Q Management is a boutique talent agency exclusively representing actors in theatre, film and television. We talk exclusively with agency talent agent and director, Kristie Sicolo
Q Management has been created by the team who directs the successful and well-established children and young performers’ agency Quirky Kidz Creative Management which runs alongside The Pauline Quirke Academy of performing arts.
Kristie Sicolo – Agency Director at Q Management
Kristie started performing at a young age and later went on to tour the UK in various dance competitions at championship level before moving into acting where she made her West End debut at the National Theatre aged 14.
Kristie achieved an AVCE (double award) in Performing Arts and later left her home town in South Wales to achieve a BA (Hons) in Musical Theatre at Bucks New University. Alongside training, she discovered her passion for working with young actors.
Kristie has over 10 years of teaching experience at various performing arts schools specialising in acting and vocal technique. After working in London and assisting at various talent agencies, she was thrilled to join Quirky Kidz Creative Management (QK) in 2010 and later became the head agent, securing high-profile jobs within the film, television and theatre industry. Kristie is extremely devoted to her role to ensure clients get the best service possible.
Vincenzo} Hi Kristie, Thank you for being part of my Blog: A snapshot with for the Actors Toolbox Blog.
Vincenzo} Being an agent must be a challenging but rewarding job, what was it that drew you to become an agent?
Kristie Sicolo} It is the combination of being able to work in an industry that I am passionate about, staying creative and working with such talented people on a daily basis. Not only actors but casting teams, producers, directors and writers.
Vincenzo} It must be full of various roles in a day – can you describe a typical day in the live of your day at Q Management.
Kristie Sicolo} It varies from day to day, first and foremost we prioritise all casting sources such as Spotlight, Casting Networks, Casting Call Pro and so on, to ensure that all submissions are made for our clients, this continues throughout the day. We then liaise with casting directors and production companies to book in audition appointments and ensure that all preparation, times, production details are fully briefed to the client. Additionally, our job involves general admin, negotiating fees, dealing with contracts, sometimes dealing with PR and Press, liaising with production companies in regards to call sheets and scheduling and ensuring clients are well looked after when in work. We also have to network regularly and watch a lot of film, TV and theatre to keep up to date with what’s popular in the industry.
Vincenzo} Q management is unique where it represents a specific age of client – what is the philosophy behind this decision?
Kristie Sicolo} It is an area where our passion and strengths lie, it’s niche, unique and gives us chance to focus on a specific area of the business.
Vincenzo} Once the actors reach over 30 (or at least over that casting, ages bracket) do you have someone who you recommend to take them after this point?
Kristie Sicolo} We are very loyal to our clients and will ensure that they are very well looked after, once they turn 30 they haven’t turned away, we will nurture our clients throughout their career, the age bracket is more of a guidance for playing age than actual age. We’re a young agency and therefore it’s our USP and will be our speciality, however, I am sure as we continue to grow as an agency, we will grow alongside our clients.
Getting an agent’s attention
Vincenzo} On actors finding new representation. what is the best way to get your attention at Q Management ?
Kristie Sicolo} Make contact! Write to them and say you are looking for representation. The easiest way to be seen by Agents is to be in a performance or to have performance footage that can be sent over, so we can understand what you are capable of as a performer. If you don’t have anything, the best thing to do, we think, is actually put a monologue on tape (and a song, if you are looking for musical theatre representation) and send it over with your representation request. Not all agents will write back; this can be for all sorts of reasons – they may have another client too similar to them for instance. Always include a CV and headshot with an application, and be sure to make it somewhat personal to the agent they are writing to – Actors want one that they can work well with, so they should do their research and write to the agents that they most like the look of and tell them why – it shows you’ve done your research!
Vincenzo} in the first meeting regarding representation with an actor, what usually stands out for you? Should actors come prepared with questions to ask – do you have any tips for actors in this situation – any do’s and don’t’s?
Kristie Sicolo} First impressions are important, this includes the way a potential client presents themselves along with superb punctuality. Someone confident in their capabilities but someone who is also willing to continue to develop/broaden their skills throughout their career. Having an understanding of the industry they wish to work, realistic expectations is so important! Along with determination, ambition and pro activity. Above all, agents are humans, we want to be able to get along with our clients and have a great working relationship with honesty, trust and clear communication at all times.
Vincenzo} What are your views on colour actors headshots and 10x8s? I find my American clients often ask for colour whereas here in the UK it can be more split, do you feel actors should stick to black and white or is there room for both?
Kristie Sicolo} I tend to favour colour shots, however, we also ask clients to print both in case the casting director has a preference.
Vincenzo} When it comes to retouching actors headshot, other TOGS (photographers) are over doing this! Surely the aim is the actor should look like their photo with minimal work done on the photos? I have seen some bad examples on this of late.
Kristie Sicolo} Here at Q Management we believe the headshot should LOOK LIKE YOU. Good headshots will look like you on an average to good day – they should be clear, focused pictures, well cropped, with no dodgy shadows or hair in your face, little to no jewellery. It should represent the Actor and their casting type. It’s not a picture for the wall, it’s a picture to help get you auditions, for the Agent to use on daily basis.
Vincenzo} How many photos do you like to use at Q Management on Spotlight Actors? Is there an ideal number?
Kristie Sicolo} A good variety of pictures help, usually around 5 images that are suitable for completely different cast types. We usually give the clients and photographer a clear brief which we as agents feel necessary to get a diverse range to use for a variety of projects ie: Soaps, Period Dramas, Commercials, Musical Theatre and so one.
Vincenzo} When sending out casting/meetings to your actors, what would you expect of the actor, in terms of preparation prior to the audition? Is learning lines a good or bad idea?
Kristie Sicolo} You can never be too prepared, I would expect clients to be super savvy, research the team, play or series, look at the director and their recent projects to get an idea of how they like to work. If a client is given sides I would expect them to be off-book prior to attending the audition. Understandably, some auditions are at short notice so it depends on the situation – although I always ask our clients to learn as much as possible to give them more time in the room working with the team and not worrying about the lines.
Vincenzo} Self-taping for is becoming more common, do you feel that this is a good good thing? Do you have any tips on how to use is to the actors’ advantage?
Kristie Sicolo} Yes, I personally think self-tapes are great! It is becoming more common, you do not have to film on a big expensive camera – a good quality camera phone, digital camera or webcam will do, as long as the resulting footage is clear in both vision and sound. If your recording device cannot be still on a surface or tripod, you will need someone with a steady hand to tape for you. Tapes should be made against a clear background in a quiet, well-lit room and you should wear clothing that does not distract from your face. It is essentially a virtual audition so take into account our audition notes for screen castings. You do not need to move around – your head and shoulders should be on camera, no less and generally no more unless you have been given specific instruction. Your focus and reactions should be towards the person reading off camera, or in the case of a monologue just to the side of the camera (we should still be able to see most of your face) unless you have been asked to look directly into the lens. Before reading, you should say your name, agent and the role/project you are reading. When you are happy, you should save the video to a mp4 or .mov format on a computer or if you have shot on a phone or other recording device, upload it to WeTransfer, Vimeo, Dropbox or another service that your agent/casting director has requested.
And finally Kristie
Star sign? Gemini
Favourite holiday destination? Anywhere with a white sandy beach and palm trees, paradise.
What music are you currently listening to? Beyoncé
If you won an award (best agent, Oscar or BAFTA) where would you leave it? On my office desk where I spend most of my life.
Thanks so much Kristie.