I want to be Ari Gold: How to Become a Talent Agent

Talent agent is a demanding job for any newbie to film. Being a talent agent requires knowledge in marketing, promotions and public relations. There is a good chance it will require a bit of college, at least an AA in marketing.

A good talent agent needs to be able to recognize talent. Needs to be able to know what is going to get his client at the top of the success list of their particular trade.

Talent agent may work for various people that have specific talents. The most common, of course, is actors. Models also work with talent agents.

Talent agents usually will pick a type of people to work with and stick with that type throughout their careers. Many choose to work exclusively with children. Some may choose just television series actors, commercial actors or just film actors or high-profile celebrities.

The larger talent agencies will provide training programs for individuals who are interested in a career as a talent agent. These are called internships. It most likely requires the wannabe to do errands and paper work, at first, very little to do with working with talent.

When you join a talent agency, it is very wise to learn the rules of the land. Find out exactly the dos and don’ts of the group. You do not want to step on anyone’s toes or make a blunder that could cost the agency in money and reputation.

Some the key tasks that you can count on to do as a talent agent are:

  • Meet with future clients to find out what type of talent they may need for their projects. Connect the specific talent to the clients.

  • Public relations or networking and promoting talent to different clients to set up auditions and jobs.

  • Scheduling or booking appointments for the talent. This could include appropriate working hours and regulations adhere to in full.

  • Marketing talent agency in general to obtain more talent. This is very competitive aspect in an industry town. So, keep your wits about you.

  • Collecting fees due upon booking of auditions or obtaining employment of talent. This may require billing on a 30-day cycle.

  • Arranging classes or workshops for talent to hone their skills and crafts through voice lessons, acting lessons or other specialized training for specific talents.

To start as a talent agent in a non-union or non-industry town, it is important to locate the agencies in that town or one that is not too far from your town. Meeting with the owner and see if there is any way you can help his or her agency.

The only draw back with working with a non-union agency is that they are not regulated; thus, the rules of being a talent agency might not be the same as a union agency.

Union agencies are registered with the unions and follow the rules according to what the union states. This is really the ideal way to go because then everyone in the business are on the same page.

However, if one works with a non-union agency, the rules could be different and curves could be coming your way – so be aware and study the union rules on your own, so you know what the right way is really the union way.

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Comments 499 comments

arthur erasmi  8 years ago

i would like to be an actors agent


Kenna 8 years ago

Great! Where do you live and are you in Hollywood? If so, start there by working with a casting director and work your way into being an assistant.

Good luck.


Uriah 8 years ago

I would like to become a talent agent, but what if I don't live in LA?


Kenna 8 years ago

You find a local agency that operates like a talent agency. Or, work for a casting director. Good luck.


John 8 years ago

I would like to movie to Hollywood and become an agent for high-profile celebrities, what should I study in college?


Kenna 8 years ago

Study film, public relations.


Matt 8 years ago

I wold like to be an actors agent... Is going to UCLA and majoring in Mass Communications and minoring in public affairs while having an internship a good route?

Or are there other majors I should look at?

Also are there lots of jobs out there for aspiring agents?


Kenna 8 years ago

If you have the money to go to school, that's a great route because you can network with alumni and teachers. Most of the teachers at UCLA work in film or are retired from film.

If you are a hard, honest worker who is a team player, the film business is for you.


Chase 8 years ago

I do live in the Los Angeles area and am currently in highschool, are there any steps as far as where im at now that I could take to help me reach my goal of being a talent agent in the future?


Kenna 8 years ago

You are in the right place. What I would do is start working with your teachers, the ones that are positive, and ask for informational interviews with agents. If you don't know what an informational interview is just google it or look in my book, Breaking into Film, which is available at a library.

Beverly Hills Playhouse is a great resource to set you in the right direction.


Chase 8 years ago

Okay ill look into that right away. Also how do you go about applying at an agency?

(very loosely put) Do you just walk in and say hey im here for an intership?


Kenna 8 years ago

I would work with your teachers and then make contact via letter or phone first announcing your plans to visit the agency. Ask or a tour, again, the informational interview is key.


Bob 8 years ago

I am currently a Junior at the University of Connecticut majoring in Economics with a minor in Business Administration. After this Summer I will have had 2 internships with GE and want to become a talent agent. I am about an hour from NYC. Do I have any shots at being a Talent Agent with this kind of major, minor and internships? What should be my next step? I head William Morris has a great Trainee program for becoming a talent agent.


Kenna 8 years ago

You can be anything you want to be. What I recommend is contacting William Morris Agency and establishing a communication with them. Find out how they hire and determine potential interns.


corey 8 years ago

yea i am going to shenendehowa highschoolin NY im in 11th grade and i am very intereted in buisness and i was wondering if i achieved a 2 year AA degree from Cobleskill college then transferred to a college in california near hollywood would i have a good shot being a talent agent? I am very good with other people and i like to get to know people ive wanted to be a talent agent for sometime i also want to know what else do you think id need to become succesful in this area??


Kenna 8 years ago

Corey,

Great plans. That's the way to get there is plan it out and do it.

The only other thing I would do is work for a local radio station in the promotion department. Some stations hire college bound kids who want a career in the entertainment business.

Clearly state what you want to do the radio station and see if they can set you up with some experience.

Good luck.


corey 8 years ago

Thank you very much i will get on that very soon i have one more question please? WOuld trying to become an intern at a big agency in a place like LA do you think it would be smart toi take that over then just rushing in to apply


Jake 8 years ago

Im currently a Sophomore at the University of Washington. I am majoring in Communications and Economics and will be receiving a certificate of sales and marketing. This summer I will be interning at a talent agency in LA. If I am just doing internships during summer before I graduate will that experience and education be enough to break in to agencies even though i will not be working year round?


Kenna 8 years ago

Of course. you will be ahead of the others. Very well done for getting the internship. Remember to network and work hard. You will succeed.


Luis 8 years ago

I am Commited to becoming a talent agent. I will be attending UCLA in the near future. I know nothing is certain but what would be the most impressive major for this career and what other things should i be doing when i am at UCLA?


Kenna McHugh 8 years ago

I recommend screenwriting, public relations, business


Adrian 8 years ago

When should I start to apply for internships and what are some agencies that you recommend me to apply for internships?


Kenna McHugh 8 years ago

Apply now. All the big agencies have internships. It depends where you live.


carlos 8 years ago

I live in Los Angeles and I want to become a talent Agent for actors. Where can i find a mentor. How much yearly income could i make in this business?


Kenna McHugh 8 years ago

I would check any large agency through your college or university to get credit. You can make up to millions.


Michael 8 years ago

Would graduating from UCLA majoring in Business Econ and a minor in Film television be a good route or should i consider another major ?


Kenna McHugh 8 years ago

Yes, while doing an internship through your college program.


baby doll 8 years ago

very helpful. my mom wants to be mine and my sister's agent for my sister it is for modeling and for me it's singing.


Kenna McHugh 8 years ago

Great, I am sure you will be very successful.


Dave 8 years ago

If i wanted to become an agent in the music industry in Los Angeles, which companies are popular and which offer internships ?


Kenna McHugh 8 years ago

Although I am not in the music industry, I would suspect the larger companies offer internships. I would check with you career center at your college or university and find out from them. Most companies inform these educational foundations available internships.


Chase Yazgulian 8 years ago

Hey im back again, with a few more questions.

First off im going into my senior year in highschool and although im a very good student, I just dont think that collage is what I want, Im very anxious to start my career. Is there any ways to apply for internships right out of highschool with any talent agencys? i know william morris you need your 4 year, but is there any other agentcys that will take you under there wing without it? I have no direct connections with a talent agents, matter of fact the closest iv ever been to a talent agent is talking to you haha but im determined eather way.

And Second

My dad is a Director of Photography and my mom in the head call board nurse for the entire nurseing union in the studios, she also runs the nursing department at CBS. So i have an opportunity for an intership at the mailroom there, although its not a talent agentcy do you think that would be a good path to start with to become a talent agent?


Kenna 8 years ago

Boutique agencies most likely will not have as many limitations. Since your mom and dad are in the biz; perhaps you should see what personal contacts they have to help you find an agency that is willing to have you for the summer "in between" high school and college.

I understand you don't want to go to college; that is your choice. But, ask an agency if you can work during the summer next year to get your "feet wet." Then, you can work really hard from the bottom up without college.

Also, starting in the mailroom is not a bad idea as long as you make it clear to your senior what your goals are in the business. He or she may be able to help you if you turn out to be an excellent worker and a great team player.

Good luck.


Ken 8 years ago

I am a business major at UCLA, do you think that I should be studying law instead? i want to have the best chance i could possibly get in getting an internship at any of the top agencies..... Do you have any suggestions ?


Kenna 8 years ago

I wouldn't study law per say. But you might want to take a law in film class or something like that. k

Business degree is a great step. Public Relations is also important.


jon 8 years ago

I am going to transfer to UCLA next year. What can I do as soon as i get there to help me get into this business?


Kenna 8 years ago

Go to your career center or counsoler and ask for assistance. This means make yourself known: Hook up and network with professors, alumni and students -- join filmmaking groups watch for talent and people who get things done, not just talk.


Pete 8 years ago

I'm wondering how much of a step up having a law degree would be...I imagine that someone with a both a 4 year undergraduate degree and a law degree would have a step up from anyone with just a 4 year or nothing at all especially if the law degree was focused on business law or something of that nature...is this a good assumption or would law school be usesless?


Kenna 8 years ago

If you have the time and money to put in 8 years of college, then go for it. Yes, it will open doors for you.


Jason321 8 years ago

Hi, I have a couple questions I was hoping you'd still be able to answer. I live in Michigan and am starting college here in the fall...any recommendations as to what I should major in? I am looking to be an acting talent agent in the future. Also, should I be planning to head to California after a year of schooling here, for better opportunities and internships? And continue my schooling there. Thanks


Kenna 8 years ago

If you have the money go to Hollywood and get on an internship -- work with your college to do that.

If you don't have the money, locate the nears union city and get a job working with an agent or casting director to get a feel for culling actors for auditions. While doing that, network and make com lines to get a job in Hollywood.


Jason321 8 years ago

Thank you. I am still not convinced that being an agent is a very realistic job. Do you need connections in Hollywood to be successful in this field? Or is it a job where if I take my time and work hard, I'll see myself moving up in the agency?


Kenna 8 years ago

Networking is definitely the issue here. You need to make friends, deliver the goods and keep your nose clean.


The Movie Whore 8 years ago

I have been approached by a screenwriter and an actor to become their agent. What now?

I have an AA in business management and apent a decode in mangement for a copuple learge corporations and have gotten invoilded in some small independent projects but nothing that has put me into the game so to speak. I know a casting driector that I did an interview with for my websiote as I am also establishiong myself as a personality. I know people and how to recognize the talent and convey it. I just need a point in the right direction as to who I should contacting and what learing the dos and don'ts with casting directors and prodcution companies for selling my writers scripots and selling my actor.

What is cheap book I can pick up and read to get me going in the right direction so I don't screw these guys. Both are putting a alot of trust anf faith in me and I do not want to let them down in anyway. It's not so much that i care about my 10% as it is that I want to make sure I earn it and get them the most for their talent. It keepos me up at night worrying about doing something that might me detrimental to their careers as I am inexperienced. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Oh and the Actor has been in close to 50 movies and tv shows as acharacter actor in bit parts. The writer has yet to sell a script.


Kenna 8 years ago

To be a pro you have to act like a pro.

Presentation is key to any career in film. You post has excellent question but the it is filled with misspelled words.

If you present yourself this was in the business, you will end up with the wrong people.

I will answer this quesiton when you posted it again with all the words spelled correctly, you might as well start now. Good luck.


Luis 8 years ago

Are there any good books that could give me some more information on becoming a talent agent ?


Kenna 8 years ago

I recommend my book, of course, Breaking into Film, it covers all aspects. Good luck.


Mike 8 years ago

I live in Canada and am planning on going to the University of Toronto. My parents have the money to pay for appropriate schooling in film/business. What education is needed to get an internship in LA, and what will give me an advantage over the competition? As well, will working in a mailroom provide the finances necessary to afford housing, food, etc. in Los Angeles?


Traycbee 8 years ago

Hi, I'm in a rural area with a town that is just becoming recognized as a great place for film locations. There are several productions filming in my state right now. The closest "talent" agencies are several hours away. I was 4 classes from finishing a degree in comm and PR. I know I can do this, what legal info do I need? Do I incorporate? Do the fees come to the agency to be distributed back to the talent minus commission? Is this all covered in your book? Thanks~


Kenna 8 years ago

No this is not covered in my book; however, you might want to be a casting director/agent. In a small town or non-union town, this might work. If you want to have the production company pay you and then you pay the actors, that can work. The legal aspects you need to discover for yourself because I am not an attorney therefore I can not give legal advice.


Walter 8 years ago

Hello Kenna i was researching and wondering if the correct major is business communications if i want to become a talent (actors) agent. Also in New Jersey is there any places you recommend to start as an intern or any plases i could email? Also does the college you attend really help you much in this business or just knowing people, working hard, and your people skills help you get up in the industry? Thanks for all your help.


Kenna 8 years ago

I would check with your local colleges and universities and see what they come up with in regards to contacts and information abouit talent agents in Jersey.

You can also do an Internet search or check with NY agencies and see if they have an office in Jersey as well.

Good luck.


THIS IS ME 8 years ago

I am a recent college graduate, also with impressive numbers in my current field. I have been in the financial services industry for a little over a year. Though, this job is exciting being that it allows me to utilize every skill I have plus fronting others that I don't. This fast paced environment is very similar to the life of a talent agent or at least I assume so. However, I want more and I know I could make it in Hollywood. Before I pack up my stuff and move from NYC to LA I want to know, being 21 am I to late or should I go for it? I want to take the risk I am just a little weary. Also is a training program a good idea for me or should I try other options (if there is any)?


Kenna McHugh 8 years ago

Don't be so quick to pack your bags and leave NYC. Set up appointments with NYC agencies, using good judgement, find out through interviews whether or not you can make it as an agent.

You might find out that you don't have to leave NYC, but work with an agency there.

Good luck.


Max 8 years ago

It is becoming a passion of mine to want to explore the agency business, but i live in new york and do not really have the rich parents, does this meen becoming a high profile agent in hollywood is unrealistic?


Kenna 8 years ago

No, you can do whatever you want.


spraykan 8 years ago

Im currently in the military and i have about 3 years left in the seattle area, is there anything the military has taught me that will be of value and what more do i need to do to become a talent agent.


Kenna 8 years ago

I am not a military person, so I don't know what they train you for except combat or computers. Electronics?

But, perhaps you can network with vets who are in the entertainment business. Vets are a tight group, wanting to help each other.

In your research for an agency, see if you can locate an agency with the top guy who is a former military man, too.


James Murray 8 years ago

I'm very interested in trying to get into the business. I went to SUNY Cortland for Communications, PR and Advertising, live in the NYC area, and just underwent the best sales training program for my current job that is out there. What whould I do next, specifically to my proximity to NYC?

Thanks


Kenna 8 years ago

Network and hob nob with those who are in the business. Read the trades, get to know who is who in the business. Work hard and act like a professional before you are one. Keep your hands clean.


Jon 8 years ago

With all due respect, I came across this page through a google search, and will probably never return to it after this post. However, I felt it would be beneficial to some of you if I shared some insight.

For starters, many of you are already doubting yourselves. That is one sure step on the path to failure.

Another thing worth mentioning is that many of you seem to think a certain education will gain you special entry into a certain field - that is hardly the case. I don't think college is a trade school, although there are obviously certain schools and majors that would align one on a certain career path. College is a place to gain broad knowledge and a better understanding of yourself and the world, while majoring (8-10 classes) on a certain topic of interest to you. Don't be fooled into thinking a certain major in college will give you a golden ticket to your dream job. Before locking yourself into a certain major based on your aspirations as a teenager, try and think more broadly and gain as many transferable skills as you can (ie. proper spelling).

I also want to emphasize the importance of networking and making personal connections - they will prove invaluable when you pursue a career (in any field). Many of you would probably be surprised to know the number of lucrative jobs that are basically handed to someone because of their father's reputation or a previous boss had a connection to help them out. That's not to say school is a waste; just make sure you have a great education and make contacts along the way.

To give you an idea of my previous statement, consider my own personal experience. My father got me a summer job in a mailroom at a law firm when I was about to graduate middle school at the age of 14. 8 years later, and entering my last semester of college, I have seen tremendous doors open by sticking with the law firm. Although my actualy job sucked for the most part, I was able to meet many attorneys and people in positions of power and authority. They have written letters of recommendation for me, landed me internships at other companies, taught me how to survive in a corporate environment, and most recently, offered to pay (partially at least) for me to attend law school. The internship I just mentioned was in the business of sports. In addition to that, I have worked for and maintained a decent relationship with a world reknown literary agent who has given me invaluable insight into the world of negotiating contracts and managing talent.

I'm 22 years old with 8 years of work experience and dozens of contacts in sports and entertainment - and I don't even have a college degree yet (which by the way will be in Communications: Advertising & Public Relations, '09).

As Kenna said above, view yourself and act as a professional. There are millions of people looking for a handout, or majoring in a certain subject thinking it will land them their dream job, when it normally doesn't work out that way. Being professional and having people take you seriously is more important that what you studied when you where 20 years old.

To they guy who wondered if he should leave NYC at age 21 to move to Hollywood, and if it was too late for him to do so, I have three words for you: You're A Baby! I don't say that to insult you, I say that to let you understand, most 21 year olds aren't even employeed, let alone Hollywood Agents. NYC is the perfect place to get your foot in the door. Midtown is flooded with companies that are into representing talent. As I stated above, I got my foot in at a law firm. Many law firms do the same things talent agencies do, and in my opinion are more qualified to do so (not based on skill, but on ethical standards rather).

