The Art of the Business: Perceptions of a Novice Agent in the Chicago Talent Market

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Schlessinger, Larry
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Theater -- Miscellaneous
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Nouvelle is a three-year-old, full-service talent agency with departments in both the Chicago and New York offices submitting talent (a generic industry term referring to professional actors, models, trade show host/ esses, or other "performers") to advertising agencies, trade show clients, casting directors, and other talent buyers or coordinators. Major clients include Coca-Cola, Nabisco, and the Marvel Entertainment Group, though I had been placed in charge of an area without an established client base. The following series of essays describe my learnings and perceptions of the role I was given over the first five months of my employment. My purposes with this project are threefold. First, I hope the information will give some direction or focus to the students ready to make the transition from academic theatre, into the theatre business (or any individual wishing to apply his or her talent in a professional context). Secondly, I've attempted to determine some structure in this incredibly complex and "transient" industry, which has an extremely high turnover rate (professionals entering in or transferring out of the field, in-house employment changes, etc.) - and thus find some focus for myself. Thirdly, I've striven to convey in an entertaining and clear manner the most affecting or "revealing" experiences and encounters and the ways they impacted on me. Parts One and Two deal with traditional assumptions or myths about the talent .. business .. and the deviation of actual experience from them. Parts Three and Six give practical information and advice to the new member of the talent community, much of which is rooted in the traditional notion of wanting others to learn with ease what I often learned the hard way. Parts Four and Five reflect on my interactions with other members of the talent administration (non-performer) community, within and outside of my agency. Finally, Parts Seven and Eight examine specific projects in which I was involved after becoming a certified agent, and their long-term significance. illustrative materials are also included.
iii, 47 p.
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