You have submitted your photo, resume and a succinct and engaging cover letter to several commercials agents and you have interest from one or more who have set-up meetings, -now what. How do you prepare so you will have a great interview?
Before the meeting, research the agency so you will be able to knowledgably talk to the agents. For the meeting:
• Be on time (even though you will probably have to wait)
• Dress and groom yourself appropriately for who you are and to meet a person(s) who can help with your career
• Bring additional pictures and a reel of your acting work (if you have one)
• Bring a list of your commercial industry contacts (if any)
• Be prepared to read commercial copy (some agents do readings, some don’t)
• Be in an authentically positive mood
• Ask questions that will help you determine if that agency would be the right one for you.
It is important to remember that you will be interviewing the agents as well. So many actors are happy to have the meeting that in an effort to be signed they are often afraid to let their true personality show and are hesitant to ask questions.
During your meeting, agents will be evaluating you to determine if you are a fit for their agency. They will look at many things: physicality, personality, type, essence, age, credits, professionalism, talent (if they have seen you in a class or production, have auditioned you in their office or have viewed your reel) and if they need and/or want your type for their rooster. Bottom line, you are a product to them. This is a subjective business. Each agent will choose clients based on his or her criteria, taste and needs.
YOU HAVE A CHOICE
There are many commercial agents, smaller theatrical agencies and managers who sign actors based primarily on type, a look and/or personality. Talent is not their main focus. Do you want representation that submits just your look or one that represents you and your talent? I suggest that you encourage your potential representation to see you act. If they don’t do auditions and there is no professional work to view, consider shooting some quality video of yourself doing two or three short commercials and/or short scenes. (If you do create your own reel, make sure it is edited together and does not run more than three minutes.)
It is important for whomever you go with to know your work in order to best represent you. If you are anxious to get a “start-up” agent or acting is a hobby, the distinction of them wanting your type as opposed to you and your talent may not be important. If you have choices or can be patient, then signing with someone who appreciates your talent is better for your career. Being an actor whether for theatre, TV and Film or commercials is a business. In order to be a success, you need to train, market, promote and select representation that gets what makes you special, guides you and creates opportunities to book work.
To be prepared, check out my FREE video, MEETING with COMMERCIAL AGENTS at mastertalentteachers.com in which three top Los Angeles Agents talk about what they look for in their meetings with prospective clients.
If you missed the first article in this series covering HOW TO SUBMIT TO AGENTS, you will find it and the accompanying video in the archive on my COMMERCIAL page at mastertalentteachers.com. In my next article, I cover how to create a successful relationship with your agent and thus get the necessary opportunities to audition for and book television commercials. Don’t’ miss it.