I’m pretty excited about the new series, The Agent, slated to kick off in about a week (Aug. 11, 9p E/8p C) on the Esquire Network. I think it’s gonna be great because it gives a pretty accurate depiction of what the business is really about.
With that in mind, I spoke to Ed Wasielewski of Philadelphia-based EMG Sports last week. Ed is not only one of the four agents featured, but he was also instrumental in getting the show to air (it was his idea). To Ed’s credit, he’s not the star of the show (even though the original working title of the show was ‘Agent Ed’).
On what he hopes the show portrays: “It’s not as fancy and sexy as it’s made out to be in movies. It’s a service industry where you are responsible for guiding the careers of young professional football players. . . For the most part, I think most successful agents are regular guys.”
On the difficulty of making an authentic show, and always being on camera: “If I’m having a meeting for two hours then I’m ‘on’ for two hours, but when you’re out of the meeting, then you’re off. But when the cameras are rolling, you’re ‘on’ for the entire time the cameras are around you, before, during and after the meeting. It was a little bit of an adjustment. . . Sometimes your energy level goes up and down. These can be long days, and when that camera’s rolling all the time, you have to be ‘on.’ That’s a lot of extra energy to be spent.”
On the unexpected part of filming recruiting: “I was at Indiana and ended up sitting around for an hour or so, maybe two hours, waiting for (Indiana RB Tevin) Coleman to text me his address. You’re waiting on the player and he had family around, got tied up, and what do you do for two hours? You can’t go back to the hotel, so you’re hanging out in the car. Maybe you can go get a bite to eat, but then if he calls, you have to leave. You have to roll with things and adjust when things happen.” (Editor’s note: This is depicted the in the opening episode)
On NFL scouts’ attitude toward being filmed: “I took meetings with some teams, free agent meetings, and they expressed an interest not to be filmed. Now, we did film with one team, but they said they did not want it released, and even when I went to a pro day, one of the scouts that I spoke to there didn’t want any part of it.”
On the players’ attitude toward being filmed: “These players are really telling their stories and they understand that if the camera is on them, anything is fair game.”