The entertainment industry consists of talented and creative people in front of the camera, behind the camera, on stage and behind the stage. Today we go BTS (Behind The Scenes) to shine the spotlight on Nigel Mikoski (Agent/President of Connekt Creative Agency – CCA)
Conneckt Creative Agency is a member of TAMAC and is a Licenced B.C. Agency representing Actors, Voice, Social Media Influencers and Content.
WHAT WAS YOUR JOURNEY TO BECOMING AN AGENT?
I started as an intern in a small agency in Toronto, in 2003. During that first year, I recall composing hardcopy submissions and racing them over to Ford Models in order to make the 1:00pm pick up deadline each day. From there, I moved into the commercial department and assisted in submitting and calling out commercial auditions. After a few years there, I was looking for a move and interviewed with Michael Oscars as his assistant at Oscars, Abrams, Zimel and Associates. Following a 2 hour initial interview, he offered me the position and we worked together for 5 years. I know my time there shaped me into the agent I am today.
We (me and other ex-OAZ-ers) jokingly refer to those assistant desks as the William Morris mailroom of Canada. Many ex-assistants and associates have gone on to become great agents and own successful firms in their own right.
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES ASSOCIATED WITH BEING AN AGENT?
People don’t realize that we share in every win, and also every loss. It can be quite emotionally draining, the ups and the downs. The hardest part can be fielding the disappointment that your clients portray, when a big life changing part does not go their way.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN NEW TALENT?
Marketability and their use of the craft. I envision potential new clients in the shows we work on and if they fit the demand, I dissect their performances closely, looking for a deep emotional connection to the material.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE THAT PERFORMERS MAKE WHEN SUBMITTING TO YOU FOR REPRESENTATION?
I would say not doing their research and tailoring submissions to the agents they are targeting and definitely, not including a demo. Take the time to personalize each submission and include a sample of your work. It makes a big difference.
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR TALENT TO HAVE A DEMO-REEL (WHEN SUBMITTING TO YOU FOR REPRESENTATION OR WHEN YOU ARE SUBMITTING THEM TO CASTING DIRECTORS)?
Very important. Unless the potential client is a child, I traditionally will not consider them without a great acting sample. I compare not having demo tape to having a paint brush with no paint. No tape or sample, means you can try as hard as you can, but its very hard to paint a picture that others can see. I could talk until I’m blue in the face about how great someone is but showing a casting director or producer a sample that proves what I’m saying, makes the word of a difference.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR ASPIRING TALENT (OR THE PARENTS OF KIDS-IN-THE-BIZ)?
For parents, let the kids do the guiding. If your child is not showing interest in classes or the studying involved in acting, don’t push them. It should always be their decision, not your own fantasy.
For aspiring talent, always make it about the work and the success will follow. Engulf yourself in the business. Take classes, workshops, develop a list of industry friends, rehearse and study. Put the work in, because it will show when you are looking to take the next steps in your career.
WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON PERFORMERS WHO PROMOTE THEMSELVES USING SOCIAL MEDIA?
I think its vital and now a very important part of the business. Using it as a tool to promote yourself as an actor is a must. Studios and producers are looking at your profiles, so be responsible, and project a positive image that they will support.
Follow us … ?
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION OF AN AGENT’S ROLE?
That we approach people in public. It’s a huge cliché and honestly what a ton of people will ask when they find out what I do for a living. We scout new talent in showcases and through referrals, not at bus stops and malls.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE CHANGE WITHIN THE CANADIAN ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY? (WHAT DO YOU THINK THE INDUSTRY CAN DO DIFFERENTLY IN ORDER TO GROW?)
I’d like to see us support a Canadian star system. More coverage of the actors who are booking on the shows we see and more support from the media north of the border. I think what you’re doing at eBOSS is a great start. Supporting our Canadian performers and industry professionals, giving us visibility, so thank you for that.
WE ALL HAVE MENTORS … THE PEOPLE WHO GIVE US HOPE, INSPIRATION AND THE DRIVE TO KEEP GOING …IN THIS INDUSTRY, WHO ARE YOUR MENTORS AND WHY?
Michael Oscars has been a mentor of mine since I walked into his office in 2005. I started with him as a young ambitious 20 something, who had no idea what the high end of the business was about. Over the 5 years I spent working on his desk, I was exposed to every casting director, many producers, Canadas finest celebrities, high profile performers and have since kept close relationships with many of them. My time there taught me how important it is to have a moral compass and work for your clients, not yourself. Michael is a true gentleman and brilliant in my eyes, not to mention his counter parts, Gayle Abrams and Perry Zimel. They are amazing. I wouldn’t be where I am now without them giving me that first opportunity and their incredible example.
CONNEKT CREATIVE AGENCY LINKS
IMDB PRO: https://pro-labs.imdb.com/company/co0561727/