6 points to Prep for Agent Meetings
Hello Strasberg Campus Gang,
We hope that you are having a wonderful October so far. Alas, Summer is most definitely over, making space for colder days, darker mornings and lovely cuppas in front of you favourite Netflix TV show. Although that might not sounds like Heaven to everyone, the end of summer also means that the industry is back in full blow and all the emails you sent to a long list of agents have finally come to fruition: you got yourself a few meetings lined up over the space of a week or two. Well done you! What now?
Of course you have already thought about getting your material in order when you started sending out emails in the first place: you got yourself new shiny headshots, re-edited your reel and added some juicy footage and your CV is looking on point. Great stuff! Here's a few more things to consider before heading into the office of your possible future agent.
1. DO YOUR RESEARCH.
This is a classic and you should do your research before every meeting you have, even if it’s an informal chat over coffee. Make sure you look through the agent’s roster and look up what their clients have been up to. To take a look at their social media pages, such as Twitter and Instagram wouldn’t hurt either, you might find out that you both play volleyball and that could be a way to connect on a more personal level during the meeting. However, do not start with “I checked out you Facebook page and...I also play volleyball!’ because that would make you sound like a weirdo. Just throw it in there chatting about your extra skills. Lastly make sure you go through the agency’s website, especially the ‘About Us’ section. As a professional, people would expect to have been stalked by you a little and they’ll be flattered upon realising that you actually did do that.
2. FIND THE RIGHT OUTFIT
The day of your meeting you want to look good and well-groomed, so let’s check out the obvious things from the list, such as: take a shower, wear deodorant, clean teeth and brushed hair (duh!). Let’s talk outfits now. Remember: you are not going for an office interview, so chuck the suits and pencil skirts with flats (unless those are your clothes of choice on a regular basis). You don’t want to go dressed as a ‘character’ either, as you are not going to an audition. You need to look like yourself on a good day, similarly to when you are going for your headshot session. As for probably many other situations, the key-words here are: smart casual… and effortlessly cool!
For guys, the combo jeans with t-shirt always works, or you can wear a shirt and also go for a leather jacket, or cool cardigan on top. Trainers are fine, but spotless. As always, girls have a lot more options to choose from, I love a nice skater or bodycon dress with boots and denim jacket, or jeans heels and a super chilled top/cardigan (you don’t have to wear heels of course, but if you are like myself a fan of them, perhaps dress them down a little).
3. ASK THEM WHERE THEY SEE YOU IN THE INDUSTRY
You want to leave those meetings with a pretty good idea of where that professional relationship would benefit your career and make it progress. Ask them what auditions they’ve had lately that would have been perfect for you, if they see you more in theatrical or commercial (or both) and why not, also the main Casting Directors they work with. Don’t be scared of being too forward (always politely, of course) and show them you are aware of how the industry works and who the main people in it are. Also take notes during the meeting, so you can go back to them and have a proper think about who you would want to go with.
Make sure to list which goals you set yourself for your career and divide them in short, medium and long term (up to 5 years max, I would say). Be curious to see if the agent has a similar (or even better!) vision.
Also have a little list of things you look for in an agent, like medium of communications, frequency of contact. Do you want someone who would nurture you and wait for the perfect meeting, or who would just send you out on a bunch of commercial and smaller auditions?
Lastly make sure you have ready the list of all casting directors you have met along the way and role you have been seen for with them.
Bring your material with you: if it’s a formal office meeting, bring a pen drive with your reels, CV and headshots, and if you think it would be a good idea, also print-outs. You probably won’t end up using these, since you will have sent those via email or post ahead. Better to be over-prepared than under, though.
If it is an informal meeting, still good to have a pendrive handy or a smartphone from which you can look at everything, or re-send emails quickly.
6. BE YOURSELF! (in other words: RELAX!)
They have called you in and want to see you! Most probably you will end up being the one to make the final decision, especially if you have more than one meeting lined up. Agents are busy people and they won’t be wasting their time on someone they don’t really want to sign.
Hopefully you have found this useful. Now go get represented!