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Brian McCabe

Agents

Brian McCabe joined IAB as the head of its Theatrical Department after running his own agency for many years.

Questions

  1. Well… ok. Honestly Brian, what % of time, when you’re invited to go out to see an ‘evening of live performances’ in a showcase format at a Theatre do you go? Ever find a client?
  2. When you’re at an agency where there is more than one Theatrical agent, and you sort of “inherit” a list of clients, do you personally meet with all of them when you’re the “new agent” at the company and if not, why not?
  3. You have been both an agent, a manager with one partner, a solo act, and now at a boutique agency. What would truly be the biggest difference in “how your day goes and how you service your clients” based on those positions.
  4. How did you learn how to become an agent, and why is it that there really isn’t any type of certified or licensed training program for agent… or managers?
  5. Please define what a State Agency license is and why it is necessary to have to be a legitimate agency?
  6. Agencies can be SAG franchised, an ATA agency or just work with a GSA. Which do you currently work with, why, and do you have a preference?
  7. You’re a fairly active social media guy, so do you feel the Social Media realities of today really help you amongst your peers and your position or just fun?
  8. What do you do in an agency setting if you have a dispute with a fellow agent over a client that you are the point person for, and the other agent just isn’t working for them?
  9. Actors truly struggle with what to ask when you call them in for a meeting regarding being a potential client. So to help actors, are there any questions that they HAVE to ask you, and maybe one actors ask that just is unnecessary?
  10. Do make any type of regular effort, outside of social media, to get to know Network or Studio executives, TV producers or Showrunners… and if so, how do you do it? If not, why not?

About the Guru

Brian McCabe has been in the agent business for over 20 years now. Like many people he did not start out wanting to be an agent. Brian was a stage manager in a prior life and was looking to get involved on sets by doing a comparable job in film/television, being an A.D. One needed connections, however, to get those jobs he did not have any. In the meantime, Brian answered an ad in the Hollywood Reporter looking for an “assistant.” In truth Brian did not know what an assistant was, but had performed paralegal work in high school, so figured that whatever it was, he could do it. And thus, Brian McCabe started answering phones part time at the Henderson/Hogan Agency, going full time a few short months later. A decade after that, Brian actually bought the west coast office of Henderson/Hogan. There were a few name changes in the following decade, but he owned and ran a talent agency for the entire time. In May 2010, Brian closed up his agency and went to work for Venture IAB. There were many different reasons for this decision, but primarily because they were doing things that he had wanted to do with his company and doing them well. Instead of re-inventing the wheel, Mr. McCabe joined forces and took over as the head of the Theatrical Department. Brian never wanted to be an actor, but did get good experience breaking down scenes by being a stage manager, a skill he has used with his clients when they have questions about their sides. Brian even gets the occasional phone call from an ex-client asking for help with their sides. While he is not a coach, nor pretends to be one, he does know scene structure. Brian truly likes actors that underplay a scene as opposed to the ones that do the gaudy roles. I think it takes more technique to make that work (and sometimes it does not, but he appreciates the effort). Brian would rather see actors who are fearless in the roles they choose and appreciate their willingness to do what it takes to get a role they want.