A couple of weeks ago, I attended “The Art of the Agency Interview” with Tony Nation
, the president of Actors Connection
in NYC. Not only do I have the great fortune of working at ArtistUpgrade as the Project Consultant and Office Manager (and Social Media guru…well, sort of), but I am also pursuing my passion for the stage as an actress in the Big Apple; this workshop, needless to say, was quite helpful! I’d like to share with you other aspiring actors out there some of the insightful tips I learned for what to expect come time for the highly anticipated agency interview. So grab a pencil and paper (or open a Word document on your computer), and get ready to take notes….
The most important part of any interview, of course, is to be yourself – show your personality, what makes you unique and interesting – but even more so in an interview with an agent is that you must constantly be aware that you are, indeed, selling a product – the thing you know best…YOURSELF. To do this, you must know where you fit in the market of the industry.
Let’s start with the first question you will undoubtedly be asked in any agency interview…
- “So…tell me a bit about yourself…”
This simple question, asked in statement form, is the most difficult question to answer, and you have about one minute to intrigue the agent, hook them in, and make them want to learn more. This is your inner one minute monologue that isn’t just a regurgitation of your resume. Rather, this one minute is your chance to show the agent WHO you are, what you’ve been up to, and why you should be represented; all the while, you must display charm and a sense of humor. Easy, right? I’d suggest jotting down a few bullet points of what you think you should mention, and practice saying this little blurb (careful not to over- rehearse, though – you don’t want a stale and robotic speech!), and make sure it stays short and sweet.
Now, onto specific questions for different industries…Below, I will outline the questions you should expect in an agency interview with Commercial/Print agents and Legit (TV, film, and theatre) agents, and what you should prepare for each of them – because, as you know, to make a good impression, you must come prepared! So do your research.
Click here to skip ahead to the Legit Interview!
After the “Tell me a bit about yourself”, these are the questions you should expect at an interview with a Commercial/Print Agent…
- What commercials have you done?
Make sure you’ve prepared a list of the commercials you’ve done, so you’re not stuck saying, “um…uh…let’s see..I did a commercial for, um…” Type out a list and have it ready to show to the agent! If you haven’t done any commercials — Have you taken a commercial class? Where? With whom? For how long?
- What types do you play in commercials?
When thinking of what types you have played in the past, or what types you think you will fit into, Tony Nation suggests placing an adjective before the type. Examples: the quirky best friend, the chipper girl next door, the nerdy pizza delivery guy, the overbearing parent, etc.
- What age range do you play?
Never provide specifics! If the agent asks you how old you are, answer with an age RANGE.
- Who do you get told you look like?
Think of celebrities with whom you share a similar type of flair, energy, or look. Since you’re interviewing for commercials, it may be good to think of some commercial celebrities – for example, “I think I have the energy and look of Flo from Progressive”.
Again, the first question you will probably be asked is “Tell me a bit about yourself.” After this, be prepared for the following questions in a Legit interview (film, TV, and theatre)…
- What have you been doing lately?
You may have already touched on this a bit in your one minute answer to “Tell me a bit about yourself,” but here you can get more specific – what roles you’ve recently played, what directors you’ve worked with, where you’ve performed, etc.
- What roles and shows are you right for currently on Broadway and Off-Broadway?
Do your research on this! Look at Broadway shows and Off-Broadway shows, and see what roles you think you’d be good for. If you’re into musical theatre, be specific – your vocal type, dance experience, etc. Agents are looking to see how well you know where you fit in the market – if you’re a cool, hip frat guy type who thinks you’re perfect for the Wizard in Wicked, well, then, you probably want to re-think where you fit in this industry…Agents need to know how to sell you, and they want you too to know how to sell yourself.
- What’s the role that you’re dying to play?
No specifics! Give an age range.
- Who do you get told you look like?
What celebrities do you share a similar flair or look with? If casting directors are looking for a James Franco type, the agents will go to those actors who have a James Franco vibe. So again, do your research.
- Who are the casting directors who know your work?
Prepare a list! Build your list of Casting Directors who have called you back, have worked with you in workshops, have called you in to audition, have cast you in shows. Can’t think of any Casting Directors? Go out to open calls, attend workshops and seminars, and get yourself seen!
Whew! Enough information for you? I hope it’s been helpful. Good luck!
All the best,
For more information on Actors Connection and their seminars and workshops, visit www.ActorsConnection.com.