Thursday, September 6, 2012
5 Questions with Brevard Talent Group’s President and Owner, Traci Danielle
1. Q: Your talent is notorious for being very satisfied, with the talent/agent relationship you have with them. What would you say are the components of a mutually beneficial and long-lasting talent/agent relationship?
A: Communication. I can not tell you how many times I have met with an actor and then I never hear from them. They do not let me know if they are in acting classes, in a play or at the very least, alive and well. Then I hear that they told another actor that I never call them. I have numerous actors I represent and it is the actor’s responsibility to communicate with their agent, to let them know what they are doing to further their career. Not the other way around. I expect a lot from the actors I represent. I am too old to represent lazy, unmotivated and needy actors. The agent cannot do the majority of the work. It is up to the actor to be responsible for their career.
2. Q: If you could wave a magic wand and endow all actors with one trait, what trait would you select?
A: Besides being an organic actor, which I believe is a gift you are born with, I would have to
say common sense. I swear if I could bottle and sell it I would not be an agent.
3. Q: Going off of the saying “the only person standing in your way is yourself” --In your
experience, what have you seen to be the most common self-imposed roadblocks actors
struggle with during their careers? Any tips for helping them get out of their own way?
A: See the answer to question 1 and 2 AND QUIT MAKING EXCUSES. I have heard everyone of
them and quite frankly I am fed up with actors making excuses. As they say in the South “If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen”. Don’t waste another minute if you are not 110% dedicated in what it takes to succeed. It has become incredibly difficult for anyone to book a job in film and TV. The odds are stacked against you from the very beginning. If you can not commit to waking up every morning and being productive with your career then do something else with your life and let the actors who are on the right path have the opportunity they need to be successful.
4. Q: After facing disappointments, actors can tend to feel powerless within the structure of the business; feeling that their ability to work is being determined solely by agents, casting directors, clients, etc. Can you share any words to the contrary to remedy this thinking? Can you help give actors a clear understanding of the variables in their careers that are completely under their control, to hopefully help empower them to take charge and maintain personal accountability even when times are difficult?
A: Actors can control everything they do, until they leave the audition. Then it is out of their
hands. They must forget about it and move on to the next opportunity. Actors can control being on
time, being prepared for the audition, callback and booking. They can be nice, respectful to everyone and be professional. Without actors agents and casting directors would not be in business. Agents want to represent professional actors who are serious about their career. If actors do everything possible then a good agent will stand behind them and have their back. I know that life can get in the way and actors might have to book out until they are mentally and physically available to be in this business. I have actors who can’t afford gas to go to auditions or be put on tape. While I feel sorry for them I also have to be honest and tell them that they need to take a break, get it together and decide if they can afford to be in the business.
5. Q: What is the most fulfilling aspect of what you do?
A: Finding an actor who is new and working with them to develop their career and then be
able to say “You booked the job”. I made a deal with myself many years ago that if the day
came that I did not get joy from telling an actor the “B” word then I would hang it up and wait
6. What do you wish all actors would do?
1. Read the entire information that is sent to you for each audition. I cannot
understand actors who have the ability to receive all of the information prior to
the audition and still make excuses as to why they weren’t prepared. Remember
pagers & pay phone booths? If the actors from that generation can deal with
having to find a pay phone and write down the details for the audition, go to an
office supply store and get the script on fax then at the very least today actors can
read their emails and be prepared.
2. Train. Actors need to work on their craft by going to an on going acting class and
supplement that with workshops taught by industry professionals. Acting is an
acquired skill. You are not going to get any better unless you work on your craft.
There are very few agents in the market that have been in business as long as
I have. I think Melanie Hurt and I have more experience than all of the other
agents put together. Both of us were agents when Florida was the third busiest
state in film and TV and when union commercials far outnumbered non-union.
We have seen thousands of actors come and go and in my opinion the actors who
are successful and very talented, know that Show Business is two words. This
business is not for everyone. It is hard and you have to pay your dues. If you can
do anything else with your life then DO IT! But, if you were born with the acting
gene you know you don’t have a choice. To wake up and be happy in a career that
gives you joy and to make a living in this fun exciting business is a blessing. I am
grateful to the actors I represent and I look forward to many more years to being
an agent in Central Florida.