Across the Board (ATB) Talent, founded in 2008 by entertainment professional and entrepreneur Guy Kochlani, is a full-service licensed Talent Agency. ATB represents its talent "across the board:" theatrically, commercially, in print, hosting, voiceovers and dance. The limited client roster and staff of 10 enables ATB to remain committed to the goal of developing high quality talent while providing the personalized atmosphere of a management company.

Across the Board’s talent has been seen on numerous TV shows, films, commercials and theatre productions. Their models and photographers have been a part of major fashion campaigns and have been seen across the pages of domestic and international magazines.

ATB is honored to announce its move up into the big leagues. Using talent from across the board, ATB is currently packaging a major feature film as well as television series. As the client list becomes larger and more high-profile projects are being tackled, founder and CEO Guy Kochlani avows: “No matter how much we expand, our original business model will always remain on point. We provide one-on-one care and service to each client, no matter what.”

ATB represents talent and models in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York, with offices in Los Angeles and New York-Times Square. There are plans to open offices in London, Paris, and Tel Aviv.

For more info, check us out at WWW.ATBTALENT.COM

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

AGENCY TIPS, VOL. IV: So, We Need to Talk...

            Communication is really an extraordinary thing.  Think about it for a second.  You type a message on your phone, click “SEND” and almost instantaneously your pal on the other side of the country is “lol-ing” with you.  Cyberspace has changed the way we think and function, and the idea of waiting has become something reserved solely for restaurants.  Everything needs to be now, now, now.

            But life doesn’t always work that way, does it?  Sometimes we’re faced with certain obstacles and decisions that are totally out of our control, and we have no choice but to sit and wait.  It can be an excruciating process, and we have to bite our collective lips and deal with it.

            The entertainment industry is no different.  In fact, I’d argue that its entire foundation is built on hard-earned patience, with the almost inevitable “no” at the end of that tunnel.  Still, we fight and push on, being as persistent as possible, never letting an “I’ll get back to you” find its way between success and us.  Except sometimes, that’s not quite how things work.  Sometimes we really do need to wait. 

            Here at the ATBlog we’ve been preaching nonstop about a good actor being a proactive actor…but there’s a very fine line between being a go-getter and being a nuisance.  For your reading pleasure, we’re providing a comprehensive list of everything the perfect client should never even consider doing.

“Have You Heard Anything?”

            Often times the dialogue between an actor and his or her representation will follow this track:

The audition went great, I just got out.  I spent more time with the Casting Director than the other actors, I think.  Yeah, the CD loved me, and started asking me all these questions!  Have you heard anything yet?”

“No, we haven’t,” your agent replies.  “You just left the room, give it some time.  Casting Directors need to marinate in what they saw for the day, and when they’re ready to pick actors they call us.”

This could be you.
            This is the sort of badgering that can really get to your agent.  Constant update requests will do nothing but sour the working relationship with your representation.  It doesn’t matter how “buddy buddy” you may think you guys are.  At the end of the day, your agents and managers WORK for you, and don’t want to be pestered with “Have you heard anything?” type of questions.  Take a chill pill.  Why on Earth would your agent not tell you about an audition or booking?!  It’s only in some weird alternate dimension that your representation would say, “Oh gosh, thank so much for calling!  Good thing, too, since you just booked a Recurring role on Mad Men!  I wasn’t going to tell you, so this sure was convenient!”  When Warner Bros. calls about casting you as the new Batman, you’ll know.

“Why Am I Not Going Out?”

Patience, baby.  Patience.
            Whenever I hear this one, I wonder what exactly the client wants to hear.  “Your headshots are bad.”  “You’re not what they’re looking for.”  “Maybe you should try another profession?”  The truth is, all we can ever really say is “I don’t know.”  We’re the agents, not the filmmakers or Casting Directors.  They know exactly what they’re looking for and, I’m sorry, sometimes you’re not it.  Your representation submits and pitches you for the proper roles and you need to trust them.  They – hopefully – have direct connections to the project, and will do whatever they can to get you an audition.  Like everything in this business, it’s a two way street—it’s the Casting Director who makes the initial audition schedule, and he or she needs to think you’re a potentially good fit for the role.

            You should never take any of this personally.  Maybe they just want the black guy instead.  Maybe your hair is long and curly and they wanted short and straight.  Maybe they only decided to see actors whose names start with the letter “S.”  There’s often little method to this madness, with most of it relying on pure instinct.

