Agent Interview

This interview, conducted by Terry Ross, is with the following talent agents and agencies in the San Diego Area.

Frank di Palermo, Shamon Freitas
Shamon Freitas Agency was established in 1987. Carol Shamon Freitas, the owner, was a model herself and wanted to protect up-and-coming talent from less than reputable agents and managers. The agency was conceived of and remains a booking agency. Shamon Freitas Agency is not a school and does not take photographs. The agency prides itself on fairness, honesty and integrity. Although based in San Diego, Shamon Freitas models and actors can be seen throughout the world on television, film, and in print.

Nanci Washburn, Artist Management
Artist Management Agency is a full-service talent and modeling agency that has been a permanent fixture in San Diego for over 30 years and in Orange County for the past 12 years. The San Diego office is headed by Agency President, Nanci Washburn Artist Management represents some of the most successful performers from Los Angeles to San Diego in the fields of voiceover, spokespersons, hosts and actors, many of whom have been guest stars, co-stars and reoccurring characters on the various San Diego based television shows. The agency also represents over 200 runway, fashion and commercial print models.

Pam Pahnke, Elegance
Agent, Pam Pahnke, has been in the business for over 30 years. She started modeling in Chicago at an early age. She moved to California and opened the modeling agency in early 1980, booking models for runway, print, and promotions; as well as placing models internationally throughout the world. She has been booking actors for the talent division for television, films, and commercials since 1991.


Q: In what ways do you find San Diego to be a unique market?


Q: Is there a specific “type” that works more than other types in San Diego?


Q: Are all ages and types needed in this market?


Q: Are you a full service agency? If so, what is the approximate percentage breakdown of print, commercials, theatrical, etc.?


Q: How long have you been in operation?


Q: How did you first get started in this business?


Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of being an agent?

Q: How do you find new talent?

Q: What are you looking for in new talent?

Q: When you take on new talent, what is your expectation of them?

Q: What should their expectations be of you?

Q: What should they NOT expect from you?

Q: What is your idea of the ideal talent/agent relationship?

Q: Do you recommend that talent seek their own work through internet sites such as in addition to going on auditions for you?

Q; If talent gets paid work on their own (through an internet site or otherwise) do they owe an agency fee?

Q: Do you send San Diego actors to Los Angeles auditions?

Q: Do you have any advice for a beginning actor who says they want to move to LA?

Q: Should talent contact you regularly (send postcards re shows they’re in, etc)?

Q: When is it not appropriate for talent to contact you?

Q: Do you go to see represented talent in shows?

Q: If an actor has not gone on an audition for you in several months, should they contact for any reason?

Q: What do you recommend talent always do (stay enrolled in classes, update headshots, etc.?)

Q: What should talent never do (on an audition, in an agent/talent relationship, in their career, etc.?)

Q: Do you have any specific advice for beginning talent?

Q: Do you ever ask talent to perform monologues?

Q: If you have any other information or advice that you think would be helpful to working and/or potential working actors in San Diego, please list that below.