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Agent

Abi Kingsley-Parker

As a LAMDA drama tutor, freelance choreographer and dance academy principal, AKP Management Agency Director and Agent Abi Kingsley-Parker has a wealth of experience and industry knowledge and a passion for nurturing and developing her artist's talents to guide them to reach their maximum potential.

Launching a talent agency has long been Abi's ambition, she has a background in TV and Film production and is excited to be able to provide a platform for talented artists to further pursue their careers in the entertainment industry.

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Abi Kingsley-Parker Talent Agent
Abi Kingsley-Parker
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Your Advantage & Awareness Newsletter

Where Industry and Community Come Together to Where Stars are Made!

February 2022

In This Issue:

Member & Talent Agent Abi Kingsley-Parker shares ways to find success working in Entertainment

Young Artist Academy™

| 9601 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1119, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

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INDUSTRY PRO CONVERSATION

Talent Agent/Acting Coach

Abi Kingsley-Parker is also a member of the Young Artist Academy. The U.K.-based professional has been working in Entertainment for thirteen years and directs AKP Management Agency. She shares insider perspectives for finding success in Show Business!

What does an agency do for an artist?

 

An agency represents and works on behalf of their artists to promote and protect their interests. As a talent agent representing a wonderful roster of artists of all ages, my job involves submitting talent for suitable roles in TV, film and stage projects, organising meetings, supporting and advising clients during their audition prep period (in many of my younger actors cases, also personally coaching them) negotiating contracts and liaising with production.

What should talent expect when meeting with an agent? 

 

An initial meeting with a talent agent, in my opinion, should be very much a two-way process. I love to find out as much as I can about prospective new talent when holding meetings but am also keen to answer any questions they have about the agency and industry too.

 

When meeting with an agent, artists should be prepared to talk about themselves: their training, any productions/performances/projects they have participated or featured in previously and what their aspirations are as a performer. An agent will be keen to know these points in particular but do prepare some questions for the agent also! Questions about the other artists the agency represent, the type of roles they would potentially be submitting you for, how communicative they like their talent to be...are good starting points.

 

I love working with my artists and it’s important for me to have a great dynamic with everyone I represent. If you’re going to be working together towards a common goal, being on the same path and wavelength is a good place to begin.

What can an "artist" do to help their reps?

 

As a boutique agency I may run things differently to some larger agencies, but these are a couple of my personal tips that I give to all my artists to help me as their rep:

 

Firstly, Don’t be a stranger! It’s super important to me to communicate regularly with everyone on my roster. The more I communicate with my artists the more I learn about them which, in turn, helps me represent them to the best of my ability! The little details I discover about someone in general conversation can sometimes end up being so very valuable for casting opportunities and trust me, I remember everything! For example, it was only through an informal chat that I learnt a client had a bizarre skill (that they hadn’t thought would be useful to mention for their acting career) Remembering that skill ended up being something that gained them a fab audition when a specific casting breakdown popped up! I of course wouldn’t recommend inundating your agent with messages or calls (as we are very busy people!) but a check in text or email now and again or a request for a quick chat can be so very helpful and keep you fresh in your agent’s mind!

 

Secondly, remember to Keep tabs on your stats! If there’s any changes to my artists stats either physical: height, measurements, hair style etc. or qualifications and skills: for example, a young artist has recently passed a great music exam or learnt to horse ride... I need to know about it! I cannot stress enough how important it is for artists to keep their profiles current and details updated so that their agent is representing them as accurately as possible! Your agent will thank you for it!

 

Thirdly, Don’t stop learning! Artists of all ages will testify that ‘that you never stop learning!’ It’s so important to practise your skills as a performer: take classes, attend workshops, be interested and proactive with your personal development. Many of my artists attend weekly acting, music and dance classes and take regular exams to record their progress. A recommendation I make, particularly to young performers is to seek out a great local acting/theatre academy or research online classes. Virtual training is making amazing international coaches more accessible that they’ve ever been! For example, I represent a talented dance artist based in Spain who is able to train virtually with Abby Lee Miller in America! Check out the opportunities that are out there and don’t stop learning!

