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How to Become an Agent

Dearest friends, I fear I have done something my father always warned me not to do while gathering grapes on our vineyard: I put the cart before the horse. For the last several weeks, I have dispersed advice to help you all excel as agents, but I left out the most important part: How to become an agent in the first place!

If you want to be a lawyer, you go to college, then law school. Then, you pass the bar, get hired by a firm and -- voila! You're a lawyer!

If you want to be an architect, you go to design school, get your degree in architecture, wear form-fitting clothes, have great hair and strong hands and -- poof! You're an architect!

But being an agent is not so cut and dry. There is no time-worn path for weary travelers to follow. Every path is different and every path is treacherous. But there are a few points on your journey you're going to want to hit, if only to know that you're making progress… which most of you won't be.

1. Go to college.

Nearly every agency requires a college degree. But college is the easy part, filled with binge-drinking and secretive nighttime experiments.

2. Get a job in the mailroom of an agency.

I assume many of you have heard that agents start in the mailroom. Well, this is true. Such suit-wearing Hollywood luminaries as David Geffen, Barry Diller, Michael Ovitz, Ari Emanuel and Bernie Brillstein started in the mailroom, sorting letters and packages, pushing a cart and going on runs for the higher-ups. Another future luminary who started in the mailroom is yours truly, and let me tell you, it is the most degrading, and sometimes depraved, experience I have ever been through. That is until Step 3...

3. Work for an agent.

One of the hallmark ways the career ladder in Hollywood differs from Wall Street, or Main Street, is that everyone works as an assistant. That's right, as a secretary. For years. And for monsters. In this space, I have dedicated many hundreds of words to the monster for whom I once worked, and I would say my situation was decidedly middle of the road. You must work for a dragon, and you must slay that dragon with your work ethic, your kindness, your grace under fire, your bedside manner and your can-do attitude. Then, after three or four years, you may have a shot at being promoted...

Or, you may be squeezed out by a threatened/jealous partner who sees you as potential competition, someone who wouldn't give you credit for tying your own tie, who seizes upon any opportunity, real or imagined, to paint you in a negative light to your superiors in the company and in the industry at large only to protect his or her own tenuous place in the vicious food chain we call Hollywood. (Deep breath...)

Oh, how I can't wait to be just like that.

Until next time, so long!

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Reader Comments (12)

Hey Lloyd.

I'm ok. Always have been. Just tired of all the assholes around me.
I need an agent. Ari isnt working for me. None of the guys are.
I lost the movie. The studio threw me out. Thinking of suing them.
Gonna be in rehab for some time. Call me in about 6 months, ok?


September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVincent Chase

Hey Lloyd.

Again. Really. I need an agent asap.
Need to do some damagecontrol.
Perez Hilton is really leading the mob against me.
Beginning to think i'm done here.


September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVincent Chase


Man! Please give me a call!
I thought i had a friend in You.
What did I ever do to You, huh?
Haven't I always been fairtreatin' You?


September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVincent Chase


Your much hotter than Sasha. I'll sleep with you if you become my agent!!!!.


September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVinny chase

I'm gay too

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commentereric

You deserve everything you got, sir. Knowing that your journey through the Hollywood muck is quite typical, you handled it with style. As much as Entourage is fictional it is a very accurate portrayal of fact, and the facts are truly stranger... but I sure as heck know I could never do it. You need the patience of a saint, and I'm no saint.

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTami

Llloyd!!!! get your fucken phone and call Vince asap.
I better hear good news or im gonna get u back to my house
to pick up the dog shit!

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAri Gold

Hey L-Loyd

Big Fan!!!!
although i find it cool wid chick bt still I'd say
seriously you are Cute, man..

September 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfrom India

nd Yeah, Ari the GOD will respect you one day. :-)

September 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfrom India

Dear Lloyd: Because I'm an American lawyer currently living in Paris, I'm only up to Season 4 but I have to admit your column is the business. I don't know if HBO is paying you for this, but having worked in the E business in LA for 20 years as a lawyer/ manager/ producer , I find your column is spot on and an excellent way of prolonging the pleasure of Entourage. And you evidently take it seriously to boot. What a great find.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMadison King

Your the best on the show and your allways properly dressed :)

October 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLoydFan

I have a question... obviously hollywood is the big show for agents and I've tried contacting people about the road to being an agent because I've recently just switch my career decision to that...

1) Do you need a certain college degree to become an agent?
2) Is the road to being an agent (starting in a mail room, becoming a secretary, etc) the same in lets say, Chicago or somewhere else as it would be for hollywood or new york?
3) What do you know about sports agents? Is it the same thing as talent agents?

November 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterryan
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