Monday, September 21, 2015

MY NEW TV AGENTS...

Dear gorgeous person, you!


To say I'm ecstatic about writing this blog is a total understatement. I literally feel like I've won an Oscar. It's such a proud moment in my journey and hopefully one that means lots of new changes and opportunities.

From my blog called 'I made it into TV', some of you might be aware that I was previously signed to Arlington Enterprises - same agents as Alan Titchmarsh, James May, Anna Richardson and Kirstie & Phil from Location Location. In that blog, I wrote about how I felt when I was let go from Arlington's books and how I decided to take a big step back to reflect. I had to go back to the drawing board and think about who I was and what I really wanted to do within TV and where I fit in this big picture. This process took me over a year. I purposely gave myself time. I needed to find my passion again. I worked really hard filming and making as much content as possible, gaining invaluable experience and slowly building my confidence back up.

I landed myself a solo presenting role at Westside FM - live presenting and producing the Breakfast show 'Get Up' every Mon - Wed 7-10am. I invested in some very good camera, lights and sound kits and started filming video blogs and interviews on my Youtube channel. I taught myself to self-film and edit so I would never have to depend on people again as I had been let down so much in the past.  This was a very long, gruelling process. I also started approaching production companies and offering to work for them for free, making coffees/teas as a runner whilst learning what happens behind the scenes. I worked on shows like 'The Fox Problem" with Gemma Cairney, Georgia LA & Ollie Locke.  I then started this blog and my Facebook page 'Joy-De-Vivre', all whilst holding down a full time job in Physiotherapy. I also went back to writing and developing original documentary ideas and pitching them directly to production companies and broadcasters. I finally felt like I had a small platform and I was confident it was time to look again for an agent.

In the year that followed, I met with various very well respected agents including Money Management and Noel Gay - all absolutely amazing but either didn't feel right for me or felt I didn't feel right for them. Meetings were always positive and they all had truck loads of advice for me, which I seized and worked on... really hard but I still wasn't signed.

ENTER HILARY KNIGHT MANAGEMENT (HKM)...


It was a(whole)nother year by the time our paths were to cross and it all started with an innocent 'follow' on Twitter on the 10th of June this year. Phyllida Knight (who also happens to be Hilary's daughter) followed me one week day morning. Having looked up HK Management, I was absolutely amazed that Phyllida would follow me so I of course followed back and tweeted her to say thanks for the follow but then a few hours later, I thought: 'What have you got to lose, why don't you give her a call?' So I did. I explained who I was and that I would be grateful if they would take some time out to meet me. She was ever so lovely on the phone and just asked me to email her my showreel etc. I sent a detailed email right after the conversation and the very next day, I got the positive response I was hoping for.

On the 22nd of June over a coffee, I met with the delightful Phyllida and so happy to say at the end of that meeting, I got signed! As we were approaching that time of year when everyone in media would be off on holiday, we agreed it would be best to keep things quiet for now and meet again in September. Only three days later, I then get this amazing welcome email from Hilary Knight herself and it all began to feel very official. I wouldn't even lie, I had to pinch myself a few times!!! I was totally over the moon.

MEETING HILARY KNIGHT...


This happened at the Lansdowne club just last week, in Mayfair, where Hilary is a member. From the outside, it looks understated but inside, it turned out to be one of those really posh private clubs where the waiters are very attentive and the building just looks utterly stunning. You could tell so much attention had gone into detail in the designing of each room - even the 'powder room' as it is called, looked like a living room. There's something quite 18th century styliee about it. It has a gym area, a pool and members could even book in to spend the night. I could see why Hilary loved it so much. I absolutely LOVE this pic of her above where she decided to make a funny face just before I took the photo! Without even meeting her, you can tell how down to earth she really is. 


I hadn't slept much the night before mainly from excitement as I was really looking forward to meeting Hilary and seeing Phyllida again. We talked about everything from Hilary getting her kitchen redecorated, to how Phyllida came to join mum's company, despite this not being initially planned, to my journey so far. I loved the informal feel of bonding with my agents but also knowing that Hilary has been deeply rooted in her craft for decades and really does know what she is on about. The food was beyond amazing, nothing less than expected, of course. Hilary was so lovely and picked up the bill. I truly felt wined and dined.


The most important thing for me was witnessing such a beautiful relationship between mum and daughter but equally business-like. It was obvious they absolutely care about the agency and the people on their books. They talked about how they are very careful not to sign clients who do similar things to avoid unnecessary rivalry. They truly believe in everyone they have signed and have become close to them too and I love that. I already knew I was loved and supported from all the almost-daily emails we had been sending to one another since my first meeting with Phyllida. Our trust was built from day one, like it was all meant to be. They know everything I'm up to and vice versa. All our plans are made together and all three of us are always on the same page. Recently, one of my original ideas has sparked an interest with a Channel 4 commissioner and so feels like we're working on our first major project together.

In the short time I've been with HKM, I have also managed to bag myself an interview on BBC3 CR with host Roberto Perrone about the benefits of exercise for the elderly. I have already been to a few castings, been shortlisted for a TV commercial as well as being asked to write an article for APL Media. And you know you're doing some things right when you get an email from a production company to say their bosses would like to meet you. Thanks to HKM, I have also become a member of FindaTVExpert, fully supported by the amazing Claire Richmond who is just a god-send, full of truck loads of advice too.


I genuinely feel that the time I took out to reflect was worth it. Hilary and Phyllida are both proud of everything I'm doing and they are with me every step of the way. After my meeting with them, I got quite emotional on my way home and tweeted saying "Couldn't be more grateful to have the most AMAZING TV agents @AgentHils and @phyllidaknight @HKManagementLtd I know I'm home..."

With HKM, I genuinely feel like I am home and couldn't have asked to be signed to anyone better. I know I have a very long way to go and now really is the time to double my efforts, however, I am in good hands and now looking forward to my future with my new TV agents. Really grateful to everyone who has helped me along the way: friends, family and industry professionals who have spared their time to give me advice.

For all the spiring presenters, or people already in the industry looking to find an agent, I am hoping to make a video soon about some of the things I have learnt along the way that may be useful to you, when it comes to looking for an agent. Good luck though, it might be a while but I'm pretty sure things will definitely fall into place soon. Remember to keep me posted on how you're getting on in the comments section below.

Lots of love,
J
xo xo 

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