Don't be so specific when pursuing a goal. Develop your skills and master what you do (college will only provide basic knowledge). If you want to be an actor's agent, perhaps you may find it easier to be an agent for a stand-up comedian in your neighborhood. Books shows for him or her, manage money, even if it's $300 a month - just get yourself in the game. That type of real-world experience is just as, if not more appealing, than what you studied, as far as established agencies are concerned. They don't care so much that you were a perfect student, as they do how well you can work for them.

That's just my $0.02 and I hope someone out there gains something from it.

Please pardon any potential spelling errors as I rushed to type this. I don't want anyone to think I'm not practicing what I preach ;)


NM_87 8 years ago

Hey Kenna,

Well Im 21 and an international student studying undergrad economics and communications in Canada.I find the idea of becoming a hollywood agent extremely exciting,and i do have a strong feeling that I would truly enjoy. But the problem is that Im in canada have no idea what is needed out of individual to be what i want to be.........any comments on how I should go about it?


Kenna 8 years ago

Canada has its own market which you will have to check out and see. Toronto is ideal as well as Quebec and Montreal. Vancouver has tons of film production.

Make yourself known and find out what is needed and wanted. Good luck.


nm_87 8 years ago

Hey,

Im studying communications and film studies at an undergrad level.Does that sound right?

Apart from that what skills u think are needed to a successful ari gold,And also I i wanted to tell u that i just turnd 21 , does that sound overage considering my degree would take another 3 yrs?

And also I wanted to ask a weird question which bothers me some times that Im an international student from the indian subcontinent, would being brown prove to be some thing alien to the glamour industry?

Thanx a lot agin kenna, ur last reply was of great help!!!


Kenna 8 years ago

Color, race and gender shouldn't affect your goals and purposes; although I am sure it does in society. If you truly want to be an Ari Gold agent them you will do it.

Communication and Film Studies is and excellent choice; although I would check with your college/university to get feedback from them.

Age is just a consideration like color, race and gender. If you think it's a big deal then it is. Otherwise, carry on and make your goals.

You'll do fine.


MLD 8 years ago

Hello Kenna,

My brother is a great singer/actor! He's 19 yrs old and is just getting started. He done a few plays and have auditioned for American Idol and other talent shows on his own. He recently asked my to represent him. How would I go about doing that, or becoming his manager or agent?


Kenna 8 years ago

It doesn't take much but research is very important. Find out exactly what is need to be an agent. Make sure you get everything in writing between you and your brother. When the going gets tough, having your agreements in writing will save you both in the long run. Good luck on your research.


MilPatel 8 years ago

I went to the International Academy of Design & Technology in Toronto where I graduated from the Entertainment Business Management program. I'm not sure if you are familiar with the program but it mainly focuses on Film Television and Media Marketing. If you are familiar with it, would you suggest that I take other business programs?


Kenna 8 years ago

To be honest with you if you went to a school that covered Entertainment Business and Management, that school should be able to answer that question for you. You spent your time and money there now get what you paid for.

Film schools, film industry schools should have a career center that answers all your questions, they should even help you with job placement.

Why are you at the Toronto Film Festival networking?


MilPatel 8 years ago

Let's jus say the career centre at this institute isn't what they said they would be. I have been networking. I've even worked on a few films as a Production Manager. I was just reading your postings and thought I would give it a shot. I just want to take the time to thank you for what you are doing here. I think it's a great idea and I know people will benefit from your help.


Kenna 8 years ago

Great. You've worked on some projects as a production manager, great. Networking is where it is at in the industry. Relationships, relationships. If you are working in the business why go to school? What do you want to be?


Matt 8 years ago

I have a degree from Florida in English with an emphasis in film studies. Law school is right around the corner, and I am interested in which type of law to study for a career as a talent agent. Should it be business law or entertainment law? I am a bit confused as to what I should do to gain an edge over some others. In other words, which concentration would better prepare me for this field? Thanks!


Kenna 8 years ago

Entertainment industry is a business. I would go with Entertainment Law. Good luck.


nm87 8 years ago

hey ..

any comments on the kind of money a moderately successful agent makes...just curious!


Kenna 8 years ago

Enough to get your kids through college.


Alberto 8 years ago

I go to Fordham University and I want study to become a film agent. What are the best courses to take, and what should I minor/major in?


Kenna McHugh 8 years ago

Entertainment Law, business law and pr, marketing


Oscar 8 years ago

Hey,

I'm from New Zealand and I'm currently studying in my 1st year at the University of Auckland. Next year I'll be studying a double major in Film studies and Employment Relations & Organizational studies. This is a 3 year Bachelor Degree; enough to get me into an Agent Training Program or Internship at WMA, CAA or UTA for instance? I'll be doing an exchange year at UCLA in my last year. Anything else which I could do which would be useful for me to become a talent agent?

I've studied IGCSE exams from Cambridge at high school which are supposed to be highly recognised overseas. I'm currently reading several book as well such as 'The Mailroom', 'Reel Power' and a few others.

Also, what are my chances getting into one of the programs?


Oscar 8 years ago

Also, it's under a Bachelor of Arts. Would psychology be something to consider?


Kenna McHugh 8 years ago

No. It's a science without a soul, that has destroyed more artists than I can list here.

Go to www.cchr.org -- Science Without a Soul


Jessica 8 years ago

I am an aspiring actress who is currently living in canada- but i will be moving back to the uk next year. I really want to get myself out there this year and i will get an agent when in the uk, but for now i dont want to pay the agency fees so i wondered if my mum could represent me and be my agent. if so, how would she go about doing that?


Kenna McHugh 8 years ago

Yes, your mom can represent you. I am sure if you do an google search for information regarding this issue you'll find it. Just make sure you have everything in writing -- even though you are relation, get it in writing like a contract.


Oscar 8 years ago

Hey, Kenna can you please answer the following questions I have.

Im 19 year olds atm studying a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Employment Relations + Organizational Studies (EROS) and Film Studies. This is a 3 year degree... Do you know if this is this good enough to get me into one of the bigger L.A. agencies training programs? If not, could you please give me some pointers on how to increase my chances as this is something I've always wanted.

Thanks, Oz


Kenna McHugh 8 years ago

Without know your school, I would say network and use your career center as much as possible. Write letters of introduction, get on the communication lines of the business now.


Adnan 8 years ago

The minute I saw the word "Ari Gold", I knew I had to read this page. Pretty much, I love to network adn be around people. I live in Toronto, and despite the horrible weather, its not Hollywood. Since I don't have the funds to live in the States, I want to do some courses here and then go there, is there any courses besides Public relations and and film that I should take, that can help me in my pursuit to become a talent agent/manager?

Also, I will be attending the Screenwriting Expo in Los Angeles On Novemver 12th to the 16th. Any suggestions to help me get some contacts?


Kenna 8 years ago

Study literature. Know how stories are made, learn and read the trades.

Take tons of business cards and be ready to ask for business cards. Care about people and find out what they want to do.


Matt 8 years ago

This site is titled "I Want to Be Ari Gold." Is it really beneficial to be like Ari Gold? I understand that he is a fictional character from a TV show, but his characteristics include taking advantage of people, making friends with some, and stepping on the backs of others. I guess what I am asking is that is it good to look out for yourself before others? I know you mentioned team work and keeping your nose clean, but is that somewhat unrealistic?


Kenna McHugh 8 years ago

If you want a long and healthy career, keep your hands clean. www.twth.org


Savannah and owen Bergli 8 years ago

This mum to both twins ten years writing from Norway. Can you please audit them if possible because they are interrested in acting and modelling

mail cobradus @yahoo.no


Kenna 8 years ago

Email me via www.movieroar.com. I look forward to hearing from you.


Cody 8 years ago

I'm a recent college graduate from KS, interested in the entertainment biz. I majored in Political Science, because I had interest in it, and wanted to go to law school. I have a very good GPA, but I'm not getting the high scores on the LSAT necessary to get into the top schools. What kind of competition would I be facing if I were to apply to one of the agency training programs such as the one William Morris offers? If a majority of them hold law degrees,MBA's, etc., I fear I wouldn't stand a chance.


Kenna McHugh 8 years ago

Top schools are ideal; it means a lot but cost a lot.

Training programs are a great way to go because a least you've got your foot in the door.

I would check with the agencies and see what they say. Also, look at the careers of successful agents. What path did they take?


Robert 8 years ago

Are there any internships available to high school students in the agency or entertainment business (juniors or seniors) that you know of?


Kenna McHugh 8 years ago

Not that I know of.


R.Browner 8 years ago

hello, Im a college student attending Kendall College of Art/Design Grand Rapids, Michigan majoring in Graphic Design and minor in business, what's out there for a person like me in the entertainment business!

thanks,


Kenna McHugh 8 years ago

The door is as wide open as you want to make it. I suggest going to your college career center and research the opportunities. The career center is available to service you, so take advantage of it. Good luck.


Cait 8 years ago

Right now i'm just dabbling with the whole "manager" thing but what are approprate majors or suugested majors to be succesful in this career? I'm intersted in managing either film/music or sports.


Cait 8 years ago

Right now i'm just dabbling with the whole "manager" thing but what are approprate majors or suugested majors to be succesful in this career? I'm intersted in managing either film/music or sports.


Kenna McHugh 8 years ago

Decision is key. Decide what you want to be and go for it. Some times it's hard to decide, I understand. But, decide what you want to have first, what you have to do in order to get what you want to have, then be. These steps followed exactly will get you where you want to go. L. Ron Hubbard expounds on this in is early writings. I tried and found it worked for me.

I you want a life where you help manage people's careers and so forth great.

But you need to decide.

Then you need to go to your career center and find out how to become what you want to be.


Kenna McHugh 8 years ago

2 posts are better than one:)


Vinny 8 years ago

I am interested in becoming a talent agent- Films, music, etc. What would i need to Major/minor in to becoming an agent. Would it be PR, communications, marketing, business administration, or something else? I need to choose; what should i pick?


Vinny 8 years ago

also do i need a law degree/license in legal jurisdiction?

Thanks again


Kenna McHugh 8 years ago

Law degree would be very helpful because it offers more to the company you are employed.

PR is very important in this business whether you are an agent, actor, writer, director. Relationships are key to the film business. It could never hurt to learn this and apply it to your career.


Hugo 8 years ago

Hi im still in High school and i want to reach my dream of becoming a talent agent. Can you tell me the steps i need, the classes i should start taking to achieve my goal, and the classes i should take in college.


Kenna McHugh 8 years ago

Get involved with the school theater, film and arts program. Run for class president or subsequent office. Practice building strong relationships with your teachers and student body.

Reak my book Breaking into Film. Follow all checklists in the book. Good luck.


Jesse 8 years ago

Hi I am a freshman at the University of Colorado open major hopefully transfering into the school of business, but am 100% convinced the agency is the place for me. I read most of your posts, but ofcourse am going to ask what you suggest i study in school? I live in Los Angeles when not at school and do have a connection of a talent agent. Any advice would be great. thanks.


Kenna McHugh 8 years ago

What I would study is literature, call the classics. Understand what a story is and how it gets made into a film. Some agents become producers, so this would be a great avenue for you.

I would also take Public Relations classes, communication media -- things like that.

I would even take an Acting 101 class, so you are familiar with the process.


Connor 7 years ago

Hello Kenna, I am a freshman in highschool and so far I have been thinking about becoming a talent agent. I live in Central New Jersey so I dont know how that will fair. Any pointers?


Kenna 7 years ago

You will fair just fine as a talent agent. I recommend that you concentrate on your school work and get excellent grades. Run for student president or something similar. Get involved become a "people" person because that is what it will take. I am sure you will do well.


Shaun 7 years ago

Hello Kenna, I am currently in high school Grade 11 and I have been thinking on what i should do for a career since Grade 10 - so far my decision has been to become a talent agent. The courses I'm currently taking that revolve around this career are Marketing, Accounting, English and Spanish. I'm getting above 90% in all those courses. The only concern I have is that I live in Vancouver, British Columbia Canada and I have no idea what courses to take in College or University. Could I still pursue a career of being a talent agent because of my location? Also, if I were to become only a local talent Agent, what kind of income do they receive?


Kenna 7 years ago

Hi Shaun,

Sounds like you are an excellent student.

Of course, you should go to Hollywood, but if you get experience while going to college in Canada, all the better.

I would go to the college or university and talk witht the career counsoler and see what he or she says about local work while in school.

You could even hook up with a casting company, which will help you get a feel for the business.

I am sure Vancouver has plenty of work for experience before you head to Hollywood or New York. Good luck.

PS Try Toronto too.


Max 7 years ago

Hello Kenna, I know many have asked this already but yet I still am confused as to what i should be thinking about as far as a major or classes in college. Right now I take an accounting and finance class in high school but I am not sure if that is the path i should continue to stay with if I'm thinking about becoming a talent agent.


Kenna 7 years ago

Being an agent mean understanding and have knowledge of people and business. Public Relations, Business are great majors for being a talent agent. Film studies are excellent as well.

Many agencies have student training programs and are approachable, particularly the larger ones like CAA or WMA.

Good luck.


Renate 7 years ago

Hi Kenna,

I’m 32 and I work and live in Germany. I’m working for my company (market research) for 9 years now and I asked myself very often if this is the work I would like to do till I retire, and the answer is simple -> NO!

So asked myself again, what would you like to do with your life?

And I arrive at the decistion that the job of a talent agent would be perfect for me.

I want that so badly. And my targeted goal is to work for CAM in London.

But I don’t know how to start this thing. I know that WMA and UTA offer agent training programs. But both companies are in the States and they want people with a degree.

Therefore I don’t believe they will give me a chance to get in this program.

I know that at first sight I don’t have the qualifications for this job. But on the other hand I definitely know that I can make this job as good as someone with a degree, if not even better, because I have many years of practical work experience.

And I can learn everything if they would let me, and I definitely want to learn everything.

Can you give me some advice please?

Thanks so much!


Kenna 7 years ago

If I was in your shoes, I would contact CMA in London by letter or email.

Your English is a bit rough, so have someone check over your letter before you send it.

Keep everything in the positive light, remember wanting and willing to do a job is over half the battle of getting the job done.

I would perform Informational Interviews of people in the industry and find out more about the job and work. You can google "informational interviews" or check out my book Breaking Into Film which clearly tells you how to do them. They are effective and help with giving you more knowledge about your career path.

Keep in mind your positive outlook and work from there. Film business is about relationships and you need to build relationships.


Renate 7 years ago

Hi Kenna,

Thank you so much for your reply and for your helpful advice about the informational interview.

This is really a good idea, and is something I am looking into doing when in London on a course this year.

Im sorry that my mail was so rough! Please accept my apology, I speak several languages and it always seems English grammar is the most difficult!

Best Wishes and thanks again for your help.

Renate


Kenna 7 years ago

I am glad to be of help. Yes, English as a second langauge can be complicated.

Good luck. I am sure you will do well.

Best,

Kenna


Jake 7 years ago

Hello Kenna, I am a freshman in highschool and I was just wondering, are there any schools that would help me the most or any majors i should look into so that I could become a talent agent?


Kenna 7 years ago

I don't know where you live but I would guess that in your own city you can start helping out a casting director, talent agent by answering phones or making appointments.

People skills are the best to learn. Study literature, film and the fundamentals of creating a story. The more you know about the business the better you will do.

Try to attend a college or university with a film school. Talk to the instructors at the schools and ask them what is best to do or path to follow.

Use your high school services, talk with your counsoler or home room teacher, whoever is suppose to help you plan your higher-education and career choices.

Good luck.


Will 7 years ago

Is there any chance for a grad student from Denmark to get into the mailroom without having any relatives or friends who know someone in the agencies located in LA? What is the optimal move for that particular person to get an interview?


Kenna 7 years ago

You know that is an excellent question.

The logistics to doing that are available and I suggest researching the information on the Internet or with universities in the states.

Also, contact the career counselor at AFI in Hollywood. She may have the information you need.

Good luck.


Casey 7 years ago

I am 2 years removed from high school this june and currently not attending college. what do you suggest is the best way for me to start trying to get into the buisness of being a talent agent?


Mark 7 years ago

I am very interested in one day becoming an agent. I'm a senior in highschool in iowa. I want to go to college and major in some type of business, probably management, and possibly a minor or a double major in marketing. Do you think that would put me in the right direction? As of right now I want to go to the university of minnesota in minneapolis and see where that takes me. Is there anything I should be doing now to get a step up towards where I want to be? Should I study films as well in college? Thanks


kyle 7 years ago

hi kenna,

i am a sophmore in college and really want to become a talent agent and or work around and in the film business. i am majoring in business marketing and thinking of minoring in film. am i on the right track? and if so what do i need to do to pursue this career?


Alfred 7 years ago

What are some good schools to pursue a talent agent career? Any that really stick out?


Alfred 7 years ago

College Wise =)


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 7 years ago from Northern California Author

UCLA. USA, Yale, Harvard


Wes 7 years ago

I am currently in my final year of high school. I have been accepted at the University of Calgary where I have applied for a Bachelors of Commerce specializing in marking. After my four year program is complete I plan on moving to LA as i have duel citizenship. After my program I would like to apply for an internship at either William Morris Agency or United Talent Agency, what can I do to better my chances of acceptance in either agency? What will make me stand out? Any further suggestions?

Thank you for your time!


Kenna 7 years ago

Work with your career counselor at the University to develop a plan to make it happen.


Kim 7 years ago

Do agents get to go to the oscars?


Kenna 7 years ago

When Renee Zellweger won her Oscar, she came with her agent. He sat in the audience right next to her.


Johnny 7 years ago

I live in Toronto,Ontario and im in my final year of high school. My dream has always been to be a high-profile talent agent. What do i want to be taking in unvirsity and what should i be focusing on to try my hardest to make this happen?

thanks!


