Make February 'Love Your Agent Month'
- They're On The Front Line For You
January 27, 2014
By Gene Tognacci
February is Love Your Agent Month. Not really, but, it should be.
Looking at the state of my voice over business last year, I am struck by what an important partner my agents have been.
Now, I’m talent, so I can kvetch with the best of them over "why so-and-so got a job that I was perfect for,” or "I’m not getting any auditions.”
But as I dig below the surface, I become very appreciative of the unseen work that my agents at Pastorini Bosby Talent do every day for me. Each of the four agents has complementing strengths and skills that benefit me well.
1. They negotiate rates
Top of the list is negotiating rates. I would do voice work for free. Fortunately, the agents keep me on a short leash.
When a client over the summer asked me on the side to do voice over and live event announcing for a price less than scale, I couldn’t say "you betcha” fast enough.
After considering that it was ethically wrong to go around the agent, not to mention fiscally irresponsible, I sheepishly explained the situation to one of the agents that I think of as a master negotiator. Within three hours she had scored a rate more than twice what was originally offered.
Most importantly, it kept me in good graces with the client who I expect will be back this year.
2. Fighting in the trenches
A couple of years back, I was replaced on a project when the client moved to an out-of-state ad agency.
This had been a long-term client who provided ongoing monthly work. I was heartbroken. Immediately, one of the agency principals jumped on the phone with both the client and the new agency, trying to save even a portion of the project for me.
At the time, my cynicism had me wondering how hard she was working selling me, versus just trying to place one of my other roster mates so she wouldn’t lose the commission. What a huge piece of humble pie I ate when I got a call on vacation to book me in a remote studio for a new campaign for the out-of-town agency.
My agent’s persuasion and ability to bring back a lost client was nothing short of remarkable. It has put her in the Superwoman category in my mind.
3. Life happens usually when a client is calling my agent for a booking.
Whether telling a client that I’m out of town, and need a day's notice to book a studio, or that my travel recording setup really is broadcast quality, I feel like they are always selling me.
When I do start moving into the whining and kvetching talent posture, one particular agent, with years of working with teen age and pre-teen talent, has the verbal ammo to snap me back into shape and appreciate that she is calling with A JOB!!!
4. Round-the-clock bookings.
And for round-the-clock management of bookings, I’m always impressed by the newest agent I refer to as "Janey on the Spot.”
Sending scripts at 11 o’clock on a Sunday night or following up on "maybe” jobs, gives me the confidence that I can concentrate on improving my voice over craft and not worry about client issues.
CAREER GROWS WITH AGENT
I’ve been with this agency for over 18 years. My career has grown exponentially as a result of the front line efforts the agents have provided, presenting me in the strongest light to the client and guaranteeing I get a fair wage for my effort.
So, I’m in a quest for the perfect Hallmark card for Love Your Agent Month.
Until I find that card, I'll just a little less and appreciate my agents a whole lot more in the month of February and year round.
Gene Tognacci is a Houston based voice talent specializing in documentaries and eLearning. Branding himself as "Your Voice of Truth,” his clients include NASA, Microsoft, Baylor College of Medicine, Chevron, EXXON/Mobil and Pearson Learning.
Your Daily Resource For Voice-Over Success