent will find and discover you! Opportunity meets preparedness. Peace!
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