Written by Gywn Gilliss
Ok, so you finally get that call from the boutique agency on your wish list asking you to come in for an interview with the “dream” agent you’ve always wanted to work with.
Don’t blow it! Go prepared!
Here are three things to remember for your Agent Office Interview:
1. Dress Right- go for the gold in your personal PRESENTATION.
It’s NOT the time for sloppy jeans or hip east village thrift shop clothes (unless that is YOUR TYPE). Dress with confidence like a movie star so that’s how they remember you and for Heaven’s sakes-if you’re female- wear make-up. I recently experienced seeing an actress with a gorgeous head shot-red hair, beautiful face and a movie star quality- arrive for an interview with no make-up in dowdy clothes looking shlubby because her roommate had told her to go “clean”, unmade-up and casual. If I were a casting director, I would NEVER call her again EVER, EVER! She would have lost dozens of potential jobs and a career from following that stupid misinformation! Look like you already booked a major film/TV job and are ON THE SET shooting it! LOOK FABULOUS.
2. Talk about your “Marketability”- your Unique qualities and how PASSIONATE you are about your career.
They can read your credits on your resume, your skills, hobbies and teachers, but what they NEED to know is HOW TO MARKET YOU. How are theygoing to make that paltry 10% commission for all the work they do to get you out to meet the industry and BOOK a job? Tell them! Make it easy. Even if you are not earning a lot currently as an actor, talk about the future, project your goals and dreams. Or talk about the most recent successful call back, something that says you are a Winner and LOVE what you do! After all, you are there to work together for your mutual successful future not your past.
We’ve interviewed dozens of agents in our Industry Tele-seminars and they almost all said the same thing. Strong credits and training naturally help but they don’t always care if you have an MFA in theater. They’re going on their own instincts. Do you have a unique personality, “look”, “quality” and passion about what you do? Most all overlook lack of experience in favor of the latter. So go prepared but be honest, sincere and have fun! If you’re afraid to talk to THEM how do you think you’ll fare talking to a tough Casting Director, a major Film Director or Producer to whom they’ll send you when you’re a client? They need to see your personality, persistence, enthusiasm and CONFIDENCE! Can you handle this career? If yes, then fine, they can work with you. Forget about the credits and training…that’s NOT the focus. IT’S ABOUT YOU.
3. Connect. Be yourself- let your PERSONALITY come through.
During the interview, if the conversation is going dry and you’ve run out of things to say about your “ideal roles” or goals in theater, TV and Film, LOOK AROUND THE ROOM. Is there anything that attracts your attention? Do you have anything in common with this person? Do you like their taste in Artwork? The Style of their office? What they’re wearing? What you’re wearing. Yes! this can be the tipping point. Talk about a recent show or film that you saw- maybe one of their clients was in it! The interview isn’t just about your credits, training or talent. It’s about YOU as a person. Are you likeable? Can they work with you on a daily basis-i.e., are you EASY to communicate with? And what are you interested in? (besides your career). Tell them. Bond. Find common ground about which you can talk. Enjoy the moment and the conversation. Everyone works with, supports and helps those they like, trust and know.
Get to know them! LET THEM GET TO KNOW AND LIKE YOU!
And THAT’S how you get a great agent!
Gwyn Gilliss is the Founder and Executive Director of TAM, The Actor’s Market, a marketing firm for actors. They provide monthly FREE seminars/teleseminars, FREE weekly marketing tips as well as access to top photographers, graphic artists and videographers who provide every marketing tool an actor needs. Gwyn’s acting career spans several decades during which time she appeared on and off-Broadway, in classical roles in American Repertory companies in over 18 contract and recurring roles in Daytime/Prime time TV, Films and dozens of network commercials/V.O.’s. As the foremost Marketing/Career Coach she is available to work One-on-One with ready-to-succeed actors.