You’ve done the research, asked around for referrals, crushed the showcase game, and made those scary phone calls. You finally got a meeting with your dream agent… now what? Here are five quick tips to prepare for a sexy agent meeting.
STEP 1: “Tell me about yourself”!
It’s the one question you KNOW you’re gonna get asked! Don’t wing it. Brainstorm the most important/interesting/exciting things you want to communicate about yourself and write them down.
Your answer should take about 30-60 seconds. Yes, that’s all! And without speeding through it in one breath! You’ll need to decide which bits are ACTUALLY important and how to speak efficiently. Time yourself if you need to.
Then, practice alone and with a friend. Not because you need to have it memorized word-for-word. You just need to be able to communicate the important bits when you’re nervous.
Remember the question “So, tell me about yourself…” is only a jumping-off point for the conversation. You’ve been there, when you first meet someone at a party and you’re having trouble picking a topic to talk about. When you answer “So tell me about yourself…” you give the agent a few topics to pick from to get the conversation going.
That’s why it doesn’t need to go on for long. Give them some material to work with, like where you’re originally from and a favorite project you’ve recently worked on, and then give them space to respond.
STEP 2: Put on your business hat!
Remember this agent doesn’t make a dime until you do and no one likes working for free.
They’re looking at things through a business lens so act accordingly. It’s your job to help them see all the reasons you’re a safe bet.
Here are a few things that may make you seem like a better bet:
- You get coached on every audition.
- You’re in class and constantly working to improve your craft.
- You produced a web series that’s done well at festivals.
- You have industry contacts that you’re bringing to the table.
- Your thrival job is super-flexible for auditions.
Those are just a few but anything that addresses doubts or fears about your ability to “close the deal” is something worth telling your prospective rep about. Write ‘em down and reference them before you walk into the meeting.
STEP 3: “Do you have any questions for me?”
Actors can get so worked up about an agent meeting that they forget what it means to have an actual conversation. It requires some back and forth and feels a lot nicer when both parties are interested in getting to know EACH OTHER.
I want you to be interested in this person as a human. Feel free to ask them a few questions you would naturally ask a new friend. Here are a couple examples:
- What inspired you to become an agent?
- Were you an actor first?
- What hobbies do you have outside of work?
- What’s a recent success you’re proud of?
- What are you excited about right now?
- Do you prefer actors to continue to submit themselves for auditions? Or would you rather be the only one submitting?
It doesn’t need to be a long conversation. But even a question or two can leave both parties feeling seen and heard. It goes a long way!
Got any other great questions to ask an agent? Your fellow community members would love the help so leave any suggestions in the comments below!
STEP 4: Be yourself on a “good day.”
This isn’t a job interview for a bank. It’s ok to be who you are. Imagine you were having coffee with an old friend. You wouldn’t be sitting up stick-straight in your chair unless that’s your normal posture. You also wouldn’t show up in pajamas.
You would be comfortable talking about non-businessy things, but you might not lead with politics.
You might use slang, but you’d hold off on the f-bombs until you see where they stand on cursing.
Remember you don’t have to be too polished – be yourself on a good day. If you’re a naturally fast talker, try to start the meeting off by talking a tad slower, so it doesn’t come off as nervousness. Then you can work up to your natural pace.
Give them a taste of what you’d be like on The Tonight Show. Most people aren’t looking to watch a “perfect interview” on The Tonight Show – they want a sneak peek into who you are in real life.
STEP 5: Make a graceful exit.
Ever have a guest overstay their welcome? You can hint at being tired, but ultimately, it’s up to them to take that hint and get moving.
When you feel like you’ve made a nice connection with the person in front of you and you’ve hit the major points you wanted to make. Give them the generous gift of saying “Well, thank you so much for meeting with me!”
This is a natural cue that we’re “wrapping this up.” Ask them if it’s alright to follow up in a few days and get up on outta there. Leave them wanting more.