This week’s story details how F.A.M. creator and actor, Anthony E. Williams, successfully signed with senior agent Kat Hargrave of DGRW after this year’s Catalyst Content Festival. Read their story below!
Catalyst: Kat, tell us a little about your journey through the industry and how it led you to connect with Catalyst.
Kat Hargrave: I was an actor for several years out of college, primarily working in musical theatre and for Disney. I loved doing it, but always knew the shoe didn't quite fit me. I dreamed of staying in the business, but wanted to utilize my skills of advocacy, relationships, organization, and dream-making. Naturally, being an agent seemed like a great fit.
My route to my current position, primarily submitting on TV/Film projects in New York, was a circuitous one. I started with an unpaid internship. From there, the only job I could get was assisting in a voiceover department. That company eventually let me transition on-camera to primarily commercial work. From there, an associate at a robust boutique agency- assisting a successful agent on his many TV accounts. And, during the pandemic, the life-changing opportunity to join DGRW as a Senior Agent.
My ascent was quick, but I doubted my path constantly. After all, I had never been around anyone who transitioned to being an agent. I didn't know what that looked like. In the middle of this, my husband, who is an actor, and I got this idea for a blog where we could discuss the varied paths to achieving different goals in our industry. We built it up before the pandemic, got to talk to many amazing people, and I know it created many friendships and, honestly, was a big reason for my job at DGRW.
Luckily for me, one of those friendships became Nikki Coble who had stumbled across our blog. Her heart for creators, her tenacity, and her vision allowed me to attend Catalyst in 2021. I saw lots of great work, met many new friends, and even met a future client during this event.
Catalyst: It sounds like your attendance at the festival afforded many creators an opportunity to network with and learn from you. Tell us more about how you connected with your future client and ultimately decided you would be a great fit for one another professionally.
Kat Hargrave: I'll start by saying that I think I learned more at Catalyst than anyone could have learned from me. Our business moves at such a breakneck pace, it was wonderful to listen to filmmakers, actors, and casting directors on their day to day. Learning about each other, our passions and our struggles, makes us all better artists and better humans. Catalyst was a great chance to remind myself how wonderful and big our industry is.
But, YES, I'm proud to have met my, now client, Anthony Williams after a dynamite panel I was a small part of. As luck would have it, Anthony and I ran into each other at the exact right moment. He had recently piled up some exciting TV credits, was ready to add an agent, and we already shared a few clients with his manager. Anthony introduced himself to me after the panel and was, genuinely, happy to meet me- his manager had apparently just been talking to him about targeting DGRW before he attended Catalyst. It was a chance meeting, so we had a nice and very human interaction. His manager then sent over his materials and everything just seemed to fit. We signed him a few weeks later after he met with our entire team and Anthony has already had his first guest star credit with us. So many stars had to align for me to meet Anthony, but I'm so grateful that Catalyst was such a gigantic part of it.
Catalyst: Anthony, you had an Official Selection at the 2021 Catalyst Content Festival. Tell us about your side of this journey.
Anthony E. Williams: While attending Catalyst for my TV Pilot F.A.M., I reached out to my manager about changing representation in New York. I was in between showings when I got an email to research Kat at DGRW. I then looked back at the schedule and saw Kat from DGRW was going to be on a panel that afternoon. While in attendance I appreciated her approach to representation and asked a question, "How does one change representation the right way?" Kat's answer was simple, "Don't overthink it." After the panel, like most actors, I approached Kat and had one goal in mind, not to get signed, not to impress, but to hear the words every actor wants to hear from an agent at a festival..."SEND ME YOUR STUFF." Thankfully that's exactly what happened.
Three weeks later we had a zoom call and I was signed on the spot. What's more amazing is that less than a month after signing with DGRW I booked a Top of Show guest star on Law & Order SVU. Soon after that Kat worked with the same casting office and secured a recurring role on CBS's FBI.
Catalyst: It’s amazing how genuine conversation can foster these types of connections. Kat, is there any advice you would give to creators looking to build relationships (and potentially sign) with representation at our next festival or networking events?
Kat Hargrave: I'll say that I am never in the mood to network, but ALWAYS in the mood to meet new friends. And, ultimately, I know that's a difficult tightrope to walk, especially out of an event that is designed to make connections. It was, however, one of the reasons Anthony worked for us so well. In reality, Anthony didn't need us. If it wasn't for our perfectly timed encounter, he likely would have signed somewhere else soon. This allowed him to be open, gracious, knowledgeable about me and DGRW - but not pushy. That's a key to me.
When I speak for my own networking device, which happened to be my blog, its success came from me not understanding it was a networking device. I was hungry to get to know the people and hungry to celebrate other's accomplishments. Ultimately, that led to making friends. After we became friends, there were some miracle interactions where jobs worked out. None of it would have happened, however, if we didn't care about the person first and the career move later.
It's a long road and I know your heart is on your sleeve. Mine is too. Everyone I know is striving to make this career work in our respective fields, dumping in time, money, and emotion. I believe, firmly, those things pay off when we play the long game. Come to Catalyst and meet as many interesting and gracious humans as you can. I'm sure we'll all be working together one of these days.
Anthony E. Williams: I've been accepted in over 50 festivals with F.A.M. but Catalyst truly puts creators with industry experts in the same room where you can actually have a conversation.