Another question at “the round table” discussions is the level of accessibility to the talent’s agent. Is your agent accessible?
The question is subjective based on the individual talent’s need to be able to access the agent, of course. Some talent have a considerable need whereas others may be more self-sufficient, so the same amount of time can be given to two different talent and each talent may have a very different perspective of whether or not their agent is accessible.
Agents should be accessible to talent for casting and booking purposes, as talent should be accessible to their agent for casting and booking purposes. (I find myself asking if a certain talent will be accessible frequently, too, believe it or not.) Agents should also be accessible to clients who are looking to book an actor or model for their production. Any accessibility above and beyond that is a big plus.
Most agents offer to advise talent on additional ventures like marketing materials because it is in the mutual partnership’s best interest, but any additional accessibility on the part of the agent is offered free of charge and therefore, should not be taken for granted.
If you find yourself frustrated that your agent is not meeting your needs, assess first what your needs are. Write them down on paper so that they are concrete. If the needs not being met are reasonably within your agent’s job description (how they get paid), it’s worth addressing tactfully and professionally. Ask if there is something you can do as a talent to access the agent when needed in the future. If the needs on your paper are outside of the agent’s responsibilities, share your needs with your agent and ask who you can go to in order to have those needs met. Your agent may direct you to a coach, manager, or other industry professional.
Knowing your concerns allows the agent to respond more sympathetically. Although it may be impossible for one agent to meet all the needs of all their talent, being familiar with personal nuances can help ease the strain a talent may have felt. Being more fulfilled and knowing someone takes an interest in your concerns can go a long way to making a relationship work smoothly!