Friday, September 20, 2013

A Hollywood Agents Day

Nevadan on Being A Hollywood Agent
(Gary has since retired from being an agent, on to other challenges...)

"Being an agent is a 24 hour job," says Northern Nevada native Gary
Fuchs, who moved on to other aspects of the industry after 17 years as an agent with Contemporary Artists in Santa Monica, California. "If someone doesn't show up on the set, is drinking on the set or has a gambling problem it becomes your problem. Then there are the calls from actors at two in the morning saying they are thinking about their career."

Born and raised in Yerington, Fuchs earned a degree in theater form
UNLV and was part of what at the time was an active and often-controversial improvisation troop as an undergraduate. Heading off to Hollywood to become an actor, his direction changed as he grew with the prosperous Contemporary Artist during the 1980's and 1990' production boom years. Among his clients was Las Vegan Pat Morita of "Karate Kid" fame. Fuchs is now juggling roles as a manager, producer and casting director for multiple projects. His only on screen role was a cameo in one of the Naked Gun films.

An agent's day is a long and varied one, usually not predictable and
always challenging.

Fuchs says it begins before 5 AM reading scripts, updating himself on
entertainment news or making early business calls to the East Coast or
Europe. Then it is off to breakfast with a producer or casting director,
followed by a second breakfast with another producer or a director.

When you finally get to the office there are more morning phone calls,
with a read through of the daily breakdowns as you make the person you are talking to think they have your undivided attention.

Midmornings agents have a table meeting in the conference room with the other agents and staff to go over the breakdowns, discuss talent, review new talent and do what is referred to as strategic planning. Between that meeting and lunch you may shoot off to a studio to meet another producer or to set to check up on an actor.

It's lunch with yet another producer or grabbed at your desk while you
read still more scripts and go over your e-mail. After a busy afternoon it's
off to dinner or the first round of drinks with some producer or actor or
other networking experience. After dinner, off to a play or showcase or
party or event or to another set to visit or work on signing one actor or

Late night to escape or relax, Fuchs listens to his favorite bands, in
clubs or on his home stereo.

As for advice to actors, Fuchs reminds them that they have at best two
minutes from when they meet the agent to impress them, be their best, show their work and sell the agent. Without actual experience and tape of that experience, it is almost impossible to get an agents attention in Los Angeles. His advice is to cut your teeth, take lessons and earn your first real on camera jobs in Nevada before relocating to LA. If you sent your photo or tape to an agent, keep the cover letter brief and remember that this is a business. Obviously the photo should look like you and be your best professional sales tool.

A positive thinker, Fuchs says that there in no room for doubt, as "the
true actor knows something will happen." Believe in your self and stay on
top of things.

Fuchs has since "retired" from being an agent, moving on to producing, finally being allowed to be an actor (SAG agents may not work as actors, to avoid conflicts with their clients) and experimenting in new things while enjoying his Santa Monica and northern Nevada homes.

Interview from 1997 by Art Lynch.

Also see Landing an Agent and links on that page.

No comments: