Meeting with a Talent Agent

by Tony Martinez/Talent Agent

Photo of talent agent meeting actor

How to convince an agent that they cannot continue unless your name is on their client list.


Congratulations! You did it. You managed to get my attention and I've agreed to take a meeting. That means you get one shot to convince me that my career as an agent cannot continue unless your name is on my list.

The process is simple. First, I always meet one on one with potential clients. This gives me a chance to really get to know the person. If that goes well, I ask the actor to come back and meet the other agents. It's essential that everyone be in agreement. One agent should never try to convince the others to sign someone.

And that's basically it. The only problem is actors tend to be their own worst enemy. Believe it or not, actors seeking representation are always convincing me NOT to sign them. Pretty depressing, right?

I'm always amazed by how much effort actors put into getting a meeting with me but none of you ever know how to behave once you're actually in my office.

Before we tackle this subject, let's make something clear. I want to like you. It's my job to sign actors and if you're sitting in my office, that means you did something right. Maybe I noticed your submission. Maybe someone referred you. Or maybe I saw your work in a showcase. Whatever it was, something positive happened to get your butt into that chair. So don't turn a positive into a negative. You've got 15 minutes to make an impression. That's 900 seconds. You have to use that time wisely.

So how should you behave in my office? Well, think of it this way. Meeting with an agent is like a first date. You've got two people in a room. They're sizing each other up. And they're both wondering if it's going to go any further.

Now ask yourself this: what's the worst thing you can do on a first date?

Answer: Talk about yourself.

There's nothing worse than being stuck on a date with someone who spends the whole night going on and on about themselves. It's the same thing in a meeting. I tend to tune out actors who waste their time by doing a non-stop monologue about who they are and what they want.

So don't play into the stereotype of the narcissistic, self-involved actor. It's dull. It's boring. And worst of all, it doesn't give me a chance to really get to know you.

Instead, walk into that office and create an atmosphere where you can both get to know each other as people. I have to forget that you're an actor seeking representation. That's boring. Instead, I need to see you as an individual. I have to get a sense of who you really are outside the world of show business.

How do you do this? Easy. Try to have a normal conversation. Maybe there's something in my office that catches your eye. Or maybe you just saw a great movie. Whatever. The idea is to get into a give and take situation where you're talking about anything but acting. This will give me a chance to get to know the real you.

I once met with a young lady who had "tarot card reader" listed on her resume under Special Skills. It just so happens that I love anything having to do with the occult. So we started talking about it and the next thing you know, we're both sitting on the floor and she's giving me a reading. As a result, we really got to know each other and I ended up representing her for many years.

Now that's what I call a good meeting.

Remember - it's easy for an agent to pass on an actor seeking representation. We do it every day. But saying no becomes just a little bit harder when we've spent 15 minutes getting to know you as a human being. And that might just be enough to get you signed as a client.
Tony Martinez is a talent agent and the author of "An Agent Tells All." For more information, visit www.AnAgentTellsAll.com.

Copyright © Tony Martinez. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced or distributed without the direct written permission of the author.
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Reader Comments

Hi my name is Sasha - Lee and I'm 15 years old, I've been wanting to become and actress ever since I was 11 but I don't know what to do, I live in South Africa and I would love to be an actress on disney channel or nickelodeon, I even pretend to be an actress, I pretend to be Alex from Wizards of waverly place or Rocky from Shake it up and even Cat from Victorious but I'm tired of pretending, I want to make that real so I can live my dream, please help me live my dream, even if it means starting an acting carreer with a commercial, I'll be happy to do it, I would really appreciate it if you can help me live my dream

Posted by Sasha - Lee (2012-06-10) 5924

Hi, I'm Molly and I am 14 years old, turning 15 in a month. I don't know if it is possible to get an acting agent at 14 however I am still trying just in case. I have had a little experience with acting, I know what the pressure is like, I know about learning lines, getting into the character reading between the lines of the script and really feel the emotion of the character in which you are playing. I have performed infront of an audience and also in a short movie for my old drama group, sadly it isn't running anymore and I have very little opportunity to really show off my true skills, this is why I am looking for an agent to really have the chance to show people what I can do and be able to have roles in stage, TV and also film. Thanks

Posted by Molly O'Keefe (2012-02-15) 5519

Hi, I'm Kristie Mark,I always wanted to be a star! It's my dream!!! If I don't make it, I will die. I will do anything to be a hollywood star. I took acting classes but my agency closed down. I'm heartbroken and I cry everytime I watch TV. What made me want to be famous is the tv shows. " I want to be just like them someday." I just want everyone to get to know me. I want to work and meet new people. I was always hoping for a callback but it never came.