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What things do you do to get inspired?



I enjoy networking and meeting new people, this never fails to inspire me. Attending film festivals has been a great source of inspiration over the years with some of my very best memories from Cannes and BFI London Film Festival watching amazing projects and meeting incredible people.

 

Of course the ability to socialise at events has been restricted in recent times due to the pandemic. However, being a member/involved with such organisations as ‘The Young Artist Academy’ ‘Women in Film and TV UK’ and ‘British Academy Film Awards’ has been a blessing as these organisations (and many others) have done their utmost to keep members of our industry connected as much as possible...and found new creative ways to continue to uplift and inspire us during what has been an extremely difficult time. I am so very thankful for the continued source of inspiration from these organisations and their communities and look forward to more exciting times ahead!

 

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How does a rep work with a young performer's other representatives and with parents?

 

As an agent representing several artists who are children, artists who also have a manager or who have additional international representation, I would say communication is the fundamental element that should be focused on for a successful working relationship. The industry can be fast paced and often unexpected. Parents/guardians need to be aware of the commitment required to having their child pursue a career in the film, TV or stage industry and I always communicate this as a great importance to all parents/guardians of children looking to seek representation.

 

Auditions can be requested at short notice and require time and support to prepare for, booking a role most often involves travelling and staying away from home with a parent/guardian acting as chaperone in most cases. The commitment and dedication required not just from the young artist but from their parents/guardians too is huge! It really is important to ensure everyone is working from the same page towards the talents goals and understands the level of commitment required.         

 

One point I find essential to relay to talent with multiple reps is ensuring everyone on your team has an up-to-date schedule of their clients' availability. I am fortunate to co-represent several clients with incredible LA-based talent manager James Symington of ‘Symington Talent Management’ and we work closely with our clients (and their parents/guardians in the case of young talent) to establish the most effective mode of communication for each individual we represent. This enables us to share information including availability and to hold regular meetings easily. Having an international team can often require flexibility with working hours to ensure everyone is able to easily communicate in ‘real time’ across different time zones where possible. As I mentioned earlier, the ability to have virtual ‘face to face’ meetings has made the world so much more accessible and is an invaluable tool for great communication!

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What is unique about AKP?

 

Having been a young professional performer myself, I understand first hand the industry from a young person’s perspective. I feel this personal experience gives me a unique approach to the management of young talent and has been an instrumental factor in the formation of AKP Management Agency

 

Fast forward several years from my personal young performing days, it’s 2018 and I’m an acting coach running a private drama school. I decided to launch a talent agency after becoming a member of ‘The Agents Association’ and being accepted as a registered ‘Spotlight’ talent agent. The aim was to represent my talented students, to further their opportunities in the TV, film and stage industries and create a supportive team vibe for them to establish themselves within. After this initial small roster of young artists booked some incredible notable roles in feature films, TV series, commercials, and many more fantastic projects, I decided to expand the agency beyond my drama school walls and now represent a larger roster of artists of all ages including several international clients.

 

The ethos is still very much to keep the organisation as personal and ‘team orientated’ as possible which I am proud to uphold. Many of my artists know that I use the word ‘Boom’ as a form of an encouragement frequently in my coaching sessions, in conversations... all the time really! So much so that my artists have affectionally become known as members of ‘Team Boom’ and it’s great to see how positively they support each other! Long may this continue!

This interview features in Feb 2022 issue published monthly for currently paid members

of the Young Artist Academy™

 

To contact the Editors of Your Advantage & Awareness Newsletter,

email Newsletter@YoungArtistAcademy.org

For weekly/daily statements by the Academy, please follow @YoungArtistAwds

 

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Photographer

Teele Dunkley

Teele is an Estonian filmmaker and photographer based in Norfolk UK. She is a passionate and creative self-shooting DSLR director and editor. Since graduating in Media and Moving Image, Teele went on to work for Eye Film and Television as a director of photography and production coordinator.

 

Teele has photographed, directed and produced many projects including several music videos, short films and promotional videos.

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