Audiences love the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, but beyond the red carpet and behind the velvet curtain exists a legion of individuals who make showbiz work: agents. Whether literary, talent, or indie film, agents are behind the scenes brokering power, handling mediation, and doing the deal-making that keeps Hollywood spinning. In Representing Talent, Violaine Roussel explores the little-known but decisive work of agents, turning the spotlight on how they help produce popular culture.
The book takes readers behind the scenes to observe the day-to-day activities of agents, revealing their influence on artistic careers and the prospects of Hollywood’s forthcoming projects. Agents are crucial to understanding how creative and economic power are intertwined in Hollywood today. They play a key role in the process by which artistic worth and economic value are evaluated and attributed to people and projects.
Roussel’s fieldwork examines what “having relationships” really means for agents, and how they perform the relationship work that’s at the heart of their professional existence and success. Representing Talent helps us to understand the players behind the definition of entertainment itself, as well as behind its current transformations.