Agent – Bullshit jobs and how to get them
Talk on phone, take percentage
Let every eye negotiate for itself and trust no agent.
$$: Seven figures is not out of the ordinary, and the lunch action is astounding. ß: 54–172.
Skills Required: Shine people on or cut them dead, depending on the situation. One must possess a serious love of bullshit in all its many forms.
Duties: Make sure that no client of yours ever takes it up the butt.
Famous Examples: Swifty Lazar, who will be remembered for his Oscar parties; Norman Brokaw and Lou Weiss of the William Morris Agency, who I believe knew Jolson;
Binky Urban, whose name comes up more often in New York book chat than Proust’s or Jerry McGuire.
I’m not currently represented. I’m with the William Morris Agency.
Larry Gelbart, to Johnny Carson
How to Get It: To become a successful agent, all you need to do is get a foot in the door at the very lowest level and then show yourself to be a meat-e ating barracuda from the get-g o. A lot of agents, although not as many as in the past, come in through the mailroom. Others start as assistants and very quickly begin to take on unknown and marginal petitioners, one of whose success will immediately reap huge career gains.You don’t have to be all that educated, either. Just smart. Or not.
There are certainly a lot of stupid agents. W
The Upside: Lots of people groveling as you eat your gravlax. A sense of achievement in the success of others, as long as you’re getting a piece of it.
The Downside: People sucking on your face all day. And there comes a time when Steve doesn’t seat you at the right table.
The Dark Side:You die alone and unmourned. W
Where You Go from Here: Upward and upward into the stratosphere of the profession, where the lines blur between superagent and producer and lawyer.