Brady Fujikawa, Kelci Parker, Shauna Perlman, Cole Galvin, Zahra Phillips, Ridhima Kahn, Merideth Bajana and Archana Lannin Austin PHOTOGRAPHED BY BIRDIE THOMPSON (7); COURTESY OF DAPPER LABS, Hollywood Reporter
Talent agents represent talent in Hollywood and beyond. There is a multitude of different agencies that specialize in representing various types of talent. Every day is different for a talent agent; each has a different way of completing unpredictable tasks.
Networking is essential to growing clientele, meeting other agents, and staying up-to-date on industry news. The new entertainment networking app tap. is a fantastic solution to expand its reach within the industry. tap. is a mobile entertainment app designed to cut Talent Agents' expenses, time, and effort by 420%. The machine learning software lets Agents know the latest top talents, rising talents, and talents performing well. This impressive intuitive design also allows them to grow connections and learn how to be the best in their field.
Here is an inside look at what Talent Agents do and expert tips to become one.
Talent agents represent actors, musicians, voice-over actors, models, and more. Agents work to connect their clients to casting directors, advertising agencies, and people who want to hire them. Agents spend most of their time booking auditions, reviewing contracts, and researching. In between these time-consuming tasks, agents attend showcases, auditions, film festivals, and conventions during their workdays to keep up with recent industry trends.
Talent agents are always looking for up-and-coming talent and new clients to represent. At the same time, new projects and brand deals are also on their radar for their clients. Agents are also known for collaborating with other agents within their network.
“The only constant in business is change – get comfortable with it,” powerhouse agent Ari Emanuel, co-CEO of William Morris Endeavor (WME), told Beth Hanna of Indie Wire. “I always tell my colleagues there is no such thing as a traditional talent agent anymore. It’s about pushing beyond that 10% commission and finding an opportunity where it didn’t exist.”
tap. is the change Talent Agents have been looking for to advance their career, shift with the ongoing change in the industry, and find new opportunities beyond the 10% status quo.
It takes time, grit, and strategy to grow as a talent agent in Hollywood. Typically, a talent agent will begin their career as an agency intern, trainee, or assistant before branching off independently. Sometimes, this even involves sorting mail in the agency mailroom.
Many agencies have Agent Training programs, which last anywhere from a few months to 2 years. From the training program, trainees typically secure a position as an assistant within the agency they trained. If trainees don’t secure a position where they trained, they can become an assistant at another talent agency. This process takes determination but is essential for getting your foot in the door.
At least a high school education is required to become a talent agent, and many agents begin participating in internships during college. In addition, many agents pursue communications, public relations, or journalism degrees.
For talent agents, it can take much effort and persistence to make it to the top of their field. However, seeking connections with the appropriate agencies and people in the industry will propel you forward! Surround yourself with powerful agencies and people to elevate your career.
Patrick Whitesell is the executive chairman of the media agency Endeavor. He is known for representing actors such as Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Idris Elba, Hugh Jackman, John Krasinski, Ryan Reynolds, and Denzel Washington. Despite his A-list clientele, Whitesell told Victoria Berggren of The Holywood Reporter, “always remember, power is the position you hold, not you.”
A typical day for a talent agent in Hollywood begins by sorting through emails from talent, casting agencies, production companies, and other entertainment professionals.
Then, they might conduct research within industry-specific websites such as Backstage, Actors Access, Breakdowns, and Casting Networks to look for upcoming projects. Once a listing for a project becomes open, it is the agent’s responsibility to put together a submission package for the role their client would be best for.
The agent must review the contract with the client if a client has been offered a role or deal. This process might involve meetings, phone calls, and lunches with clients and possibly other agencies.
After their workday, Agents might attend premieres and networking events. An agent’s day is long – calls and meetings may go into the night. A potential talent agent must be prepared for this job's hustle.
Superagent Michael Ovitz, best known for founding Creative Arts Agency and a temporary president of The Walt Disney Company, shared how he grew as an agent at the beginning of his career. He told Alison Beard of Harvard Business Review, “We had a system where if a colleague asked you a question, you answered it; we kept notes on everything, and we shared information. We prioritized the clients, the agent, and the buyer with the largest need. We returned every phone call by the end of the day, so you’d see people sitting in the office until 8:00 at night doing that. Also, honesty: If you do not have an answer for something, tell the client or buyer, “I don’t know.”
Agents need to interact with other kinds of people within the industry. A substantial amount of talent signed to talent agencies is signed through referrals. The more people agents know in the industry, the more likely they will be aware of and sign new talent.
tap. offers a fantastic networking opportunity for agents. For example, the Access Feed feature on the app functions as a location for talent, buyers, and agents to hang out, request help for projects, and book each other.
tap. is advanced technology designed to help talent agents save time, money, and effort to push their careers to the next level. Headquartered in Playa Vista, CA, tap. is on a mission to connect film, TV, music, radio, and publishing professionals and help agents manage their entire entertainment career. For more information, visit www.tap.ec. and follow the company on Instagram @tap.ec.
About Beka Ashley:
Beka is tap.’s Senior Communications Editorial Assistant. She manages the growing publication strategy for tap., including writing for the website’s blog and editing other interns’ current industry research. In addition to this role, she works as a freelance writer and critical care nurse. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or see more of what she’s written here.
About Anna Debowski:
Anna is a recent graduate of The University of Georgia, majoring in Entertainment and Media Studies. After graduating, she interned at Seacrest Studios at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, producing engaging and inspiring content broadcast throughout the hospital and inspiring over 200 patients and staff. She recently finished her internship with tap. as the Agent Research Assistant and is actively pursuing a career in the customer service or entertainment industry. You can connect with her on Linkedin.