When you’re an actor looking for representation, you will usually sit down for meetings with the agencies who are interested in working with you. These meetings can be in-person or virtual. The goal of the agency meeting is twofold: first, to show the agent that you’re a talented professional who will work hard alongside her to move your career forward and second, to decide whether this particular agent and agency are a good fit for your team. As you plan for a successful meeting, these are five items you should always prepare:
You must be able to talk about yourself confidently and describe your training and history of work as an actor. Be prepared to elaborate on any credit on your résumé and discuss your strengths and accomplishments. You’ll want to be able to articulate how the agent will benefit from working with you.
Reflect on your six-month, one-year, and three-year goals in advance of the meeting. Be clear on where you see your career headed and what you’re willing to do to get there. An agent will appreciate that you are thoughtful and intentional about your career path and that you understand the realities of success in this business.
While an agent will likely have reviewed your materials in advance of the meeting and looked at your online casting profiles, website and demo reel, you should be prepared to show physical copies during a meeting. Bring the headshots that you most often use at auditions. Update your résumé with recent credits, skills, and training. Gather postcards, press releases, theater reviews, and any other materials you’ve used to build relationships with casting directors, producers, and others in the industry. It’s smart to show an agent that you’ve been promoting yourself and aren’t expecting them to do all the work to launch your career.
Be prepared to talk about relationships you have cultivated on your own. Take some time to make a list of any casting directors who have hired you or call you in regularly. Include any producers, directors, or writers whose projects you have worked on, along with mentors you have a strong connection with. Review this “fan” list with the agent during your meeting to see if you have any contacts in common and to show that you’ve been actively networking. The agent will appreciate that you have been proactive and is more likely to view you as a great potential client who already has some momentum and a strong work ethic.
Prepare a list of insightful questions that will help you get to know the agent and her working style. Remember: you are interviewing this agent to figure out whether she is good for you as well! Show a genuine interest in her career and get a sense of her outlook and approach to working in the entertainment industry. Be present as you ask these questions and listen carefully.
Finally, be sure to relax. Bring your authentic self and a positive mindset to the meeting. Be confident in your abilities and worth as an actor, but practice humility rather than cockiness or a sense of entitlement.
Before you leave, be clear on what the next step is. Does the agent need to meet with the rest of the team before making a decision? Have a sense of the timeline and let her know when you will follow up.
*This post was originally published on June 21, 2018. It has since been updated.
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