At Work With… Teresa Natera, Owner and Talent Agent at Core Talent
The ‘At Work With…’ Interview Series is our way of bringing you behind-the-scenes with the people and businesses included in our Texas Production Directory (TPD). We want to showcase the creatives that cover all levels of production experience, backgrounds, and geographies around the state. This week’s spotlight is on Teresa Natera, Owner and Talent Agent at Core Talent based in Dallas, and a lifelong Texan.
Your claim to fame: What special skill or fun fact differentiates you from others?
I am the woman known for creating a talent agency with the personal touch of a small business, whose talent is just as competitive as those represented by the largest agencies in the region.
What’s the most memorable experience that you’ve had [in the industry] and what made it so special?
My most memorable experiences are the industry mixers sponsored by the agency. They were more frequent before the pandemic and I really enjoyed the opportunity to get to interact with the actors I represent, as well as other industry professionals. I plan to get back to hosting them on a more regular basis.
What are the skills required to succeed in your specific area of expertise?
I have been successful because I have remained steadfast in my vision for the company. I work every day on continuing to grow and improve. I have made mistakes and learned from them. I have worked to surround myself with like-minded professionals and are inspired by them. Being very organized, diplomatic, persistent, optimistic and a problem-solver are all qualities that have helped me.
Have you had an industry mentor or colleague that has made an impact on you or helped you along your career path? If so who, and how did they impact you?
I give credit to my former business partners, Lori Leland, who started the agency with me, and James Casarez, who worked alongside me for many years to grow the business into what it is today. Lori inspired me to think big and to believe in the possibility of a dream and James gave me tough love when I needed it, pushed me when I needed that even more and remains one of my closest friends.
In your industry, collaboration is the key to success. How do you best foster collaboration with your colleagues from project to project?
The collaboration in my position is mostly between myself and the actors I represent. We have to work as a team towards our goals. Although the majority of our interactions are via email, I try to remain connected to them as best I can. Whether it's through sending an occasional video, talking through some agency updates, offering motivation, getting on a phone call and talking through a career game plan or just being available for all of the random questions that pop up - my goal is to create a rapport that builds trust.
What tools and supplies can’t you live without in your job and why?
My laptop and phone. I am the middleman between an actor and casting director/production personnel. I'm useless without the ability to communicate efficiently and quickly.
How have Covid-19 safety protocols affected the way that you work?
The conditions of the pandemic required auditions to be virtual, which they now remain almost exclusively. The speed and efficiency of the virtual audition process has saved time and money for those on the other side of the desk. This has made my job somewhat easier in that the coordination taking place is more streamlined. However, the preparation time for actors has lessened, which I think has presented a challenge for them.
What’s the best part about working in Texas?
All of my immediate and the majority of my extended family are all Texans so it's home to me. There is something exciting and invigorating about the general vibe that Dallasites seem to have. I feel pushed to excel and to grow, which I love.
What are some of the projects made in Texas that you feel reflect the diverse culture of the state?
Without listing specific titles, the projects that I see being developed independently are incredibly diverse and inspiring to see. I receive casting calls from students as well as more experienced directors from all over the state who are growing and creating and producing projects that are reflective of their unique experiences.
Interview has been edited for brevity.
Texas has thousands of freelance individuals, companies and associations that serve the film, television, commercial, video game, animation & XR industries.
If you or your business are listed in the Texas Production Directory, we want to hear about your special skills, memorable experiences and more.