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Friday, January 31, 2014

The Top 5 Ways To Make Your Agent Happy!

Wendy Alane Wright with Talent Agent Renata Dobrucki at Coast To Coast and 
Talent Agent Philip Marcus at Clear Talent Agency (LA & NYC) 

Wendy Alane Wright is a Hollywood Talent Manager with WAW Entertainment. Her clients have appeared in numerous national commercials, movies, webisodes, short films, and on television networks such as ABC, NBC, Comedy Central, BIO, Lifetime, plus many more. Previous to being a Manager and a Talent Agent at Burn Down Entertainment, she assisted many high profile Managers, Agents and Publicists in the careers of Neil Patrick Harris, Johnny Galecki, Sarah Michelle Geller, The Four Tops, The Bee Gees, Meatloaf, Whoopi Goldberg, Steve Guttenberg, The Cranberries Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand, Kenny Rogers, and Neil Diamond. Wendy is also a Recording Artist, Actress, Author and Music Producer all  giving her a 360-degree perspective of the industry.

Being successful in this business is NOT about getting an agent and then hoping they submit you, while you sit around waiting around to hear from them. It's NOT about opportunities falling in your lap. That’s not what it is about.

It's about working hard to get roles and build your experience, training, and relationships with people in the industry who can give you more opportunities.

If you do have an agent, it is your responsibility to make sure your agent gets to know you and the depth of your talent by continually inviting them to see your plays, sending them new acting clips every few months, inviting them to your acting classes and project premieres. If you want them to believe in you and be fighting for you to get opportunities, they really have to know how talented you are and what you are capable of. They don’t learn this in the 15 minute meeting in which they choose to sign you and give it a shot with you. It is your job to grow and nurture that relationship. Same with your manager. Keep in touch with them. Not in an annoying way. Don't ask what have they been submitting you on? Don't complain they aren't getting you out enough. Unless you are with one of the BIG 3 agencies, most agencies have to submit you fifty times before you get an audition. Be sure you and your agent have a game plan and do your part.

Agents and Managers are happier when they feel appreciated. So be sure to thank them for the work they are doing on your behalf. Cards and Gifts go a long way. (not lazy emails) Hand written Cards.

No extravagant gifts. Stay in the $20-$40 range. Candy at easter, flowers on valentines day, starbucks cards, tickets to plays or baseball games. Find to what is important to them - a dog treat for their dog? These tokens of appreciation nurture your relationship with your reps, and make your agent and managers feel appreciated, which helps to ingratiate you to them.

Every agent wants a proactive actor. One who is always busy making short films, indie films, and webisodes. Actors that are collaborating with other actors and film makers to shoot their own projects.  Actors who are continuously and tirelessly building their relationships with Casting Directors, Producers, Writers and other Actors who are also film makers. Agents like actors who are  self submitting relentlessly and creating every opportunity for themselves that they can. That is what working actors do. That's the kind of actor who makes and agent (or manager ) happy.

An Actor should be acting whether they are represented or not. A singer should be out singing in public and recording their own songs whether they have a record deal or not. I worry about any one who says they are an actor or singer but you can't go watch them do it anywhere. When you are aggressively pursuing your career, you should be out in the world doing your craft every week, every day, anywhere you can. As a singer, I sang with a band in LA bars, recorded with tons of different music producers, sang casuals at weddings on weekends with a booking agency, every week continuously - even when I had songs on the radio.  I was still out singing at every chance I could get, on anything, with anyone. You never stop.

You must provide your agents with top of the line headshots that look exactly like you (on a great day) You need to give them a GREAT demo reel of you. It needs to blow people out of the water. You need to give them a resume that is always growing with acting jobs and acting training. Without these critical tools, agents will have a very difficult, if not impossible time of selling you to talent buyers (casting directors and producers) and people who have no idea of what you can do except what is on your demo reel. A lousy reel wont tell them much except there are better actors out there.

Your materials are a reflection of how seriously you take your career and how well you understand the business and the sheer competitiveness of it. The majority of actors skate by for years on crappy demo materials and headshots, then scratch their heads wondering why its taking so long to get anyone to hire them.

Think realistically about your current tools. Did you skimp on your headshots or shoot with the best. If you cant afford great headshots, wait until you can. WATCH THIS VIDEO:

Nothing takes the place of you booking jobs. Nothing does. You MUST book jobs in order for any rep to be happy enough to keep you.  Be prepared for auditions. Show up on time...which means early. Get coached before auditions. Get call backs. Book jobs. That is what it is all about for agents and their agencies. If you are not booking the auditions you go on or at the very least getting callbacks, you need to re-evaluate what you are doing. Maybe you need better training, better coaching, be in better shape, change your attitude, your energy. It's your job to fix the problem...or go find another line or work.

I'd like you take a moment and evaluate your current efforts. Write down everything you are doing now to build your career. Then write down everything you could also be doing to raise the stakes and up your game. Now go do it.

Wendy Alane Wright
Talent Manager
WAW Entertainment