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PART 3
Now That You Have An Agent, Here's
How To Start & Grow The Relationship
December 9, 2014

By Rachel Fulginiti
Voice Actor

Note: This is Part 3 of my series on voice over agents. For earlier articles about what agents do and how to obtain them, please see Part 1 and Part 2.

Congratulations on getting a voice over agent (or being in the position to start looking for one!) This is a huge step. Itís very important to acknowledge and celebrate our victories! Thatís number one.

But the actual "workĒ doesnít end there. This is just the beginning!

Having an agent is means being in a partnership, and each side has responsibilities, just like a marriage or any other business relationship.

I know a lot of people who have started with an agent and then had the relationship fizzle and never go anywhere. When this happens, the actors feel confused, frustrated and embarrassed, and ask themselves: Am I even still with them? 

Don't let this happen to you!

ESTABLISH RIGHT RELATIONSHIP


The key to avoiding the fizzle is to establish a personal relationship from the get-go:
  • Let yourself be known!
  • Establish a good rapport and keep the communication flowing.
  • Do your job, and do it to the very best of your ability, consistently.
  • Be someone the agent grows to count on and expects great things from.
DON'T FEAR YOUR AGENT

I know itís hard, but DONíT BE AFRAID OF YOUR AGENT!

Reframe the relationship if you need to. And realize that agents work for YOU, even though at the beginning it doesnít feel like that - the dynamic definitely feels like you are working for them.

But somewhere along the line that will start to change.

TIPS FOR YOUR JOURNEY

The first several months of working with an agent is the "dating phase.Ē You are testing each other to see if it is a good fit. Itís also like starting a new job, in that you want to put your very best foot forward.

Here are some thoughts on how to embark upon this new journey.

Communication. Itís up to you to ask questions at the beginning if you are unsure about procedure or what to expect.

Agents are busy people. They are often on overdrive and will just start sending you auditions without giving details about what they expect. If they donít tell you, ASK:
  • how they want the files labeled and submitted,
  • do they mind more than one take - and if so, is two the limit, etc.,
  • and anything else you want to clarify.
The time to ask these questions is now. Do it right, every time.

Timeliness. Get things in ahead of the deadline. It makes their life easier, and agents will love you for it. 

Exceeding deadlines also makes you more likely to book a job! With so many people competing these days, you want to be one of the first to submit an audition, not one of the last.

If you wait, the job might be booked before you even submit yours!

Be a Pro. Follow directions and do excellent auditions. Every time.

Make sure both the acting and the sound quality of your auditions are competitive.

If you include more than one take, be sure the takes are different - some sort of different style, approach, tone or feel. If you canít make them different, just send one take.

Keep in touch.
Stay in touch regularly with your agent(s) if you donít hear from them.

Be on the conservative side in terms of frequency. Don't bother them with random nonsense, but do drop a line now and then with a friendly hello. Keep it brief, light and polite, and offer up something fun or - even better, let them know what you've been doing.

Agents like clients who are pro-active. For example, if you take a workshop, particularly if the teacher is a working industry pro (Producer/Director/CD), tell them about it! 

I always let my agents know who Iím working with. It gives me an excuse to drop them a line and itís also practical - if their paths cross, my agent knows weíve just seen each other and can mention me!

Keep records. Take note of all the auditions they send you.

I maintain a file with all of my auditions for a couple reasons:

For one, it allows you to track of how many auditions they send, and what types. That will be important a few months down the road when you assess the relationship. Instead of "feeling likeĒ youíre not getting a lot of auditions, you will have a record of exactly how many and what type you are getting per week and per month.

If the auditions seem to be out of your wheel house, or if thereís a particular type of copy or genre that youíre not getting, but would like to be auditioning, you can discuss this with specificity.
Note: Make sure you do this within the "trialĒ period of a few months; in other words, donít wait six months or a year to bring up an issue if it has been on your mind!
Good records also let you refer back to auditions easily if you book a job.

And with records, you can keep a tally on your booking ratio - i.e., the auditions to jobs booked with this particular agent.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS IMPORTANT

If you impress your agent out of the gate by being a complete professional who consistently submits above average takes, agents will grow to love you.

That is your job: to do great work always.

In the beginning, agents are feeling you out, so:
  • Put your best foot forward.
  • Do not miss auditions.
  • Do not submit auditions late.
  • Do not act weird.
Do your job: be courteous, polite, grateful, graceful, impressive and fun to work with. That's our side of the street.

Next: Part 4 - What To Expect From Your Agent
--------------------------
ABOUT RACHEL 
Rachel Fulginiti is a voice actor, audiobook narrator and blogger living in Los Angeles. Sheís represented by William Morris Endeavor and has voiced for hundreds of brands including McDonalds, Kia, Fox, Chrysler, Apple and Target.  


Email: fulginitivo@gmail.com
Web: http://rachelfulginiti.com
Blog: http://fulginitivo.com/rachel-has-spoken


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Comments (2)
Tony Campbell
12/16/2014 at 11:42 PM
Great information. I look forward to reading more useful wonderful articles suce as this one as I am a part time voice over artist.
Respectfully,
The Voice Chattanooga Tazz
Johnny George
12/9/2014 at 10:17 PM
Excellent insight. Thank you for stating what may be the obvious, but many don't follow. Great wake-up call.
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