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How to find an Agent: Part Two

 Finding an agent is not easy but listening to what agents have to say can only help. The previous article on this subject gave an overview of how to go about it and introduced someone working in a major global agency. Now we meet an agent who runs his own smaller but more personal company and one who has been in the business for many successful years.

Rick Astley

Dave Warwick is one of my favourite agents to work with. He is honest, experienced and a joy to spend time with. He is in the ‘warm and cuddly’ category but he can still cut a tough deal! He represents my all-time favourite weatherman, the one and only Fred Talbot; he turned singer, Rick Astley, into a worldwide star (www.rickastley.co.uk)  and represented the lovely Carol Smillie (www.carolsmillie.tv).

Always ready to help, Dave answered the following questions for us:

How did you start in the business? 

I started as a member of a pop group, as the singer (until they found out that I couldn’t sing) , and then I managed them for a while, and then set up as a disc jockey, working clubs ,disco’s and private functions , I then started representing other mobile discos and groups and entertainers and it progressed from there.

(In the 70’s Dave launched a Warrington based Country Rock Band called Poacher who charted in the American Billboard Country Singles Chart with a song called Darling. They were the only British Band to ever enter this chart.)

 What is the role of an agent? 

To believe in his or her clients; to represent them to the best of his or her ability, and to bring the client to the attention of the industry.

Once the client is established then the client should trust the agent to guide their career and help them to get to the top of their chosen section of the industry.

What do you look for in a potential TV presenter or expert? 

Warmth, trust, and commitment and somebody that you can work with as a team to help them get to where they want to be.

Do you find certain ‘types’ of people easier to find jobs on television than others?

At this moment in time the industry is changing, and has been for some time. It’s not as easy to get work for somebody who is just a presenter these days; they have to have that something extra i.e. be an expert in a certain field,  medical, food, child care, gardening , journalism, sport etc

There are a lot of people reading this who are keen to get an on-screen role. What would your advice be to them?

They should start by studying what is in the media at the moment, trends and etc and see if they fit in to any of the popular areas. Just thinking that “I can do that” isn’t enough these days. They also need to realise that there are a lot of already established presenters out there that haven’t got jobs at the moment. They would be competing with such experienced people.

It isn’t easy and you have to be prepared to take the knock backs

It is also a good idea to contact an agent to ask if you can send your biog, photo and show reel (if you have one) before you try and find a TV role yourself.

 What is the most irritating or difficult part of your job as an agent? 

Knowing that your client is ‘just perfect’ for a job that you are putting them forward for, and the producers don’t pick them or don’t even see them.

What have been your best moments in your career as an agent? 

The success of getting people through the system against the odds.

How would you like producers to work with agent?

Agents are there to help producers as well as representing their clients and if the producer is happy then the client is happy, and it all makes for a good working relationship

Thank you, Dave.

You can find Dave Warwick’s agency web site here: http://www.davewarwick.co.uk/.

Coming up soon, links to that list of talent agencies we promised. Subscribe now so you don’t miss it.

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