Most talent report feeling intimidated when they
meet with a new agent for the first time. Their impression is
understandable considering that an agent’s day is frequently spent putting out
fires and juggling emotions from both casting directors, directors,
producers, and the talent themselves. There are ridiculous demands on the
agent’s time, which encompass the full 24 hour day and include weekends.
Stress is the agent’s way of life.
So what can you glean about the agent? As a career, we are busy and have to get to the point. In a culture where we hope to be coddled, having someone get to the point strikes us as harsh and leaves us uncomfortable. Here’s my suggestion about prepping for an interview with an agent: deal with it. A good agent is a busy agent, so don’t be upset if they are curt. (There’s always that small chance you might catch them with a few extra minutes to be more laid back, but don’t plan on this being the case.)
Every agent runs the interview process differently. Some do mass open calls where they see everyone at once. Others don’t take time to see new talent until the talent is making money (e.g., booking jobs). And there are a few agents who invest in the relationship enough to do a personal interview. Whichever course the agent of your desire takes, be willing to follow their direction. The process is set up to allow the agent to focus on their top priorities, which are client and working talent needs.
When you get the chance to speak with the agent face to face, speak their language. I regularly see talent lost in their own concerns and needs. Talent who understand the business, however, speak the industry language by sharing special skills, hobbies, relevant physical abilities and statistics.
What do you imagine an agent would be most interested in knowing about you?