Learning the Agent Lifestyle with Charlie Ferraro at United Talent Agency

Today the cohort travelled to Beverly Hills and visited United Talent Agency. We had the privilege of meeting four different agents from UTA: Michael Conway (CAO), Chloe Popescu (brand representation), Chelsea McKinnes (talent), and Charlie Ferraro (literary).

 

Charlie Ferraro is a one of the biggest literary agents in the world. He grew up in Los Angeles but did not get much exposure to the film business. He moved east and graduated from Villanova, then came back West to USC’s film school. After realizing acting and directing were not his callings, he started working at the ‘standard’ mailroom job, at UTA. The exposure to this dynamic, business-y side of the entertainment industry led him to start networking and moving up at UTA until he got to the position he is in today.

Every day is different and dynamic for any agent, but Charlie pointed out that to in order to be a good agent one must have good work ethic, communication skills, an eye for people, an opinion and a point of view. Agents bring opportunities to clients, and are, in essence, sellers. Therefore, they must not only watch every movie produced but also know every project in development in order to best match their clients with those projects. That is part of the reason why agents must be great communicators. They need to communicate with their 40+ clients, their clients’ teams, and with studios on a daily basis.

A take away from our visit is that being an agent is not a job but a life style. It is a 24/7 craft that requires one’s full dedication. Hence why Charlie advises that if any of us wants to be a writer, for example, we should write instead of working at an agency, because if we work for him we will not have any time to write. In between reading Variety, Deadline, and Hollywood Reporter (another advice from the agents), anyone interested in working for a big time agency like UTA should apply for a mailroom entry-level position or an apprenticeship program.