Why Confidence is Crucial When Meeting With a Talent Agent

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Hiring a (good) talent agent will likely help you to progress in your acting career.  Receiving any sort of help in the extraordinarily difficult business of entertainment is a wonderful gift!  And although receiving help is fantastic, notice that I did not write that hiring a good talent agent is a requirement for your acting career to progress.  While an agent (or a talent manager) can certainly assist you tremendously, the only one who truly has total control over your career and your choices is you.

Aim to remember this piece of information if and when you do decide to meet with a talent agent.

Having Confidence Matters Big Time

Whenever you take a meeting with a prospective talent agent or manager, there is one quality that is very important to exude about yourself above anything else:  confidence.  Confidence is attractive, it is desirable, and it shows others that you are secure as a person and in your work as an actor/artist.  

From the moment that you walk into a meeting with a talent agent/manager, enter the room with confidence.  You’ll want to remember that you are the one who essentially holds the power in this meeting.  It is not the other way around.  You are seeking a partner with whom to grow your career. Often actors may feel intimidated when meeting an agent/manager (or a casting director), because we believe that these men and women are the only ones who hold the keys to a job and allow us to do what we want to do – act!

 This is simply not the case.  It is a misconception that you need someone other than you in order to succeed.  You alone hold the keys to your own success, and a good agent can help you to achieve what you have already set out to do on your own.  

Again, to reiterate, while it is certainly true that an agent, talent manager (or casting director) can help you along your journey as an actor and can open many doors for you, you will still need to walk through those doors on your own.

 Your representative will not be the reason that you do or do not succeed in this business.  Your success depends on your will to succeed and your ability to keep moving forward in the face of all adversities that come your way.  

Own Your Power!

You are a strong, confident, talented and courageous actor.  (Click here to read a wonderful article about courage, written by acting coach Carolyne Barry.)  Bring your courageousness into your meeting with you!  

As is outlined in an article about meeting a talent agent, in a typical meeting you will chat a little bit about your background, your work experience, and your plan for the direction of your career.  You also may be asked to perform a scene (or “sides”) for the potential representative.  By showing how confident you are, it will likely impress the individual with whom you are meeting.  

Regardless of whether you are a new actor or a seasoned professional, it is important that you maintain your position of power in your meeting.  You are there to hire an agent to help you; therefore, show your potential new business partner that you are strong, ready to get to work, and discuss how the two of you will be able to help each other.     

At every agency meeting that I have attended, I make it a point to discuss that I am ready to take on an agent - a “business partner” - to help me in my career which I have already built on my own.  Explaining this immediately establishes the understanding that I will succeed whether or not an agent wants to work with me.  Keep your power for your career and your life where it belongs – with you – rather than giving it away to another person.  It is not necessary to come off as “desperate” or “needy” for an agent to sign you.  The two of you ideally should share excitement and gratitude for the opportunity to work with one another.  

The Bottom Line

This is show business, and as is true in other businesses, money is the bottom line.  As the talent, you have the potential to earn your new agent a lot of money.

 You and your representative will work hand in hand in your career, and therefore mutual respect should go without saying.  I recently attended a meeting with an agent who I felt treated me disrespectfully.  Because of this, I will not sign with that particular representative, no matter how “powerful” the agency might appear to be in the industry.  Just like dating, both parties need to respect each other and be on the same page in order for anything to flourish.    

By exuding confidence (and kindness!) in your next appointment with a talent representative, you will show how brave you are, and you will set clear expectations for the meeting and for the individual with whom you are meeting.

I wish you (and your new agent) lots of success - together!