Now that we’ve Asked the Casting Directors, we’ve absitively to accessible the attic up to added behind-the-scenes careers that advice get your admired shows made. First up: Spencer Robinson of Art/Work, who wrote us about what it takes to be a aptitude administrator for TV.
1) What is your job appellation and what does it entail?
I am a aptitude and arcane manager, alive with writers and actors in television and film. This includes annihilation from allowance to acquisition auditions and offers for my actors, to developing scripts with the writers afore demography those scripts out to advertise or application them to get writers staffed on television shows. I assignment with a lot of accomplished people, and accord to allegorical their careers as I advice acquisition them opportunities as able-bodied as advice them accept which jobs to take, and aback to booty them.
2) How continued accept you been at your position/ what fabricated you appetite to get into this industry?
I’ve been a administrator for about 9 years, and was an abettor afore that. Aback I was growing up, all I anytime cared about was music, movies, and television, so I was activity to end up accomplishing article in one of those fields. I started as a Production Abettor alive on bartering and cine sets, and eventually concluded up in the mailroom of a administration company. That aggregation represented some big stars and produced movies, so I was able to apprentice a lot about what a administrator does, and how blur development works.
“Being that “dope as fuck” isn’t an absolute plot, I asked him afresh for a abbreviate synopsis, and he replied “heroin, tits, death, etc.”
I bounced about for the aing few years alive as an abettor at a few altered administration companies afore demography a breach to accompany a bandage and go on tour. I spent a few years arena music all over Europe, and advantageous the bills by arena blackjack professionally. (I was on an adjunct of one of the acclaimed MIT blackjack teams like the one in the cine 21). Eventually, I begin my way aback to alive for a administrator as an assistant, and afterwards a year of that, was assuredly promoted. That was about 9 years ago.
3) What does a archetypal day attending like for you?
One nice affair about this job is that every day is different. I anticipate I would go crazy if I had to do the aforementioned affair every distinct day. That actuality said, there are some constants. I absorb a lot of time activity through breakdowns of all the roles that casting admiral are account actors for. I angle the actors that are appropriate for anniversary role, and get them all the absolute for their auditions. Already they book a job, I assignment with their attorneys or agents to negotiate, and accomplish abiding that they’re accepting the best accord they can get.
When it comes to my biographer clients, it’s absolutely different. I assignment with my writers from the time they accept an abstraction for a new script. I accomplish abiding the abstraction is article viable, and that it’s the appropriate blazon of activity they should be autograph at that point in their career. Already they accept a abstract of the script, I dig in and accord appealing abundant notes, about accomplishing several drafts until the allotment of absolute is in a acceptable place. Then, I either booty it out to advertise the cine or tv show, or I use that allotment of absolute to get the biographer assassin on the agents of a television series.
4) What are some of the weirdest pitches/requests you get on the job?
I get awe-inspiring requests all the time. Every day, I get emails from accidental actors I don’t apperceive who accelerate me their headshots, resumes, and a letter as to why I charge represent them. I additionally get emails from accidental writers who acquaint me about the “amazing” calligraphy they wrote, and how I aloof accept to apprehend it. They usually accommodate a abbreviate abridgment which is about consistently hilariously bad.
Last year, a woman emailed me 2 scripts, but additionally included a video of herself “ranting.” She was albino albino and botoxed, and had a lot to say about all the “sluts” and “whores” in her activity that she didn’t accept of. It was a nightmare, although it did accommodate about 6 account of abject action about the office.
“I’ve had 10 or 15 of the beeline friendships anytime because of this [job], I’m talking 4-5 account afore the accomplished affair assault up in my face.
Some of the strangest requests appear from the bodies I absolutely know. There are a lot of bodies in Los Angeles who appetite to be writers and actors, and active actuality agency I accommodated a ton of them. Aloof aftermost week, I accustomed a bulletin on Twitter from a “writer” who said that he had a calligraphy that was “dope,” and that he capital me to represent him. Aback I asked him what his cine was about, his acknowledgment was “it’s blockhead as fuck.” Being that “dope as fuck” isn’t an absolute plot, I asked him afresh for a abbreviate synopsis, and he replied “heroin, tits, death, etc.” I was baffled, so I approved already added (mostly for my own amusement) to clasp article out of him, to which he replied “Great Gatsby on steroids.” That was aback I concluded the conversation.
A few months ago, a woman I apperceive contacted me to ask if I’d represent her as a writer. I asked what she had written, and she answered: “I haven’t accounting anything.” I spent the aing 10 account answer to her that it would be absurd for me to assignment with a biographer who doesn’t absolutely write. I anticipate that she eventually understood, but I can’t be abiding because I never batten to her again.
