By Richard Lawrence-Allen
The success of any theatrical agent is much like the success of any contact centre recruitment drive; you need to make sure that you put the right people forward for the right roles, and at the right time. There is nothing more frustrating for a casting director than receiving reams and reams submissions for a role from actors that are completely unsuitable for the part, and from agents that don’t think carefully before suggesting their clients to them. If an agency is not specific with the clients that they submit for specific jobs they run the risk of alienating a casting director for wasting their time, and in doing so make that casting director less inclined to consider anyone from the agency as a whole for future projects.
Just as different individuals are carefully selected for different client campaigns based on their individual strengths within RSVP, where contact centre and casting collide in the shape of RSVP Artists, our in-house agency, we are just as careful and considered.
Charlie Platt, the Head Agent for RSVP Artists says that “Choosing clients for different jobs is something we have to take very seriously. To sustain the trust between us and the casting director, we have to make sure we are submitting clients who really match the character and skills description that is being advertised.” This isn’t as simple as it may sound though, with around 60 clients to choose from and a wealth of different casting opportunities coming in every day, it can be a very time consuming and arduous task for even the most hardworking of agents. Charlie admits that “Thoroughly reading all the information noted on the casting breakdown is sometimes a little tiring, especially when you may have received 50 plus breakdowns in one day! It can take a lot of time and brain power to try to remember all our clients who could potentially be suitable and it’s crucial to read everything, as there could be, hidden somewhere within the information one line that explains what they are or are not looking for and missing that would not good.”
While it might not be the easiest thing in the world, all the time and effort that the RSVP Artists team put into their work is essential in the running of a successful theatrical agency. Sometimes it is those tiny details and nuances that some may overlook that can make all the difference when it comes choosing the right client for a role. As Charlie says “Submitting a client that doesn’t match the character description or a client who currently is at a stage in their career where they are not right or experienced enough for the job, not only wastes the casting director’s time but also makes the agency look unprofessional and lazy in our submissions.” If there is anything that we certainly aren’t at RSVP, it’s that we are definitely not lazy!
For a young and dynamic agency though, submitting clients for roles isn’t just a case of fitting the right jigsaw pieces together. Sometimes it can be the risk takers that make the most positive impact. Taking risks as a young agency, as long as they are calculated and considered risks chosen realistically, can really help to move an agency and the careers of its clients’ forward in new and exciting ways. This then becomes just a matter of highlighting the important and relevant skills and experiences of a client to the casting director to make sure that they take notice!
It seems that from all the hard work and attention to detail that RSVP Artists, as well as RSVP as a whole, prides itself on has certainly been paying off. Many of RSVP’s staff members, represented by the agency, have been asked to self-tape for sequels to large and popular feature films and British dramas. Clients have been seen for huge cruise company stints that would take them across the globe, as well as for UK touring theatrical shows, children’s theatre and of course, as it is just around the corner now, for the renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival as well. Keep up the great work team!