Posted by Kristie Mark (2012-02-13) 5515

My sister is to humble and very good actress she's done the right way so far tons of background work for experience of being on set and now she just signed a contract for her own show with oxygen and already filmed a episode and they bought 6 more .she needs a good agent .so far 2 agents keep calling her ,but they rub her the wrong way ,also it's her dream to be on true blood .she also turned down a Johnny Knoxville movie because the part was for her to ride a motorcycle naked in front of a bunch of 8 year old little boys and I'm proud of her ,but I would love for a great agent to represent her ,she did moneyball as an extra , tons of vh1, the thing is she is really pretty and does playboy golf fund raisers every year and she has that hot playboy look and wants more serious
Parts not just blonde silly parts she is the best actress I no or ever seen .I would love to see her get a part on true blood it's her dream and she works real hard she is always the first person on set and last one to leave and very good listener so I hope you can give her your 15 min interview you will not be sorry thank you , the sister

Posted by For my sister (2012-02-04) 5474

hello I have a daughter that is absolutely beautiful and loves alot of attension even if she is only 19months.
Also have a 16years old that sings too and love acting
my little daughter is showing the same skills, she absolutely loves beyounce Love on Top
how do i get and agent for both my daughters

Posted by Marian Berege (2011-11-22) 5226

hey my name is iris Nunez and i will love to be a actress i will love to travel around the world maybe being a actress that might help me to help people around the world that's what i will love to be if aim a actress

Posted by iris nunez (2011-11-19) 5176

I wanted to know how to score a meeting with a talent manager

Posted by Ryan Riley (2011-07-19) 4069

Hello, my name is Megan Nicole Shields. I am 14 years old. My dream is acting, I go to Nobel Middle School. And in the drama department there as an on stage actor. Although, I would like to take it a step up. I am looking for an agent to help me take on a journey through acting. Please, if any agent would like to help me. It would be an honor. Thank you.

Posted by Megan Nicole Shields (2011-02-27) 2902

Hello my name is devonte I was always told I was funny and I think I deserve a chance.

Posted by Devonte martin (2011-01-31) 2852

i would love to be an actor and singer my name is zoe thank so much.

Posted by zoe (2010-10-07) 2734

Hi, im Alyssa and im 15 years old. My dream is to become the next big thing. I sing and i dance and I act. I want to become and actress and singer and follow my dream. I've always loved doing it and it never gave up on me. Ive been trying to become one ever since i was 10 years old. No one will help me and I cry sometimes because this is something I really wanna do. It will mean everything to me if you could call me once you get this message and talk to me and my parents about helping me become an actress and singer.

Posted by Alyssa Rosado (2010-06-14) 2587

Hello, My name is Melissa Diaz, im 19 years old. will be 20 this summer. Ive been spenting most of my time at school and in my local church performing dramas and play productions for my community. I went through out my whole high school years in drama classes and have learned the basics in beoming an actress. Acting has always been my passion and the question here is where should i go from here. as far as i know i need an agent. i want to persue a career in acting and make the best of my talents. thank you , hope to here from you very soon. feel free to give me some advice.

Posted by melissa Diaz (2010-05-28) 2564

Hi i am Luke and i am 15. I have been and loved acting since i was a little boy but you don't want to hear that. I love all kinds of sport apart from physical. i like money, might as well be honest body most of all i love talking, don't really care what it's about. Thanks for your time. :-)

Posted by Luke (2010-03-27) 2446

Hi my name is Mary ward. Im 14 and i love acting and singing. When i was 12 i did some drama with a co star from a soap, which was really fun. You were ment to be 13 to do it but i lied :) So if anyone wants to sign me feel free and dont be shy. Im just playing but really if anyone does wanna sign me i will even wash your car so how bout that your getting a wonderfull girl to work with and a free car wash if i were you i would for sure call me.

Posted by mary ward (2010-01-07) 2291

I want an agent, I need an agent. I want to get to know my agent as a person. If anyone wants to represent me in any way that would be great. I could just be the next Justin Beiber/Miley Cyrus or whatever, who really knows until someone out there gives me a chance. I'm 16 year old who just wants to have fun and not work in a boring office her whole life or clean toilets. Come on, I'm loving. I care about people. If I get famous I'll help the hungry and cure cancer hopefully one day. I am serious. So yeah contact me. It won't hurt you. It certainly won't hurt me. =)

Posted by Michelle Solorio (2009-12-23) 2246

HI. My name is Courtney. You know the reason for this message already, Im not going to bore you. Um...Experience...none :) I just would like to know some good places to start. Thanks for your time.

Posted by Courtney Woodcock (2009-09-30) 2128

my name is dontae im 20 right now and been trying to catch a break with the one thing that i love to do and that is acting. Ever since i was little i love playing caracters and entertaining people it is my deep passion. NO one in my life seems to care so i got to make my dream come true for myself and i need help with my dream. i don't want to hold this experiance,talent,and passion in. i want to share it with the world. Its not about fame and fortune with me its something that i enjoy doing. im also love to sing i dont want nothing to hold me back thats why im posting this. I would really appricate it, thank you so much Mr. Martinez

Posted by dontae williams (2009-09-15) 2086

The article says that talking about yourself and your future plans and so on is a mistake. And yet here are so many comments doing exactly that. Did anyone even read the article? :D

Posted by Ats Umbleja (2009-08-04) 1891

Since I was little I've wanted to become an actress. I am 16 and my parents have tried to encourage me to look in to a business that seems a little more possible to get into. I have played a few characters but I want to let the world know that even small town girls can do anything if they set their mind to it. I am looking for someone that can help me achieve my dreams. I love Disney Channel and would love to be a star on there, but Ive learned that if you start out small, you can achieve greater things in the future. I would appreciate it if you could help me at least get started. Thank you.