Kenna 7 years ago

Talk with your career counselor and let him or her know your goal is to be a talent agent. Go to a University or College that specializes in film, pr, law and so forth. Get a high GPA and work with your alumini to make contacts in order to network. Get out agencies that offer internships. Be willing to work hard for low pay at first and build your resume.


Kim 7 years ago

On average how many years would you work as an intern then an assistant until you become an agent?

Also, what is the job market like right now to be an agent? (in LA for example) are you able to get a job right away or do you need to search around.


Kim 7 years ago

Kim,

This would be a great research project for you to do.

Interns can last up to a year, mostly 6 months. But check with each agency you apply and find out from them.


Todd 7 years ago

Would majoring in finance, minoring in marketing, and having an internship at a large acting agency be a good start to a career as an acting agent?


Kenna 7 years ago

Depends where you study.


Joshua 7 years ago

Would taking a job in NYC (because its easier for me) rather than LA hurt me because im farther away from all the action?


Kenna 7 years ago

It really depends on what type of agent you want to be.


Joshua 7 years ago

I want to be a talent agent.....?


Kenna 7 years ago

Then LA is the place to be. But if you want to cut your teeth in NY that is fine. Best to keep your eye on LA.


Todd 7 years ago

So are you saying that it depends where I study to become a talent agent? Could you elaborate a little more on the answer?


Ferris 7 years ago

I'm going to be attending the University of Michigan in the fall. What would be the best course of action to establish contacts in the industry? Currently I know of nobody in the industry, let alone LA. Also, since U of M is not really a "Hollywood" type of school, what would be the best course of action, major-wise, from Michigan?

I have researched that Richard Lovett, Will Smith's agent (among others), came from the midwest. Since this is my same ordeal, what did he major in, and how did he get that first internship position when he moved out to LA?


Swifty 7 years ago

I have connections in the biz because several of members of my family are actors (one in particular was Oscar-winning). I don't have the greatest gpa, so I am wondering whether they will even ask about and how much having talent connections can help. Thanks.


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Connections open the door and then you have to put on a professional show. You need to work hard and play by the rules. I am sure you will do fine. Good luck.


David 7 years ago

Hi Kenna, I am interested in becoming a talent (actor) agent. I live in Miami and I am finishing my first year of college. What should I major in to become one? And also are there any possibilites that i can become a successful talent agent without leaving Miami?


Kenna 7 years ago

I am a firm believer of never say never, but Hollywood is the place to be if you want to be a talent agent.

I highly suggest you meet with your career counselor at the college you are attending and workout plan of action to get where you want to be.


Peter 7 years ago

Can you afford housing and food with the salary you will be getting when you start in the mailroom? I will be moving from Montreal to LA in the summer, I have bachelors of commerce and 2 years work experience should I send in my resume or show up in person?

Thanks


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

You have a lot of good questions. You will need a roomate or rent a room in a home. Network and find someone you can trust. I am sure you can find websites that are safe to network and submit your resume. Take a look at my book, Breaking Into Film, which goes into a great detail about finding work in Hollywood.

I also have some articles a www.movieroar.com about the business of making it in the business. Go there and read them if you don't want to get the book. Good luck.


Joe 7 years ago

Is it possible to work at ICM, William Morris or any of the Big 5 without a JD or MBA degree?


Kenna 7 years ago

Not really. Check out my website www.movieroar.com where some of my earlier posts talk about breaking into film. Good luck.


Christian 7 years ago

I'm currently in the military and have a few years left, I'm very interested in becoming a talent agent or manager. I'm located in San Diego and I was wondering what should I familiarize myself with as far as what I need to study, what classes to take as far as college goes and also get on the job training so when I'm finally out of the military I can already have something under my plate instead of starting from ground zero.


Kenna 7 years ago

Check out my website Movie Roar and go to the much earlier articles that should help you.


Christian 7 years ago

which articles specifically?


Kenna 7 years ago

Ones that talk about getting job in film. You can also look at my book, Breaking into Film.


Paul 7 years ago

Hi Kenna, I haven't had the time to get through every post, so I hope that I am not repeating anyone. I am from the Toronto area, and I was wondering if you knew of any specifically reputable agencies located in Ontario. The google search comes up with a variety of agencies and it is difficult to decipher who is legit or not. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!


Kenna 7 years ago

Hi Paul,

A legit agency will have a client list and references. Check them out carefully. Make sure you don't have to pay any upfront fees. Be smart and ask positive questions. Good luck.


David 7 years ago

Hey Kenna,

How necessary is a bachelor of marketing/public relations? I'm studying for my bachelor of accounting/economics, and I'm wondering if it will be useful in getting my foot in the door.

Thanks.


Kenna 7 years ago

First, it depends on the school you are attending. PR is always a plus.


Jerome 7 years ago

Kenna,

I've got a BA in History with cognates in German, Southern Studies, and Finance, on top of 6 years of service industry-corporate experience. I sent in my resume to WMA, CAA, Endeavor, ICM and UTA. Their responses were all that I need to get a year of experience in the entertainment industry. Ideas?

WMA is hiring floaters in Nashville so I'm sending my resume there. Of course I'm now sending the resume out to Paradigm, Abrams, and APA as well. What're some other thoughts on getting entry-level experience?

Thanks in advance!


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

I suggest going to my website and check in the early postings for advise on networking and other activities to get connected up.

Send resumes is a start but doesn't hit the nail.

You can also get my book, Breaking into Film. But the early articles at www.movieroar.com are excellent resources. Good luck.


Jerome 7 years ago

Thanks for the head's up on the posts. Browsing through those now.

And you'll be pleased to know I ordered your book. The more ideas, the better. Definitley something I'm going to persue until I've exhausted all options...then push it a little more.

Since obviously you have knowledge of the business, how do you think the Morris-Endeavor merger is going to affect the talent rep biz?


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

I think it was inevitable; some heavy hitters have already left the agency.

Morris has been around for 111 years and will continue to be so no matter what.

The idea of the merger is to shift leverage from movie studios and record labels to artists, actors, writers and directors. I hope that is true.


Jerome 7 years ago

I've read as much too, in that it is a move to create an atmosphere where the talent, and their agents, have more power at the table.

Seems like Endeavor is coming off as the big winner in the deal, with widespread rumors that Emanuel will be running things, and Wiatt a figurehead. Should be interesting to see where the power ends up, and it WME and CAA can create a real power shift away from studios and management.


Ryan 7 years ago

Couple of questions, but first, a brief background: Attended a top liberal arts college in the northeast, graduated with a BA in economics with a 3.5, and have been working at a well-known investment bank for the past year. I am leaving to begin at a smaller, lesser-known investment bank that specializes in the media and entertainment industry.

1. You mention work experience in media/entertainment is key to getting into the agency business - would investment banking in the industry count? I realize what I would be doing is much more macro in scale than an actual agency (deals with corporations and the industry as a whole rather than individuals), but I would certainly be in tune with the industry.

2. I have signed on with this M&E investment bank for two years. After the two years, I intend to get my MBA. I have all the stats and experience to get into the top business schools, but what is the best bet? Harvard is #1, but is on the opposite side of the country. Stanford is #2, and it's at least on the west coast, but UCLA is right in the city and is top 15 business school in the country. Assuming admission into all three, which would be my best bet?

3. With three years of high-finance on my resume, two years in the M&E industry as an investment banker, and an MBA from a top business school, how would I fare with my pursuit of a mailroom position at an agency? I have absolutely ZERO connections, unless the business school I go to happens to have a few alums.

4. How tiny is the salary for the first few years? I only ask because going from making $150k+ per year as a 22, 23, 24 year old to the pennies I assume one makes in the mailroom sounds like it could be difficult. Are we talking PENNIES, or is the salary generally in the $40-50k range?

Thanks so much for any help/answers you can give me.


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Hi Ryan,

You have a lot of questions, which I suggest going to my website www.movieroar.com and looking through my earlist articles about the business.

I also recommend Harvard, Standford and UCLA in that order. At the universities you will get a lot of those answers from your alumni.


Ryan 7 years ago

Thanks for the response. So Harvard and Stanford MBA have quite a few alums in the talent agent field?

Just one thing I couldn't find much of: is media & entertainment investment banking enough to be considered past experience in the industry? As I said, I know it's a bit different, but there are quite a few similarities between the fields.

Here's another stupid question. Do you need to really be able to judge an actor's ability to act, i.e. do you need to be good at spotting talent to become a talent agent? Without much thought, one would assume "YES," but it seems that the need for a high business acumen is more important to become a successful talent agent than the ability to spot talent.


Kyle 7 years ago

Hi, I am a recent graduate from the University of Tampa with a bachelors degree in Communication. I want to eventually work for a talent agency either in NYC or California. I will be starting work in the fall in Tampa at a staffing agency that staffs medical doctors ect. I will be working and living in Tampa for a year or so while I save money and ride out the recession before I jump into my ultimate goal of working for a talent agency. What should I do at this time to work toward that goal?


Bryan  7 years ago

I just wanted to get your opinion on what my chances would be with my current background. About 7 months ago is when I realized that I wanted to work as a talent agent, this was problematic because I am a senior Sports Management major, with a minor in Marketing with an emphasis in Sales Management. The reason I say this is a problem is because I have not heard of anyone being able to secure a position with an agency with that major. So basically I'm asking how important is someone's major.

While my major might not be perfect I do have some industry contacts so I am hoping that will make up for it. I have completed 4 internships, two with entertainment and sports marketing firms, one with a media company and one sports agency. A lot of these people have contact at the major agencies such as UTA, WMA and CAA. With all those facts what do you think my chances of being accepted into a trainee program would be?

Also do you need expereince after college to be considered for the trainee program at a place like UTA.

Thanks for any help.


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 7 years ago from Northern California Author

Hi Ryan,

I sent you an answer via www.movieroar.com.


Kyle 7 years ago

Hi, I am a recent graduate from the University of Tampa with a bachelors degree in Communication. I want to eventually work for a talent agency either in NYC or California. I am currently working in Tampa Florida at a staffing agency called K-Force that finds jobs for qualified medical workers. It is a highly respected agency in the staffing world. I will be working and living in Tampa for a year or so while I save money and ride out the recession before I jump into my ultimate goal of working for a talent agency. What should I do at this time to work toward that goal?


Kenna 7 years ago

I recommend that you read the trades and get familiar with the people who work in the business. If a a production company comes to town, I recommend you hook up and get a temporary job and learn the ropes.

You can also work for a local casting agency, that is legit, get experience that way.

Also, research groups that you can network with in either LA or NYC.

Also, go to www.movieroar.com, particularly the earlier article or first ones and read them, they should help.

Or get my book, Breaking into Film.

Good luck,

Kenna


Kyle 7 years ago

Thanks Kenna, your book is very intuitive. I dont know if you are familiar with the book The MailRoom by David Rensin but I've beeen reading that as well. Im starting to understand the process of getting a job at a promenant talent agency. So I guess I'm asking what the best thing is to do about the fact that I've currently begun working full time at an very successful professional staffing agency called Kforce in Tampa, FL. I work in the medical department basically being an agent for workers in the medical field for both permenant and part time employment. I want to do this as an introduction to the business world and save money for a bit before getting a job at a big agency. So in order to do that, what do you see as being my next steps?

Thanks a lot I really value your opinion,

Kyle


Kenna 7 years ago

Hi Kyle,

I suggest working for a casting or talent agency in Tampa Bay, Orlando or Miami. You are talking apple and oranges with the medical and entertainment business.

If you want to grow corn, then work on a farm that grows corn not sunflower seeds.


Mike C. 7 years ago

Hello Kenna,

I live in San Antonio, TX and I am about to receive my Bachelors Degree in Biology at Incarnate Word University. However, I recently realized that nothing interests me in this field. I'm a people person who loves to meet and help others as well as networking. I have been considering becoming a talent agent for a while now. I want to go to Grad school; therefore, what field of study would you recommend me taking? Is there any opportunity in San Antonio or would I have to move to LA?


Chris 7 years ago

Hey Kenna, I have to admit, watching the HBO series Entourage has inspired me greatly to become a Talent Agent. I Read most of the article and what some people's paths were. I am going to be a freshman at Western Michigan University next year and I am going to major in business and minor in public relations. I am also going to do an internship if i can get a hold of that. Do you have any other specific instructions on what i should try to do? I have a very very good eye for talent, and i work best with other people so i feel i would excel in this field, i just need some help with it.


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Hi Chris,

That's great you want to be a talent agent. I suggest you go to my other site www.movieroar.com and see if you can find more information, as a resource, that can help you there. The very early articles has lots of information about breaking into the business. Good luck.


Eli 7 years ago

Hi! I'm living in NYC and would like to eventually be a talent manager. I have an AA degree in dance, and musical theater, and I'm currently taking voice at Julliard. My question is how would I go about braking into management, and what courses/or degrees mite be better for me. I have started managing some friends from school and some which I've met at auditions.I love to help others in succeeding in what they love and being their myself I have a better perspective on things. I have an eye for talent and would like to use my experience and knowledge to help others.Thank you for your time.


Eli 7 years ago

Hi Eli,

Couple of items to keep in mind is be professional. I noticed your post had some misspelled words.

Not that I am picky, I just know that in the agent/management field the people are very picky about image.

But I can tell you purpose is there which is really half the battle. You keep that drive and fire, you'll make it.

I recommend you learn about using your Alumi and attend a college that offers the studies you need to make it as an agent/manager.

Internships are great, I recommend, since you are in NY you research and find a firm where you can start working.

At www.movieroar.com, I have some archive articles that offer information on how to go about this or just get my book.

Thanks for asking,

Kenna


Emil 7 years ago

I'm 19 years old and from Sweden. I considering studying in USA to become a talent agent. I've read in the comments above that UCLA is the best school if you want to study your way to an agent. But don't you need straight A to get in? If that's true, I don't think I'm going to make it.

I've heard that it's very hard for a person that comes from another country to get in to schools like UCLA, BUT, if you first study at a college you get handled as an american.

So, what should I do? Right now I'm thinking of going to Santa Monica College first, and then try my luck to UCLA.

What subjects should i study in college?

Thanks for your time!

Emil


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Business, Public Relations, Film, Communication Skills


Lennart 7 years ago

Just like Emil I am not from the USA and want to be a talent agent.

I am still on what they would call in america "high school"

but I will be graduated in 2 years.

What should I do afterwards?

I'm thinking of going to the UCLA but I guess they are not really fond of foreigners there so what to do?

After that I guess I'll be moving to LA to work in the mailroom, haha.

Anyway I hope someone has time to answer my question, this really looks like my dream job and I'm always willing to work very hard to accomplish what I want.

Thanks in advancem

Lennart


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

That is great you want to work hard because that is what you will have to do. Keep in mind that if you place a barrier up anywhere like "it will be hard to get into' then it will be.

The key is to stay up in the tone that is real and conducive to your profession. Be honest and love what you do.

Go to your career counsoler at your high school and ask for help. If that person says you can't do it, then go to someone who can.

Also, you can check out my other website www.movieroar.com go to the earlier, much earlier content about film careers. Use that information. Also, I believe AFI in LA has a foreign study program.


Nahan 7 years ago

I have a Bachelor's degree and live up in Washington. Relocating to California is not an issue; I have a sister who lives in San Diego. The difficulty, of course, is finding an agency that is hiring and willing to provide me with an interview.

This work can't be too hard. I'm single, have no kids and am willing to do what it takes to be successful in this business, including working 80hr weeks.


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Yes, sounds like you don't have very many barriers. Go for it. at www.movieroar.com the early articles my help you get where you want to go.


Ryan 7 years ago

Kenna, I casually stumbled upon your article and it happens to be exactly what I had been looking for the entire time. Thank you so much for all the information. If you don't mind, I have a few questions!

I am from Michigan and will be starting my junior year in a few weeks. I am majoring in Marketing and considering a dual major in Communications as well. I am currently finishing up a summer internship I had with a small branding, marketing & advertising firm. I am hoping you could give me a little criticism here. How does my major and internship sound? Do you think they are applicable?

Also, I have read of the importance of having these "internships" at a large agency. Being out of state, I doubt I am unaware of all these agencies in LA. Could you give me a short list of agencies you might recommend I look into? Traveling to LA is not a problem. Would you say there is a decent chance a college undergrad could obtain one of these internships, or are they usually awarded to a college graduate? Finally, how long do these internships typically last in your experience?

Thank you in advance for all the help. I greatly appreciate it!


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Hi Ryan,

You have a lot of reseach to do. I would love to answer all these question for you but you need pull up your boot straps and find out for youself.

I do have a book called Breaking into Film that you could get and read. Or find at a local library. There is a chapter on Informational Interviews where you go to the professional you are interested in an ask these type of questions. Hollywood Creative Director is an excellent source for listings as well.

Education does play a role in highing because it is a way to get the door open. There are othe ways as well. But once you have that door open you need to show your stuff.

The major sounds okay. You might want to minor in business. Or take some business classes. Use you alumni and career counselor as well. The career counselor is a service the university offers. Use it.

Again, do you research, do your homework.


Brody 7 years ago

Hi, I'm 15 years old and very ambitious on doing anything at this age to become a talent agent or anything in that field of business in the future. I was wondering if you have any suggestions. I work for a minor baseball team and I was wondering if there is anything there I could do that would help me.


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Make contacts, work hard, set a good example and when you move on ask for a reference letter for future jobs.

Study and learn everything you can. An excellent video the help you become proficient is at www.twth.com -- click on the one about Be Competent. Watch how hard the young girl works to Be Competent at fencing.


Brody 7 years ago

When it gets time for college, is there any colleges you would recommend for this field of expertise?


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

UCLA, NYC, USC, Harvard and so forth.


Brody 7 years ago

Do you of any talent agencies in Portland, Oregon?


Charles 7 years ago

Marketing is a business degree.


