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How To Get An Agent Dos and Don'ts

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

March 30, 2011

Comments (10)

Joyce CastellanosAt VOICE 2010, I happened to observe a panel where Joyce Castellanos shared some tips on what works and what doesn't when trying to get a talent agent.

Joyce has worked for over 25 years as an audio director/producer for promo departments at NBC, Disney Channel, Warner Marketing and The WB Television Network. She is also an agent in the Promo and Trailer department at AVO Talent.

If you're in the process of pitching your voice to agents and would like some direction, keep these insights in mind and think them through carefully before you pound the proverbial pavement for representation.

What Works When Approaching Talent Agents

๏ Introduce yourself by email or phone (depending on the agent's preference - research!)
๏ Have professionally recorded demos at the ready
๏ Know what you can offer to the agent / agency
๏ Express what your needs are
๏ Describe how you would fit in on the agent's roster
๏ Conduct yourself honestly
๏ Have enough personality to shine
๏ Be honest about where your talents lie

Don't, Don't, DON'T!

๏ Sound needy
๏ Second guess yourself

Do You Have Anything To Share?

If you've managed to secure representation, I'd love to hear about what worked for you!

Add your tips in the comments below.

Best wishes,

Stephanie

Related Topics: agents, Disney, how to, Joyce Castellanos, talent, VOICE 2010, voice acting


Comments


    Maximum politeness, empathy and consideration, with a barely perceptible undercurrent of supreme confidence. Mix thoroughly with palpable excitement and passion for your chosen genre and serve hot to the agent of your choice. Serves 1 at a time.

    Posted by:

      Hello Stephanie,

      I currently have 4 Agents, 2 in foreign countries, and 2 in the USA. The points made by Joyce are fairly good ones, however I find it interesting that she mentions that one should ..."Describe how you would fit in on the agents roster". Well, if the agent doesn't know this, one way or the other, after the voice talent submits his/her resume' who would? I have never taken the approach of telling an agent or a prospective client how I would "fit in". I believe it is up to them to make that decision, based on what they hear in my demos and see on my website, regarding experience, branding, etc. Those factors should be the features for acceptance or not. How can a voice talent possibly know what an agent needs on their roster? We are not clairvoyant :) A voice talent's sound, and work should sell itself. No further elaboration should be necessary.

      -BP


      Posted by:

        Voices.com plus a general freelancers site brought me enough through 2010 to keep me busy all week with auditions, jobs and the all-important self-development. So the creation of specific demos to approach agencies here in UK sat on my do-list for mid-2011.
        Then, as happens, an agency in Australia invited me to join their roster of Brit-English voices. That was on the strength of an audition (thankyou Voices.com) which did not win me the job, but landed this instead. As to agencies' needs - these people insisted on no edits, no processing, no FX, and the trial script was one of... those... well, you know what I mean! It's been said before: Danger=Opportunity.

        Posted by:

          Hi Bob and BP,

          Thank you for your comments!

          @BP When inputting the points, I tried my best to use different verbs for each point although many lean in the same direction. You have to know how you would fit in on the agent's roster. The step after knowing for me is being able to articulate or describe that knowledge and position it. From my notes, the point centered around knowing how you would fit in. Certainly, one ought to know how they would or where on the roster they may fit before approaching an agent. Doing a bit of homework doesn't hurt much :)

          You made a good point that it is the agent who ultimately decides whether you fit on their roster and where, however, being able to deduce and also communicate where you feel you could be of service shows that you know your own gifts and are also able to seek out and identify prime opportunities for mutual success where the agent is concerned.

          Sometimes there are surprises all around for both the agent and the talent where unexpected jobs and roles may come to pass, I'm not discounting that at all. The point was merely to be aware of what you offer in relation to what the needs of the agent may be.

          Thanks again!

          Stephanie

          Posted by:
          • Stephanie Ciccarelli
          • March 31, 2011 9:36 AM

            I agree with BP on that point! I think it's important to get a feel for the talent they represent beforehand, but you might be limiting yourself if you try to dictate how you'll fit. I just recently signed with my first agency, and I really pushed my teen voice work. In our meeting, one of the first things she said was, "That would be a great fit for ***'s plush toy line!". So yeah, they're the agent for a reason! :)

            And to that I think it's important to remember that this is a mutual relationship, not an inquisition, so you're free to ask lots of questions when you meet! You want to make sure they're right for *you*, too, so make sure you understand their procedures, what kind of need they currently have for talent like yours, etc, so you can make a fully informed decision before signing.

            Posted by:

              Thanks, Stephanie, this was very good.

              John Sipple

              Posted by:
              • John Sipple
              • March 31, 2011 1:59 PM

                Simple, straightforward, and to the point. Excellent article, Stephanie!

                Posted by:
                • John Beeman
                • April 8, 2011 4:59 PM

                  I was thinking about looking for an agent. Some of you posted some good information, Since I recently re-launched my VO career in February I was thinking it might be a bit to soon. But I'm still looking, If anyone has any other suggestions or recommendations please let me know. Much success to all.

                  Posted by:

                    Great comments for everyone. I have a question for the group. How do you go about getting voice work from agencies in the UK, Australia etc?

                    Thanks for any info.

                    Posted by:
                    • VC
                    • May 10, 2011 5:09 PM

                      I am often told, by complete strangers, that I sound exactly like Jeff Bridges. Their comment often sparks a short conversation and they are increasingly enthusiastic about the manner I speak and being spot-on to that of Jeff Bridges. Until a few days ago I have always been amused and dismissed their comments. A week our so ago I had about a 15 minute conversation with a guy, again a complete stranger, suggesting I should do voice overs. I'm doing research as where to find legitimate agents that might be able to help me. I'd appreciate your thoughts.

                      Posted by:
                      • Dave W
                      • November 26, 2011 4:41 PM

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