Attention. Attention. Attention.
Just kidding. Sort of. I’ll explain. When I was acting years ago, I started off working commercially with a boutique agency. I LOVED my agent, Robin Levy, and her staff, Leigh and TJ. It was like a family over there. When I started doing very well, we became an even closer group. I was one of their stars in a sense and they were proud of me and what we had created together. Working with them I shot spots for Mountain Dew, Pepsi, Mitsubishi, Miller, Wrigley’s, Hasbro, SBC and others. I still talk to that agent ten years later by the way. What I loved most about that relationship was that they were working so hard for me, and I wanted to show up and be on my “A” game for them. We CARED about one another and the success of one was the success of all.
One of the last spots I did for them went down in infamy as the “naked basketball” spot.
This spot went on to win a ton of awards (Addy, Golden Lion, features in Sports Illustrated, etc) and the director Kevin Smith and the writer Josh Caplan and I all still talk to this day as well. Great guys.
All that being said, when the commercial strike hit around 2000, my agent, Robin tried to keep her staff on and keep payroll going with no revenue coming in. When the strike lasted 6 months, it killed her business. It was SOOO sad.
Thankfully for me, I had done enough work that I had my pick of where I wanted to go to next, so I moved to TGI, now Brady Brannon and Rich. Judy Rich and I loved each other. She is a great woman and she did her best to get me out there. But this was a BIG agency. They had agents on top of agents, and they must have had 1000 actors they were sending out (probably more). This company was a machine. When I started working with them, my passion quickly dissipated because I was just another actor there.
So my very long-winded point here is that there are different approaches. I’m a fan of working with smaller companies where you know each other, have time to build something together and always feel part of a family. When it starts to feel too much like a business, I usually head for the door. I’m sure there are some people who prefer the more business approach, and for them a bigger publisher would probably make sense. But as an actor, I was working with the biggest companies in the world, while still repped by a small agent. So don’t think you limit yourself by working with a boutique. In my opinion, you get so much more.