Talent have the responsibility to provide their representation with marketing materials. Agents and managers use these materials to submit and pitch talent for work. They can also be used to keep a talent’s face present with a client on an ongoing basis or to build networking opportunities. At the end of the day, if your representation wants to send you out and you have not supplied them with the necessary materials, their hands are tied and that means YOU are not working!! Before you panic, here’s a simple list of what the basic requests are likely to be from your agent/manager. This is not an exhaustive list, so listen carefully when you are being directed and be sure to follow through on each request to give yourself the best chance to be a success!
1.) Printed Images. For actors, this will be a headshot (or 2-3
images in some markets) with a resume attached properly. When looking at the printed image, you should be able to flip it over and see the resume clearly. Staples are generally requested, but other methods include glue or printing directly on the back of the image. Truth be known, the fixation technique you choose will be lauded by some and ridiculed by others. Time and experience will teach the wise talent which directors and CDs prefer which style.
For models, these images are usually composite cards. Your agency may use them most often to submit you for work, but you should have a few in your portfolio to hand out as business cards when you meet an industry professional.
2.) Digital copies. The most amazing technological advances have graced the starving artist’s budget with online transmissions using digital materials. This means the talent doesn’t have to pay nearly as much for printing as they might have in the past.
The proactive talent utilizes industry respected databases like Actors Access, NowCasting, LA Casting, and your own agency website to compete in the ever faster moving world of entertainment. Not only are these profiles necessary and convenient, they are readily watched by CDs seeing your face over and over. Is this person growing? Do they have new credits . . . new tear sheets? A common mistake on the part of the talent is not keeping these database profiles up to date. Agents submitting outdated images, resumes, skill sets, etc. cause the talent to look unprofessional. The damage isn’t done to the agent or manager, but rather to the talent him/herself. Update these profiles regularly!
3.) Video Files. Not only are talent given access to databases, but the old film reel to show hard and fast ability has been converted to digital format. It’s rare that agents and managers even use the hard copy DVD anymore (again, another material you don’t have to purchase). Video files can be transmitted electronically through most databases and websites. Clients expect immediate responses when requesting a talent’s reel – even the overnight process is too slow in today’s market. Be sure your agent or manager has copies of all your relevant work in both hardcopy and digital formats!
4.) Electronic Portfolio. Designers are asking for a models’ book of tears electronically, too. Your hardcopy portfolio is still necessary, but shipping it across country or even down the street is costly! Why be billed those fees by your representation when you can provide an electronic resource at a much lower cost and supply your client with an immediate response?
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