All too often I am asked the one question that makes the agent in me cringe – who was that [director, photographer, producer] I worked with on the [company name] shoot? Forgetting names in this business is like trying to cash a check that isn’t signed . . . your personality and good looks will only get you so far!
No matter how highly respected we are in our field, it’s human nature to want to be recognized. Keep in mind that directors and photographers are artists, as well, and struggle with a lot of the same aspirations and desires that you might as a talent! You can call it stroking an ego or just giving them the respect that they are due – the end result is still the same for the talent who can recognize and make conversation with the individual who will sign their paycheck at the end of the day.
Performer Track Online, a subsidiary of Hold On Log is a private company that helps talent keep all their ducks in a row. One of the most amazing facets of their interface is the ability to keep track of whom the talent saw at a go-see or casting and where they might have seen that person in the past. Making that connection between the set or audition room sets the talent up to build more positive long term relationships. Note keeping may not be the typical talent’s strength, but committing to tracking what you’ve done and who you’ve met means you are aware of your business and working it to the full potential. There isn’t a successful business person or talent in the world that doesn’t keep records.
As an individual, I struggle with remembering names and connecting them to the right faces, so I can sympathize with the quandary talent find themselves facing. Like most hurdles in entertainment, it may not be your forte, but that doesn’t make it a “get out of jail free” card, either. It means you need to practice. Use an interface like Performer Track Online if that helps you keep records. [Blog readers can get discounted rates by clicking on any of the Performer Track Online links and entering the coupon code “MEFR9”.] The more aware you are of the challenge, the more focus you can put on improving. And the next time you run into your local version of Mario Testino, you can be cool, calm, and collected as you greet him or her confidently!