Ross Reports Television & Film

Agency spotlights: an inside look at Harden-Curtis Associates and Flick East-West Talents, Inc.

Harden-Curtis Associates

Harden-Curtis Associates, headed by Mary Harden and Nancy Curtis has been serving the New York-Metropolitan area entertainment community since 1996. Ross Reports recently spoke with Mary and Nancy about what criteria they use for taking on new clients, and their approach to representing actors.

What is the philosophy of Harden-Curtis Associates?

NC: In this economy and in this world, people have to multi-task. We feel that actors have many dimensions to them, so we really look at performers to see what else they can do. If we have somebody who can do musicals, maybe we can move them into film and television, and vice-versa. So that was one of the philosophies that Mary and I always talked about when we were forming this company.

MH: We have a very strong belief in pushing the envelope--exploiting every situation as far as you could go with it. Part of our job as agents is to make sure, when a client is in a show, that we promote that show as much as possible. We get people there to see it, and we let our people know how to do that. We have a very strong sense of actors being pro-active about their career.

We want actors who network, who keep up their own contacts, who see this as a career and a business.

NC: I tell actors to take a situation and push it to the wall. Meaning, if you're in a Broadway show and you get comps during previews, don't give them to your friends. Give them to me. We got a number of casting directors to see our two clients in 12 Angry Men that way. If I have a young actor who's just starting out and they can't afford to take a film class, I will call up friends and ask, "Could they be a reader? Could they watch you put people on tape?" So I'm trying to take any situation possible and exploit it, take it to the wall, so that the actor will get more visibility, or more people will come to see their show, etc.

How do you find new performers? Do you attend plays, showcases, etc. in search of new clients?

NC: Personally, I tend to cover mostly client's shows, just because that's all the time I have. Mary and I go out three or four times a week; in the heavy-duty season, we'll go out five nights a week. I really don't have time to go see a random showcase. If you don't have an agent, then find out the names of the assistants in the office and write to them; they're the ones more likely to go to a show that doesn't have a client in it.

MH: Also, a lot of our clients have come through recommendations. Either other clients have recommended them, or we've seen them in shows with our clients.

In what areas does Harden-Curtis Associates specialize?

MH: Because we are New York-based, theatre is a large part of our business. But again, our philosophy is that our job, as agents, is to take the actor and open up doors in other areas. So I wouldn't single out one specific area where we're stronger than others.

NC We have a number of people doing pilots. We have somebody who's a series regular on Joey. We do not have an LA office, but we work with about ten different offices out there and we have wonderful working relationships with people in LA. Either Mary or I are probably out there once a month to see tapings, to see clients in shows, etc. …

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