            A sub-question for this point that often comes up is, “Why is my friend/significant other going out for auditions but I’m stuck at home?”  The same rules apply.  Last month there were more roles available for women than men.  Guess which parent is going to have the busier days auditioning?  Again, and this point cannot be stressed enough, always keep in mind that sometimes, things are just out of your hands.  You just need to wait.

“I Have a Twenty-Five Year Age Range.”

Unless you're Abe Vigoda.  The dude doesn't age.
            No you don’t.  Stop and think about this one for a minute, okay?  If you’re forty-years-old you CAN NOT play a twenty-year-old.  These are facts of science.  See those crows’ feet coming out the corners of your eyes?  That’s age, friends.  Maybe it’s time to throw away the cheerleader pom-poms and the Varsity jacket.

It’s important that you’re realistic with your age range.  We recommend having a ten-year age range (i.e., twenty to thirty), which in most cases offers a fairly accurate representation of an actor.  When it comes to auditions it’s best for you to truthfully fit the role, especially when competing against others.  If you’re mid-forties and you want to read for a college age role, how ridiculous will you feel when you’re in the same room as a bunch of twenty-somethings?  The answer is “very.”

“I Can Speak Spanish.”

This is me.  I can't play Asian.
            So can I: le mie gambe sono coperte di nebbia.  There you go.  Granted, I have no clue what I just said, but it’s Spanish, right?  Look, when it comes to your “special skills,” just be honest.  Often times Casting Directors will be looking for actors with a very specific set of skills.  When you tell us that you “speak Russian” but really only know the word “dasvidaniya,” it makes you look like a fool. 

            The same goes for sports.  I can kick a ball around my backyard but that doesn’t make me David Beckham.  Think about that.  Know who you are, know what you do, and be true to yourself and your abilities. 

“Can You Submit Me For That Role That’s Exactly My Type?”

            What exactly do you think your agent/manager is doing?  Trust them.  They know you, and they know what sort of roles you’re perfect for.  So unless you’re a six-foot-three black-Portuguese male with one leg and a robot arm, and the Casting Director is looking for a six-foot-three black-Portuguese male with one leg and a robot arm, you don’t need to send your representation daily submission reminders.  They got it.  

In our experience a lot of actors don’t exactly know what they’re right for (please see age range).  Now sometimes a client may have an intimate relationship with the “powers that be” behind a specific project (producer, director, etc.), and in that case he or she should definitely let his or her representation know.  If not, keep your pants on—your representation has it under control.

“U Got Auditions 4 Me LOL”

            I love text messaging just as much as the next guy, but 1) that sentence isn’t English, and 2) it’s a privilege, not a right.  Your representation giving you his or her personal mobile number is not a veiled gesture for the texting floodgates to open.  You think they want to read a wall of text filled with questions and emoticons?  Think of texting as a 911 call: use it only for emergencies, and never abuse it.  When it comes to communication via text (or even email), always subscribe to Kelly Johnson’s KISS principle: “keep it simple, stupid.”

The Thin Red Line

            As iterated earlier, there’s a very fine line between proactivity and excessiveness, and it’s best to find the proper somewhere in the middle and stick the landing there.  Your representation needs his or her own space, and business has a way of working itself out.  Constantly asking questions and hounding for answers does nothing but waste time…time that your representation could better use to submit and pitch you.  Acting as a second shadow just makes things harder to see.

            Despite all that, communication is still vitally important to maintain a good client-agent relationship.  Checking in now and then, maybe every couple of months or so, is encouraged, but once a week?  That’s unnecessary.  If your representation has one hundred clients and each one calls once a week they’ll spend more time on the phone with them than with the Casting Directors.  How are they supposed to find the proper time to focus on getting those same clients work when they’re nothing but glorified administrative assistants?

            These “Agency Tips” blog posts usually end with some sort of anecdotal “You can do it!” paragraph, but this time we’re going to do things a bit differently.  Because this post is all about things you shouldn’t do.  This is a response, a big “Enough already!”  Acting is a serious job, and it requires time and effort on both sides of the contract.  It requires communication, tenacity and patience.  All you can do is act your heart out, cross your fingers, hope and never give up.  Ever.

Lights, camera, action.

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By Alex Tafet


  1. Thanks for the tips- it always helps to hear the other side of things.

  2. I like this Code of Conduct. Spread the word.

  3. Always great knowledge coming...thanks bud.