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

@Brody, you can check by calling their chamber of commerce or doing a google search. Make sure they are legit, though.

@Charles, thanks for the clarification.


Robb 7 years ago

I Go to Oregon State University Majoring in Business Management, I want to be a Talent Rep. and I am considering Grad school What would be the best choice in grad School to persue this career ?


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Business law or Media Communications.


SS 7 years ago

Hey Kenna i was doing some research on becoming a talent agent and how to get in and stumbled upon this article. Reading most of the questions and answers have helped a lot but i still have a couple outstanding ones like will i be able to transfer from a college or university in Canada to one in LA or would i be better off moving to LA and going to school there? and if i study here in Canada what should major in to get into a school in LA.

Thanks for your time.


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

You can't go wrong with business or business law. As far as transfers are concerned you should check with the college or university and find out their policies.

If you want to work in Hollywood, I recommend going to school at UCLA or USC. The Alumni is the best for networking.


F. Botko 7 years ago

Hello Kenna,

First of I would like to thank you for all of your advice to everyone here on this page. By just reading it all I have already learned a great deal about the profession.

I am going into grade 12 in a small town about 2 hours north of Toronto. I recently decided that being a Talent Agent might be something I want to do with my life. Would going to UCLA for a Business Major, and then get in at a Talent Agency as in intern be in my best interest? Or would you say going to U of T and get my foot in the door in Toronto, then maybe later on taking the plunge and moving to Hollywood, be a wiser choice?

Thanks


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

If you can get into UCLA, great, go for it. But if you have some thoughts on staying in Canada and going to U of T then that's fine too.

Make sure you research and find out how the Alumni networks and the career center helps you achieve your goals in the biz. The competition is fierce, so you might as well plan and keep to your plan.


F. Botko 7 years ago

Thank you very much!

How would I go about researching how the Alumni networks and the career centre helps you achieve your goals in the biz? If you could explain that too it would be much appreciated, don't fully understand.

Thanks.


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Contact the college or university that you are interested in attending and ask them to help you with this. Alumni is defined by Wiki -- An alumni association is an association of graduates (alumni) or, more broadly, of former students. In the United Kingdom and the United States, alumni of universities, colleges, schools (especially independent schools), fraternities, and sororities often form groups with alumni from the same organization. These associations often organize social events, publish newsletters or magazines, and raise funds for the organization. Many provide a variety of benefits and services that help alumni maintain connections to their educational institution and fellow graduates.

Additionally, such groups often support new alumni, and provide a forum to form new friendships and business relationships with people of similar background.

Alumni associations are mainly organised around universities or departments of universities, but may also be organised among students that studied in a certain country. In the past, they were often considered to be the university's or school's old boy network (or old boys network). Today, alumni associations involve graduates of all age groups and demographics.

In Anglo-Saxon countries, membership of an alumni association often goes without saying. In continental Europe, alumni associations are getting more and more popular as universities receive less money from governments and depend more on networking within civil society for funding.

Alumni associations are often organized into chapters by city, region, or country.


Td 7 years ago

Hi Kenna

i am currently debating what to major in to increase my chances of landing a job at an agency like wma or uta

would it be better to get a bachelors in business or communications - (public relations and what not)


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Business first, then media communications.


Kristen A Altbaum 7 years ago

I saw a street performer (singer) today that i think is INCREDIBLE and want to contact him to find out if he has any sort of agent. I have a BA in communications and spent years in sales. I am an incredible negotiator and very resourceful and would love to represent talent like what I saw today... booking shows, getting this guy exposure, etc...where do I begin? Does anyone find the band first and then learn the ropes of booking shows, promotion, etc.?


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

You can do that...where you live or work is what matters. What is his specialty? Name it and sell it to the clubs or what have you.

Remember to have a firm agreement in writing, when he starts to cross that chasm of success, he may leave you for a bigger and somethings better agency.


Joseph Nourai 7 years ago

Kenna,

I just recently came across this article. I'm a 17 year old living in Texas where I have just started my senior year in high school. For quite a few years now, I have been dying to become a talent agent(actors). But here is my question to you:

If I have NO contacts or a social network, how do I go about creating/finding a network or contact?

Any advice would help tremendously.

Also, if it would be possible, I would love to talk to you more about this. If you are available via email or any other communication stream, it would be a big help!

Thanks

Joseph


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

I don't know where you are in Texas. But search for casting directors or talent agents in your area and "volunteer." Show your professionalism and network that way. Even volunteer for a community theater company, helping to promote their performances with the media. You can email me through hubages if you like.


Joseph Nourai 7 years ago

Thanks Kenna,

And if it helps, I am in Keller, Texas, which is close to the DFW area.

Thanks again.


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

It's a big enough city to network. I am sure they have casting directors and agencies that you can "volunteer."


Michael Sclafani 7 years ago

Hi Kenna... ok well i really hope you can answer this. I am Really interested in making it in this profession. I want to try to get an internship this summer at CAA in NYC. Is that a long shot? I'd rather have that on my resume then any small time agencies. Plus i figured that if i work real hard for them and keep going there throughout my college carreer they might view me as a hard, outgoing worker. I view life as one chance and one chance only to succeed. either way I cant really travel too far outside of new jersey due to the money aspect. and CAA is an excellent agencie to get into. I'll do pretty much anything to get into CAA. Im going to go to school to major in public relations, take some psychology courses, and business or business law. (bachelors Degree)... thank you in advance for the advice! greatly appreciated!


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Sounds like you have the right plan. It's only a long-shot if you think it is, Go for it. Business is the right major as is public relations. Just stay away from psychology, it's not an exact science, is full of mumbo jumbo. If your really want to understand the mind and people read Dianetics or watch the new Dianetics DVD. Be smart.


Michael Sclafani 7 years ago

Thank you for the advise and i defanitly will get that book and DVD... You're exactly right, I just wanted to do psychology because i thought it would help me to better understand the human mind and the way different people respond to different types of offers and different types of people. But i will stay away from it if you suggest... it is a tough class anyway.


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Great! I am sure you will do well. Stay in touch.


Mike Sclafani 7 years ago

Hey im sorry one more thing... while i was researching this carreer, i heard about a movie that was recommended to watch about this profession and I can't seem to find it anywhere! If you know which movie I'm talking about please let me know... what is the name of your book? I would really like to Buy a copy! Thanks!


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

I can't think of the name of the movie. If it comes to me, I will post it. The name of my book is Breaking into Film, Make Your Career a Blockbuster.


Mules 7 years ago

I want to become a talent agent but want to get a degree in music management and merchandising, would this degree be a good path to becoming a talent agent?


Kenna 7 years ago

For music? Yes.


Kenny 7 years ago

Kenna,

Everyone should be extremely grateful for you taking the time out to answer all of the questions that were asked.

I do plan on purchasing your book and look forward to reading it. If the questions I ask are addressed in the book, please let me know. I am a recent graduate from Fordham University, and have moved to NYC permanently, working in Sales. I work in the copier/printer industry, which is as competitive as any sales industry in the Big Apple. I enjoy what I do, and have been told I will be extremely successful. I would love to carry this over into a manager/agent career. The main question I have, other than places to look into breaking into the industry, may be complicated. I have always been one to take notice of talent; whether it be musical, athletic, so on...I have three friends in particular where I see them becoming successful. One friend is a former cast member of Diddy's Making the Band 4. Another is a relatively unknown band just out of highschool that could play with any band on the radio. The third is a former 2-time National Wrestling Champion and current MMA prospect. He has shown the most interest in me managing him, since we are good friends. I realize that when established, it is best to focus on one industry, but for the time being, if I were to learn the trade, would I be best served to acquire any talent I could until I had the resources to focus on one specific area? Also, would this be a different type of talent agent rather than just a musical or athletic agent? Any help is appreciated.


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

That's great you can spot talent and have an ability to succeed at sales. Sales is a tough gig and it takes a lot of energy and charisma to stay in sales for a long time.

MMA is a different medium to work with, but that could be changing. For example, Gina Carano just signed a film gig Knockout. Carano is a popular MMA fighter. If you look at her representation, the list is long.

But it might be wise to do your homework in this area (MMA), and find out how these talents are represented.

The other two talents seem like you understand their angle.

You could represent all three, but will have to decided sooner or later which medium to follow.


Rhiannon Grundy 7 years ago

Hi Kenna

I'm 18 and am currently studying Performing Arts at A-Level in the United Kingdom. Just a quick question; for my Performing Arts coursework, I have to research talent agents, and I was wondering if you know the average wage of a talent agent in the UK? If you don't, do you know any websites that I could find out? It would be really appreciated!!

Rhiannon


Kenna 7 years ago

mandy.com - http://www.mandy.com/1/services.cfm?rz=1&zb=0&zn=4... is your best bet for online. You can also check the online trades: Variety and Hollywood Reporter -- they have international listings.


MAx 7 years ago

Hey !

I'm 19 and i study: negotiation and relationship with customer in France. I will probably go to Australia to have a Bachelor of marketing, and after that i really want to move in LA to be an Actor and musician agent/manager.

What kind of studies i can do ?

Thanks !


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

First, based on what I see in your ability to communicate through the written word, you need to take a very basic grammar and communications course.

In this business, communication is key.


Mitchell 7 years ago

Hello Kenna,

I came across this thread during a google search and I am extremely impressed at the time you have taken to answer all of these questions and grateful for the insight provided! I will most definitely check out your book!

I have my own law practice and am in the process of starting a talent management company (athletics and film). I know athletes working in professional sports so that is where I thought I was going to start my agent business until recently I was contacted by an old friend. I learned he has begun writing screenplays (four total) and actually won some awards for his recent work. He is in need of an agent and I am in need of talent so it should be a perfect fit!

I have looked at your site www.movieroar.com and accessed several archives from 2008. Specifically I have read, the following posts: “film job leads,” “working with an agent” and “important definitions to sell your screenplay or idea.” Are there any other specific archives you think would be helpful?

Do you have any more specific guidance on how to attempt to sell a script? I know very few people out in LA but have already sent requests to those folks inquiring as to any contacts/information they can provide. I would greatly appreciate any insight or contacts from you?

And finally, I actually liked the question from a previous poster (despite the misspelled words and bad grammar) who essentially asked for a point in the right direction as to who should one contact when trying to sell a script?

Thanks in advance for your response!

Mitchell


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Hello Mitchell,

Here are some links let me know if this helps. http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/8-donienelson.ph...

http://www.screenwritersutopia.com/modules.php?nam...

Also, in my book I talk about networking, the business deals in relationships. I don't know where you live but you need to start building relationships with people in Hollywood. That might mean taking trips to Hollywood and meeting people for lunch.

Check with Peter Miller, he is based in NYC. I don't have contact information, but he may be helpful.


Andrew 7 years ago

Hey I'm a junior in high school from around the Chicago area and my question is how would I be able to be a successful agent living in Chicago? I want to move to L.A. (I was born there and I have relatives that live there). So I guess my question is how realistic is my shot at becoming an agent because of my location of residency? There's no real big agencies in Chicago is there?


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

The key is to do your homework. Open up the Chicago yellow pages and see what is listed. Better do a google search regarding "talent agencies in Chicago". If you do your homework, you will discover that quite a bit of talent came from the Chicago area. John Cusack, his sister Joan, the late John Hughes, Gary Sinise and so forth. Perhaps you can make your homework part of a school project and get school credit. Good luck.


Kevinn474 7 years ago

Kenna,

I am 18 years old and currently attending Cal State Fullerton, hoping to have a future career in the film industry as a talent agent. What are your recommendations for a major/ minors if I would like to have a Business major? In order to have more chance at succeeding to be a talent agent, would attending Grad School to obtain a master's degree help a lot? Or is there good chance without it?


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Hi,

Getting a master's degree is very helpful because it shows you can get things done. You will still need to prove yourself by starting as an assistant.

I really recommend that you meet with a career counselor at Cal State Fullerton and figure out your plan of action. Business Majore is an excellent idea as is Media Communication. Good luck .


Matias 7 years ago

Hey Kenna, how you doing?

I had been reading some of the comments you have made and they helped but none of them really describe my situation; therefore I hope you can provide me with some insight.

Currently I am a senior in Boston, my major is international business and minor in hospitality (not like it makes a difference). I always wanted to be in that environment and after recently watching Entourage I was able to find out that I would love to be a talent agent. I am planning on moving to L.A. when I graduate to pursue the talent agent career.

I am aware that it is extremely important to have good networks in order to enter that market and have potential. I already started asking some friends if they have some contacts I could use.

Thank you for taking the time to go over this.

Sincerely,

Matias


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Hi Matias,

Yes, your situation is unique, but changing careers as one goes through college is quite common. What is it about being an Agent that interests you?

You have to answer that question honestly and go from there. It is a business and that requires work and hard work.

International studies is a good major these days.


Matias 7 years ago

Thank you for the prompt response.

I always dreamed to be in the entertainment environment but did not know how. I tried acting and modeling and came to the conclusion that I did not enjoy it very much. I always liked to create something from 0 and make it grow (like from a regular actor make him grow into a movie star). It might not sound very good, but I enjoy managing people. Interacting with people is something that I also enjoy a lot and have good social skills. I am a really hard worker and I had been dreaming about being in that environment since I was like 11. I am extremely excited that two weeks ago I found out what I would really want to do as a career.

I am not exactly sure if that was the type of answer you or I were looking for.


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Yes, that is the answer.

So keep that dream and work toward it. There are some articles in my early, early www.movieroar.com site that talk about breaking into film. Take a look at those and see if they help.


Matias 7 years ago

Thank you very much for your time and I hope you do not mind if I post a comment here in the near future. I will definitely check out those articles you told me about.

Thank you once again


Chris M 7 years ago

Kenna,

I live outside of NYC an hour by train. I have a strong desire to become an agent trainee. When agencies look at my resume, are they put off by the fact that I do not live right in NYC? If not, what more can I do to stand out and show that I am highly interested in this career?

Thank you.


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

If you take the train in everyday to work, so what. It's only a problem for them if you make it a problem.

To stand out requires a resume that shows them that you are outgoing, work hard, a team player and you are sincere. Excellent communications skills are a must -- both verbally and written.


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

If you take the train in everyday to work, so what. It's only a problem for them if you make it a problem.

To stand out requires a resume that shows them that you are outgoing, work hard, a team player and you are sincere. Excellent communications skills are a must -- both verbally and written.


Chris M 7 years ago

Thank you for the quick response. Currently, I work in marketing and advertising and had an internship at a PR agency. For awhile I've wanted to work in talent management at an agency, but had to take these jobs because of the economy. My resume obviously contains the skills of marketing/advertising, but should I try and wow the HR depts in my email when applying? Thank you.


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Sure.


alex p 7 years ago

I'm currently a senior in high school and am looking to attend Penn State next year and follow up with my graduate work at UCLA or NYU. I'm considering declaring my major of communications arts and sciences and a minor in public relations. What's your take on this major/minor combination? Also, I have an uncle who's represented by CAA and I'm hoping that will give me a better chance at getting an internship there after my freshman year of college along with maybe acquiring a job after college. What's your take on my plan so far?


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Sounds like you have it mapped out well. Combined majors is an excellent idea. Just make sure you keep you grades up and stay in communication with your uncle.


Matt 7 years ago

Hey I'm currently a Senior in a University here in Miami, FL. I've got a Bachelors in Biology and about to get another in Computer Science. Is tehre anyway way i can become an Agent without going back to school for public relations or some other degree you have told others to get. Also i saw anotehr person say william morris has a intership but you need a 4 year degree does it matter in what? And I know miami is big but would it be better to move to another city like NY or LA?


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

It's best to have a degree relating to the field you are intereted in pursuing. I degree in PR, Business would be a wise choice.


Matt 7 years ago

So you suggest me going back to school for a PR or business degree?

Thanks for all your help

Matt


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Yes, PR or Business would be a wise move.


Jeneba Sesay 7 years ago

My story is a little different. I am currently an attorney working for a patent firm in Los Angeles. I have always wanted to become an agent. I feel like I have the communication skills and training to be successful as an agent. I, however am not entirely familiar with the ins and outs of the business and I'm somewhat afraid of pulling the trigger on the career move. I'm not exactly sure where to begin. I'm not sure if being on someone's desk for minimum wage is something I'm willing to do. (financially that is. I have no problem working hard). I'm contemplating starting an agency with a partner, but I know there will be a growth process. What is your recommendation?


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Yes, your story is different. Perhaps you could go at it in an indirect route meaning: film business is filled with technical aspects of the business such as James Cameron's new 3D tecnhology or Pixar's software for rendering computer generated characters and so forth.

These technologies need to be patented, right? It's a foot in the door. Perhaps you good go this route and become involved with an agency that way.

The plus-point is that you are in LA and you are an attorney.

You could cold call or network your way to an agency and ask for the possibility of a career change and see what they would have to offer.

Or, you must know someone in the business as well, whom you can inquire.

The key is to not forego your current career, but map out a way to make the change logical. You will probably have to burn the midnight oil or work extra on weekends until you have mastered the route to change your career to something more fulfilling.

Try finding attorneys who are in the business. I am sure if you googled film groups relating to attorneys you will find them.

Another idea is that Hollywood is full of consultants, who help shape people careers. You could contact one of them and pay them an hour or two to help you formulate a logical way to make it. Check out the Beverly Hills Playhouse, they may have some resources -- even though they are an acting facility, I have heard they have some solid contacts to help people in the business.


Ari Gold 7 years ago

Hey, i would love to be Ari Gold...WAIT i am Ari Gold...lmfao


Jordan 7 years ago

This page is very helpful to me i cant believe i found it on a google search.

So anyways im a student in high school living in canada, im almost certain on path to being a talent agent. however im deciding whether ill be into representing actors and actresses, or representing sports players. So im trying to read as much information as possible about being a talent agent and ive concluded that networking is VERY important. I do have some things lined up that will hopefully help me, but im looking for more tips on how to network.

