10 DO’s vs. DON’Ts for meeting an agent

agentdoanddont

So you’re meeting an agent… Palms are sweating. Hopes are high. You want to make the best impression! Take a deep breath, sit back, and read this advice from agent Heather Finn of Frontier Booking International.

 

Heather handles on-camera commercials, voice-overs and print. Her clients have booked commercials and voiceovers for Chemistry.com, Dominos, Las Vegas Tourism, Discovery Health, Norelco, Olive Garden, Verizon Wireless and many more.

 

Here are Heather’s 10 – DO THIS, NOT THAT – insights on how to make the best first impression when meeting an agent.

 

When meeting an agent

 

Don’t…

 

Be late or arrive an hour early. People come in and say, I wanted to make sure I found they place. Good idea! Find it. Then go find a cup of coffee. For us, we have a very open office. It makes it very uncomfortable to have people sitting and listening to us for an hour.  For offices with waiting rooms it’s better, but still not ideal…

 

Do…

 

Make sure you are on time, few minutes early is great.

 

When choosing your clothes for the meeting

 

Don’t…

 

Dress for a wedding. You are simply coming into meet someone. You don’t need to wear a suit, or a ton of makeup.

 

DO…

 

Look like yourself, as if you would while hanging out with a friend. Unless, that means braless and unwashed hair – maybe then it’s not a good idea.

 

When you first sit down

 

Don’t…

 

Pull the seat too close to the agent. Actors want to connect with an agent, and we can connect just fine with a little distance. You don’t have to sit across the room, but people pull their chairs right up to our desk so basically we’re breathing as one.

 

Do…

 

Remember that there is such a thing as personal space and we all like it. If you’re on a first date with someone, you wouldn’t sit right in their grill. You would give them a little space. This is like your best first date. You want to make the best impression, without anyone seeing the crazy.

 

While chatting with an agent

 

Don’t…

 

Think that meeting an agent is the be-all and end-all. People tend to put so much pressure on the whole idea that they are wound up before they even walk in the door. People come in and start talking before you even ask a question. Or, you ask one question and they go on for ten minutes as if they were practicing what they were going to say before they came in. And, we have your resume in front of us so you don’t have to explain it all. The things we want to know about, we’ll ask. We promise.

 

Do…

 

Remember that it is a conversation, and has to be a give and take. Just be you. Realize that you are just meeting someone. Relax. Go in, and be cool.

 

About asking questions

 

Don’t…

 

Come in accusatory asking who do you work with? And what do you work on? Not that it’s a bad question. It is only a bad question when the tone is more “prove yourself to me.”  And don’t ask me things that are readily available on our site, or on Google. We started out representing Courtney Cox. That was 20 years ago. I don’t know Courtney now. Though I wish I did!

 

Do…

 

Know who you are going in to see. Do your research before coming in to see an agent. I’ve had people who thought I was a legit agent, and you would know that I’m not with the most basic research.

And, remember that you are interviewing us as well. Ask: How we work with clients? When is it appropriate to email us? And how we will get in touch with you?  All are good things to ask- just without sounding like you’re testing us. I promise, we’re not testing you either

 

If you do begin freelancing with an agent!

 

Don’t…

 

Send emails every day or at 2 am after a couple beers when you remembered there is something you have to tell me. Ours is a phone and email business – I’m constantly fielding calls and emails from casting directors, producers, etc.  Unfortunately I don’t have time to respond to everyone’s emails, especially if it’s Hey it’s Tuesday, how are you doing?

 

Do…

 

Send an email if you haven’t heard from me in a while. Email during business hours. And Relax. Realize that if I said I was interested, I will call you when I have something you’re right for. If you think I won’t remember who you are, it might not be the best relationship. You have to give us a chance to get back to you.

 

To keep the actor/agent relationship strong

 

Don’t…

 

Go on auditions for dates you’re not available. Some people just want to go on auditions, so they go even if they aren’t available for the shoot. They just want to get their foot in the door, but the casting director is going to be upset. Rightfully so. I’ll be upset as well.  Not only that, but you are taking away another person’s audition for the role, and that isn’t fair.

 

Do…

 

Tell me when you are going out of town. If you are not available for the shoot dates, tell us. There will be another audition. And let me know if you change your hair, or something about you appearance, or book another job.

 

While out on auditions

 

Don’t…

 

Show up for an audition late or say you would be happy to do something and then get to the audition and say you won’t.

 

Do…

 

Be prepared. If there is stuff I tell you – like how to dress, do that. You are representing yourself in the room, and also me. We need you to be open and honest.

If you’re querying about a child actor

 

Don’t…

 

Send in odd pictures. We get a lot of weird pictures in the mail. I had a person who sent me a picture of a child sitting naked in a pan. It was…. Different.  We also get calls like one person who said, I am going to have a baby in December. What do we need for representation? – How about for the baby to be born first?

 

Do…

 

Make sure this is your child’s dream, and not yours. Also, make sure that is something the whole family is willing to work toward. Because, you could be away and not able to take your other children to the places they need to go to.

 

About payments

 

Don’t…

 

Call a week after the job and ask where the payment is. As much as we wish you would get paid that soon- it really never happens.  Some jobs can take as much as 90 days to get paid. 

 

Do…

 

Know that our job is to get you paid. So be aware that we are on your side when it comes to that. Give us the benefit of the doubt. And remember, that when you ask about things, it is all in the tone.

 

Thanks Heather for that fun insight!

 

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