Casting Director contributor, Scott Powers, offers these ideas on how to keep a healthy relationship with your agent. I've made some personal notes below each idea in APPLE RED.How do you stay in an agent's line of sight and top of mind without seeming pesky?
1.) After meeting an agent, send them a bread-and-butter picture postcard of thanks. Mention your appreciation of their time and you look forward to working with them.
This is also a great idea to use with CDs after a callback or to a producer/director after working on their set. We all want to be appreciated. The more you take the steps to show it, the more likely the rest of the industry will reciprocate that effort, which will lead to a happier working everybody!
2.)If you're in a show, let them know! Some agents will attend, some won't. Regardless, it shows you're out there being pro-active in your career. Building up valuable theatre training and credits, which all agents want. You will always come out ahead.
I LOVE **really want to stress that I do love** it when a talent notifies me of their being in a live production. Attending everything is impossible since I am only one person, but when the talent goes out of their way to provide a comp ticket and I am not able to attend, I pass the comp along to another industry professional with whom the talent can benefit from impressing such as a casting director, producer, or screen writer.3.) Send them a postcard once a month - for the rest of your life - with something worthwhile to say. What have you done since the last monthly postcard. Keep in mind, no one gets a booking every month. A callback is good. An audition is good. Be specific - for what, who's the director, who submitted you. This is information the agent likes to know. Taking a class? Agents want to know their talent is always training. Whatever you are doing to further your career. This separates you from those who are sitting by the phone waiting for it to ring.
In my case, I like a quick email (do your back pocket and the tree population a favor). Reminders even about callbacks for significant projects or a memorable story from a set give your agent something to humanize you during discussions with production people. The human connection also makes your agent more likely to feel impressed to push your career a little farther.
4.) New headshots? Ask the agent if they'd look at your selects. That means not the 200 that were originally shot. Best if those selects were available in digital format so it is easy to make choices. Agents reviewing your shots makes them feel an instrumental part of your career. If you have dropped off hard copies of your headshots, they will use them up in the course of doing business. Running low! Checking in with their office will be in order to see if they need more - and drop them off within 24 hours, looking great and grand.
If I had a nickle for every time a talent dropped off headshots with corners bent, resumes not attached, or crud smeared on the front of their image, I'd be sitting on a beach in Tahiti typing this. Your agent cares more about your reputation (and their own) to send that out to someone forking over money for your presence. Make your materials shine so that your agent is sure to never miss the chance (or push the envelope a little) to [be able] to submit you!
5.) Did an agent give you stickers? To put on the back of your headshots when going on auditions or go-sees? You use them up. Running low! Checking in with their office to pick up more is in order. Pick them up the next day, again looking great and grand.
A suggestion here that I missed the first time I read it was to "look great and grand." Your agent will have minimal face to face contact with you, so it's important to always look your best so that the most impressive image of "you" will stick in their minds when pitching you to a client later.
Stickers are still used in some markets, but check with your agent to find out what process they prefer - we have a stamp, but are happy to send stickers via email for talent to print if requested.
These points above will help you develop your relationship with agents. They are your go-between for the good jobs. It is necessary work and the payoff, when it happens, can be so sweet.