Monday, March 21, 2011


Most people think that getting an agent ends their job search. After all, if an agent wants you, surely that means you're good enough to get another job, right?

Uh, no.

Welcome to the world of agents, where anyone and everyone can hang out a shingle and call himself or herself a representative.

Oh, you thought these people needed training, a special degree, and years of experience in order to qualify as an agent?

Uh, no.

I can post an announcement here tomorrow and declare myself an agent. (Don't even ask. Aint happening.)

At one end of the spectrum are great agencies and agents. People who truly believe in your talent and care about your career. People who stay with you long term because they see a great future for you.

And then there are those who sign everyone and anyone. Their main objective? Getting a commission. You're just a potential cash cow in their massive herd.

A good agent places calls like this on your behalf: "I know you're looking for a female anchor and your last one had a really quick wit. I've got someone similar who might be a good match with your male."

A bad anchor dubs off every tape of every client, shoves them in a box, and mails the whole thing to a ND with this note: "Here are my clients. If you're interested in any of them, give me a call."

A good agent returns calls and emails promptly.

A bad agent is someone you have to call because you never hear a damn thing for months.

A good agent is polite on the phone, to both you and News Directors.

A bad agent is rude, plays too much hardball and can cost you a job offer.

A good agent knows your talent and doesn't send you somewhere that you'll be playing out of position.

A bad agent doesn't care that you hate doing features and sends your tape out on a feature reporting job.

A good agent sends your tapes to places you'd like to work, and knows your geographic preferences.

A bad agent sends your tapes anywhere.

Here's the one thing you need to realize about agents. Any agent, good or bad, cannot wave a magic wand and get you a job. The stars still have to align for you, and it's your work, not the agent's, that closes the deal.

So if you think getting an agent will solve all your problems, think again.

It depends on the agent.

But, bottom line, it really depends on you.


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