A group of talented actors meet for intense coaching once a week in the city. After their session, they tend to continue their bond, banter, and education at a chosen venue; they don’t know it, but I call this “the round table.” The topic of their round table discussions may vary slightly, but it usually involves their specific challenges, triumphs, and confusion related to the world of entertainment. One of those actors shared the questions, concerns, and ideas and it caught my interest. If these actors are wondering and asking similar questions, my guess is that the majority of the talent pool is doing the same! Granted, most of the topics shared with me pertained to the relationship between talent and agent, so that’s where we will start.
The talent asked, “what is an agent’s preferred mode of communication?” But first I would ask, why should the talent need to communicate in the manner that best suits the agent? It’s easy to see that there are a lot of talent on any agency’s roster. “A lot” can equate subjectively, but even a boutique agency with only a hundred or so talent can be overwhelming at times. Sincere communication takes time and effort. Devoting time and effort to every talent individually fills the day up rather quickly. The agent’s goal during the day is to book, book, book. Anything other than booking is taking time away from the one thing you sought the agent out for in the first place – to be booked! Although an agent may want to be able to go the extra mile, agreeing to communicate in the most effective medium for the sake of your agent’s time is a wise choice. Your agent is not only answering to your needs, but also the needs of just as many clients on a daily basis, and giving the clients who need to book talent first priority is most advantageous to the talent themselves.
An agent’s preferred mode of communication is likely to vary depending on their individual situations. Just like each individual talent, there is going to be a certain operation style that each agent will wish to use. We tell our talent, for example, that email is best if it’s not “a casting, booking, or emergency.” Using email serves a variety of purposes, among which are to keep phone lines open for clients to request bookings and for the agent to be able to effectively pitch talent as needed . . . to avoid talent requests, questions, and needs from falling through the cracks in a day with constant interruptions . . . to maintain a record of information and to remind us of issues that aren’t simple “one-phone-call” fixes . . . and many others. Some agents may prefer to do business over the phone or via text or video chat.
The bottom line is that whatever mode of communication your agent is using already works. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it, right? Agents are innovative personalities and are likely to put together a specific plan that will keep their day moving as smoothly as possible at it’s very fast pace. Be sure you are swimming downstream to help you partnership function effectively. It’s an easy way to get brownie points, stay at the top of your agent’s mind, and show your flexibility!