How I Landed a Talent Agent
Like most things in my life, my path to getting signed with a talent agent was pretty unconventional (at least, it wasn’t how I imagine the process usually goes).
I finally got the nerve to apply to two talent agencies back in February. My acting teacher had told the class that we may have to apply several times. He said talent agencies are more likely to call you for an interview if they see you’ve applied a few times (this shows you’re serious about this and helps weed out those who aren’t, according to my teacher). So when I didn’t hear back from either, I wasn’t too bummed by it. I would just apply again in a few months I figured.
Around March or April, I found a job opening at one of the talent agencies for an office assistant position and applied. To my surprise, I got called in for an interview. I debated whether or not I should go. Would the job be flexible enough for me to take PA gigs like I wanted? I was also concerned about taking a pay cut and moving to a new city. It seemed my current survival job was the better option, but something in me told me I should go to the interview anyway. I consulted my sister about it and she agreed. So I went.
I did about as well as I normally do in interviews (which is not great, lol). I was shaky and nervous and I talked way too much about how I wanted to be an actor and how I had applied to them and another talent agency earlier in the year and how I had been pursuing production assistant gigs. I did not feel great about it as I drove the hour and a half back home.
Not surprisingly, I received an email less than a week later informing me that they had decided to go with someone else for the position. But very surprisingly, she said she would welcome the chance to discuss representing me if I was interested in that. (Uh, yeah! It was all I had talked about!)
I went to a second interview, nervous again because I didn’t know what to expect. I thought she may have me do a cold read and honestly, I was not expecting it to go too well either. But when I arrived, she told me about the agency and then said she would love to represent me. I was stunned. Was this real life? Was that it? That was easy. I signed the papers immediately.
Part of me feels like I didn’t really earn this the way I should have. I have only taken one acting course and have had just a handful of community theatre and student film roles. I didn’t major in theatre and I haven’t been acting for all that long. But I found that signing with an agent has given me more motivation to work on those skills and take care of myself better so I can look and feel and do my best when I do get auditions or roles. Maybe this was an unconventional way to get a talent agent, but I am going to make sure I am the best actor I can be now that I have one.
Otherwise, it’s super exciting and so surreal. Once I got that first PA gig back in January things have been happening so quickly for me. It’s amazing what just a little bit of effort towards your goals can do.
So, what I learned from this experience:
- Say yes to any opportunities you receive that are in the field you’re interested in. If I hadn’t gone to that interview, I would still be looking for a talent agent. You never know what those opportunities will lead to.
- Tell people what it is you really want. Tell them your dreams and your goals. Every so often I see posts on social media that say you should quietly work towards your goals and dreams. I do not agree with that at all. If you are open and honest about what it is you want, people can help you achieve that. I learned from the agency that people who work at agencies cannot be represented. Since I talked so much about how I wanted to be an actor (in response to her questions, I didn’t just go in babbling nonstop about it), she offered me representation instead of a job. That is going to serve both of us so much better. That would not have happened if I had kept quiet about my dreams.
- If you have the slightest inkling you are interested in something, give it a go. Back when I was a music major, I had this crazy idea that I wanted to act and sing in the school’s musicals instead of playing in the orchestra. I loved it even more than I thought I would and I have been acting ever since. My community theatre experience is what started this whole crazy journey. It’s lead to connections and opportunities and I am so thankful I ignored my fears and doubts and auditioned for that very first musical I was in.
- There’s more than one path to achieving your dreams. I didn’t go to school for acting or film. I have just been pursuing those as hobbies on the side by doing community theatre, helping with student films, creating an improv group with my friends, and reading a ton of books on those subjects. I also just kept trying out the things I was interested in (creative writing, musicals, improv) until I figured out film is the perfect place for me. Be stubborn and keep trying different things until you find the way to making your goals come true.
- Don’t be upset if you try something and receive a “no” in response. I didn’t get the office assistant position, but that was because something even better was in store for me. Sometimes not getting the things you think you want or need can lead to bigger, better things.
Seriously guys. If I can do this stuff anyone can absolutely do anything. Stubbornly pursue your biggest, wildest dreams. You’ll be amazed by the results.