We asked our Head of Agency, Nick Walton, to give us an insight into the process and dedication required to succeed as an entertainer!
Nick has worked in the entertainment industry for the past 15 years in multiple areas of the business including Cruise Ships, Theatre, UK and international Holiday chains and Television. Nick is now Head of Agency at i-Stage Group where his role includes, sales, managing artistes, recruiting new talent and managing clients. As Nick performed for many years and has since made the transition into management we thought he’d be the perfect resource to give some tips and inside knowledge on what it takes to become a successful entertainer.
Here is what he had to say:
I hope you are all keeping safe and well in these unprecedented times. Hopefully we will all be back to doing what we do best very soon and this wonderful industry can thrive once again.
Entertainment has always had a perception from the ‘outside world’ of being highly rewarding with all the glitz and glamour that comes along with it, which can be true, but it is also an extremely demanding environment to work in. Long hours, constant rehearsals, unsociable hours, missing out on family and friends events and special occasions are all part of the sacrifices needed when working in the entertainment industry. All of these factors can certainly take their toll on entertainers both mentally and physically.
However, from my experience, and I am sure plenty more will agree with me, the lifestyle of an entertainer is like no other! It is the BEST job in the world and when it comes to performing, there is no feeling like it. How many professions can say that they get a round of applause or a standing ovation after every shift? Not many!! Also, throughout my career I have met so many amazing people that I can now call friends for life and you cannot put a price on that!!
The Entertainment Industry is a tough cookie to break into and everyone has their own story on how they have made it work for them. However, I have put together a few pointers below from my experience, to hopefully help you start your journey on the path to becoming a professional entertainer!!
First things first, whether your interest is in singing, dancing or acting, almost every role in the entertainment industry requires creativity and a dedication to your craft.
The majority of artistes will not reach their goals based on talent alone so always have in the back of your mind that the harder you work, the more successful you will be!
Earlier in my career I did try to ‘wing it’ a few times at auditions etc, but you soon get found out and if you do go down this path then you will be disappointed in yourself. You need to hone your skills, focus on what you do best and take every opportunity by the scruff of the neck!! Yes, you may get a few knock backs, but use them knock backs to push yourself to work harder and always believe that your time will come!!
As harsh as this sounds, if you lack confidence then you may find it tough in this industry! For me, there has always been a fine line between confidence and arrogance but if you can find that right balance then you’ve cracked it!
Always exude confidence whenever you are in an audition! Simply smiling and having a nice posture can be a huge plus to casting panels.
Also, always be confident in what you are performing! Trust me, there is no worse feeling than going into an audition or on a stage and not knowing what you are doing. It’s a performers worst nightmare. Therefore, plan well, rehearse plenty, be prepared, and that should give you the confidence you need to rely on your ability.
C.V, Images and showreels
It’s a standard thing now for everyone in the business, but if you are reading this as absolute beginner then you will need to create your own portfolio before going any further!
As well as your talent, this is an extra way of giving the casting panel an idea of your skills. Always add a professional headshot to accompany your c.v.
Showreels are becoming more popular in order to get ahead in the game. If a picture says 1000 words then a video says 1,000000!
Showreels are a great way of showing a prospective client your true talents and also a great way to compete with your peers when going for that crucial role or job.
Find an Agent/Management
An agent can help match your talent with what’s required in the market place. At i-Stage Group we advise artistes on the best routes to profitable markets. For example an artiste may approach us with a concept that we feel won’t sell well so we’ll offer advice and support on new concepts which we feel the market wants. Our other activities include:
Market your talent
Negotiate fees and terms
Get you bookings
Help produce marketing material
Advise on market requirements
Administer and contract bookings
In other words the agent takes all the stress out of you finding you work and can be a great pillow of strength throughout your career.
-When looking for an agent, do your research to make sure any potential agents are the right fit for your needs.
-Send them a short email introducing yourself along with your C.V and headshot and any professional footage you may have of your act.
- You may not always hear back from the agent, but this leads me onto my final point …..
In my opinion, one of the key things to remember when pursuing a career in entertainment is to be patient. Success will not happen overnight! In fact it could take many years of doing the things I have mentioned, to even get an opportunity to do the kind of work that your are desperately seeking.
But if you work hard, be confident, surround yourself with the right people and most of all believe in yourself, then you will be on the right path to becoming the performer you always dreamed of.
I-Stage Group offer a wide range of services to kick start your career including the creation of:
For more info on career development please contact firstname.lastname@example.org