However i do plan to move on to university and i still trying to decide what major will benefit me most. If i plan to major in something like public relations, or business econ...could i also take some courses in entertainment and media law, even if it isn't in the area of PR and business econ?

I will visit my career center soon as well, what would be some great starting questions?

Thanks for all the help!


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Jordan,

Thanks for reading all the postings. Yes, networking is important. Since you are in High School, I recommend that you perform Informational Interviews. What is Informational Interviews? That's when you set up and interview with a professional of your field of interest -- talent agent.

I am going to plug my book because I have a whole chapter on this subject because it is so important. It's key to breaking into the business. Try googling informational interviews and see what you come up with -- that's were the career center should be able to help you out.

Good luck.


Matias 7 years ago

Kenna,

how you doing? I read the articles you told me to read and helped. I want to work as an intern (not getting paid) during January in a talent agency in LA and I am thinking about calling sometime this week, depending on which day I feel prepared. I am thinking about calling the largest talent agencies... any suggestions on what approach to use or how I should handle it?

Thank you very much for your time

Sincerely,

Matias


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Great for going through the articles. In my book, I talk about writing a script for "cold calling". Then, practice before you call. Although it's called "cold calling" you are actually prepared.

Try practicing with a friend, someone you trust and know will help you.

Also, in my book (don't mean to plug), I write about keeping track of who you call, follow ups and thank you letters.

Keep in mind this is your start, start it off in a positive way -- keep excellent notes of who you call and be honestly upbeat and interested.


Kevin  7 years ago

Hi Kenna,

I'm 24 years old and want to become a movie talent agent. I took Business Management in College but had to drop out. After dropping out I started selling cars. I've been in sales for four years. Does this experience help me out? Also, I live close to Boston do you know what I should search for to start.


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

I don't want to dampen your excitement or goal to be a talent agent. I recommend doing a search in Boston and seeing what comes up. Business is a good degree for the biz.


frank 7 years ago

i live in illinois and interested in becoming a talent agent, and im also a junior in high school. what classes should i take in college?


frank 7 years ago

i live in illinois and interested in becoming a talent agent, and im also a junior in high school. what classes should i take in college?


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Check with Columbia University, I am sure they have a program and can guide you to get your degree in business, Pr or Marketing.


Kevin 7 years ago

Hey,

i live in new jersey but i want to move out to california and become a talent agent, im 21 years old and plan on going back to college what should i focus on to accomplish my goal i wanna rep high profile celebs as well as actors in TV and movies


Kevin 7 years ago

o yea is it better to live in hollywood or los angelas and what are strong agencies to look into


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Business major and/or Public Relations, film study as minor, business law is a great major.

Do your homework first. You should be able to discover the top agencies on your own. CCA WM UTA are some. I gave you the abbreviations, now go find them and get in commuincation.


Carla Bejakian 7 years ago

Hi Kenna,

I am so glad I found this page to help me answer my questions. I am currently a business major and freshman at Merrimack College in MA. I was wondering whether or not I should change my major to Communications because my school does have a PR course in that as well. I just want to figure out a right career move in order to pursue my dreams of becoming a talent agent. anything else I should do? or NOT do?


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

I would go with Business Law and Communications Minor, start networking now, doing as much research as possible. All class assignments or research papers, gear them towards finding out about talent agencies or the film business. Don't go the easy route with rote learning, apply what you learn and see how you can use what you learn now towards your career choice. Study with a purpose, be there and play an important role, help others and be honest with yourself and others. I am sure you will do well.


Carla 7 years ago

Thanks for responding so quickly. Unfortunately they don't have business law as a major at my college. I am currently a Business Marketing major, perhaps minor in communications?


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Sounds like a plan.


Garrett 7 years ago

I am in high school right now and plane on majoring in marketing and minoring in public relations. when im out of college i plan on moving to LA and doing an internship. is this a good route and am i studying the right things in college?


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Business law is a good choice with a minor in pr. Film studies is a wise choice, but perhaps this can be an elective course that you can mention on your resume.

Personally, I would contact a large agency and see if they have an HR department that can assist you in your career choices. Since you are a high school student they maybe more apt to oblige your request. Good luck.


Garrett 7 years ago

The school i plan on attending doesn't offer businees law but i will minor in film studies. is there any other course i could major in?


Garrett 7 years ago

Also what would be a good college choice in illinois?


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Columbia Universtity is a great choice. Media Communications is another great class to take.


Trent Lennox 7 years ago

Hi I live in Vancouver, Canada and I want to become an Talent agent for actors, what would you suggest the steps I take?


Trent Lennox 7 years ago

Hi I live in Vancouver, Canada and I want to become an Talent agent for actors, what would you suggest the steps I take?


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Hi Trent,

What I suggest is read the postings on this page, it will give you an excellent idea. Next, go to www.movieroar.com and go to the much earlier postings that discuss breaking into film as a career.

Then, if you have any questions, please post them and I will respond. Good luck.


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Hi Trent,

What I suggest is read the postings on this page, it will give you an excellent idea. Next, go to www.movieroar.com and go to the much earlier postings that discuss breaking into film as a career.

Then, if you have any questions, please post them and I will respond. Good luck.


Saleen121212 7 years ago

Hi, I live in Georgia and go to kenesaw state university and was wondering if I could get a career started here in Georgia in the agent field without having to move just yet in other words are there any good opurtunities in this field here in ga?


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

I would check around Atlanta and check with your career center too.


saleen121212 7 years ago

Is it possible to gain the experience I would near here(in ga) then move somewhere else when I'm ready?


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

check the yellow pages for agencie or casting director companies and see what is out there. RESEARCH!


James  7 years ago

Hi I am in college studying to get my BA in business economics and was wondering how competitive is it to land an internship at the larger agency in LA?


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Very competitive.


Carla 7 years ago

Hi Kenna, a couple things

1) How can I buy your book?/Were you a talent agent?

2) I am doing a research paper in my college writing class. The topic is a career that you want, and I obviously want it to be a talent agent. I would need to interview someone (via e-mail or something), hence my first question.

3) I just ordered a copy of "The Mailroom" by David Rensin, was wondering if you had heard about it, somebody recommended it to me

thank you

-Carla


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Carla,

You can get the book from me if you can't get it at Amazon or another book store online.

No, I was not a talent agent.

I suggest looking locally and then emailing a top agency to see if they have a person assigned to this type of interview.

I have heard a little bit about The Mailroom, I am sure if someone recommended it, it must be worth the read. Why was it recommended to you?


Carla 7 years ago

Ok thank you I will find it online. Hopefully somebody will be able to help me out with the interview. Do you suggest I contact a top agency for this type of project (william morris, etc.) or a local one?

A friend recommended it to me, he had read it before and said it was a good read and got into detail such as what it was like working from the bottom up a.k.a the mailroom.

thanks

-Carla


Alex 7 years ago

Hi,

I'm currently a freshman in high school and I was wondering what the best college you would suggest going to is (in order to be a film agent). And what are some top agencies I should look into in the California area?


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

UCLA, USC, Harvard, Yale, Princeton ...

CAA, Morse, UA IMC ...


Alex 7 years ago

Thanks a lot. Majors and Minors?


Kenna McHugh 7 years ago

Business Law or Business management, public relations, media relations, media communications


Jacob N 6 years ago

Hello, I live in illinois and I want to be an agent, I have an associates degree in Mass Communication mainly radio and television. is living in California essential to becoming an agent? Is it Possible to be an agent in Illinois? Are the internships paid? thank you.


Kenna McHugh 6 years ago

I am sure there are agencies you can check with in Chicago.

I did a quick google search and came up with these:

Lily's Talent Agency Incorporated (12)lilystalent.com

(312) 601-2345 (312) 601-2345 - 1017 W Washington Blvd, #4f, Chicago, IL

8 Reviews1 PhotoDirections..2Ambassador Talent Booking Agency (3)local.yahoo.com

(312) 641-3491 (312) 641-3491 - 333 N Michigan Ave, #910, Chicago, IL

1 Review8 PhotosDirections..3The Extension Models Agency (1)extensionmodels.com

(773) 334-3704 (773) 334-3704 - Chicago, IL

Call them and ask and check to see if they have time to help you by answering questions. Make sure they are a certified agency.


Jacob N 6 years ago

Thank you


Justin Alexander 6 years ago

I have always been highly intrigued by the Agency side of the entertainment business and know I have what it takes to become a powerful force in the film/TV world here in Hollywood. I am extremely outgoing, ambitious, handle high end business very well, and have a very fresh take on the business and where it should go from here. I need to get into to an agency ASAP and am willing to start from the bottom up!!

I currently am a Real Estate Agent and work in the same building as WmE2!! I will be going to a happy hour/networking event tonight with my company, the entire WmE2 agency and a few other select invitees.

Please give any advice on how to court WmE2 and get my foot in the door. I figure I'm already at a party with them so this should be a good start!!


Kenna McHugh 6 years ago

Justin,

What an excellent opportunity!

Sounds like you are on the ball, well done.

This what I would do:

Try to set up a lunch date or meeting over coffee with someone you contact from this agency. If they are all going to be there, then I am sure you will hit it off with someone from the agency.

At www.movieroar.com, I believe I have an article about Informational Interviews. I recommend you take this approach. This article would be one of my earlier postings.

Let me know if you find it or not.

Also, networking is key, so take business cards and ask for business cards. And follow up is very important after making a networking contact, which I am sure you know being a Real Estate Agent.

Good luck. Have fun.


jackjones 6 years ago

I am just starting my 2nd semester at Cal State Long Beach. I am extremely interested in becoming a talent agent and would want to know if majoring in Busniess or Film would be better for becoming an acting agent. I would also minor in Public Relations or something of the sort. Also, what volunteer work or interning do you recommend I do during my first year of college?


Kenna McHugh 6 years ago

Business is the best choice. I recommend contacting agencies via your carrer center or mentor at the college.

You can work in film, behind the scenes with casting diretors or agencies.


jackjones 6 years ago

Would you recommend the minor in Public Relations or something else? Also, I know these internships are extremely hard to get involved with. Will I have less of a chance being selected because I am coming from a state school? Should I wait to apply for these internships after I have a few years under my belt? And what other little things can I do to build up my resume? I really do appreciate these questions being answered. This is my one true ambition in life and I am the type that is willing to do anything! Thanks for your help!


Kenna McHugh 6 years ago

I recommend that you meet up with other film groups and network within to find those who can help you achieve your goals. Minor in PR is good and yes coming from a state college does not compare to UCLA or USC or Yale and Harvard. It's only hard if you make it hard, look at it as a challenge.


Shay Bennett 6 years ago

Hi Kenna,

I live in Australia, and I am interested in becoming an Agent. I am looking at moving over to Los Angeles in the near future, would it be best for me to start talking to companies about an internship?


Kenna McHugh 6 years ago

Yes, start making contacts now. Also, if you want some insight you can visit my website www.movieroar.com. Go to the much earlier articles about breaking into the film biz. They may help you because the articles have helped others. Good luck.


tania 6 years ago

hey, i have a question. so i have a bachelor of arts in theatre studies.Ive done alot of acting work, after being in the industry i would like to become an agent! with my educational background could i still get interships and or jobs to be successful?? or should i go back to school?


joe 6 years ago

i live in Toronto, and in grade 11..what steps should i take in order to become a talent agent.. i'm thinking of going to new york city for school..probably studying film/marketing or public relations. is there any other advice?


Cody 6 years ago

I wanna be a talent agent and i am a senior in high school trying to decide where i need to go to college and what classes and majors i need to take so i have all the right credentials?


Emily 6 years ago

i want to know what grades you need but this doesn't say .. so what grades do you need ?


Georgette 6 years ago

Is 40 too old to make a change? I have a B.S in

Business with a minor in finance and I completed a make-up artist program in L.A. in my 20's. I currently live in AZ but I am strongly considering moving back to L.A. to follow my passion for the entertainment industry. I'm also going to start my master's degree this year, hopefully in Business law. Any comments would be appreciated. I'm even willing to schedule meetings in L.A. on a monthly basis to start my networking all over again.What do you think?


Jordan 6 years ago

I recently graduated from Notre Dame Law and would like to become a talent agent. I am from the Los Angeles metropolitan area and have attempted to make contact with several agencies (CAA, ICM, WME, UTA, etc.)regarding their assistant/trainee programs; however, I have yet to receive any responses (I sent a cover letter and resume).

I have a friend who currently works for WME, and I have used her as a reference to get my foot in the door there, but what can I do to make sure the other agencies give me a fair shake?


Ben 6 years ago

Like everyone else, I have a question for you regarding a career as a talent agent. I'll be graduating in May of this year with a B.A. in Public Relations. I've had all As and Bs in my PR classes, and I'll have had one full year of internship experience (30 hours a week during school semesters, 40 hours otherwise) that was nothing but PR work for a government corporation. What should my next step be if I were to become a talent agent? I'm very driven, so don't hold back on your answer. Thank you!


max 6 years ago

im a junior in high school in miami and my desire is to become a talent agent. im amazing with people and my social skills are very high. right now my grades arnt so good and i was going to ask to become a talent agent do you need to go to atend a big university? or does it really not matter where you go to school as long as you get your degree bussiness , flim , law ect. please let me know what you think , thanks


Andrew 6 years ago

Hi Kendra,

I live in Sweden, attend the best school in the capital of stockholm (event if that doesn't mean much internationally) and am, as all others here, interested in pursuing the way of becoming an agent. At the age of 17, i've had 3 years of selling experience and am wondering if my next step would be to move/pursue a colege in the states?


Andrew 6 years ago

Hi Kendra,

I live in Sweden, attend the best school in the capital of stockholm (event if that doesn't mean much internationally) and am, as all others here, interested in pursuing the way of becoming an agent. At the age of 17, i've had 3 years of selling experience and am wondering if my next step would be to move/pursue a colege in the states?


roger 6 years ago

kendra is there any books on how to become a talent agent or to teach you about the entertainment business?


Dan Z 6 years ago

Kenna,

Im fifteen years old and in my sophomore year of high school. I really want to become a talent agent but i live in a tiny town in Rhode Island. I'm planning on attending college in California right after high school and i was just wondering a few things. I have great social skills, and i'm a very persuasive speaker.

What college should I attend?

What classes should i take for the rest of high school?

And is it possible for me to even become an agent?


Robby Wendell 6 years ago

so i'm attending The Ohio State University between my second and third year. History is my major (as a setup for law school), and i plan on double-majoring in business administration. Would business admin be a good set-up, or should I take the film studies road?

my first couple of semesters weren't so hot, and i find it now being an uphill battle to make it into a 3.5 GPA or better. is there a possibility in making it with a talent agency? Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you very much.


ricky 6 years ago

i want to be a high powered hollywood agent and date the hot actresses, how do i do this


Malachi Beasley 6 years ago

I want to become an agent and an actor will that interfer at all with my plans im 17


Kevin 6 years ago

Hi Kendra or anyone else,

I didn't read all the comments, so I'm not sure if this was already asked.

I wanted to know from you or if anyone out there has any advice and suggestions on becoming a Talent Agent who represents actors. I'm a 16 year old high school student going into my sophomore year and I want to know what can I do now, and what should I study in college. I also want to open my own Talent Agency in the future. What should i study to be an agent and what should i study to know everything about opening a business for talent representation.


Krunal 6 years ago

Hi Kendra,

So I graduated with a degree in Microbiology and Cell Science. I originally had a passion to go into medicine and earn a medical degree. However, after taking a year off after finishing school and really thinking hard on it. I think I would thrive in the entertainment industry as a Talent Agent. Why? Because I have great social skills and am very outgoing, plus I worked many summers in my parents hotel as a desk clerk/manager. So...how do I go about getting an internship and getting my foot in the door? Do I need to take some classes in business or will my work experience be good enough? Thank you in advance for your response.


James 6 years ago

Hey! I live in Maine and am about to graduate with a Business degree with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Communications. Where I live there are not many opportunities to find talent agencies or any agencies for that matter. Would I be wasting my time applying for internships in some of the larger states? Would my degree in Business and minor in marketing be enough to get started with a larger company or do they focus on other majors. Also what are some agencies you would suggest me looking at that would be closer to home then LA. Thanks!


kieran 6 years ago

Hey, i am currently studying for a BA marketing degree in the UK, will that provide a good enough foundation to start a career in becoming a talent agent? Also,what grades would i need to secure a low level job at a talent agency and what would be my next step after university?

Thanks


Evan 6 years ago

I am currently working on a marketing degree at South Dakota State. I want to move to California after I'm done with school and work on a graduates degree while doing an intership with a talent agency. How do I go about doing this?


Brian 6 years ago

Hello, I'm 21 years old and looking for answers I guess you could say. Right now I am in sales were my dad works and I am getting another job in Big Orange Productions(Promotions Company). However I feel that my work habits are not up to par with people like "Ari Gold", so I have decided to commit to the Air Force for four years. So my question is,if I were in Public Relations in the Air Force an received an associates in Film while serving, would that be up to the standards of a well respected Acting/ Talent agency? If not, what are some steps to ensure a better chance at being a talent agent? Thank you


em 6 years ago

i am going into 11th grade. what is the path i should take if i am planning on attending school in nashville so that i can be a manager for someone in the music or film industry?


De Juan911 6 years ago

I have no experience in the film industry. But I've been watching Entourage religiously, and I want to be Ari Gold. If not, at least Adam Davies haha. I live in Toronto, Canada. Is there any alternative steps besides school?


Mary 6 years ago

Good Day,

I am 10 credits away from my Bachlors in Business and I have decided that I want to be a talent manager. I live an hour away from San Francisco and I believe that by taking an internship at a talent agency in San Francisco will help me meet people in the industry. I am 30 years old and I believe that this is not to old to get into the business. With a degree in Business I believe that this means that I should start as an intern, move up to talent agent and then talent manager. Am I along the correct lines of thinking?

