How To Become A Talent Agent: Lights, Camera, Action!

how to become a talent agentEveryone is talented at something, and some more than others.  Or, they just know how to flaunt it.  Remember when you were younger and your parents or grandparents would tell you that you were the best at (insert child-friendly skill here)?  Well, hopefully, you have learned how to take that skill to the next level.  For instance, if you were amazing at Lego-building, maybe you have stepped up to become a talented Interior Designer.  Others have industry-related talents, meaning that they are actors, singers, writers, or entertainers of some sort who, naturally, want to make themselves known.  In cities that are packed full of people who think they have the potential to be the “next big thing”, what can you do to make yourself stand out?  The answer: hire a talent agent.

Individuals trying to navigate through the entertainment industry and put themselves on top know the importance of a talent agent.  If you have a knack with getting the word around town, enjoy being around creative people, and want to help someone boost their career, your talent may lie in becoming a talent agent!  Read on to see  if you fit the mold.

What does a Talent Agent Do?

Just in case you are wondering, let’s take a look at some of the things that a talent agent is responsible for doing.  Talent agents…

  • Help finds jobs and work for actors, singers, musicians, performers, or athletes.  They are also responsible for creating connections and helping their client network with people in the industry.
  • Spend a lot of hours on the phone or meeting with directors, producers, and clients trying to wean out the best of the best, and attempting to get their clients hired.
  • Must keep up with the industry that their client is in to know what is relevant at the moment and what people want to see.  Therefore, they may spend time at shows, doing research, and attending screenings.
  • Negotiate contracts for their clients.  Your clients will not appreciate you much if you have them working for a small sum.  Market your client the best you can and make them seem indispensable.
  • Create relationships with the people who they hope will ultimately hire their clients, such as casting directors, modeling agencies, or entertainment venues.

How to Become a Talent Agent

Now that you know what type of work is cut out for you, let’s take a look at the steps you will need to establish a career for yourself as a talent agent.

Know the IndustryHaving contacts or experience in the entertainment industry is going to give you a clear head start in becoming a talent agent.  By knowing people already it in, or how it works, you will be able to navigate by networking and getting into places you may not have otherwise.

Be Specific:  Once you decide to become a talent agent, you are going to want to decide what type of talent that you want to represent.  There are many to choose from, such as: actors, singers, musicians, comedians, or athletes.  Make sure you have an interest in the area you choose, because you are going to have to know how and what makes a talent in that area successful.

Establish Skills:  Just as with any other job, being a talent agent requires certain skills that will help them be as effective as they can be in their position.  Some of these may include skills in: marketing, communications, journalism, or public relations.  If you do not have formal education, you can consider obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in one of these areas.  Or, you can enroll in some classes for some immediate training.

Get Experience:  If you do not have any experience working in the entertainment industry, you are going to have to get some.  The best way to go about doing this is to intern with a talent agency, or to work as an assistant for an already establish talent agent.  Although at first you will just be running errands, e-mailing, and doing medicinal tasks, you will be able to understand more of the business from an outsider’s perspective.  All of this experience will help you once you are ready to take on your own clients and establish yourself individually.

Obtain a License:  You will find that certain states require a talent agent to be licensed before they start taking on clients.  These states are usually reserved for places with a large entertainment industry, such as New York or California.  While you will not have to study and take a huge exam, you will have to submit items such as forms, rates, and references to a commission or licensing board.

Open Your Own Business:  Obviously, this step is optional, but if you have the skills, experience, and contacts, consider opening your own agency.  There are many perks to working for yourself and being your own boss.

Talent Agent Skills

Now that you are ready to search for some desirable and new talent, we are going to fill you in on some of the skills that will help you in this industry.  Of course, there are certain skills that every job requires you to have, so let’s take a look at the ones more specific to a position as a talent agent.

  • Persuasion skills to get your clients hired.
  • Negotiating skills to get the best rates and benefits.
  • Social skills for knowing what people want to see and being aware and perceptive of reactions.
  • Communication and being able to communicate your knowledge of the industry and media in application to your work.
  • Dependability, as your clients will come to rely on your to book their next job and keep them on top of others in the same field.

Get In The Spotlight!

Now that you have all the necessary tools, it is time to take you passion for talent to the next level!  Remember that there will be a lot of perks, such as: attending press screenings, reading scripts, and star-filled bashes.  However, being a talent agent requires a lot of odd hours and commitment.  Get ready to meet a lot of interesting characters!