This month’s blog is courtesy of Michael Davies one of our Creatives Agents:
It’s early days. For the Creatives side of the agency at least. When Rob first called and asked if I’d be interested in working with new, up-and-coming creative folk to complement the acting side of the business, it wasn’t an automatic ‘Yes!’.
There were a number of reasons for this reticence. First, Rob had made such a fine job of building RED Talent Management from the ground up, and his dedication to creating something significant was, to say the least, a little intimidating. He’d also put in vast numbers of hours, so it was clear that any involvement in the agency was going to mean a substantial commitment.
There was a lurking fear that representing others might prove a distraction from the ‘real’ work.
There was another aspect, too, which I was cautious about. As a working writer myself, there was a lurking fear that representing others might prove a distraction from the ‘real’ work of generating ideas, crafting scripts and forging my own career.
Two major factors shifted my thinking. The first was the suggestion that the Creatives could perhaps be best represented by a kind of job-share, alongside Rob and the multi-talented Tricia Anderson – herself a gifted actress with huge experience and expertise in the field of communication skills, as well as a thorough understanding of the workings of the creative mind.
The second was the realisation that the modus operandi I had been using to further my own writing could just as easily be applied to support and assist other practitioners to achieve their ambitions in this most fickle profession. The two need not be mutually exclusive (except when it comes to a toe-to-toe fight for a commission, in which case the gloves are, naturally, off!).
In fact, this rationale was something Rob had mentioned way back last year, when he first raised the prospect of expanding the Creatives side of RED Talent Management. We’d originally met on a Scriptwriting MA a few years earlier and he tells me he noticed that I was the nerdy one who knew who the industry guests were, where they’d worked, what they liked for tea and why it was important to network with them. And that was what clinched it for him, apparently.
Now, I’m not so sure about the ‘nerdy’ bit, but I do understand the importance of getting to know people. Dare I say it, the contacts book is as important as the writing talent – which is pretty much taken for granted in any case. Let’s face it, if you were presented with two scripts of similar capability, one by a writer you knew personally and whose ability to deliver you trusted on the basis of several years’ acquaintance, the other from a complete unknown, which one would you choose?
There’s plenty to go round and, as the saying goes, what goes round…
So I gradually became convinced there were things I might be able to offer within the setting of an agency. And I’m a big believer in karma. Script support, career advice, contacts: they’re all for sharing in my book. There’s plenty to go round and, as the saying goes, what goes round…
So here we are. RED Talent Management’s Creatives division is officially up and running. We’ve already staged one interactive session with students at our MA alma mater and invitations to submit are out there in an effort to start building the roster in the same way Rob has developed the slate of actors.
I’m expecting to do a lot of reading over the coming months. Some people will inevitably be disappointed. But a creative has to recruit their agent, just as much as the agent recruits the creative. The relationship has to work for both parties and for some people we just won’t be the right fit, no matter how good the work.
That shouldn’t stop the conversation, however. After all, the only real failure is quitting. So if you’re still in the game, talk to us. We’re at firstname.lastname@example.org