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Interviewing an Agent

March 14, 2018

What to ask a potential talent agent while seeking representation

Congratulations!  You've landed an interview with a potential talent agent.  Once the initial excitement wears off, you're probably going to want some advice on how to handle the first interview.  After all, you're interviewing the agent as much as they are interviewing you.  Unfortunately, many parents get nervous that asking the wrong questions, asking too many questions, or not asking enough could potentially hurt their chances of gaining representation.

Children In Film's advice: try not to stress.... and YES, you can and should ask questions.

Questions to ask during the interview:

How often would you like me to communicate with you?

Level of communication is always a question for parents.  Am I calling too much?  Am I not calling enough?  By asking this question, you clear up any misconceptions early on. Plus, by phrasing it this way you show your willingness to communicate, but that you understand and respect their time.

Is there a contract?

While you may not want to discuss the specifics of a contract in the first meeting (before you know if they are even interested in you), you can question whether or not there will be a contract at all.  This question may also prompt the agent to discuss the specifics of such a contract.

What are some steps you would like me to take if we begin working together?

The key here is the word "if."  You are showing that you understand it will be an honor to work with the agent, but you are also showing that you are excited to move forward and ready, as the parent, to commit to the work.

Things you should find out before the interview:

Is the agency licensed?

Before you go on your interview, determine the state laws for talent agencies and if agents in your state require a license.  Is your potential agency licensed?  In California, for example, agents must be licensed by the state Department of Labor.

What makes your child shine? 

Does your child know what makes him/her unique? Agent Carol Lynn Sher recommends having a good joke on hand.  Or perhaps your child has a quick story he or she could tell.

Remember, during your interview it is usually a good idea for your child to talk with the agent just as much, if not more, than you do.  Encourage your child to discuss his/her questions with you prior to your interview.  Then he or she will be prepared to ask some great questions that will allow his/her personality to shine through during the interview.