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23: Break Into Hollywood with Chris Saavedra

Chris Saavedra- Business Breakthrough Podcast

Chris Saavedra is the founder of Saint Agency, an independent talent agency based in Los Angeles, California. He give us an inside look behind the curtain at how Hollywood operates and what it means to be an agent in any industry. The most surprising thing I personally learnt is how much being an actor or model is like running any independent or freelancing business, as the tools Chris teaches us apply in every sector. We discuss the ever growing struggle among independent professionals, especially agents, who essentially run a 24 hour work day, how to black out time so that their significant relationships don’t suffer.

My Guest: Chris Saavedra

Chris Saavedra  is the founder of Saint Agency, Inc., a full-service SAG Franchised talent agency based in Los Angeles dedicated to aggressively servicing actors, models and influencers across all commercial and print platforms.

Chris enjoys close working relationships with some of the largest brands in the world, including Facebook, Apple, Dell, Google, Nike, Adidas, Skechers, Urban Outfitters, Target, Starbucks, Converse, Uniqlo, Amazon, Coca-Cola, Bud Light and eBay. With a keen eye for those with unique gifts, Saavedra has become a dependable resource for producers, photographers, ad agencies and casting directors seeking to employee fresh, inspired talent and has found great success booking lucrative jobs for his clients in television commercials, print campaigns, online web series and digital content.


Pivotal Moments:

  • Chris grew up in Hollywood with his parents and relatives working in the industry, and was a child actor from ages 5-12 years old.
  • As a journalism major in San Diego State University, Chris thought he would go into radio as a Top 40 announcer.
  • Working at a regular managerial job and looking for his next professional move, Chris met a friend who was a fashion photographer who got him an internship at Ford Models.
  • Left that internship and got another internship at Q models. At the 90 day limit got an official job to work there and stayed seven years.
  • Realized he could go on his own to do what he had been doing at Q and earn more, with more independence.


The Advice:

Being out there as an actor is mental warfare. Artists are sensitive at heart so it’s really important to have a cheerleader, and that’s what your agent should be.

Being successful when entering the acting or modeling industry takes only 50% talent. The rest depends on the same factors as any other industry: being professional and timely, ongoing training, having your content online, updating your resume, having up to date online profiles and networking.

If you want to be a talent agent, service your people like they are your client, but motivate them like they are your staff. (This is true of agents in every industry)

The Struggle:

Chris voices the constant struggle of figuring out how to fit his life into his work. Chris is everything to his clients: their cheerleader, champion, support and accountant. He is also always reaching out and looking for jobs. Because everything is online, things can happen at any time of the day, for example, a job offer can come online at 9:00 pm and then he has to get in touch with the client and go through all the back and forth of arranging the job. Furthermore, Chris works completely based on commission with no retainer at all, so there is direct correlation between his efforts and his income, making it even harder to shut down. He recently got engaged and his fiance is not thrilled that he is always on call.

The Breakthrough:

There are some things that Chris is currently doing that can be done by someone else, and a VA is a good option. For the majority of the work that he can’t outsource at this stage, Chris can establish a blackout time for at least an hour or two every day without his phone to give that full focus to those most important relationships. There is nothing that can’t wait for an hour or two, so he can go offline and show his fiance that this time is dedicated only for her. This is critical for any independent professional trying to balance their family and their important relationships with their jobs in the 24-hour online global market place.


“Pain is the touchstone to spiritual growth”

Resources and Links:

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About the author, Estie Rand

I love turning ideas into money, and helping others do the same. I help small business owners with everything from marketing to fiscal management, business plans to staffing, database architecture to work/life balance coaching and I love it all! What do you need help with today?

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