“What I Look For In Actors.” Full Interview With Talent Agent David Whitmey

 July 25, 2018 at 1:11 am   |     Author:   |     Posted in Blog  

I’m always curious about what makes people tick. I’m especially curious as to what makes successful people…well… create their success. What separates them from the pack? What habits do they have? What systems do they use to create their good luck?

For actors, a key relationship in building a successful acting career is having a solid talent agent in their corner.

Recent I met up with Vancouver Talent Agent David Whitmey. In 2011 he began Moving Pictures Talent & Entertainment Group which has grown to be one of Vancouver’s most sought after and well respected talent agencies. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to ask David some of the burning questions actors are always wondering about.

“What are you looking for when you first meet an actor?”

Three things…

Marketable Look – It doesn’t mean gorgeous but you have to have a marketable look.

Talent – I still don’t know what talent is. I don’t know if talent is something you’re born with or something that own, but they got to be a really good actor. Like a REALLY good actor.

And the most important; Professionalism. Have they considered what they are doing for their day job? Are they going to be available?  Am I going to try to get them auditions for a month only to hear them say they can’t get their shift covered at work. Are they going to respond to my emails quickly?  Are they going to be responsible?

Over the years I’ve found you can easily find 2 out 3 of those things.  Maybe they have a marketable look, and they are professional, but they don’t have any talent.  Or maybe they have talent, and they have a marketable look, but they are totally unprofessional.  

Any 2 out of 3 is a dime a dozen. I’m looking for the holy trinity, all three of those things.   

That’s what I’m trying to sniff out in the first 15 minutes of talking to them. Seeing the talent is going to come from watching tape. Maybe they don’t have a demo reel so I’ll say “Hey, can you put something on tape and get it to me by Friday?” I’m looking to see if they got acting chops, but also if they follow the instructions and get them delivered to me the way that I’ve asked.

“On a scale of one to ten. Ten being very high, one being very low, how important to a young actor is a strong social media account?”

That’s a good question. To give it a numerical value, 5. Because I think people put too much emphasis on it when they are starting up. I think those things are important when you’re a star.

If I get a submission from an actor usually the first thing I do is look them up on Facebook.  I’ve not taken a meeting with one guy because he was literally slamming…I think it was it was like Ryan Reynolds or slamming some big star actor saying what a loser he was. I’m not going to meet with this guy.  He goes on his social media page and talks shit about successful actors.

I’ll look at someone’s Facebook page before the IMDb page. If I get on your Facebook and there’s nothing but “F” bombs and hostility and anger and resentment I don’t want this person on my roaster.

“What would be the three words of advice to a new actor?”

Be available.

Be responsible.

And work hard.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. David shares more helpful info for actors. Listen to the whole interview below!

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