Agency Day - Performance with the Right Attitude

I’m no warrior, I’m like the bird that floats above the battlefield watching every sword swipe with intent and interest, the squire sharpening the sword, prepping and polishing the armour with the excitement of a school child. The desk-bound agency ninja, picking up the phone to productions and stunt co-ordinators faster than a Bruce Lee round-house kick, that’s me!

I liaise with dozens of productions, casting agents and stunt co-ordinators on a weekly basis to cast and ensure the perfect performance is achieved on set by our performers. Why? Simply because the British Action Academy provides the highest level of screen combat performance in the industry and this is a reputation every BAA performer must uphold.

This is an accolade we have been very proud of, with hundreds of incredible students on our agency books, and growing demand for performers trained in our industry recognised courses, we felt it was time to open up the agency to a fresh group of performers with that ‘can do’ attitude once more.

So Agency Day was created! And boy was it great!

We had encountered criticism for establishing this day, “it’s too expensive”, “I can rock up to my agency open day for free” “why should I pay to be on your agency” were some of the comments shared. But those aspiring performers that did see the value in this day understood that the agency day wasn’t just about getting on to our agency. 

This was about getting in front of some of the UK's leading stunt and action professionals who quite literally 'employ' performers in this extremely competitive industry. It was about coming to a training session and learning from the best, it was about listening to experienced professionals in their essential advice about how to break into such a tough industry.  It was about up-skilling and showing off what you're really made of. Inevitably this day all came down to one thing… having the right attitude.

For those who decided it wasn't worth it... well, that's your loss, not ours. 

We had a fully booked day and it was my great privilege to meet every single one of these passionate individuals. I was incredibly impressed by the commitment, hard work, and respect on display. This was different from any course or Warrior Club where you can sense the tense pressure to perform and test. Like thirsty sponges, the student’s focus was on knowledge and each student wanted to absorb as much information as possible to make their performance better and to get a foot up in the Industry. They all seemed to know that days like this are gold dust to the aspiring performers or to those struggling to get work.

As always, I am in awe of the BAA family and the lifetime friendships that develop on our courses. Our agency day was no different. Car shares, lunch shares, and group hugs. Students and instructors sharing their experiences, funny stories and their excellent advice just made this day that little bit special.

At BAA HQ the agency team uses a flick through look-book when casting calls come in, to select those that fit the look that production is seeking. Our look-book uses a 5-star system, criteria based on ability, performance, acting, and attitude. We are incredibly lucky to have many students on our books that tick every box and we wouldn’t want to put forward any performer to production that fell short of this standard. However, I am constantly open-mouthed in shock at the number of performers that after all the regular BAA correspondence, the emails, podcasts, advice, and instructor mentoring still have the attitude that work will just fall into to their lap with no effort on their part. No professional looking headshots, no data, and a nonchalant attitude that work simply grows on trees. These students always play the blame game (it’s someone else's fault) when the phone doesn’t call with work.

It was incredibly refreshing then to see such a different attitude on display on Agency Day. 60% of the students that came along for the day were invited onto the agency, and every single one of them will have a 5-star stamped on their profile! Memorable and at the forefront of our minds, we will be proud to send them onto set to represent The BAA's reputation.

Straight off the back of our agency day, a production called up and wanted some of our amazing performers. Guess who we gave some of the work to? 

Those that fell short on their performance on the day equally impressed me. They understood completely that their performance needed work. Their complete willingness and determination to train harder and to self-improve was awe-inspiring, so when these students raise their performance who do you think will be at the forefront of our minds for the agency?

Agency Day was a 5-star experience, thanks to the BAA students that attended, I am going to work tirelessly to get you on set and following your dreams!

We look forward to more agency days in the future!

Created by Jo Quinn on 2 Jul 2019

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