5 TIPS TO WORKING WITH A PROFESSIONAL AGENT/MANAGER
So, we’ve been agents/managers for 25 years and have genuinely ‘seen it’ – and ‘heard it’ all. We get new artists asking to join us every day and a small percentage who fit the criteria actually get on our books, but many don’t: Here’s just a few reasons why they don’t get even close (not in any particular order!)….
- They don’t have a showreel. Most of OUR clients and venues want to see an act before they book them. These days – even to get seen by the lowliest of venues – you need a showreel. It needs to be professional – standing in your lounge in-front of the fireplace ‘doing’ your Adele tribute may look cool to your best friends on Facebook – but it’s rubbish marketing and will not do you any favours. Spend a few quid on a real company to do a pro showreel – convince your future clients and venues that you’re already a star!
- “I’ve been in the business for 20 years – I don’t do auditions…” Well it may surprise you to know that most roles in theatre and film still require an audition. Showreels are great as a first calling card – but if you are asked to do an audition (provided that you are not cheating on the showreel!), then just do it. Agents & Managers especially want to not only see your act, they want to audition you as a person. Are you a diva? Do you have (the wrong) attitude? Not everyone will ask you to audition, but when you get asked – go and do the best show you’ve ever done.
- Wear appropriate clothing. Some time ago we had a particularly good Take That tribute band on our books. They could sing. They could dance. They all looked the business…. Until you sat just a little closer to the stage and noticed that beneath the stage-wear jackets (which looked fabulous), they we’re all wearing dissimilar – and different shades of grey ‘school’ trousers (should have been smart, black, the same!) To top it all of they all had different styles of blackish shoes. If you think nobody notices (or cares), provided that you are talented – you are wrong. A few days later, critic Mark Ritchie reviewed them in The Stage newspaper. His focus was on the crappy, cheap pants & shoes – not the band! Look good both on and off stage!
- Be businesslike. Most agents want to engage acts that see their performances as a job. This entails all the stuff we’ve already mentioned plus: a) Turn up early (constant latecomers don’t get offered gigs!). b) Leave late (if you have a full venue, do a few more songs – nobody wants to hear: “…well it says 11:45 on my contract…”. c) Don’t try to cadge drinks, food, rooms. If these are on your contract/rider you’ll get them if not – don’t even ask. d) Don’t booze or do drugs on a job – ever! e) Don’t be a diva. People hate attitude.
- Don’t put bile, spite or worse on social media. It’s actually a legal clause in most agents’ contracts these days that you cannot mention and agent/manager/venue/client/other act on social media in a bad light. We’ve seen some posts stating that “the venue was rubbish…” Errr… these are the guys that are paying your wages! If you must say anything on social media – make it positive. You’ll never get an agent if you’re also a ‘published’ critic!