The blog is back in business after a BUSY August and I’m are kicking off this month featuring a new Agency, Union Management.
I’ve been speaking closely with the lovely Dan Clifton, the founder of Union Management.
Not only does Dan come from an acting background, but he has valuable experience working with top Casting Directors and Agents in the UK. He goes into more detail below on some of his experiences working with Casting and Talent Agents but he actually started off first working professionally as a Nurse.
Personally, I love this because it shows you that no matter where you are in life – if you want to make something happen for yourself – YOU CAN. It shows how far Dan has come from the early 90s and that you can get into the industry with hard work and determination.
If you’re an actor looking for an agency to write to for Representation, these type of qualities in an Agent are what can help build strong working relationships. Not that every agent should or has come from an Acting background, but someone who understands what you are going through as an actor and also possess the mind set of a Casting Director in terms of submissions is key.
Make sure to check out the Q&A below and have a look at their website. You’re able to see the talent, upcoming projects in the news section and see some industry recommendations in the ‘People We Like’ section. Don’t forget you can always check them out on Twitter – where they interact regularly with their followers.
Dan Clifton – Union Management
Let the Q&A Begin…
When did the idea of opening Union Management first come into your mind and when did the agency first open?
I initially trained as a nurse back in the 1990’s and spent a few years working at Lewisham, Guys and St Thomas Hospital before moving into Agenting. I’ve been an agent since 2002, initially working for smaller commercial agencies, then cut my teeth in casting working alongside Lesley Beastall and Sophie North at Broadcasting Agency, assisted at Independent Talent and The Eye Casting before setting up Union Management in October 2013.
I’m an actor too and I believe it helps to understand the casting, agent and actor sides of the industry. We are a very progressive and forward thinking agency, having regular actor meet up sessions, social events and acting workshops outside of the normal casting and booking jobs – I have two very good assistants I work alongside and they manage the diaries and work closely with clients making sure they are as good as they can be for the casting.
Did you put through a call for actors to know your books were open or did you have a client base in mind already?
I knew several actors when I first started who wanted to leave their agents and through my own work I’ve tended to pick people whom I think would be a good fit. The relationship between an agent and an actor is always two ways and more often then not it’s closer then a lot of people realize. I became an agent first and then trained in the evenings as an actor before taking time off in 2014 to go to New York and study at the Stella Adler Academy.
Does Union Management work across the board in the industry?
Union Management is a small boutique agency with work in Film, Television, Stage and Commercial – some of our work includes Game Of Thrones, a regular on BBC’s ‘The A Word’, Suspicion (Discovery), Les Enfants Terrible and the Park Theatre.
How important do you think it is for anyone wanting to open an Actors Agency to have contacts in the business?
I think if someone was thinking of opening an Agency, contacts are important, but more important is the quality of the clients. An Agency is only as good as it’s clients and we are lucky to have a trusting and brilliant relationship with ours.
Did any industry professionals help you along the way?
We share an office with Kristina Erdeley who casts most of her work for the US market so it’s very useful as she gives us advice on actors wishing to work in the states, TV and film castings. I also wouldn’t have been able to start up without my work for The Eye Casting.
What has been the highlight moment so far since opening?
Highlights of my work here…there are many but actually seeing clients in shows or screen work that you have put them up for and wanted them to get (David Bauckham in ‘Happy To Help’ at the Park Theatre or Tommie Grabiec in ‘The A Word’) is always a pleasure.
Do you have any particular photographers, editors or coaches you recommend to your new clients?
We work closely with photographers and happy to recommend: Dom Burke, Jennie Scott and Jenny Evans. It’s a fallacy to assume that the more expensive or ‘well known’ the photographer is, the better the shots – the three photographers I’ve mentioned are all well priced and will ‘get you’.
Last, but not least – If an actor or creative is interested in applying to your agency how would you like the to proceed?
Our books are always open so please feel free to email us directly on firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you again Dan for all your insight and stay tuned for some exciting blog posts coming up this month!
★★★★ HCx #Casting #UnionManagement #Agents #ActorsLife