Thank you,

Mary


Joe 6 years ago

Hi, I'm majoring in Political Science at LMU in LA, which has wonderful connections to entertainment with it's own Business of Entertainment Society, etc etc. Afterwards I hope to go to either USC, UCLA, or LMU for law school, all of which have wonderful programs in entertainment and sports law. Does that sound like a good path to follow? More or less is political science a good major for being an agent or talent manager?


adam529 6 years ago

hi, my name is adam, im 17 years old, and im local to LA. i really want to pursue this goal. i have read all your advice and i will be picking up your book soon to read more. but i just have a few questions on your post. first, id just like to say that i am no longer in high school. i made some mistakes and now i am forced to do opportunities for learning, an independent study program. and because im a lil anti social at times i dont know very many people but i am working on that trait and my parents are both on welfare and disability and have no knolege to help me on my pat for they show no interest in me and my goals and i dont even have my permit or a car or a JOB :/ . and i wanna know where do i pick myself up? like ya i know the general concept is pick up my grades and start socializing, but what i wanna know is where do i go from here. u can say that im at rock bottom! i want you to be very straight with me...do u think frm where im at i can become a talent agent. i need ur honest advice because your an expert in this field and if anyone can be straight up with me it's YOU. id rather know now because i can start pursuing another goal. i do want to become a talent agent, but is it realistic for ME??? and if you think it is still possible for me, then give me a very clear reason how. cause ill do anything it takes.


Elise 6 years ago

I'm currently a freshman in college. I am attending a community college as of right now but I'm planning to transfer to Pepperdine University or Loyola Marymount University. In order for me to become a Talent Agent, should I major in Public Relations and Minor in Marketing...or should it be the other way around?

After I get my Bachelor's I'm also looking to go into Law School to study Contract Law. Am I on the right path?


Charlie 6 years ago

@Joe - I am at LMU and I am going to be an agent. You are wrong about LMU's connections to the film industry, they are mediocre. Do not go to law school its a waste of time if you want to be an agent. Lastly, poltical science deals with political science not the entertainment industry.


Kar 6 years ago

I am a Freshman at College majoring in Communications, I want to move to Los Angles after college and start working in a talent agency,is this a good major for me to become an agent?


Andrew 6 years ago

I just was hired at a talent agency in hollywood in the mailroom, and getting there took months of patience and hardwork. Oh, I also went to college for four years.


TCC 6 years ago

Q & A with top Talent Agent: David Guc (Founder and President of Vanguard Management Group and past President of Innovative Artists NY, Inc. and The Gersh Agency NY, Inc.)

Your Big Break: CLOSE UP TO SHOW BIZ

Tuesday evening, October 26, 2010: New York City. Benefits The Creative Coalition. This is your invitation to network with Show Business insiders. Click here to register: http://www.learningannex.com/live_classes/248 Or call (212) 371-0280 and ask to register for, "The Business of Show Business".


jordaan 6 years ago

hey how is the aveerage day as a talent agent


Jake 5 years ago

I'm currently a freshmen at Ardrey kell in North Carolina could you give me a basic path as what courses and steps i could take to become a sucessful agent?


chrisbrown 5 years ago

this is very good site


Will 5 years ago

Kenna are you still answering questions?


Jeremy 5 years ago

My daughter is getting into acting and of course they say an agent or manager would be needed. As her father can I become her agent and manager? Do I need a license or something to do this? Of course I understand there is research and things that I will need to know but can I legally do this? Thanks


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 5 years ago from Northern California Author

Jeremy,

Most parents are the child actor's manager. They get 10 - 20 percent of the child's profits. Being an agent is regulated and it would take more work than you could imagine.


Robyn 5 years ago

Id like to work as a modelling agent in Toronto, i'll be moving there soon. What's my first step?


Multiman 5 years ago

Good article, inmportant tips.


Lindsey 5 years ago

Hi Keena,

How are you doing? I was googling and came upon this site, because I am interested in Hollywood, in particular maybe becoming an agent. I am a 23 year old from Birmingham, AL, who recently graduated with a degree In Political Science with a Concentration in Communications(GPA. 2.6), because I thought I wanted to do something in Politics. However, it turns out my real passion in life is the Entertainment Industry because at the age of 13 I became obsessed with everything Hollywood and from the age of 13 I discovered trade papers such as (Variety, Hollywood Reporter) and read them weekly and still do, and know most industry terms. However, I am so confused on what to do and how to go about having a job in the Entertainment Industry in particular an agent. Finally, would you advise me to call agencies to see if I could be an assistant, intern etc? Thanks so much for your time!

Sincerely,

Lindsey


roxykid 5 years ago

hey kenna,i am based in Mumbai,india and want to be a talent agent.Is the process same here in India?Do you have any idea who i could approach here?Thank You.


Harrison 5 years ago

Hey Keena,

I'm a sophomore marketing major with a minor in spanish and I was wondering what the first steps from where I am now should be if I want to pursue a career as a talent agent in LA? Is there anything in the Northeast that I could start out with or is it best to just move out there and give it a go?

Thanks,

Harrison


Keke 5 years ago

Wow, interesting and long blogs( I had to stop reading after a while). First, Kenna I would like to know if you are currently employed in the industry? If so, what is your occupation? Are you an agent or an assistant? Im just curious, your advice is legit but I was just wondering is it based on classes or industry experience. Secondly, I too am looking into open a talent agency in LA. I do have a degree in cinema, TV, arts from CSUN. However, what do you know about surety bonds? is it personal credit based or flat rates. Are there a few that are preferable for talent agents? And is talent agency work experience nessacary to start your own agency from scratch? Would I be repretable to casting agents? Just curious.


Jack04 5 years ago

I very much desire to have a career in the entertainment industry. I am 23 years old. Currently I am pursuing my Bachelor's Degree in Business. I am curious if certain agencies in LA or NY have an age cut-off to get an internship.

Thanks

Jack04


Treadmill Sensei 5 years ago

Fetching coffee and doing paperwork still sounds better than my current job. Thanks for the info. I'm trying to break in right now. Not that easy.


Missp 5 years ago

Hi there.

I have been working in the film & entertainment industries for over 5 years and am in my early 20's. I work as a Talent agent for one of the best talent agencies in Australia and have been doing so for a number of years. I have always been interested in expanding my career into the US market and would love the opportunity to intern for one of the US agencies.. Would my background work for me or against me? I'm aware that the different countries have different industries but am happy to start from the bottom although some people have mentioned that maybe I would be able to acquire a job as an assistant because of my experience??


Kuroush 5 years ago

Hello,

I am interested in looking at what being a talent agent has to offer; notably, one in the US. I'm currently midway through my law degree in Bristol, UK, and I'll be off to Bordeaux, France next year to complete a year of French law. I was wondering if you have any recommendations as to legal units that are specifically conducive to a career as a talent agent - eg labour law, antitrust, etc - and if you could direct me to any agencies that have a transparent and reputable application procedure for an internship.

I have done a bit of acting in plays, such as "Oliver", "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat" and as the Emcee in "Cabaret". But I have also featured in choirs and jazz bands and I have a good acumen into the wants and needs of artists. One of the key issues for me, however, is that a career as a talent agent needs to be profitable. As a lawyer in the UK, I can make a guaranteed starting salary of £30,000 and, as a newly qualified practitioner - ie 2 years afterwards - £80,000 per annum. Because law school has been an expensive endeavour, I need to be certain that my career will be a worthwhile enterprise. Could you please tender some information/advice to give me the "what's what" of looking to become a talent agent?

Thank you,

Kuroush


Ty 5 years ago

I would like to get into music agenting and I am still in high school. Are there any courses I should take in high school or college in the near future?


Tripp 5 years ago

Hey Kenna, I am attending college in Chicago this fall and majoring in public relations. I love Chicago, but I was thinking that since I really would like to be an agent or publicist, should I move to Los Angeles? I have the money and grades to switch over to UCLA, but do you think that it would benefit me more to get my foot in the door at a firm like CAA that has a branch in LA or should i just move to LA and start there at UCLA and continue studying PR?


Emily 5 years ago

Hi! I'm only 14, but the film industry is very intriguing to me. I would like to work as some sort of talent agent, but... This may be a really childish question, but I can't seem to find an appropriate answer anywhere... I understand that the job is very much a matter of climbing the ranks and working hard, but is it a relatively lucrative career? I'd love a reply from anyone.


Maddy 5 years ago

Hi Kenna! I am a junior in high school and being a talent agent would be a dream come true. I do not live in LA. I currently live in New York. What majors would you suggest, I am thinking about major in Mass Communications, Public Relations. Does going to school in LA affect the success of becoming a talent agent? I was thinking of going to school in New York City. However, if it was a matter of my future career, I could consider going to school in Cali. Please let me know! Thanks so much!


Natali 5 years ago

Hello,

I am close to going to college and would like to know exactly what classes to take. I want to be a talent agent and I was thinking about majoring in Theatre Arts and minoring in Marketing. I love acting and have taken acting classes so I always knew I wanted to get my Bachelor's degree in Theatre Arts and my Associates degree in Marketing. I've also been told that to make it in this field you nust know a lot about acting and have a degree in Theatre Arts. I've always said I want to do somthing with acting in my life so this would be a great career for me. Can you please tell me what classes to take in college.


Mr. Davis 5 years ago

Im an actor but now I have 3 comedians that wants me to be their manager. What steps do I need to take


Mr. Davis 5 years ago

I have marketing, networking, and sales skills also connections with venues. I just don't have the time or money for college, but I can read books and do research. What book should I get besides yours that will help me get started with becoming a manager.


Matt W. 5 years ago

I am currently in High School, I want to be a Talent Agent and was wondering what kind of classes/electives should i take that help me for the future. As well as that for a future reference what are the best things to Major, and Minor in for this type of job.


Ashleigh M. 5 years ago

Hello,

My name is Ashleigh and I am currently a senior in high school. I want to be a talent agent and possibly later in my career becoming a casting director. I am sorry if I repeat something you have already answered, but I just merely scanned through everything on here. I am currently applying to colleges and trying to choose my major. My parents are big on having a practical degree so I most likely will be double majoring, or having a minor or two with my degree. The primary college I am looking at it has a degree titled "Production Studies" that has a concentration in theatre. Would a minor in business administration and communication studies be the best route to take? I also currently contacted a talent agency nearby and will be shadowing someone for a day there so I am able to get the feel of what a talent agent really does.


Brandon 5 years ago

Hey Kenna, I see that it's been awhile since you've been on here. I was just wondering if we could talk. I really think you could set me on the right track to becoming a talent agent, and I'd love to hear what you have to say.

Thanks, Brandon


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 5 years ago from Northern California Author

Hi Brandon,

What's up?


Ben Snare 5 years ago

Hi there i am an Australian who is so very interested in become a talent agent, could anyone please give me my best options, such as college or so fourth


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 5 years ago from Northern California Author

I am not too familiar with your country's procedure. I am sure there is a college close by that you can contact and ask about careers as an agent. You can even check your local library.


Matthieu 5 years ago

Hi, So I turned 15 not too long ago and I might be interested in working as an agent when I get older. So I was wondering what was the best thing to do at my age to start getting into it and getting knowlege about the buisness.

Thanks.


Luca Cendon 5 years ago

What do you think is the best college to become a talent agent


Jay 5 years ago

Wow you've been responding to this for quite some time! Kudos and much appreciated. I am a Marine Officer about to get out of the military, but I did get my bachelors in film production at USC (a strange duality, I know). What should be my next step? I know the MBA program has an entertainment concentration, but would it help enough to warrant the pricetag? Thanks!


Richard 5 years ago

Hello Kenna, i am interested in becoming a talent agent in NYC. i am starting in college, are there any specific colleges i can start in, i have to stay in community right now until i can afford bigger colleges but any schools and any places i can look for internships?


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 5 years ago from Northern California Author

I would look into business and law school.


Omar 5 years ago

Hey Kenna,

I just stumbled on this article and I've been reading the thread that falls back quite a few years. I'm a recent Business Admin graduate with a little over 2 years of management consulting and leadership development experience under my belt. I'm currently enrolled in several neurolinguistic programming courses/certifications to try and push myself down the path to either becoming a talent agent/manager or a talent coach (kind of like Anthony Robbins). Would you recommend a starting point for someone with my background? (in terms of applications to companies or study programs or internships)

Thanks


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 5 years ago from Northern California Author

I am not sure where you are located, but I recommend starting with the top agencies in your area that have internships. It also depends on what type of business experience you do have under your belt. Business in the entertainment field is quite helpful.


Omar 5 years ago

Thanks for the quick response, Kenna. I appreciate it.

I live in Washington D.C. right now, not sure there's such a huge/noticeable market for the film industry here.

As for the type of business experience, I was a management consultant with an international firm in Africa and the Middle East until recently where I came back to the US and I was working with a non-profit agrobusiness organization and finally at a large management consulting/business research firm. I'm a manager in their leadership development program. Most of my work has revolved (and still does) around the development of human capital and working with people. We call it soft skills.

I'm hoping the details help with profiling me towards the right direction.

Any firms you can recommend in the area (D.C.)?

Thanks again.


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 5 years ago from Northern California Author

Hmm...I can't recommend any firms in D.C. but they're might be some who work with television, commercials or industrial videos. I would do the old yellow book search or Internet search for local agencies. Cold calling can be very benefical -- it means you've got initiative, a go "getter"!


Omar 5 years ago

Thanks, Kenna! Your advice has been very inspiring! I look forward to letting you know my findings!


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 5 years ago from Northern California Author

Yup, that is a good idea. Failure is an opinion.


Sam 5 years ago

Hi,

I am currently studying in 2nd year university and will hopefully have obtained a degree in business management after my 3rd year. Wanted to ask whether a business management degree will limit my chances as to becoming an agent.

Also im thinking of doing a masters - anything particular I should do? I would love to do anything business/media related.

Thanks


Sam 5 years ago

Hi,

I am currently studying in 2nd year university and will hopefully have obtained a degree in business management after my 3rd year. Wanted to ask whether a business management degree will limit my chances as to becoming an agent.

Also im thinking of doing a masters - anything particular I should do? I would love to do anything business/media related.

Thanks


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 5 years ago from Northern California Author

Business management will not limit your chances; if anything, it will enhance it.

Masters in Business Law should prove fruitful in becoming and agent.


sam 5 years ago

Hi, thanks for the reply, great to hear that - I live in london any places you would suggest? Also how would I go about getting in? Do I search for vacancies or contact companies


sam 5 years ago

Hi, thanks for the reply, great to hear that - I live in london any places you would suggest? Also how would I go about getting in? Do I search for vacancies or contact companies


Chelsea 5 years ago

hi I live in Canada and am willing to move to LA, i want to get involved in the film and entertainment industry. and work with high-profile celebreties. I have no expercience in the entertainment industry. But i have experience in offices, managing and customer service. what shoud i do to get involved in the entertainment industry?


Bronson 5 years ago

Im looking to to earn a degree in public relations, however i live in toronto. What steps should i take after finishing my degree to get into the agency business. Ultimately id like to head west and pursue agency in California, any suggestions on how id make that happen?


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 5 years ago from Northern California Author

I would look into Business Law. Definitely keep your GPA up in the As, Good luck.


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Josh Frade 4 years ago

Im a soft-more in high school and we have recently been asked to start choosing a career outline that will guide us to our future job this includes choosing courses. I have taken interest in film since i was little and wish to go into that field. I would either want to become a movie producer or a Talent Agent can you please help me by suggesting which courses would be appropriate to take to go into this field? Thank you


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Hi Josh,

There are talent agents who become producers. As far as courses are concerned, you need to make sure you have a very high Grade Point Average and excellent communication skills in verbal and writing. Study all the classics in literature, so you are aware of what makes a great story.

A strong understanding of social media is another pluspoint.

As far as classes are concerned, I would focus on business, business law and public relations or international relations. I'd even take some theatrical classes.

Definitely contact some of the large talent agents, ICM, William Morris, CAA...asking them to send you information about becoming a talent agent. The large agencies sponsor programs for students who are interested in the business.


Duncan Cox 4 years ago

Hi Kenna,

My Names Duncan Cox and I live in the UK.

I am looking into the Talent Agency industry.

Do you have ANY advice on the Industry in the UK?

I've just read your article on "Ari Gold" and liked what you were saying, so if you have any advice on the UK then it would be much appreciated!

Kind Regards

Duncan


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Hi Duncan,

I would check out United Agents. See if they can offer advice. The agency is located in London; check for information regarding a career in the industry.

Business law, public relations, media relations are excellent majors for this business.


mbasshole 4 years ago

I seem to remember business and tech majors laughing at us artsy fartsies on campus. Now you want to manage us. Do us a favor. Keep your same dress, same business speak, and same widget indifference to product and imagination on the east coast where it belongs.


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

As an artist or agent the ability to work as a team is essential.


Mario 4 years ago

Hey Kenna,

I am currently an International Business Major at Rollins College and I currently am the manager for my friend who's a DJ. I have helped him with booking at clubs and have negotiated with agents of major artists to have him open up at some shows.

Needless to say, I am heading towards a music agent career.

I spoke with a lady from CAA during the summer regarding internships and she told me to enhance my shot at getting the internship by working in a concert committee, which I am the head of at Rollins.

My main question to you is that I know education is a main component in being a successful agent. So, should I plan on going to law or business school after I graduate? Or should I plan to work at an agency after I graduate college to enhance my work experience? Thanks!


