It was wonderful to have two DSL graduates back in Grange Court to discuss their cooperative agency in an Industry Talk.
Mark Fairclough (2010) and Lewis Jenkins (2020) joined our graduating actors to discuss their cooperative agency, Independent Management Ltd (IML). They gave an overview of the cooperative style of agency and how it differs from a traditional personal management agency.
IML is structured into small teams with specific roles. Mark and Lewis work in different sides of the agency, Mark in Finance and Lewis in Social Media Marketing, so were able to offer a variety of perspectives.
They noted that the type of actor to enjoy being a part of a cooperative is one who likes to have a lot of communication from their agent or team and input into their careers.
Cooperative agencies can also provide a feeling of being closely involved with the acting industry. It can help to build a knowledge and awareness of the industry. Mark and Lewis explained that getting to understand casting breakdowns from the perspective of an agent has helped them to develop their own processes. For example, Lewis told us that he realised that it would be beneficial for him to have a wider variety of headshot images after reading casting breakdowns.
Mark and Lewis both expressed that being in a cooperative is akin to being a part of a family. They feel supported by their peers. To achieve this cohesion, they explained that the members are looking for applicants who show a desire to be a part of the agency. They state that being a part of a cooperative is more than just acting. They want to know that you will support your peers.
This talk was useful to our graduating actors as they prepare themselves for entering the industry to give them a full understanding of the options of agencies available to them.