Secrets of an Agent Man – Volume 3

In a past post, I talked about what I look for in a voice demo but what about the talent themselves?  When a talent contacts me for representation, like any employer, I first look for signs of sanity.  Of course I want to rep someone who is talented but I also want someone to be normal, professional and hopefully likeable. 

Little clues about the personality can emerge, even from a short cover letter or introductory e-mail.  Is it riddled with spelling mistakes? Do they appear not to know anything about my agency?  Have they attached files or links that don’t have anything to do with voice work? (A photo is always nice but I don’t need the 11 jpg’s and 4 Quicktime files).  Some of the above may seem like nitpicking but the agent-talent first impression is much like a blind date.  You get a sense early on whether you want to stay for dinner or not (metaphorically speaking).

And these little things are general signs of sloppiness.  Is it much of a stretch to suggest that the person who doesn’t proofread his e-mail might not show up for an audition?  How much does this person care about his career or people’s perception of him if he can’t even take 45 seconds to review grammar and spellcheck?

I’m also amused by people who don’t think they need any training.  A couple of weeks ago, I had one guy e-mail a MP3 of him literally reading one sentence!   He wanted me to evaluate his potential for a career in voice work based on 6 seconds of audio.  Wow – I’m impressed by all the effort you’ve put into your potential career thus far.

In general, us talent agents want the people we represent to have some experience or at least training and speak in complete sentences – both on microphone and off.  If you can give some indication that you’ve heard of my agency, that’s a bonus.  And if you actually make a proper voice demo that is 1:00-1:30 in length, well now we’re talking.  And maybe you will be too – for a living!

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