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Monday
Aug232010

To Poach or Not to Poach

That, my friends, is the question and we're not talking about eggs! What is it to poach, you ask? Well, first and foremost, its the subject of Lloyd's next lesson is being a SuperDuperStar Agent! To poach, in agent-ese, means to steal a client from another agent. Unlike, say, cattle poaching, it is not illegal. The remains a question, however, about its ethicality.

Well, let Lloyd give you the straight scoop. Poaching IS immoral. Poaching IS unethical. And if you don't try to poach clients from other agents, you WILL fail!

POACH! POACH! POACH! And if someone tries to poach from you, scream bloody murder!

Oh, I see a hand. Yes? The question, class, was "how do you poach?" This is a very good question.

The basic dynamic of a poach is the same as that of a love triangle, with you playing the role of the Latin Lothario out to steal the lonely housewife from the neglectful husband.

So, first, you need to make contact with your target. Avoid email! Avoid the phone, even! This must be done in person, preferably in public. You have nothing to hide. Who knows why you're talking to the fourth lead on Big Bang Theory? Maybe you have a client who wrote a script for him? Maybe you want to know what it's like to work for Chuck Lorre (or maybe you don't...)? Either way, its a free country, guys. So, talk and talk freely.

After you have made contact, establish a phone relationship with the target. Begin innocuously. "It was great to see you at that party/premiere/random gay club. I think you're a hell of a talent and I wanted to let you know you have a lot of fans in town and at our agency."

Okay. Now they know. If he's not interested, no harm no foul. All you did was tell him the truth. You barely even hit on him. But, if he's unhappy with his representation (and, I'll tell you, most actors are), you may get a call in return. Or you may get a call from his manager or lawyer. Or you may get a note slipped under your apartment door under the cover of night (true story!). But you will be notified.

At that point two things will happen. The first is, it's time to meet in person, perhaps with another agent. This is where the real agents shine. You meet in person, perhaps in an out-of-the-way place in - shiver! - the valley (!). Perhaps it is even on a weekend. You lay it out for them. This is where we see you in a year. This is how much money you stand to make. We can get you in a room with this producer, this director, this musician, this porn star! Lay it on thick. Butter this egg up and swallow it whole, people.

The second thing that will happen is you will receive a call. This call will be from the agent being poached from. He will freak out all over you. He will slander you, libel you, tell whoever he can what a slimeball you are. If he has any skills whatsoever, he will threaten your bank account, or your life. And there's only one way to handle this:

What's not just a river in Egypt? DENIAL! Deny everything. Act insulted. Avoid answering direct questions and be polite in return. The less you say, the angrier he will get and an angry agent is almost always an inefficient agent. And an inefficient agent is exactly the type of sucker who deserves to have his golden goose stolen from under his snot-nose!

Except one thing. If you happen to get that call, and on the other end of the line is Ari Gold...ABORT MISSION. Take it from someone who has seen it first hand, you try to poach a TMA client, Ari will destroy you. Oh, and if he doesn't, I will ;)

Tata for now, homies!

Lloyd



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