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Topic: Agents
Message: Posted by: ChrisC (Aug 11, 2013 10:44AM)
Hey guys

Recently I was scouting a new restaurant, and there was a balloon artist.

Anyways I talked to the manager and he said an outside agency books all there entertainment. The balloon artist gave me the agents card and said he comes back from vacation tomorrow.

I know this is a stupid question but you only make one first impression so I figured I would ask.

What do I say to him? "Hey I'm Chris, I was at (restaurant) and saw (baloon artist's name) and he gave me your card. Can I show you what I do sometime and we could possibly work something out if you like what you see?
Message: Posted by: Eldon (Aug 11, 2013 03:15PM)
That's a good place to start. If he likes you he will ask you about agent friendly promo material etc.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Aug 11, 2013 06:42PM)
Knock on his door offer him your hand, and your promotional material.
Message: Posted by: ChrisC (Aug 11, 2013 08:50PM)
Al I wish I could but the card has no address!

I don't have a demo video yet, as most of what I do is strolling. Will be posting a separate topic on this. aside from headshots what else do I need? Press releases? Stuff in the paper?

-Chris
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Aug 11, 2013 09:32PM)
Always follow an agencies submission policies. If someone showed up at my door unexpected they not only wouldn't get the time of day, but it would be considered unprofessional and disrespectful to our policies. If they can't follow our submission process properly, how could we ever expect them to work for us and our clients?
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Aug 12, 2013 06:42AM)
Does he have a phone number? Does he have an email address?

Do you have references? Do you have a web site?

As Mindpro stated however he chooses to communicate use it to get your foot in the door.
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Aug 12, 2013 02:30PM)
I don't work for any agents since I moved from Chicago over 10 years ago. I would suggest to find another restaurant. Or go knock on the doors of several restaurants.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Aug 12, 2013 03:07PM)
Also most agents and agencies will not mess with restaurant work or bookings because of their flighty-ness and thin margins.
Message: Posted by: vinh.giang (Aug 24, 2013 08:49AM)
The funny think about agents is this, when you need them they don't want you and when you don't need them they want you. This is the experience that I had anyway, when I first started because I haven't built any brand equity in the market place and no body knew who I was it was very difficult to get recognised by the agents. My advice would be to start getting a handful of gigs at many different events and start to build a little bit of brand for your self and then approach the agent with something like this:

"Hi Im Chis and I have working as a magician professionally for the last 6 months and I currently work at x, y and z. I really want to start taking my career as a magician to the next level, would you be happy to sit down and have lunch and maybe talk about how I can potentially add more value to your client base?"

Good luck buddy! I currently have 5 agents in Australia and 3 in Asia, having agents is the best thing EVER! They organise everything from A - Z. It's wonderful :)
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Aug 24, 2013 09:24AM)
[quote]
On 2013-08-24 09:49, vinh.giang wrote:
The funny think about agents is this, when you need them they don't want you and when you don't need them they want you. This is the experience that I had anyway, when I first started because I haven't built any brand equity in the market place and no body knew who I was it was very difficult to get recognised by the agents.
[/quote]

Unfortunately this is the exact common perception by most entertainers. I should say common "misperception". This is typical thinking from only the entertainer's perspective. In reality it is not the case at all.

First most entertainers approach agencies with the mentality of selling themselves to the agency. I do this, I've done that, I can do this, etc. They think this makes a difference to the agency. They think sounding impressive or "more professional" will increase their chances of the agency being interested in them. They are constantly selling themselves to the agent/agency.

In reality an this is not at all what an agency is truly interested in, at least not initially. It doesn't matter who you are and what you've done for how many years. What does matter is if the agency would have a use for your type of act, if the agency feels that you would be a great match for their clients (that they know quite well and protect extremely), THEN if they believe so, if they feel you would be able to be a profitable addition to their agency. Do you offer agency rates? What kind of margins do you offer an agency? These are the interests of most agencies, not your resume and performance history. Sure they need to know you have the level of experience and professionalism they're seeking, but all of these things can easily be identified in the first two minutes (often less) by most agents. So while you're babbling about I've done this, and I've done that, and I can do this, they are thinking about an entire different set of thoughts and interests and will more than likely already have made their determination before you're done babbling. That's also why most agencies would never go out to lunch with you, again, at least not initially until after they know you and may have determined if they have an interest to you. If I went out to lunch with everyone that was submitting to me, I'd be dining 24 hours a day.

The biggest mistake I see from performers seeking agency representation is they think of their own needs and interests, not truly the agencies. They also do not do very much to make themselves appealing to agencies and their interests.

Truth be told, they don't need you. You will always need them much more than they will need you. Especially if they have a production division or in-house acts.

I think the reason for your perception in the quote above about needing them, is most performers approach agencies out of a need for income, more bookings, and often desperation. They think being with an agency will be their easy solution (you and every other entertainer out there). Agents can detect this a mile away and course that's not who they want on their roster and to present to their clients. They want confident professionals that are not desperate. That's why the perception is agencies don't want you when you need them the most, and why many uneducated in the operation and mindset of agencies also think "most agencies use the same two dozen acts", or "***, that guy is represented by what seems like every agency". There is a reason for this - these are highly-marketable, decently profitable, and usually very flexible, dependable and confident acts that they know can get the job done for their clients.
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Aug 24, 2013 09:28AM)
People who haven't worked with agencies should read Mindpro's post twice.

David
Message: Posted by: Doug Arden (Aug 24, 2013 10:03AM)
I spent 11 years as an Agent in an Entertainment Agency & Speakers Bureau, and what Mindpro says is EXACTLY the way it is.

Doug
Message: Posted by: vinh.giang (Aug 24, 2013 10:26PM)
Extremely well said Mindpro!