Commercial Agent Carole Ingber shares her upbeat view on the industry.
Actors you can kick back and truly be yourself when it comes to meeting Commercial Agent Carole Ingber, owner of Ingber and Associates in New York City.
Carole’s warm vibe, welcoming office, and hands-on style stems from her passion for representing commercial actors.
I truly love what I do, Carole shares, and it’s not about the money. I love my clients.
So refreshing to hear, Carole Ingber speaks from the heart and means every word. In fact, Carole opens herself up so much that her office becomes a second home to many of her clients. Actors drop by to touch base or grab a couple pieces of sugar from an always stocked candy jar.
To get a first hand view of Carole’s comfortable home base, NYCastings stopped by to chat about the industry and Carole’s role as a commercial talent agent.
Boy did we learn A LOT! But before the Q&A begins here is a fun fact that NYCastings learned…
When Carole was little she used to go to the duck pond with her Dad every Sunday and feed them bread. This kinship to ducks remains today with ducks all around her office, including a rubber duck with skull and cross bones that a client gave her!
Inspired by the ducky ambiance and Carole’s open nature, NYCastings asked for the truth behind many common industry rumors.
If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck – is it a duck?
From Carole Ingber’s viewpoint…
Q: If an agent doesn’t get back to you, does that mean they are not interested?
No! On my end, do not assume anything. If I meet someone at a class or a show, they should stay in touch. Pick up the phone and call, email, say hello to me. I have submitted people for six to eight months and then finally started to get auditions for them. I really like when people stay in touch and not by mail, I am a phone person. I don’t email my clients auditions and I don’t want them to email me confirms. The only way I get to know you is to talk with you. I know that people are intimidated to call an agent but I don’t work like that. And I never forget anybody.
Q: Some people in the industry say, I’ve seen it all. Have you?
Absolutely not. Every day, every moment is a new experience. I truly think that if an agent goes to meet people, or to a showcase, with that attitude then they will not be able to see the people who should really be pursued.
Q: Do actors get one shot to make a first impression?
Not true. I am one of those people who think that first impressions shouldn’t be it. It’s like a blind date. Sometimes you go on a blind date and you don’t like them but your friends say you should go out with them again.’ And you do go out with them again and sometimes it’s still bad (laughs) but I have had a lot of signed clients who I met and just didn’t get the first go around. Maybe they were in between ages, (mid twenties, mid thirties, mid forties) and I wasn’t able to work with them. Then, suddenly, I meet them again and they were a little but older. Or maybe I’ll get a postcard or a phone call and I’ll have them back up again. The bottom line with me is, if you don’t stay in touch I may forget.
Q: Is it really hard to get work without an agent?
It is hard. You can’t really do much without an agent.
It’s a catch 22 for the actor because how do you get out there without an agent but how do you meet an agent? Unfortunately, if you are not doing a showcase and a mailing for agents to come see it, then you have to do the one-on-ones and pay for it. But I have met wonderful people at those places. And I do know a lot of casting directors who meet people in classes and bring them in directly or call me and say you’ve got to meet them.’ I met Justin (Lang, who happened to be hanging at Carole’s office) through House Casting and they said you have to meet him.’
There are so many people out there. You never know where you will find them. We open up every piece of mail that comes into this office. I have met a lot of wonderful people who had no one to refer them.
Q: If an actor is freelancing, do they get less focus then signed clients?
Yes and No. If a casting director calls me up and says I have one time’ and I have a few people who are right for it, and say one of them is a freelancer, I will definitely put the signed client in. But if I am doing submissions and I think there is a freelancer who is just as good as a signed client for it, I will submit them all if I can. I want to book the job and send in who is right because it is my reputation. If I don’t send in who is right, casting directors aren’t going to trust me. So yes, if there is a freelancer who is right, I will push for them.
Freelancing is dating and being signed is being married. That’s how I look at it. You date, you get engaged and then you get married. This is my marriage board (points to a dry erase of board with many colorfully written names on the wall behind her).
Q: When someone says Nice Job / I’d like to see more of you are those just words?
It depends on the person saying it. When I go and meet people, if I feel like they need to do something different I will re-direct them. If I really want to work with someone, and I say that, I really mean it.
Q: Is timing everything?
That really is true.
Speaking of timing – STAY TUNED – for part 2 of our Just Ducky interview