The Three Keys to Taking a Meeting
Congratulations, you got that meeting with an agent or manager!
Well, first of all celebrate. You’re already in the very top percentage of actors in town to even get the meeting. Major win no matter the outcome. Then…
1) Prepare, prepare, prepare.
Do Your Research
It’s easy to worry about how we’re going to present ourselves, but the first step is to care about who you’re meeting with.
Research their clients on IMDb Pro. Contact anyone you know who is repped by them. Look up their work history on LinkedIn. See what you can learn about their personality from any public social media profiles they have.
Write down three possible conversation topics (personal or professional) based on them.
Prep for the most important question you will get
90% of the time the rep will start with some version of “so, tell me about yourself.”
Your job is to actually sit down with another human being—such as a roommate or friend from acting class—and practice answering this question multiple times.
Do not skip this! The temptation is to tell ourselves, ahhh, I’ll just wing it. Don’t.
Practice ahead of time so you can go with the flow in the room.
You don’t need to memorize an answer, but do have a general sense of the key things to highlight.
Write down a few bullet points of the most interesting and significant personal and professional topics you want to cover.
I focus on any highly memorable—and ideally on brand—experiences from my life. For example, I personally will bring up that I worked for Congress in D.C. after college and co-founded a startup company.
These are interesting topics and share a part of my life that reinforces how to cast me (if anyone can connect me to Aaron Sorkin for a West Wing reboot hit me up! 😉 ).
I also share that I was a homeschooled cowboy for many years growing up because…well, that $hit is memorable.
And of course, sprinkle in a fun (brief!) story about your most important career wins.
I like to prepare a 2-minute and 5-minute version of this answer that I can whip out depending on how chatty the other person appears to be.
Bring your materials
I like to bring a little folder with all of my marketing materials:• Headshot/resume• Any promotional materialso For example, postcards, one-sheets or press releases• Industry contact listo If you’ve been in town long enough to have built solid relationships then I recommend bringing a list of your industry contracts—especially any casting directors or associates you’ve met or auditioned for
2) Be authentic.
I’ve often heard the advice to be the best version of yourself, like you would on a first date.
I say, instead, be your third date self.
Bring your whole self. Choose to create trust.
I’m not saying treat it like a therapy session and dump all of your issues on their lap.
But open up. Be vulnerable. Be authentic.
You’re an artist and they want to see your humanity.
Remember, you’re hiring them! I know as we begin our careers reps often have more power. But you are bringing something they want! They see something in you or they wouldn’t have taken the meeting.
Pro tip: If at the end of the meeting you are unclear about the next steps, ask!
Sometimes the agent or manager will say something like “we will discuss this with the rest of the team and get back to you by next week.” Or, “I like to take 24 hours to think about it and will get back to you.” Or they may even say in the meeting that they want to work with you.
However, if none of that happens, at or near the end of the meeting I encourage my coaching clients to say something to the effect of “thank you so much for your time, what is your process from here?”
3) Be gracious.
Well done! You did everything you could to set yourself up to win, went with the flow, and openly shared the best version of you.
It is now time to express your gratitude.
I promise that whomever you met with has hundreds if not thousands of messages from other actors asking for a meeting, and they took time away from their current clients to meet with you. Whether or not you end up signing with them, this is both a huge win for you, and absolutely something to be grateful for.
I recommend sending a simple, hand-written thank you note. Sometimes I will even take one with me so that I can write it immediately after my meeting and drop it in a nearby outgoing mailbox.
I have also gotten creative. One time I had a meeting and our running joke was about reusable grocery bags. (Don’t ask.) After the meeting I went to the grocery store, bought a reusable grocery bag, and mailed it with my thank you note.
The agency offered to rep me the following week.
PS. If you’d like some great insider strategies on how to attract an agent to take a meeting with you, check out our complimentary online training, Get Signed! 3 Insider Strategies to get an Agent/Manager.
by: Coach Ben, Career ACTivate