There is a common saying in this industry: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” For a large part of my career I thought this to be true, until one day when I was discussing this with a wealthy businessman named Tejas Mistery.
He corrected me, and said, “In any industry, it’s not what you know or who you know, it’s who knows you.” This quote changed my life. I began to look at myself as a product on a shelf and started to employ all the managerial and marketing techniques any successful business would to make their product the brand leader.
You may be a great singer, actor, model, dancer, producer, director or casting director, but unless people know who you are your talents might as well be given to someone else.
I specialise in locating young actors for TV, theatre and film and over the past five years I’ve worked with some of the world’s best casting directors and thousands of young performers. I’ve helped many young people land roles in professional TV, film and theatre productions; ranging from small £150 jobs in Casualty, to lead roles in major feature films, such as Steven Spielberg’s War Horse, worth over £11,000.
Many people may think that discovering new talent is an easy task. Let’s admit it; whilst we’re watching the X-Factor, we all believe that we can be the next Simon Cowell. However, finding new performers is not the difficult bit; it’s convincing those who matter that they can trust your judgment.
Over the past five years, I have grown a directory of over 21,000 young performers across the UK. To discover top talent, it’s essential that you work with volume and give opportunities to all kinds of people, regardless of previous experience or location. We have 21 scouts based across the UK who run workshops for us and constantly attend showcases in their local area to discover new emerging talented individuals. That’s the easy bit!
Once you have found the top talent, you then need to have the drive and perseverance to build up good reputations with the industry professionals who make the decisions. The easiest way to do this is to do your job well. Any respected industry professional will give you a chance, but once you are given it, you need to make sure that you act professionally and deliver on what you promise.
Day-to day responsibilities might include:
- Booking in actors;
- Negotiating contracts;
- Hiring venues for castings;
- Following up with invoices;
- Client interaction and dealing with queries from clients and associates (this is a big one!).
Many people enter this industry thinking that it’s all red carpets and parties; however, this is certainly not the case. If you enter this industry with that mentality, you will fail! After all, 99.9% of your time will be taken up by admin.