Every new relationship is exciting – we frequently refer to the new love euphoria as “the honeymoon stage” in any relationship. Your partnership with an agent is likely to release the same endorphins that create the high you feel when seeing that cute guy or girl on whom you have a crush. Your hopes are high . . . and if I might divulge a secret here, so are your new agent’s!
Use this time wisely to set yourself apart and make their A list. You can do a few simple things to show your new agent how serious you are and to permanently gain their good graces. Keep in mind that you only get one chance to make a first impression – and that impression will create either a solid or shaky foundation for your future together!
Quickly supply the agent with the materials they are requesting. Examples may be headshots, resumes, comp cards, digital images, database profiles, hardcopy prints, and even that pesky talent/agent agreement. The faster you respond to their requests, the faster they will be able to get you working!
Do your best to be available to opportunities! The first few times your agent calls, you need to be able to make yourself available to whatever opportunities are presented. The work is not below you even if it’s simple or a less than desirable pay rate, despite what you may think. Agents need to build trust in talent by getting feedback from places where the talent won’t have the ability to cause lasting damage if they don’t hold up their end of the bargain. Commit to being able to say YES no matter what for at least the first five casting opportunities you get. The warm fuzzies that your agent will feel when dialing your number will be established and ensure more calls in the future.
Be prepared and professional for each new opportunity. I recently watched a talent get black-balled from ever seeing a powerful CD on his first casting opportunity with that company. He made a very poor choice and is going to suffer the consequences of that first poor interaction for the rest of his career with that one connection. Feedback from CDs, producers, production assistants, and directors is valuable to the agent (whose job is to protect the sanctity of their full roster, keep in mind). Positive feedback earns major brownie points and will have an agent going to bat for you in a heartbeat; whereas negative feedback will handicap that relationship for an extended time period.
These three simple actions will guarantee a long lasting and profitable relationship and career. What have you done to built a positive relationship with your agent?