Nathan 4 years ago

Hi Kenna,

I just finished reading your wonderful post on "I want to be Ari Gold: How to Become a Talent Agent." I am currently a freshman at McGill University and is conflicted about what I should major/minor in. There is an Industrial Relations program which combines aspects of sociology/economics/HR which looks promising but there is also a standard Economics major. For minors there are Communications, World Cinema, and Marketing (I can pick 2).Also, I was wondering what you think about the possibility of a Computer Science minor or major in addition to either of the above combinations, would that be seen favorably in an employer's eyes?

Thank you very much for your help,

Cheers,

Nathan


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Mario,

It does sound like you are on your way in the entertainment field.

Taking Law or Business is a great question. You can't go wrong with Business Law; it is essential to being an agent.

I do recommend that you stay in touch with your contact at CAA.

Nathan,

I am curious why you would pick computer science and HR. Why not Business Law?

Communications and Marketing are excellent choices.


Nathan 4 years ago

Hi Kenna,

I am considering Business Law/Entertainment law for graduate school, but as an undergraduate I thought computer science would give me an edge over other potential candidates as many talent agencies seem to have digital media departments. Computer science is a much more technical skill and combined with Industrial Relations--a blend of sociology, economics and HR would provide a solid overall grounding?

Nathan

P.S. would marketing be more beneficial than taking courses directly related to the field itself such as film or communications?


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Nathan,

Yes, computer science under your belt would give you a leg up in some areas -- possibly open the door for you.

If you are interested in HR to predict human behavior there is a much better, proven and workable technology called Human Evaluation Chart and Chart of Attitudes by L. Ron Hubbard.

Marketing has its benefits but I am sure communications will cover that as well.

As for film studies, how would you benefit from these studies?


Nathan 4 years ago

Thanks Kenna for all your help, I definitely look into it.

Marketing will provide more practical skills but wouldn't studies in popular culture/film show an interest in the related field :S? Or are most talent agencies more interested in acquired skills such as marketing?

Best,

Nathan


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Film studies as a general practice is good; but as a major it doesn't really make a difference. The key for film is can you talk the talk or do you know the trade. That requires reading the trades.

Marketing is key, and you can't wear all the hats in an agency -- especially one as big as CAA or IMC.


mike 4 years ago

i just got out of the USMC and gettin ready to start school to o this and starting out with a BA in International Business Marketing then for grad school going for law...is this the right path


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

USMC Vet,

Yes, this is the right program to enter the field of being an agent. What school have you choosen?


ssumom2016 4 years ago

I'M A 52 YR OLD MOM OF FOUR AND HAVE ALWAYS HAD THIS EYE FOR TALENT...NEVER KNEW WHAT TO DO WITH MY TALENT...DO YOU HAVE TO ATTEND SCHOOL TO BECOME AN AGENT? AT MY AGE IS IT TOO LATE IN THE GAME FOR ME TO GET IN THIS TYPE OF BUSINESS..RECENTLY MET SOMEONE THAT'S AN EX-GANG MEMBER WHO SPEAKS TO THE LOCAL YOUNG PPL IN MY AREA..HAS A REMARKABLE STORY...PRESENTLY WORKING ON DO A DOCUMENTARY OF HIS LIFE...SEE SO MUCH POTENTIAL...WHAT SHOULD I DO?


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

52-year-old-mom-of-four,

Most people go to school (college), network with their alumni to become an agent.

In your case it is different, but that shouldn't stop you. Live your dream!

I don't know where you live, but that is also a factor in developing a career as an agent.

If you are not in a major city like LA,NY,SF..., you can search out and find a local casting company and see if they need help.

Casting directors are not the same as agents, but sometimes in smaller cities they have a dual role of being both a casting company and an agent.

But, if you live in a major city -- why not apply at an agency for a lowly job and see what happens. Never say never.

I hope this is helpful.

It sounds like you have a desire to create a documentary, too, and go for it.


Monroe Lipsey 4 years ago

I am a young college grade with a Bachelors in Radio/Television/Film and an MBA in Management. Right now I am a financial aid counselor at a local college because they paid for my second degree. Although I have other aspirations one of them is to manage talent and I truly believe that I have some talent right around me that I would like to promote and get auditions for films, comedy sketches, etc. Do you have any advise for someone like me that doesn't live in a high profile area like NY or LA but closer to Philadelphia.


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Monroe Lipsey,

That's great you have an eye for talent. I am sure there are agencies and casting companies in Philly. I suggest taking a business day, head to Philly and visit local agencies and casting companies. MAKE YOURSELF KNOWN!

You can also start and open mic at a local establishment. For example, my athletic club sponsors an open mic night every month.

I hope this is helpful; let me know how it goes.


Mike 4 years ago

I'm planning on going to go to the University of Colorado at Boulder for undergrad then depending on grades a school at UT Arlington South Carolina or hopefully an ivy


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Mike, great let me know how it goes!


adeva 4 years ago

Can i be a talent agent and an actress? Or would that be pushing it?


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Adeva,

It's better to decided to either be an agent or an actress. Why would you want to do both?


Trip E Kit E profile image

Trip E Kit E 4 years ago

Hi there Kenna,

could you please lend me some advise?

I have been active on social networks for years now and have developed a strong network of talent.

I have a background in marketing and events with a strong line of fine arts as both my parents were artists and i have owned my own galleries and started promoting other artists.

I have worked on productions and produced my own events from the ground up, talent scouting, training casting and promoting. I have never really taken it seriously as it was more a part of what I was doing rather than a main focus.

Now however I am getting alot of enquiries from some amazing talent that want me to represent them. I have never taken an official position and before I take anything on I want to make sure I am positioned correctly.

I would be glad for any advise you can afford me.


Trip E Kit E profile image

Trip E Kit E 4 years ago

Oh I should add that I have no degrees on marketing or events, business law etc my skill base and experience is based purely on life experience, does that place me .. how far.. behind the 8 ball?


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Hi Trip E Kit E,

I would first find out legally via a union, artist association, theater guild or lawyer what is your boundaries or limitations as a representative, manager or agent. Of course, you have to decide which role you want to play in the business.

You are in a powerful position which you have tremendous influence. You want to make sure you follow the rules or laws of your profession.

I never think in terms of being behind the 8-ball. Think in terms of what your purpose as a professional is and how that aligns with your goals.

Sure college has its advantages - alumni and academic achievement. Higher education might not be for you.

I have references to help with goals and purposes. If you want those, let me know.

I am sure you will do well.


Darius 4 years ago

Hello kenna I am a finishing high school teenager from Europe. and i'm planing to go study in L.A which university/college should i attend to , to have a shot at a talent agent? Basicly what i'm asking is a college or an university that has a little relations with the agent industries my email is teintedteinted@yahoo.com if you can write a good and a brief answer i would really apreciate your time .


Jordyn 4 years ago

Hello,

What are some things that I can do in high school that would help me with this career path. For example, is there any extra curricular that would help me prepare for a career like this?

Thank-You!


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Darius -- I recommend UCLA or USC. I would contact them and see what type of program they have to offer. Also, check with AFI and see if they have an exchange student program. Good luck.


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Jordyn,

It depends on what city you live in, but you can help the Drama department. Work with the teacher or director of the school plays. Learning to work with creative people has a lot to do with being a talent agent.

Then, branch off and volunteer at a community theater, helpng them in the same capacity. Watch how the audition process works and get familiar with being able to tell the difference between someone who is professional and someone who is not.

Of course, this depends on how much your parents are willing to help. Parental support is very important as well.

Good luck.


Darius 4 years ago

there is a lot of options on UCLA what course should i take in to to have a chance of becoming a casting agent?


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Business and Law, communications media.


Trip E Kit E profile image

Trip E Kit E 4 years ago

Yes please Kenna, would love those references, thankyou for your positive feedback :)


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Trip E Kit E,

Here is a reference to help you achieve your goals:

http://www.scientology.org/courses/targets/overvie...


Harleyjai 4 years ago

Hello Kenna,

I currently live in London and was curious whether it's the place that would maximize my chances of potentially becoming a high profile talent agent, as running my own agency is what I've been wanting to do for several years (way before I watched Entourage). Im 18 years old and study essential subjects in college that i feel will help me to undertand the path i have chosen. My father is a established actor in England and he is currently moving to LA to work, I was thinking if I should possibly move as well and try and attend university in America instead of London, like UCLA? Would this be a good idea? Or should I go to university in London and get experience with my fathers current agency as well. Im asking you this as im not familiar with LA and feel maybe it could be overpopulated with 'aspiring talent agents' and would decrease my chances. I've previously read other posts and notice you said to study public relations, law ect I was thinking of studying business and marketing. Is this useful?


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Harley,

Thanks for you post. I recommend staying in London and working with the agency your father is with because the relationship is already established for you to build a foundation as an agent. Later, after experience, you can try LA.

Business Law is very important for an agent. Marketing is fine as is general Business, but learning some law helps you understand the legalities of your career.


Jonathan A 4 years ago

Hi Kenna,

I'm currently looking into working for a talent agency as an intern/assistant after I graduate university. I'm currently in Canada and would like to make the move to LA or NYC, only because there aren't a lot of agencies here in Toronto except modelling ones. I have had paid co-op positions at some large Fortune companies in Toronto and have been an administrative assistant before. Do you have a recommendation for obtaining an internship/assistant job in NYC or LA considering I don't have any connections to the entertainment industry?

Thanks much appreciated


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Jonathan,

Sounds like you have got your foot in the door with experience. I am pretty sure the AFI, which is based in Hollywood, has a foreign student program. I would check with them first.


Jonathan 4 years ago

Hi Kenna,

I cannot seem to find anything in regards to an AFI International Student program, do you know the site?


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Jonathan,

Here you go the American Film Institute http://www.afi.com/


Devin 4 years ago

I am a high schooler in kennesaw right next to ATL. Music is my life in every way shape and form I want to become a music agent but don't know where to start. I still have 3 years left but I have been wanting this since I was 6 or 7. So can you help me and guide me along that road.


Marcus A. 4 years ago

Hello,

I came across your Website and I am very impressed with all your advice. Thank you for taking the time to help each and every one of us!

Could you e-mail me at marcus.a.alvarez@gmail.com? I am really interested in becoming a talent manager, or at least entering the showbiz world. I have the credentials, personality, and work ethic to be part of such a world. I just need to now how to go about achieving my dreams.

Thank you,

Marcus


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Devin,

You definitely have the passion to become an agent. I would work with your parents and school adviser to help you set your goals.

Best,

Kenna


DBradleyRI profile image

DBradleyRI 4 years ago

I will be graduating undergrad studies with Operations Management and Marketing degrees in May 2013. My plan following was to go to graduate school to get my MBA (likely in marketing, with courses in Luxury Marketing & Brand Marketing). This would leave me to have my 2 BS' and an MBA by May 2014, with enough saved up to move to NYC or LA for work. However, I'm curious if it's smarter to get an internship, perhaps in NYC, for a year or so before going straight to the MBA. I would only be 23 with the MBA, so not holding me up much there. Opinions?


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

DBradleyRI,

Yes, I think you are due for an internship; get the experience. Experience leads to references and opens doors for better opportunities.


Jason 4 years ago

Hi,

It's been a dream/goal of mine to become a acting manager for quite some time now. I started off in a community college and last semester transferred to Umass Amherst. I'm currently working towards a degree in history with concentration in communications. last year I did an internship at Boston Casting, and this summer I will be living in L.A. and am currently working on finding an internship while I'm out there. I plan on moving to L.A. upon my graduation (next year). I figured there's no better way to gain experience and to get my foot in the door than to actually experience the lifestyle first hand in the area I wish to live. I am a little nervous but at the same time extremely confident. I think that I have the want and drive to be succesful in this high paced and sometimes rather cut throat industry.

Do you think I am heading in the right direction? If not what could I change or work on?

I look forward to your response.

Thank you,

Jason


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Jason,

Thank you for posting! It sounds like you've got your foot in the door. The key now is to get the education to back up your experience.

I am curious as to why you are taking History and not Law. Do you have a strong interest in History? Business Law will give you the backbone to keep up with the high paced and somethings rather cut throat industry.


Jason 4 years ago

Kenna,

Thank you for your response, it is much appreciated.

I feel like this industry is more about who you know, by networking and getting your foot in the door. Although education is still very important, like it is with every career, I believe that Communications would be the better option over Law. I have done many courses in communications, but I've been told by many people that because I seek a career in a field that a specialized degree is not completely necessary, I should major in something that interests me more, which is History. I also think a solid knowledge of History is important to have.

I still have the rest the semester to decide if I am going to fully commit to a degree in History or Communications. There are many pros and cons to each of the choices, I will be thinking this one over a lot.

Do you think I am heading in the right direction, even with the degree choices that I have?


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Hi Jason,

Thanks for posting!

From my research I have seen a positive impact with Communications as a major. Business Law is a tactical move that will impress the agencies.

But, if you have a passion for History, then so be it.

I recommend researching the subject of agent/casting director/talent manager even more. The more knowledge you have on the subject the more you will be able to control your destiny and be responsible for your career decisions.

L. Ron Hubbard describes using all three disciplines: Knowledge, Responsibility and Control. It’s described here. http://www.scientology.org/faq/background-and-basi...

I hope this is helpful.

Best,

Kenna


Chris Flood 4 years ago

Hi im from a town in Ireland, I know not a great start at all! I really want to be an agent badly, I just dont have a clue how to get into it any help at all would be hugely appreciated

Cheers


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Chris Flood,

Thanks for the posting. Please look through the postings here and I am sure you will find some great ideas to get things rolling. Good luck!


teatimew 4 years ago

Hello Kenna,

I'm 19 years old and live in Australia.

I finished high school, decided that University wasn't for me. I want to become a Talent Manager for Actors. Take a couple of Actors under my wing and turn them into successful, respected and household names. This is my plan:

Save up as much money as I can, go to Canada and either do an internship or work in the mailroom for a Casting director or Talent Agent. Become an Assistant and move on from there.

My questions are below:

1. Does this plan sound good, or am I going about it wrong?

2. Is there anything else I can do that would make my dreams become reality?

3. Can I get where I want to get without a degree?

Thankyou so very much for taking time out of your day for me

- Aylin


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Any plan is better than no plan. Networking will be your saving grace. Another aspect is choosing the right people to work with because the industry is based on relationships.

Agencies will look at your educational background, but if you choose to work your way via first hand experience, you need to be be solid and unwaivering.

Otherwise, it will be a problem.

I also have recommend my book Breaking into Film. It's a bit dated but has some vital information for breaking into the industry without a college education.


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Any plan is better than no plan. Networking will be your saving grace. Another aspect is choosing the right people to work with because the industry is based on relationships. Agencies will look at your educational background, but if you choose to work your way via first hand experience, you need to be be solid and unwaivering. Otherwise, it will be a problem. I also have recommend my book Breaking into Film. It's a bit dated but has some vital information for breaking into the industry without a college education.


medavinci 4 years ago

Hi Kenna,

I am currently a junior in a college prep school, and I am unsure about which direction to take. I believe I have an ear for music talent, and I've been in a cappella groups, a lead singer in a band, and done theatrical performances. A strong part of me wants to be a music agent, producer or casting director.

I am planning on applying to about 10 schools - this is my long list: Elon, Duke, Georgetown, GWU, American, Northwestern, USC, UCLA, BU, BC, NYU, U of P , Kenyon, University of Edinburgh, and Columbia, Yale, Brown, Princeton and Dartmouth as reaches. I'll be cutting that list shortly. My college counselor, who is not as knowledgeable about my particular fields of interest (except journalism), will not be able to offer much guidance, so I am fending for myself in this initial stage of research. My mom is fully supportive of whatever direction I want to go in which means a lot to me.

Ironically, my experience has been as a broadcast journalist, photographer and blogger using multi-media platforms for two inaugural Youth Olympic Games. I stumbled upon this opportunity, because I was doing a lot of work with the UN on the Millennium Development Goals and Environmental Sustainability, and these first Youth Olympic Games were introducing a Culture and Education Program that integrated holistic living with global issues I was focusing on. I was the only under age 18 reporter in both Singapore 2010 and Innsbruck 2012, and I'll be heading to the London Olympics to cover the Cultural Olympiad which will have a myriad of artists from different musical genres.

I enjoy journalism, but my heartstrings keep pulling me back to a dream I had of being a casting director or agent from an early age. I went to a professional performing arts center during the summers, and I loved performing; however, I felt I'd rather be the one doing the casting. I developed a strong eye and ear for talent.

I was going to study Journalism/PR and minor in music; however, after networking with quite a few journalists, I was told to major in a field I'd like to work in and become an expert on (ie political science,for example). Since I love the entertainment industry, I thought I would study business and pre-law with a minor in journalism/PR, and then go on to study entertainment or business law in grad school.

I am a go-getter and self-starter, and am strong and resilient (which I believe is a must for the agent industry). I tend not to let things or people get under my skin. However, I'm not sure if I should stick with journalism/pre-law or follow my dream and become a music/talent agent or casting director. NYU Tisch has the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music for aspiring artists, producers, critics, and entrepreneurs. I'm wondering if that would be helpful towards that goal. I may take a few classes in their summer program and see if I can connect with some people in the business that I can shadow before committing to the career path, or possibly choose the wrong college.

If I sound confused, it's because I am at this critical stage of my life.

I've taken a lot of notes from the blog and I am going to order your book, as well as head over to movieroar.com.

Thanks for the inspirational article that prodded my latent "secret agent" personality to step to the forefront again!

Gianna-Catarina (sorry for the long post)


OZX 4 years ago

Hi Kenna,

I live in a small town right outside of Tennessee and I want to be a agent for actors. I'm majoring in Graphic Design with Digital Emphasis. I was hoping you could point me in the right direction as how to get my foot in the door? I don't know what steps to take since im in such a small town and won't be able to move until college is done, and im only in my second year.

Best,

OZX


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Gianna-Catarina,

Thank you for your posting and comments. I think it is a smart move to get my book because there is a chapter on Informational Interviews.

Informational Interviews will help you decide if talent agent is your calling.

