Everyone who knows anything about entertainment will agree that the #1 factor in any talent’s success is their ability to have positive relationships. Surprisingly, this can be a challenge for the more dramatic personalities who haven’t learned how to professionally handle conflict, discussion, and personal opinion.
As we’ve agreed, the agent and talent relationship is a partnership. Anyone who has ever joined forces with another human being in any respect learned quickly that partners will have different views, opinions, experiences, ideas, and even visions at times. The partnership a talent builds with their agent is going to face challenges, uncomfortable disagreements, and moments of doubt on both sides. Like any union, the only way the relationship will profit long term is if both parties are willing and committed to identifying and working through the rough patches to find a mutually beneficial solution.
Rough patches or fields of daisies, the relationship you maintain with your agent says a lot indirectly and makes the rest of the industry confident in your commitment to their projects. Far too often the talent decides that being passive-aggressive or non confrontational will be a better choice than putting forth the effort to solidify a relationship that might have experienced difficulty. Talent who show that they are only interested in their own personal gain, act dishonestly, or go out of their way to be harmful verbally or professionally will reap the consequences of their actions more immediately than they will likely realize. Everyone is connected by only a few degrees of separation.
Casting Directors, for example, frequently refuse to see multi-listed talent (talent who have been submitted by more than one agent as representation). The same CD who might want to read you for a movie, also wants to maintain a positive relationship with the agencies with whom they partner. If that CD has to burn bridges to get to you, there is always another talent in your demographic they can see instead. Additionally, knowing where to find the talent who has created a positive relationship with a client is crucial to the quick pace that casting and production sometimes need to take. A committed agent will know how to get in touch with the requested talent quickly and effectively. In the end, everyone prospers!