Nathan Bransford, Author

Monday, April 9, 2007

When Agenting is Like Dating

Hi everyone, hope you had a great weekend. I received quite a few queries over the weekend, and you know how I like to spot query trends. Well, two things popped out this weekend: I received quite a few JFK queries, and also an abnormally high number of queries from young writers (18 and younger). So mark my words, a bio of JFK written by a 14 year old is due to burst on the scene. Or not.

In other weekend news, in case you don't get HBO or otherwise do not keep up with the happenings of one of the greatest shows on television, Entourage started its third season last night, and, to put it mildly, I was excited.

To catch you up: Vince dumped Ari in last season's finale (as Bob Ryan would say: What if I told you Ari pissed off Vince one too many times and Vince fired him in front of his entire agency. Would that be something you'd be interested in?). Well. In the season premiere we find out that Vince has now signed with a fabulous new agent and has moved on, but Ari is pining for his lost client and is trying to win him back. So in the episode last night there were several hilariously awkward conversations between Ari and Vince where they acted like old flames who had broken up. Sample conversation: "Ari: You look good, Vince. Really good. Vince: We're just friends, right? Ari: Of course, Vince. Just friends." Insert some awkward pauses and forlorn glances for good measure.

Now, as you may have deduced from my disposition, political correctness and lack of sassy assistant, I'm nothing like Ari Gold, nor do my clients usually have birthday parties on massive yachts sponsored by Victoria's Secret and Skyy Vodka (but I am avidly rooting for them to do so). And yet Entourage has hit on one of the more hilarious aspects of the agent/client relationship, which is that when you squint your eyes right it does bear some resemblence to dating.

Think about it. You have the courtship process, the cementing of the relationship, the exclusivity but potential for cheating, the messy breakups (Allegedly. I have only heard rumors. I know nothing.) And of course, there are the children: the books.

I will stop the metaphor there so we don't extend the images to prams and amniotic fluid, but let's just say that if you're ever wondering about how to conduct yourself with a prospective agent, don't do anything you wouldn't do to someone you'd want to date.

Would you follow a prospective date into the bathroom at a writer's conference? I think not. Would you yell at someone who politiely declined your offer to buy them a drink? Not if you want a shot at the other prospective dates at the bar.

There you have it. The Ari Gold guide to dating/finding an agent. A 14 year old JFK expert is starting the proposal as we speak.


Roxan said...

I have HBO, but I wouldn't waste my time on Entourage. A new season of Dexter is coming up and I'll take a series about a serial killer over whatever that show is.
As I write my manuscript I wonder if there is an agent twisted enough for it.

Len said...

You can't prove that I'm stalking you. I just happen to show up here every day. And if you just got to know me--I'm not really like I am! Really!

brian_ohio said...

*mouth filled with cottonballs, speaking in harsh Italian accent*

"You're not showin' the proper respect to Tony Soprano. Capiche!"

Come on... it was The Soprano's final season premiere last night.

I've never watched Entourage. I've heard good things... but never watched.

And a 14 year old's perspective on JFK could be interesting. Or not.

Anonymous said...

Yanno, I just had this scenario running through my head last week, only from a slightly different viewpoint - you (meaning "I") put tremendous amounts of time and emotional effort into a potential relationship (got the right clothes, the right haircut, picked the restaurant he/she likes, etc.), and after a few panic attacks and some heavy paper-bag-breathing you finally work up the nerve to pour out your heart and soul and let him/her know exactly how you feel.

Result? "Thanks, but you're not right for me."

Is it any wonder our first reaction (before reason once again takes hold a few moments later) is to obsess over what we did wrong? Was it my hair? Is there somebody else? Did I come on too strong? Was the food too spicy? Not spicy enough? Gahhhhh!

Love the blog, I come here every day for a laugh (and I mean that in a good way). Even though you didn't like my hair (heh heh).


sex scenes at starbucks said...

Have YOU ever thought about writing a book, Nathan?

Nathan Bransford said...


I'm sorry, those records are sealed.

kathy said...

Sex would be what...making a sell, or is that marriage? Maybe the multiple book deal would be marriage...Hmmm.

You started it!

Sherri said...

"I will stop the metaphor there so we don't extend the images to prams and amniotic fluid"

That's so funny. Right before reading this I had published my own post relating writing a book to childbirth. However, I didn't go into that kind of detail. Great minds...

Love your blog.

Jennifer said...

Aaargh! I don't get to see entourage until the season ends, at which time I watch it on tape in one gloriously hedonistic sitting. Don't post spoilers!

Otherwise, nice blog.

Dot said...

Yes! So apt.

And could I add from the writerly lovelorn side-- please don't act interested in us, don't invite us in for a cup of joe, don't ask for our phone numbers, if you don't intend to Call.

Jillian said...

You're a compelling writer -- I agree with Starbucks.

I've got to say, I experienced a bad (bad, bad, bad) agent break-up a couple of years ago. Long, ugly story. Suffice it to say that the final moment of our pseudo-relationship consisted of the agent, after having verbally abused me over the telephone, hanging up on me.


Needless to say, my current agent search has been bolstered by hours and hours (and hours and hours) of research. And I've had more pleasant experiences reading rejections to partials than those I lived through with Ex-agent.

Heidi the Hick said...

so...are you busy next weekend?

Just as friends!


cxygqa said...

No no. It's like dating in a world where there are seven men and four thousand women.

Arjay said...

Do you shave before you kiss, or Is that the you rub me raw line?

A Paperback Writer said...

cxygqa, I always thought ALL dating was like that....
And I'd like to see a 14-year-old attempt to write a JFK bio! Wow. Talk about child prodigy! Most 14-year-olds are more likely to re-hash HBO episodes.... (Trust me: I teach 14-year-olds.)
And Sherri, if you really like the book/birth analogy, there's this great little feminist reading of Frankenstein wherein the entire story becomes an allegory for a man trying to create a "child" -- unnaturally, of course.

ello said...

I don't know who was more excited, you or me. I love that show. Been counting off the days for it to start again. Couldn't give a crap about the Sopranos. I love Ari and his "gaysian" assistant Lloyd. And the boys and the inside look into Hollywood. I would "date" Ari in a heartbeat. In fact, I did follow Jeremy Piven into the mens room and tried to buy him several drinks before he called security on me. Who knew admiration would be considered "stalking" in California? ;o)

Happy Days said...

Our TV isn't hooked up to anything but a DVD player. They get a nonstop workout when the previous season of Entourage arrives from Netflix.

Jeremy Piven is brilliant. Lloyd and Johnny Drama are delightfully quirky. Vince (swoon), Turtle, and E are just so much "the boys from Queens."

The show's writers have created the holy grail of authorship: characters I actually care about.

Come on, Ari! I'm pulling for ya!

PattiTheWicked said...

So, Nathan, does this mean if I ever see you in a restaurant I shouldn't send Drama to run interference for me?

:::makes note to self:::

Anonymous said...

Probable weird question:

That wasn't you in the second episode, at the end of the bar, when Ari and Lloyd met with the syndicated writer -- was it?

Your pic on this blog is small, but I thought there was a resemblance.

Nathan Bransford said...


Nope, but you can bet I'll be firing up the DVR tonight to see my doppleganger.

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