Guest Blog Sessions: Finding the right agent, with Martin Kelly
As we roll into another productive week, it is my pleasure to introduce Martin Kelly, a true veteran of BOX Rev & GFi.
I have known Martin for a long time now and he is without doubt the epitome of a hustling actor. From little to no experience many years ago to now being professionally represented in London, he has taken amazing strides towards an extraordinary career and I am beyond proud to call him a friend.
Thus, I present, the one, the only, Martin Kelly.
ACTOR BRAND INSIGHT:
18+ months experience at Local Brand level. Branded headshots completed Spotlight application successful Footage on Spotlight (Branded)
Represented at a national level.
Currently focusing on establishing National Brand and first level of contact with chosen casting director.
When you decide that Acting is something you really have to do it feels like without it you wouldn’t be truly you.
Then you are faced with the question, how do I go about it? Drama school? full-time? part-time? Where’s good? Where’s not? How do I know?
I was fortunate in a way, I picked part-time and this route led me to Tom & GFI. Having plotted his own path through all this confusion, Tom is a great guide. I’ve learned a lot from him. The biggest lesson Tom has taught me is that there is no ‘absolute best way’ what’s important is finding the ‘right way for you!’ Yes it’s difficult and very challenging, but no it’s not impossible.
Identifying the type of actor you are is a major step. It gives you a direction in which to head. Tom talks a lot about brand as it helps you weed out stuff that’s no use to you and guides you towards stuff that is. Branding also helps you make the most of what you’ve got. It makes a strength of what you might consider are your weaknesses. It tells you to be the best version of you, not a poor copy of someone else. Another lesson I’ve learned, especially lately, had been perseverance. Keep at it! You’re allowed small pauses, but that’s all they should be. Persevere to get your headshots done, persevere to get (or make!) a Showreel. Tom said to me, go through some of the agents in the Actor’s Handbook. I decided to try and go through them all. Why not? If only to prove to Tom I was determined/persistent/had no life. Before I had embarked upon my quest; Tom had given me his ‘Hierarchy of Merit’ - a list of questions to judge each agent on.
I did get through them all and in the end, I contacted about 200 odd. To their credit a lot of them did reply, saying no in a variety of creative ways. I did get 2 positive replies - not many you might think - But if I hadn’t persevered I wouldn’t have sent out emails to those two agents. So would have drawn a great big blank. I found them nearer the end of my task. So sheer persevered did get me somewhere. Incidentally, my agent was impressed with way my brand was presented. I only followed what Tom told me to do!
There’s one other thing you definitely need and that’s self belief. Try and keep saying to yourself, at least every day & especially when you’re feeling things are not going where you want them to; “I CAN do this! This is realistic and will happen.” We have Tom & GFI, many actors in our position don’t have this - we have an advantage!
All the best to each and every GFI-er!