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A talent agent is someone who represents professional actors, writers, performers, musicians, artists and athletes. Agents work on the behalf of their client to promote and represent their interests, and will typically handle the majority of all interactions between their client and the employer.
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The job duties of a talent agent involve a large amount of communication and negotiation skills with prospective employers. Advances in information technology have allowed talent agents to perform much of their job duties online, but at the end of the day, person-to-person contract negotiations determine the final outcome.
Talent agents promote the talents of their clients in addition to performing other marketing duties. Essentially, the amount of marketing considerations talent agents must consider depends upon the specific industry in which an agent operates. Sports agents, for instance, have to consider many more marketing implications than an agent representing a painter or a writer. Talent agents representing actors and actresses have to consider their client’s marketing potential as well.
Talent agents may either actively seek out clients to represent or generally have entertainers and artists contact them first. The latter scenario is much more common for entertainers who seek representation for the first time. More experienced entertainers and artists may change their agent as their career matures.
Typically, talent agents spend the majority of their time making phone calls or contacting employers and potential clients online. Selling a client's talents to prospective employers takes up a large amount of the agent's day, and the most successful talent agents come up with new and innovative ways to accomplish their goal. Occasionally, something as simple as treating an employer's representative with a nice dinner is all it takes to finalize the signing of a client.
Depending upon a talent agent's area of expertise, the daily job duties may also include visiting music studios, concert venues, a record label's corporate office, a publisher's office, performance halls, and movie studios. The job duties of a talent manager vary in each of these settings.
An actor's talent manager would do well to attend as many social events as possible in order to network efficiently and discover insider information about the current state of the movie business. When working on behalf of their clients, every contact an agent can make matters a great deal, more than an agent's clients may realize.
Talent agents work out of a variety of settings. An office is the usual day-to-day workplace, but advances in communication technology now allow agents to work on the go. Mobile technology has given many agents the flexibility necessary to operate their own online agencies, for example.
Talent agents may work in sports arenas, concert halls, and music studios when working their trade in the real world. Often, an agent's duties involve traveling to many parts of the United States and Canada, and some agents even travel abroad quite a bit when representing non-native clients.