Watch: Former Talent Agent Philip Carlson on Finding Talent and How He Helped Them Succeed

Talent agents see hundreds of actors a year — how do they determine if someone is really worth representing? It’s a question that former talent agent Philip Carlson, who formerly represented well-known actors like Philip Seymour Hoffman, Billy Crudup, Claire Danes, Idris Elba, Viola Davis, and Liev Schreiber attempts to answer in his book Breaking and Entering: From Auditions to Agents to a Career.

In this short video posted on The Atlantic, Carlson talks about his years working to try and get his clients work. Carlson explains, “In the beginning, if I signed someone I would do my damnedest to get them to everyone in town who had the ability to get them a job.” But as he goes on to explain, it was up to the actor to turn that connection into a job by showing what they would bring to a role.

Watch the whole video above!