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I cling to the idea that Herman Melville had to work at the end of his career watching ships in a dock, as a shipping agent in New York. Any writer who thinks they should be given patronage because of their gift... you don't have to look too far in history to see that's just not the case.
Now, more than ever, we need nature as a balancing agent.
You have to list all your special skills on a form when you get an agent. There's fencing, stage combat, horse riding, motorbike riding, Spanish, French, German, whatever. I just ticked everything. I talk about 10 languages according to that form. I even ticked the extreme sports box.
What has happened to the good old-fashioned travel agent? I want to go to a really posh travel agent and have them organise everything for me. I don't want to do things on the Internet.
I spoke to my agent and learned that a Hollywood scout had seen my proposal in one of the publishing houses, and had faxed it to Hollywood, where it was generating a lot of interest.
In fact, if they didn't let me commute, I would not have taken the role because I wanted to graduate high school with my classmates. I remember my agent's jaw dropping when I told him if I couldn't commute I didn't want the role.
I wanted to do everything. I wanted to be a pilot. I wanted to be a secret agent. I wanted to be a fireman and a doctor, all that. So I related that through movies and stuff.
I recall the first time my agent told me to wear clothes specifically chosen for me, I would try and find excuses not to do it.
Some years ago, I fired my agent, Andrew Wylie, alias The Jackal. I want to stress this wasn't an amicable parting of the ways or a hankering on my part for fresh representation. I fired him because his agency wasn't doing enough for me.
God's interventions are miracles: events that cannot happen by merely natural agents but only by a supernatural agent. They no more interfere with our free will than natural events like earthquakes. We choose how to respond to them.
I had the easiest publishing experience in the entire world. I sent out fifteen courier letters to agents, got five no replies, nine rejections and one I want to see it. A month later I had an agent. Another month later I had a three book deal with Little Brown.
When I got my very first phone call that I'd hit the 'New York Times' list, I had a small rush of 'I've made it!' But the next morning, it occurred to me I didn't know what it was, so I called my agent and asked what being a 'New York Times' bestselling author really meant. He informed me that I was now a thousand pound gorilla.
My first novel, 'Housekeeping,' was accepted by the first agent who read it, and bought by the first editor who read it. In general, my experience with publication has been gentle and gratifying.
But especially if you have the wrong people within your circle. Truthfully, at the end of the day, no one cares about you in this business whether they are your agent or your manager or your publicist.
Some of the best auditions I've ever had have been when my agent called and said, 'They want you 20 minutes ago, in an office in Century City, to see you for something.' I'm not sitting there thinking for a week and a half, before I'm supposed to go in front of a network president to do something. That just gives you time to be nervous.
My agent says that I'm a 'repeat business guy.' If you hire me to come do a movie, I'll be on time, know all my material, be ready to go, have a good attitude. I'm here to work, so I get hired over and over again by the same producers. If you just be a team player on set you can work so much more often.
Let it be known: I am a free agent. I'm operating as an independent label. I do not have corporate sponsors. I don't have no corporate backing. I don't have no major distribution.
I'm an actor. The fact that I'm involved in Jigsaw, I don't approach Jigsaw any differently than I approached The Nordic in 'The Firm' or FBI Agent Stokes in 'Mississippi Burning.' It's the same deal. It's just that the effect is sometimes different. So I say, people ask me, 'How does it feel to be a horror icon?' I'm thrilled. It's great.
Peace and commerce with foreign nations could be more effectually and cheaply cultivated by a common agent; therefore they gave the Federal Government the sole management of our relations with foreign governments.
I go on expeditions for the same reason an estate agent sells houses - to pay the bills.
When I was younger I was fat. I was never conscious of it and was content with who I was because I was so loved. My mother never told me to lose weight and my father doted on me, but my agent told me. I tried, but I loved Indian food too much.
When I first met my agent, I said, If something comes up and it fits my age range and personality, I would like you to send me up for it, even if it specifies blonde or brunette.
The broad outlines of the Double Cross deception have been known since 1972, when Sir John Masterman, the former chairman of the double agent committee, controversially published his account of the operation in defiance of official secrecy.
It's important to have the right agent - people that are working hard for you. But an actor needs to be in control of their career no matter how good the representation is.
I began writing 'Matterhorn' in 1975 and for more than 30 years I kept working on my novel in my spare time, unable to get an agent or publisher to even read the manuscript.
John F. Kennedy
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