I have no doubts you will do well because it is obvious you are a go-getter. Your mother supports your passions.


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

I would look into a Business Law and Communications degrees. Then, you will have to move to a major city - NY, LA, SF, Chicago ...


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

I posted my reply below. I wish you luck and stay in touch.


medavinci 4 years ago

Kenna,

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I can't wait to get the book!

Gianna


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Great Gianna,

Do stay in touch and let me know how your adventures pan out.


Joshua R. 4 years ago

Hi, I am a senior in High School and my long term goal "

and "dream" is to start and own a talent agency. I believe I have what it takes and that college will sharpen my skills and give me amazing tips on what I need to know in order to succeed. My grandfather has a good amount of money and plans on leaving me $100,000 when (god forbid) he passes. I am here to ask for advice on what I can do now that will ultimately benefit me in the future. This really means a lot. Thank you very much and if you reply I will be sure to reply back.


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Joshua R.,

I love it when I hear a student has a goal and a dream. Owning your own talent agency is fantastic. I am not sure where you live. With that, I suggest setting a course of finding out what it will take for you to achieve such an awesome goal.

You will definitely need a degree in Business Law as well as an understanding of Communications and Media. Stay away from Psychology and all that mumble jumble. Psych only makes matters more complex.

Be willing to take responsibility for your talent and that means care for and willing to own their careers.

You need to obtain as much knowledge as you possibly can so you are not caught off guard. It's a tough business and you need to be armored with knowledge.

Finally, you need to get that degree, work at an agency and then branch off on your own. Good luck.


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Hey Joshua,

I posted below. I hope the information is helpful. Best of luck.


Joshua R. 4 years ago

I currently live in Brooklyn, NY and attend High School in Manhattan. My close friend has a house in Miami and said he will allow me to move in with him when I start college in the Fall of 2013. I am only 17 years old, but I am graduating High School a full year early. My parents are allowing me to take a "gap-year" after I graduate High School, leaving me a whole lot of time to get a job and possibly an internship with a talent agency in New York City! I believe I have a great plan. Growing up I changed my future job interests many times, but I am certain that this is what I want to do. Thank you for your advice and I will definitely stay in touch.


Joshua R. 4 years ago

My friend is also not making me pay rent, leaving me with a lot of money to eventually start up an office and hire agents!


Joshua R. 4 years ago

I am also wondering how much i would have to pay an up and coming agent? What kind or salary comes on top of just commision?


Mason 4 years ago

Hello, I'm currently a freshman at a junior college planning to transfer to a four year college after my basics are complete. I'm majoring in Business Management and in process of getting a minor in physiology. Am I on the right track? I'm 18 years old and graduated high school a year early WITH a diploma. I'm interested in becoming a talent agent in the California area. I'm willing to move anywhere in the USA to do so. Thank you.


Mason 4 years ago

Also, I live in Houston, TX. If there is any agencies here that you recommend.


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Mason,

You need to major in Business Law and minor in PR. I am sure Houston has agencies - it's a pretty big city. I good old google search should help you find one.


DBradleyRI profile image

DBradleyRI 4 years ago

Anyone have any opinion on whether shorthand would be useful and worth learning, or not so much at this point if you can type at a decent speed? (I can do 85-90 WPM accurately) Not sure how much shorthand is outdated at this point.


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Typing speed is key. Shorthad if you are an assistant would help.


Mason 4 years ago

Thank you very much for your reply. I've decided I am going to transfer to UCLA and do 10 week summer internships at the United Talent Agency in Beverly Hills. I have family who lives there and they said I can stay with them while I'm going to school. Does that sound like a good plan to you?


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

That sounds like a great plan. Then you will learn all the ropes and find out if working for an agency is what you imagined it would be like.


Philly 4 years ago

I've gotten interviews, through an acquaintance, to ICM and Gersh, and off that am moving to LA. What advice for interviews do you have? I am good with people and networking (evidenced by me getting the interviews) but am scared that I'm moving out there without a job.


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

That's great you have some interviews. What are you taking with you to the interview? How are you going to dress? What is your experience, education?


Remington Rodela 4 years ago

Hello Kenna, here's where I am at. I am going into my sophomore year of college at a small private school in the suburbs of Chicago, majoring in Political Science. My aim is to attend Law School and study either Entertainment or Contract Law. WIth this I thought I would get into the talent agent business, but after reading this Q&A, I'm starting to feel like I am heading in the wrong direction.

So, should I continue at this small college for now with my two scholarships or apply to UCLA for my Junior year and see where it goes from there? In addition, is Law School a good choice for this career? I plan on either minoring in Business or Public Relations, but perhaps I should give up PoliSci and law school and just major in one of those.

Thank you for any information and help you can give me. All of these questions and answers have helped me out tremendously!

Remington


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Remington,

I am not sure why you are majoring in Political Science if you want to be an agent. If it's because of a scholarship, the put those scholarships to good use. Entertainment Law will help your career as an agent and secondly public relations.

You have a lot to gain by inquirying with agencies in Chicago - get on an intertship program.


Remington Rodela 4 years ago

Alright, so then would you say Business is a good major, with a minor in Public Relations, and then go into law school after I graduate?

And yes, I plan on either interning my Junior or Senior years at an agency or possibly getting a small job at one post graduation. My cousin actually is a receptionist at an agency, and she says there is a lot of room for promotion within the company. So then is Law school still a good move? Thank you so much for responding to my first post!

Remington


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Remington,

That's great you have a contact in the business, who can give you a lot of feedback and suggestions, too.

With Law School, you can advance forward and it's a good move.


Josh 4 years ago

Ok so I'm in the automotive Bussiness and I was a child actor and I want to change my career into the film industry of course starting out slow but I want to move up can you give me the best advise so that I can go forward thank you.


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Josh,

Put together your old child hood portfolio, make an appointment with an agency and prepare for the interview. If you were SAG, you can contact them as well and see about activating your union card.


kenny 4 years ago

Kenna,

i was looking into going to college out of state for college (currently live in florida) to pursue a career as a talent manager. i wont get into UCLA, is cal state universities' a good investment especially because i will be able to network efficiently in the area because it is california? is it worth the out of state tuituin costs? and another thing, my little cousin recently signed with an agent in New York, how exactly can they reference me and/or just put in a good name for me?


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Kenny,

Have you considered colleges in Florida; especially with Miami and Orlando as some major hubs for the entertainment business.

Going to UCLA is a smart move if you have the money.

Find out the person representing your cousin and ask for an introduction. This is a practice quite common to the entertainment industry.

Good luck.


kenny 4 years ago

Kenna,

Thank you so much for your advice, its greatly appreciated! Do you mean UCF and University of Miami? Also, how can i network when in college in Florida; for example, for like a internship at UTA or CAA? How can i gain those contacts when im here down south? Is there events, clubs, etc etc?

Thanks,

Kenny


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Kenny,

I am not familiar with Florida's universities, but you can contact them and discover what type of programs they have available.

Like I said if you can affort it, UCLA is your best bet.

I am sure Florida has film clubs and so forth that you could discover with a quick google search. I know both Orlando and Miami are humming within the entertainment business.

Then again, there is nothing wrong with venturing to NYC - at least it is on the east coast.

You need to do research, make a list of pros and cons, and then decide what is best for you.

Good luck.


James Williams 4 years ago

I am current going to Florida Coastal School of Law and I am planning on transfering to Southwestern School of Law in Los Angeles. I am concentrating in entertainment law. Do you think I am on the right track to be an agent? I will only be 22 when I get out of Law school, so should I get a masters in something also related to the entertainment industry?


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

James,

Heading to law school in California is the right move to make if you want to be an agent. You should look into PR or Communications Media.

Try to get on an internship while in school, too.


teatimew 4 years ago

Kenna,

I live in Australia, Melbourne and am wanting to be a Talent Manager for Actors.

I was wondering if experience as an intern and assistant for a talent agent + 2 Diploma's, one in Management and the second in Business Administration will be enough to get an intern in Amercia?

Also this may be random, however I was wondering if it would be best for a female to wear heals for an interview, or is flats acceptable?

Thankyou so very much for taking the time not only answer my questions but many others!

- Aylin.


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Aylin,

Sounds like you are more than qualified to manage talent. Heals for the interview is best, but not to high. You don't want to tower over them.


Amii 4 years ago

Hello Kenna,

I'm about to start applying for jobs as an production assistant, is there a specific template its got to look like?

Thankyou,

Amii


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Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Amii,

Just a standard resume format. LinkedIn has a nice template for resumes.

Best,

Kenna


Amii 4 years ago

Thanks for that kenna,

I've gone on to my states film commission's page and there are some films in pre-production stage, each has contact information.

My question is do I just send in my resume and cover letter for the role of 'Production Assistant' or do I first ask what postions they need filled first?

Amii


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

I would call and ask if they are excepting resumes. Send the resume by fax and follow up with a call.

In my book, Breaking into Film. I spend a whole chapter on ways to get noticed and hired for a production job. It's really a whole chapter worth of information.


Jack 4 years ago

Hello Kenna,

I'm 21 years old and just started my final year of undergrad. I am planning on taking the LSAT in a few weeks and then applying to UCLA, USC, Loyola, Pepperdine, and Southwestern for Law school. Am I on the right track to becoming an agent so far and what else can I do help my chances of success? Do you think intern positions at agencies during the summer breaks of law school would be a good way to get my name out there and build contacts? Thank you very much for time and advice. I look forward to hearing from you.


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Hi Jack,

Those are the schools to go to if you want to be an agent. Yes, an internship is an excellent idea at on of the larger agencies.

Check over the alumini of each university and see how strong they are for hiring or networking within their group. I know that UCLA is really good at that.


4 years ago

Hi Kenna,

I'm so glad to have found this page!

I am about to send in my resume to become a production assistant on a film, however I have no experience.

In my Cover Letter what information should I put?

What is it they want to know and/or are looking for?

Thanks,

J


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

What is the job for a movie, television? Who is directing or acting in the movie? Mention, if it is true, that you want to work with the director. Or, talk about your passion for working in the business and mention other jobs you've been responsible and trustworthy. Do you have experience in theater? If so, mention that in the letter.

Keep the cover letter brief but to the point.


4 years ago

Thanks for the reply!

It is a documentary for T.V.

It's not the director but two of the producer's I want to work with.

No experience in theater.

Should I mention That I want to become a writer in the letter?

Thankyou for the guidance.


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Mention you want to work with the two producers and that you aspire to be a writer. Be honest.


4 years ago

Hello Kenna,

I've had one credit in the industry so far, I worked as a Unit Manager on a short film.

However I am unsure how to write this on my resume, this may seem like an odd question but what is the correct layout?

Do I write the dates I worked on the project?

Do I name the director/producers/production company if there was one?

The year it was/intends to be released?

I did google for sample resumes, however they all just seemed to confuse me further.

Thankyou, B


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Hi B,

To keep it simple, write job title, year of production, director and production company.

I hope this helps.


William 3 years ago

Hello. I am a 16 year old boy and live in Sweden. I have wanted to be a talent agent for some time now and i plan to move out to LA when i graduate from high school. i was wondering if you have any tips on what to do now to learn more about the bussines and "train" myself for the future. Also are there any good books i should read and do i learn anything by watching Ari Gold in Entourage?

William


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 3 years ago from Northern California Author

I am sorry for my delay in responding to the most recent posts and questions. With that, I will answer the questions in a more general way.

If you know some in the industry that is either a mail room clerk or a top, top agent, by all means, contact them and ask if they can help you network into their place of work. The film industry is built on relationships and it is relationships that get you gigs. Networking is the operative word.

Now, I am going to shamelessly promote my book Breaking into Film. This book is for you who want to break into the business as an agent or any behind the scene's job in the film or talent industry.

With that, please keep posting. I love hearing from you and helping you land your dream job.


Jack 3 years ago

Hello Kennah,

I have been accepted to Southwestern Law school for this coming year. However I have also been accepted to some to 40 law programs(University of Alabama, University of Wisconsin, University of Minnesota) as well. Is southwestern my best chance to break into the agent scene due it's location and wide entertainment curriculum, or are these more prestigious law schools a better option. Thank you for your time.


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 3 years ago from Northern California Author

I would look into the universities' alumni program regarding networking, or hiring from their alumni. What agency would you like to start your career? What school did the founder or CEO attend?

All in all, I would go with the school that has wide entertainment curriculum, and check out its alumni.


SamB86 3 years ago

Hi Kennah

Thanks for the interesting article. I am currently in my mid 20's working in the healthcare field as a occupational therapist in Pennsylvania. While I enjoy working with patients and talking with their families there are many many aspects within the field that I despise. I have always thoroughly enjoyed following the entertainment industry and in the last few years have developed a great appreciation and passion for it.

I am continuing to work due to the fact that I amassed large amounts of debt to earn my bachelors and masters degree. I have thought about changing careers, but don't necessarily want to go back to school full-time and incurring even more debt. I have thought about taking individual courses such as marketing, communications, basic acting or screenwriting and PR to demonstrate my interest are there courses that might be helpful or any other courses/ outside classes that I should pursue. Also is this even a possibility or am I too old and too far removed to even consider this an option. I will need to work possibly 3-4 more yrs to earn enough to pay off a majority of my debts from school, or is the money factor maybe something I should try to work around. If I continue to work that long I will be around 30, I have always been a hard worker as it took me 7 yrs to earn my degrees, but again will I be too old? Any advice would be greatly appreciated, in addition while I continue to work are there any steps I can take now to try to begin to make some connections so that I can possibly begin to demonstrate my interest or at least make some beginning industry connections?

Thank you

Sam


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 3 years ago from Northern California Author

Hi Sam,

Having money woes is not the best way to try to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Although working toward a career part-time might prove a way to supplement your income. Thus, pay off your debt sooner.

Many major cities in the US have a strong entertainment community. Local commercials, industrial and State films and Community Theater are prevalent. If you live in a major city, I would research and find the most successful theater group and take a class. Find out about your local entertainment industry. Who is legit? Which company has the most working actors? Casting directors? Agents?

Make sure whoever you hook up with they have an honest track record.

Hook up with a community theater, audition or help backstage – learn the ropes.

You can even take a class at a community college.

The options are endless.

Now, I am shamelessly plugging my book, Breaking into Film. There is a whole chapter on how to promote your talent to the industry. I mention cold calling. Pick up the phone call, find out what is out there in your community.

Another interesting thing to keep in mind, John Travolta once said that if he hadn’t become a super, mega star, he would have done Community Theater because he loves the industry. I think, Travolta said that because his purpose was not to make a lot of money, that’s a by-product, it’s because he loves the theater – the business.

I hope this helps. Do well!


Natalie 3 years ago

Hi Kenna! This article/your replies have been really helpful. I'm 22, just graduated with a business degree and am interning at a PR firm in Denver now. I am thinking of moving to LA at the beginning of next year (Jan/Feb) to try and get into the agent training program at WME or one of the other big agencies, but I was wondering when the best time to send out my resume/cover letters would be. I don't want to send them out too early in case I get contacted and am still living in Denver, but I also don't want to wait too long and get to LA without any interviews set up. It seems like these programs are on an ongoing basis without a deadline, but do you have any advice on when might be the right time to apply?

Thanks!!

Natalie


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Kenna McHugh 3 years ago from Northern California Author

Hi Natalie,

I would apply now.

Good luck!


PLBH 2 years ago

Hello,

I'd like to explain my situation and hopefully someone can light up my way a little bit as I'm feeling a bit down lately. I want to become a talent agent someday. I'm from Spain and I moved to London in an efford to get in touch with the creative industry. In the future I want to move to NY and LA to continue my career because I think those are the places to be even though there is a lot of competition. I haven't got much luck in London, maybe I was doing it wrong. I don't have any relevant work experience in the industry and I was trying to apply to an assistant position, entry-level position and internship but apparently there are lots of people like me! So it's been very complicated. All I've been doing is searching for agencies and emailing them persistenly my cv and covering letter. I dont know what else to do. Some of them advertise positions on their sites too. Do you think the fact that I'm spanish and my degrees were done there may be a problem? I've studied law and communications, plus I've done lots of courses about entertainment, music and talent management.

I'm very worried! I want to get some work experience so bad and learn how a talent agency works and get familiar with it but I'm not sure if I'm doing it right.


PLBH 2 years ago

By the way, I have another question. Let's say I want to move to NY or LA this next summer. Would I be able to land a job, internship or trainning program there? remember I'm spanish and I do not have relevant work experience in this industry. I've seen big agencies have training programmes but is it easy to get in there? and more being from outside of the US?

Thanks


Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna McHugh 2 years ago from Northern California Author

You need to network. You need to go to places where you can meet agents and talk with them. Spanish is an important qualification in the industry. You need to find ways of networking through associations. My book, Breaking into Film, talks about the importance of networking. This business is based on relationships.


Oliver 2 years ago

Hi Kenna, my brother is both and actor and fighter, and I would like to support him as a manager and possibly agent in the future. I want to educate myself in the field. Are there any license requirements or specific exams I need to take to be labeled as an agent or manager besides having a law degree. Thanks


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Kenna McHugh 2 years ago from Northern California Author

Here is a link to ATA. This should be helpful.

http://www.agentassociation.com/frontdoor/faq.cfm?...

Good luck!


Philip 2 years ago

Hi Kenna, I live in Sweden so excuse me in advance for bad grammar. I am 16 years old and study ekonomi and my dream is to become an agent. Although I have 2 more years in school i would like to know how i become an agent when I graduate. What is the way to go from here?

Thanks


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Kenna McHugh 2 years ago from Northern California Author

Read this article and let me know if it helps.


InsasiaSic 12 months ago

Maintain the awesome work !! Lovin' it!


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Kenna McHugh 12 months ago from Northern California Author

Thank you InsasiaSic. Do you work in film? Please visit again.


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