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Although their names aren't displayed with blinking lights or embossed on the back of a director's chair, talent coordinators play a crucial role in the success or failure of dramatic productions. They locate talent, help negotiate their contracts and make sure performers have everything they need from the first rehearsal to the final curtain.
Talent coordinators act as a liaison from the talent to the producer, finding out the producer’s precise artistic vision for the show, and then relaying this vision to the talent, and/or the talent’s agent. Coordinators have to know the exact look and skill set that talent needs to have, as well as how many slots should be filled. To do this job well, talent coordinators might need to read the script and/or stage direction in order to fully translate what will be required.
Talent coordinators are responsible for booking -- or at the very least, recommending -- talent for various artistic productions. This might require placing an ad or circulating the opportunity through word of mouth or contacting a talent agency. Coordinators will need to analyze headshots, audition tapes and perhaps live auditions, to pick or recommend the right people for the roles available. On the administrative side, they must be vigilant about keeping potential talent and agents aware of opportunities to apply and/or audition. They should also keep current files on their talent pool that includes each person’s skill set, availability and performance history.
Talent coordinators are responsible for negotiating contract agreements, to make sure talent is paid a fee that is within the production budget. They often mediate negotiations between the production company and talent and/or agents who represent talent.
Once the deal is in place, talent coordinators are responsible for making sure talent gets all their needs met. This includes food, transportation, lodging, costumes, security and other special accommodations.
Several personal traits are required in order to be a successful talent coordinator. They must be excellent communicators and negotiators, independent thinkers, team players who work well with others and familiar with modern production terminology, technology and routines. They should also be patient, calm under pressure and able to solve problems.
Education And Training
Talent coordinators should have experience in the production industry, and a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as theater, film or television production or media communication. Coordinators should also have a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record.
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Oubria Tronshaw specializes in topics related to parenting and business. She received a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Chicago State University. She currently teaches English at Harper Community College in the Chicago area.