Agents and Alumni

By: Kelly Wells

Group photo at ICM Partners

We started this morning at ICM partners where we met with Hofstra alumnus Bryan Diperstein and some of his colleagues. Prior to the meeting I knew that ICM was one of the largest talent agencies in L.A. (and probably in the country), but I don’t think I fully understood the scope of their work. I knew that they represented musicians, actors, comedians and other on-screen talent, but I had no idea that they also have a theater division or that they represent writers and directors.

Bryan is an agent in the literary division, meaning the majority of his clients are writers and directors. Because of this, the scope of his work is a bit different than most other agents – rather than negotiating deals surrounding roles and performances for a client, he’s negotiating deals with studios to turn scripts into movies. I didn’t realize that this was a job that fell to an agent, so it was very interesting to hear.

Something we’ve heard a lot on this trip is that if you want to work in the entertainment industry, you should start in the mailroom at an agency. Prior to coming to L.A., I didn’t even know what a mailroom was, but now this is a path I’m considering more and more.

The control room at Real Time with Bill Maher.

After ICM, we headed to CBS Television City to see the monologue rehearsal for Real Time with Bill Maher. We met the director and were able to watch from the control room as one of the production assistants sat in for Bill, then we headed out to the studio and watched Bill’s portion of the rehearsal. It was interesting to see how many jokes they tried out (double or even triple the amount they’ll actually use in tomorrow’s show), and I’m excited to go back for the live show and see which jokes made the cut.

Sophie, Leah, Ben, me and Sara at the DGA reception.

We ended the night at the Directors Guild of America at the alumni reception. We were able to reconnect with some of the people we’ve met throughout the week as well as meet more alumni and even a few admitted students. I was glad to have another chance to speak with some of the alumni that we didn’t have time to chat with after our meetings, and I’m excited to keep in touch with these new contacts!

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