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GUEST POST BY ZACHARY: On Becoming a Talent Agent

May 24, 2012

Please welcome Zachary to the blog today! Zachary is an intern at one of New York’s most well-respected talent agencies, and he has big plans to become a respected talent agent himself. Today he’s sharing his path to becoming a talent agent and why he loves his chosen career.


As much as I hate to admit it, there is not one concrete way to become a talent agent. Sometimes, you’re an actor working for an agency as a day job and you fall in love with it. Maybe, you’re working as a casting director or casting assistant and want a change of scenery. Or, you could be like myself and start as a performer and realize that performing isn’t the area of theatre you wish to concentrate in and you end up as a talent agent or an aspiring one.


As a rising Junior in a competitive conservatory program, making the transition from actor to (aspiring) talent agent has been quite an interesting one. Since there isn’t a degree offered to become a talent agent, I have had to – in a way – create my own major consisting of assistant directing several of my programs straight-plays and musicals, being a part of the casting process of those shows, being the monitor for “mock auditions,” and shadowing almost all of the senior class’ Senior Showcase preparation. 

Yes, it sounds like I’m training to be a casting director versus an agent but, in a way, agents wear the hat of the CD when they are deciding which clients to submit when an audition arises. They have to use all their knowledge of the casting process to select the best talent available for the job at hand. Also, you have to remember, an agent’s top priority is to look out for their client’s best interest. They do this by becoming an advisor on all things show biz, ranging from the best headshots to choose from, to wardrobe choice, and even interview demeanor. 

Hands on experience is, by far, the best training for anyone in any field. But for me, a student who has chosen an occupation not taught in school, being an intern for one of New York’s finest talent agencies has been graduate school. You really are “learning the ropes” each and every day. On that note, when speaking with a variety of New York based agents and casting directors it seems that one of the most common ways to succeed “behind the curtain” is to begin as an intern, move up to front desk, then from there become an assistant to an agent or CD – respectively, and then get promoted from there. Like anything in life, timing is everything and, of course, how strong of a candidate you are. 

For me personally, the drive of wanting to fight for the clients I believe in and make the strongest positive impact in their lives, negotiating their contracts, submitting them for auditions, and being their personal fan-club is what I know I am meant to do. Plus, I love talking and – if the occasion calls for it – arguing on the phone. Representing artists who love what they do is what I will be doing in the years to come. That is something you can count on. 

Thanks so much for sharing your insight, Zachary! Check out Zachary’s blog for more about his agenting journey, and follow him on twitter. And, as always, if you liked his post, leave a comment below!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Camille permalink
    May 24, 2012 11:00 am

    Zach, you’re a STAR!!! Love, Camille 🙂

  2. Holly Hale permalink
    May 24, 2012 12:40 pm

    Love you!!! This is awesome!!

  3. ellen slobod permalink
    May 24, 2012 2:04 pm

    You are so on your way….great commentary. I love you. Your Gram.

  4. May 24, 2012 3:02 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us, Zachary! You are sure to be a great asset to your future actor clients 🙂

  5. May 24, 2012 9:18 pm

    Your passion for the business end of the industry is rare, and I hope that passion turns into a fulfilling career. As time goes on you will learn so much and I hope you return with another post that shows your growth and valuable knoweldge base that so many can learn from. Best of luck in your persuits.

  6. Susan permalink
    May 25, 2012 10:58 am

    I commend you for sharing your knowledge and insights. There are so many aspiring performers who can benefit from this. It’s also refreshing to hear a student’s perspective, in addition to those with long standing careers in the business. It makes you very relatable. Your passion, drive, enthusiasm, and hard work will take you and your clients closer to acheiving their goals.


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