October Agent of the Month: James J. Jones, Premier Talent Group, Los Angeles, CA
Submitted by: SAG member Tiwana Floyd
My agent is James J. Jones of Premier Talent Group. I came to know of James last year when I was made privy to a letter he'd sent to his clients called “State of the Industry” discussing the toll of the post Writer's Strike, SAG stalemate and economy crash on mid-level actors. After reading that letter I invited him to speak on a panel at AFTRA which he accepted. On the panel he was funny, candid but compassionate in speaking to a room of actors.
Afterwards, I asked him for a meeting. When we met I asked him business and personal questions. I recognized his passion and humility and knew at that moment this was a person I wanted to grow with. James was the first theatrical agent I took a meeting with that I felt I would want to represent me and I'm not easily swayed. A political buff, James worked for President George H.W. Bush at the young age of 22 as his strategic tactician. James understands strategy, and uses those same skills in running his agency.
Understanding the importance of relationships in getting into the door, James keeps a list of prominent people that know my work. I had no TV credits upon signing with James which makes me a tougher sell in the L.A. market. After many unsuccessful attempts of pitching me, James called me within three months after signing with him to discuss a new direction. We specified my niche and how best to market it. I took that information and shot new pictures, that in turn got me into the door of D. Candis Paul, casting director of the new FX show Terriers. That was my first audition through James and I booked it, my first TV credit.
James and I both know who I am in this market. Having a representative who really knows how to market me is comforting. I'm confident that as we grow to know each other more we'll have great success together. I get asked the cliché question "is your agent getting you out" all the time. I treat that topic like politics and religion, I just don't discuss it. Do I have an agent who truly knows me, keeps me at the forefront of his mind, has well established relationships with the powers that be in L.A., to those questions I answer “yes.” This is a true partnership which is ultimately what I want.
SAG member Tiwana Floyd
Are you represented by a terrific, franchised agent that you believe does not get the recognition that he or she deserves? Let us know and he or she may just be our next Agent of the Month. Send entries by e-mail to email@example.com, or by mail to SAG Agent of the Month, SAG Agency Department, 5757 Wilshire Blvd., 7th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90036-3600. We look forward to hearing from you!