Monday, November 19, 2012

The Girls Guide To Dating In Hollywood Part 3: Agents (and Managers)

Welcome back to The Girls Guide To Dating In Hollywood.  In the first two parts I outlined what it's like to date people on the creative side of the industry: actors and writers.  Well, now it's time to get to the business side of show business.  A few years ago most people had no idea what an agent actually does.  But now that we live in a post-Ari Gold society, people think that all agents are like that in real life.  Not so fast.  True, some are (especially since Ari was based on a real agent with the same name), but there are actually calm, nice reps.  If you're thinking of dating one, check out my outline below so you know what you will be getting yourself into.

Talent Agents
-Talk about their client list constantly.  I once went on a date with a talent agent who would not stop name-dropping his clients. After a few cocktails, I finally came out and said that I hoped that he had more interesting things to talk about than his client list or else it would be a very long evening.

-They are around their gorgeous clients all the time and always schmoozing.  If you're not comfortable with yourself your insecurities might get the best of you.

Literary Agents
-In regards to humility it's hit or miss.   Some are understated while some boast about having sold 2014's biggest blockbuster.

-They are constantly reading.  At night and on weekends, they are either reading their client's new projects or reading scripts by potential new clients.  If you don't like to read they might not be the best match, or their "weekend read" will turn into your weekend rut.

All Agents
-It's almost shocking that the character Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother is not an agent.  First off his "suit up" signature phrase is that of an agent.  You can always find an agent because he's the one person wearing a suit at the coffee shop, at the bar, or at the club.  Even if they have time to go home and change they usually don't.  Find an agent, spot the suit.  But they do usually wear them well.

-They are always working.  They could be at a funeral and if they have the opportunity to network and pitch their client for a project they will take it.

-They spend lots of time talking about their clients and the deals they've made/are in the process of making and expect you to be impressed.

-At the core of it, agents are salesmen. And they are GOOD salesmen. They are trying to either sell an actor or actress or a script.  They market each to tell you why you need them in your project or this for your next project.  These tactics can crossover into relationships as well, so keep your eyes open.

Managers
-Managers are more laid back than agents and are a little bit more creative in terms of representatives.  Their job is to help guide their clients' careers and think outside of the box.  Managers can be a good combination of an agent and a creative type if you want to mesh both personalities together.

-They still spend a lot of time away from home and are called upon to go above and beyond just helping their clients choose the right projects.  They might be called upon to escort their clients to events or to stage interventions (a la Lindsay Lohan's manager).

-They generally are seen as having more of a soul than agents.  They are usually a little bit kinder and they can wear jeans to the office!

All Reps
-Their clients always come first.  While this is good if you're the client it can be difficult in a relationship.  The successful agents and managers do very well financially so you would live a more than comfortable lifestyle, but just know that you are making this trade-off.  I recall when I was an intern at an agency, one of the partners was rolling calls in the delivery room while his wife was in labor.  But he did get her a Neil Lane diamond bracelet as a push present.  Just something to think about.

-They are sharks.  I personally like unabated ambition, but it can be off putting to some and has a tendency to get old.

-They are always working an angle and figuring out how to maneuver situations to best benefit themselves.  In a relationship it can be difficult to argue or compromise with someone who negotiates for a living.

The entire entertainment industry would collapse without agents and managers.  Trust me.  Without them we'd have Amanda Bynes come out of retirement and try to do Shakespeare.  Just like with every part of the industry, there are upsides and downsides to dating agents and managers.  And there is ALWAYS a diamond in the rough that somehow debunks all of the stereotypes.  If you find that golden ticket don't let it go.  Have any of you dated an agent or a manager?  If so, do you agree with the above?

2 comments:

  1. Great post! I would so not be able to compete with an iphone when it comes to agents/managers. It would drive me crazy if my sig other was always fielding calls. But if you are going to date someone that essentially works in sales, at least most agents don't travel too much!

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