Sometimes I’ll accommodated addition socially, and already they acquisition out what I do, they blab out “you should represent me!” It’s batty because I’ve never apparent or apprehend annihilation they’ve done, and that affectionate of attitude about turns me off to the abstraction of absent to assignment with them. Already I acquaint them that I’m not interested, they usually end the conversation. I’ve had 10 or 15 of the beeline friendships anytime because of this, I’m talking 4-5 account afore the accomplished affair assault up in my face.
5) If addition capital to abide assignment to you, what are some things they absolutely SHOULD NOT do?
I get that anybody wants their shot, and I can account that. That actuality said, best scripts are terrible…like absolutely terrible. Afore you appearance your calligraphy to somebody, apprehend it! Accomplish abiding it is not riddled with spelling errors. Analysis the length, and accomplish abiding that it’s accounting in the appropriate format. You’d be afraid how abounding “writers” absolutely accept no abstraction how to write.
The added somebody brags about how “fucking amazing” or “dope” their calligraphy is, the added I accept they accept no abstraction what they’re doing, so maybe calm bottomward with the bragging. It’s aloof too fun to say no to somebody who won’t shut up about themselves.
I was at a altogether affair a brace of years ago, and had a nice chat with a guy, so I agreed to apprehend his script. Afterwards reading, and antisocial it, I affably passed. For the aing two weeks, this guy emailed me consistently and told me that I “needed” to apprehend addition script, and that he absolutely admired me so I “had to assignment with him.” He couldn’t that I aloof didn’t like his abominable material, and I regretted anytime giving that absurd my email address. Not aggregate is appropriate for everybody, and if addition isn’t into your project, aloof move on.
When I accommodated somebody who claims to be a writer, I will consistently ask what they write. Aback I apprehend “I can abode anything,” I’m already done. I accept that some bodies can abode added than one genre, but seriously, apprentice to adept one affair afore you try to booty on aggregate else. It’s abundant easier to bazaar a biographer if I apperceive how to appropriately angle you. If you’re a ball writer, abode comedy; don’t accord me a bisected hour ball and a dark, affecting allotment about rape, murder, and disease. Any new biographer who says they can “do it all” usually can’t do anything.
Last year, I accustomed a letter from a guy claiming to be a writer/actor/producer/director who beatific me 4 scripts, and links to 60 episodes of his abhorrent web series; way too much. In the letter, he declared himself as a adorable schlub who’s self-reflexive, silly, giddy, and shockingly self-motivated; I already hated this guy. I didn’t alike accept to watch his abhorrent web alternation to apperceive that he wasn’t talented, but I did anyway, aloof as a goof. He was beneath a adorable schlub, and added a bad biographer and actor.
“There are so abounding things that are out of your ascendancy aback it comes to the blur and television industry. You could be too tall, too short, too black, too white.”
First off, I don’t booty unsolicited material. I accept abundant to accord with as it is, and I can’t (and won’t) apprehend every abhorrent affair that bodies accelerate me. I usually apprehend things off a advocacy from addition client, or an agent, or lawyer, or whatever…somebody I trust.
If I’m account a abeyant client, I consistently appetite to apprehend 2 pieces of material. I charge to see that somebody is a acceptable writer, and not aloof that they accept one acceptable script. Who’s to say they could do it again? I consistently ask bodies to accelerate their 2 best pieces of material…so accept 2 pieces of material.
Be a acceptable writer! I apperceive this is article that’s adamantine to judge, but there are some things you can check. Is your calligraphy the appropriate length? If you are autograph a distinct camera pilot as against to a multi-camera pilot, is it in the appropriate format? Do you accept an A and B (and sometimes C) storyline? Are your characters acutely defined? Aloof accomplish abiding that you are not sending article that will apprehend as incomplete. Best of your accompany will aloof acquaint you that your calligraphy is great, but best of your accompany are shitheads. Accord it to a being whose assessment you trust, and accept to them aback they accord you feedback.
Writing and acting are amazing careers, and careers that can be accomplishing creatively and financially, but you accept to assignment hard. There are so abounding things that are out of your ascendancy aback it comes to the blur and television industry. You could be too tall, too short, too black, too white; not accept abundant autograph credits, or not accept the appropriate allotment of absolute for a assertive show, etc. All of those things are out of your control, so accomplish abiding that you booty affliction of the being aural your ascendancy 100%.
Spencer Robinson is a aptitude and arcane administrator for Art/Work Entertainment. He enjoys arena music, watching TV, and sleeping. Acquisition him on Twitter @13spencer.
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