Updated: May 29, 2018
By: Jess Canty
Couple of things I want to share with you today...
I was recently chatting with an agent about what they look for when signing a new client - as we have been pitching many of you to agencies of late.
Their response? That beyond all of the #teamcinterra basics (online profiles in order, great headshots, social media, pitch package, resume etc...) they are looking for the "wow factor."
So what exactly does this mean?
It means that you can have a great look, great credits, great material, great reels, a great social following - but if you don't bring that extra thing that makes people sit back and say "wow" you won't get signed. And it makes sense - you need to bring this in the room when you audition so of course an Agent is going to be looking for it when they meet you.
What is the "wow" factor?
Unfortunately it is something ephemeral. It is different from person to person. It is the "it" that you either have or you don't. Now... of course we believe that all of you have it - but the question is are you willing to reveal it?
Every audition. Every meeting. Every time you are in a room. Every time you are rehearsing with your coach. Every time you are in class. Every time you meet someone at an event that may be able to help you. From the second you walk in that room, or sidle up to the bar, or fill out a sign-in sheet?
ARE YOU BRINGING THE WOW?
Why do you need to bring it from the first moment you are in front of someone?
I was at a young-performers showcase yesterday, invited by an agent Cinterra shares a couple of clients with. This agent started in the business as a Casting Director - ending as a VP of casting at NBC before moving to agenting.
This showcase had about 100 kids ages 4-18 performing monologues for about 30 Agents/Managers and Casting Directors. I was sitting next to the agent that invited me and to her left was a CD-turned-manager friend of hers who had been a VP of Casting at ABC prior.
We all had evaluation forms where we scored "Performance" "Image/Marketability" on a scale from 1-5 and then noted if we would call these performers back with a Y or N.
BOTH of these women, who were in casting for 25+ years were marking their scores for Performance and Marketability IN THE FIRST 10 SECONDS these kids were on stage.
And as I sat there I began to see why.
Because you can tell in the first 10 seconds with 90% of the performers. The way they addressed the room, the way they carried themselves on stage was all predictive of their performances with VERY FEW exceptions (I saw her change her score once in the entire two hours, based on someone singing after their monologue and they nailed the song).
Now, the other interesting thing was that her scores, and my scores - which I was rating after they were done performing, were largely the same - and so were our "Y" or "N" on the callbacks.
Some kids had it. Some kids you could tell were working to BRING it. And the rest were close, but either too nervous, or too over-trained, or too under-trained, or just plain mediocre.
What is your personal WOW factor? Do you know how to turn it on? Do you turn it on EVERY CHANCE YOU GET? Do you BRING IT every time you can? Are you confident - but not over-confident about your wow? Are you able to sit back in the pocket of it?
This May's hashtag? #BringTheWow