Posted by Brittney Kovacs (2009-08-02) 1882

Im 14 and ive played in easter plays. I live in a small town so theres not really anything that i could play in. I want to be in Disney. Its been a dream since i was little. Maybe one day it will come true. Mr.Martinez I really hope you can help me. I really like acting. If I get said no to i would still try and work on it until im sure i can do it for the next time. Thank you Mr.Martinez.

Posted by jordan chambers (2009-07-27) 1846

Hello, My name is Amir, I'm 11 years old,And I'm and trying to be the next big thing.My reasons that I want to be tv's next big star is that I wacth old and new tv show like Wizards,Suite Life,Even Stevens,Even Diff'rent Strokes and I can be funny like them.It a hard time being a actor when your in my shoes.I have everything like a cute boy smile. All I want to be is a Diseny Kid, it have has been my dream and it never gave up on that[Well one time].Mr.Martinez I hope you can help me make my deame come true.I pray every night thining that day will happen Thank You

Posted by Amir Bowman (2009-07-23) 1820

I love acting and i am not picky on what i get. i turn thirteen in December but if you have to ask me why i love it i would say actings my life i could be in my room watching a movie and i would tune it out pretending i am the one in the movie acting that part and to me i am really good. I am good at memorizing the lines like i memorized almost all the twilight lines. So yeah i don't want to become an actress to have fans i want to do it because it is something i love someone could say no to me on something about my acting but i would work on it and try again the next time.

Posted by courtney corbin (2009-06-21) 1623

Hello! im an eleve year old girl looking to be discovered. I have alot more potential and I tend to listen to everything that I can possibly catch. I've waited long enough for my time and then theres always that on thing that blocks your chance. Money. I come from a very unrecognized area and have a decintely hard life. Now i'm starting to go on about myself, but to be recognized would be just amazing. I hope you are able to respond fairly soon! thank you! goodbye!

Posted by Rosalie (2009-06-15) 1586

Hi Mr. Tony, I have read your part. You probably hear this alot, how do you trust and find the right agents for you? And what if a persons life is complicated but their desire has been with them for 7 years and nothing has happend but still working hard on it...? i do hope you reply back. Thank you for your time, Sir.

Posted by Nancy (2009-06-07) 1546

Thank you I've been trying for the past cople days to find out how to act when I meet an agent and what you are saying makes so much sense because agents see "actors" every day they hardly see people ones true self there's so much to take from what u said once again thank you

Posted by Jemm Prospere (2009-03-19) 1167

hi, well i have been told that i am a good singer im 14 turning 15 and my dream is really to work with disney channel as a singer and all i need is a really good agent so if you can when you have the chance please email me.

sincerely,
Michelle

Posted by Michelle Martinez (2009-01-01) 745

More than anything, I want to be an actress and singer. It's been my dream and passion for as long as I can remember. Please if you can, e-mail me. It would mean the world to me.

Posted by Sona Zahedi (2008-12-23) 708

I am from cleveland ohio, and want to say I will go the distance in becoming a true, talented, star. I have been in National Miss America states Pagaent this year, I 've been in girl scouts rock dance team, I've been in this play called God Spell for a church function.

Posted by Michelle Moore (2008-12-08) 652

I wanna show the world what i have got some talent been in the few commercial,looking foward to be in the movie been in acting school very talented looking for agent to help me whit my career

Posted by Roudy dieudonne (2008-12-05) 645

I love acting, singing, and dancing. I would love to have an agent to be on all the popular shows.I've been in 3 musicals Grease , Cinderella , and Tom Sawyer . My characters were Frenchy , Colliupe, and Aunt Polly in school. Now I'm in Grease again playing the role of Ms.Lynch . BTW, I am only 11 years old.

Posted by Mary Gatmaitan (2008-11-23) 611

hi mine dreams is to make mine own show on disneychannel and i need the best talent agen i could get if u need any thin from me pleas come over cause itis hard for me to live i am trying to help mine family out.

Posted by steve koroma (2008-08-29) 306

I love acting but I'm only 13. So I don't really know how to find an agent. I would love to be an actress on nickolodeon.

Posted by Heather Barben (2008-08-14) 226

I'm an struggling actor just trying to get my foot in the door.I need an agent because no matter what i do i just can't seem to get a break.

Posted by John Kinred (2008-07-14) 126

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