On another thread Sid De La Cruz asked a great question about at what level do agents consider working with up-and-coming composers. Here is my best attempt at addressing that. 

THERE IS NO SCIENCE TO RELATIONSHIPS. 

Client/agent relationships are just that… relationships.  And like all relationships they are complex, multi-dimensional, and vary from person-to-person and situation-to-situation. 

FOR ME, IT’S IS ALL ABOUT PASSION. 

I view representation as a long term relationship centered on mutually achieving long term goals. For me to commit to this, I need to feel extraordinary passion towards the person, their music, their personality, their potential, their risk-taking, their investment in themself, their drive, their ferociousness and their sense of fun and adventure. 

I am drawn to composers whose music is truly distinctive, whose personality is magnetic, whose personal journey is compelling, who have great reputations, who possess an impeccable work ethic, whose humor is ever present and whose kindness is radiant. 

I personally look for composers who see themselves as entrepreneurs not employees.   Victors not victims. 

WHERE TO FIND NEW TALENT

I realize that I have never actually discovered a composer who hadn’t already made some sort of mark previously on their own.  I find people through passionate recommendations from industry folks I know well and respect.  I find them seeing their films, catching their TV shows, reading about them, collecting their albums or noticing them in concert.  They show up on my radar because of what they have accomplished thus far.  And most show up as slight dings on my radar and others as loud flashing sirens.  

WHAT IS MY “BARE MINIMUM” FOR REPRESENTATION?

I have no rules.  It doesn’t work that way.  A composer with tons of credits that don’t resonate with me is less interesting to me than someone who has done just one thing that truly excites and inspires me.   A composer making a lot of money who I don’t personally connect with doesn’t impress me because I assume those artists I adore and work with will eventually be earning tons themselves. When the equation is right, the money eventually follows.

CAN WE BUILD SOMETHING HUGE TOGETHER?

Personally, I have a drive and personally that operates by aiming incredibly high.  The middle bores me.  I come in contact with many composers, scores, films and TV shows.  Most of my first impressions of them and their work is that they are rarely dreadful and almost always perfectly acceptable. I have always focused on finding those rare artists that I believe, for a variety of reasons, could, in partnership with me and the other agents I work with, become superstars.  I don’t see building career empires off of things that are just perfectly acceptable. And my desire has always been to partner with composers devoted to building extraordinary careers. 

I FOLLOW MY GUT

This ain’t a science.  It is just a collection of instincts.  I trust my gut (which fluctuated in size but rarely fails at serving me well.)

I think I have an extraordinary strong sense of who I personally click with and am perfectly ok with not clicking with every composer out there. 

THERE IS A LID FOR EVERY POT

Different agents look for different things.  This is not a one-size-fits-all situation.  

Hopefully other agents will chime in with their perspectives on this. 

IT’S SO ELUSIVE 

I have tried the best I can to define the undefinable.  

Somehow I frequently know when someone has “IT” but what IT is impossible to fully describe.  But IT is very easy, for me, to feel.  I realize I can’t answer the time-table, bare minimum sort of questions any better than I can address other sorts of relationship questions like how soon after a first date do you call again, how many dates until you kiss or sleep together, how long until you move in, get engaged or get married? IT ALL DEPENDS… ON EVERYTHING!

HOPE SOME OF THIS IS USEFUL.