How did you get started as an agent?
I had always been interested in the arts and was even a professional actress for a little while (I made it onto TV and the stage, so I call that a win!); I wanted to keep myself in the same creative field.
Excellent was actually what I like to call my “Wild Card”. I was applying for a number of different roles, in office management, marketing and PR and I came across an interesting listing that was looking for a bubbly and hard working agent. I gave it a shot, and low and behold, I got the job (!) Now 2 years later, I am so thankful that my Wild Card led me into a career direction I never thought possible. Thank you Jon, Pete and Natalie for giving me a chance to really enjoy my career!
What’s your typical day like at Excellent?
Coffee, first and foremost! I am the stereotypical “Please don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee” person.
Aside from getting the basics down in the mornings, sorting out tasks, checking current and upcoming bookings, I spend a lot of time listening to talent and sorting briefs.
It is interesting.. you think every day will be the same, but it definitely is not! One minute I am casting for the latest video game, and the next, I am sending out marketing emails and checking social media. Working with Natalie definitely keeps the day interesting, as we share auditions, castings and plans to be even more super, SuperAgents! We can go from a normal brief, to a dramatic one in a matter of minutes, and I absolutely love it.
What do you love about your job? [no pressure!]
I enjoy the fact that I can share my experience of having been both in front of, and behind, the camera, with the team and with our artists. And because we are a smaller company, I am able to have a more direct influence, than I would otherwise, and I love that.
I also love listening to the immense talent on our books, and rediscovering talents from artists when we submit them for roles that we haven’t before. It is such a joy to hear how hard our artists work, especially when you get to watch that transform into a working job for them.
It also helps that I have been fortunate enough to work with an amazing team, from the original owners Jon and Pete to now working with Bonnie. A good team helps keep the company growing!
How did it feel the first time you heard a client’s voice on the radio/television?
It is strange, because you honestly don’t realise the large impact voiceover can have, until you are in the industry itself. I remember hearing one of our artists on our Spotify and gasping like, “I know that person!”.. soon realising no one around me at the time really cared, but I brag anyway, because why the heck not!
Can you tell when a client has the potential to “make it” and if yes, what is it about them?
Yes – but, with that said, it is good to understand that everyone has their own definition of what makes a successful voice over artist, outside of the basics.
For me, it is the initial read that is sent through to submissions; I can tell whether an artist is filling a gap in the market, or if their voice is truly unique enough to create their own niche. A big thing for me is knowing an artist has done their due diligence, not only addressing an email to myself or Natalie, but understanding where their voice would sit on our books should they be accepted. Can they answer questions like:
Who has a similar voice?
Who is their competition?
What is different about their voice?
Experience can be a double edged sword, as sometimes you need to be given a chance in order to gain experience. When I come across an artist like this, the young actress in me wants to give them a chance, and luckily that chance tends to work out!
Can you offer 3 helpful tips for newbies trying to make it in the voice-over industry?
It is important you know how to constructively criticize and analyze your voice against those on the current books. The fact of the matter is, there will be a number of voices similar to your own, so you need to know how you stand out from the crowd and what different skills are you bringing to the table.
Never stop learning
As with any craft, you should never stop learning. Voiceover is always in a state of flux, as trends change and the world changes. Things like keeping your reels up to date, taking part in classes to increase areas of voice over you are interested in, will only help to better serve you in your career.
Knowing how to market yourself is key. As an agent, it is a part of our job to market you, but knowing how to market yourself will only lead to more opportunities. Don’t be afraid to have social media and personal websites dedicated to your work, it only helps to build up a recognizable brand, one that sets you apart from others.
For potential talent looking to submit for representation, what can they do to increase their chances for a positive response?
First of all, I’d say know your voice, and any special talents and/or experience that may give you an advantage; that should help you understand where you would fit into our agency
Secondly, invest time into your craft, before applying. Oftentimes, we receive applications from artists who have secured one job and are ready for an agent. We need you to have a full understanding of the industry and where you would like to go within it.
Third, have a professional reel made. I am not an engineer, but I can tell when a reel doesn’t sound quite right. Make sure you look for a good engineer and director who will showcase your talents properly.
What do you think makes for a successful client/agent relationship?
Understanding, honesty and communication.
We are friendly people, so we will understand if you are honest with us, that a brief is not for you, or you want to only be submitted for certain roles.
And please, please communicate! We love to know when you’ve had a baby, secured a big voice over job and when you go on Holiday. It’s not only important for your schedule, but it keeps us in constant communication with you!
If you weren’t an agent, what else do you think you’d be doing for a career?
I mean, as a child I went through some very random career aspirations. I wanted to be a heart surgeon at first. Then a singer – I can not sing! – the shower made me think otherwise. Then I wanted to be an assassin – I had a very active imagination and was a great storyteller, let’s just leave it at that, ok? 😉 (or blame it on the anime I watched growing up) Then I wanted to be an actress. So…we could put them all together for an Epic Movie..let’s call it: The Singing Assassin, who Saves Lives! Tell me you wouldn’t watch that!
And, on a more serious note… If you had a choice between two superpowers, being invisible or flying, which would you choose, andwhy?
I feel like invisibility would be cool, but it could have me doing some pretty illegal things – maybe for the aforementioned Assassin persona! But flying would mean no traffic and vacations whenever I want, so flying…I would be flying all over the place.
You’ve been given an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant?
Hmmm, in my house? Firstly, that would be my whole garden, and I have a lot of stairs so I don’t think it would fit in my room. But…I have always wanted a cat, so I guess my elephant, let’s call him Luna, would be my incredibly big, incredibly strong cat!