Finding Her Feet by Eve Ainsworth published today by Barrington Stoke
Answering the #FridayFive today is Martin Jensen, Operations Executive at Northbank Talent Management
Tell us a bit about your job?
I’m the Operations Executive at Northbank, so I’m across everything from negotiating contracts to managing our clients’ diaries; logistics for broadcast and live events; ensuring that our clients are paid promptly and administering invoices and royalty statements. I also keep the Northbank website and social media profiles up to date with everything that Northbank clients are doing.
What are the key ingredients for success?
You have to be ready for anything and be incredibly organised. Overlooking what seems like a small detail can, weeks or months down the line, turn into a major problem. You never know when you might need someone’s help, so being friendly and approachable is important – as is being able to prioritise and work out what needs an urgent response.
Could you describe a normal day?
I start by looking over the calendar, making sure there’s nothing that needs to be addressed immediately and that I’m on top of everything that’s happening in the office that day and with our clients over the next few weeks.
Throughout the day I’m responding to tasks as they come in; following up on upcoming events and publications; checking in with the agents to see what they need; and looking at news coverage and social media for anything relevant to our clients.
For those trying to break into the industry, could you explain how you got to where you are today?
I took a circuitous route in. I studied Film & TV Production and worked in that industry for several years, reading screenplays and working on set, before working in casting, which had a fair amount of overlap with my current role.
I think a lot of people are attracted to the more glamorous or high-profile aspects of the media industries, whether that’s film, TV or publishing, without always appreciating how much work goes in behind the scenes. To break in, you must understand this and take on the more complicated and administrative tasks.
What are you reading, watching and listening to now?
I’ve been catching up with the Booker longlist from last year. I haven’t got to the winner just yet, but I especially loved Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan, The Colony by Audrey Magee and Booth by Karen Joy Fowler. I recently finished Underworld, Don DeLillo’s dense (but in a good way) post-modern novel about everything from nuclear waste management to baseball memorabilia.
I’m keeping up with Eurovision for the first time in years. The best film I saw recently was Saint Omer, a devastating, understated French courtroom drama. In heavy rotation at the moment are Lana del Rey, Beach House and Kurt Vile.