Who Doesn’t Like a Good Gift?
I stopped by my agent’s office to pick up a gift that’s been waiting for me from Estee Lauder, parent company of Clinique. Yippee! Getting swag is a perk of being an actor and while some gifting suites can be outrageous, I’m really not the kind of personality who gets a ton of swag. So when I’m graced with cool shizite I bow my head and say “thank you universe for my free gift. I still find being an actress immeasurably tough, but this helps. Send more soon.” When I worked with Cameron Diaz on What Happens in Vegas, during our dinner outings, she too would also bow her head and say a kind of “grace” just before eating. It was very endearing and made me like her all the more. Gifts should never go un-appreciated. I think the best fan gift I’ve ever received was a coaster that said “Penguin of death.”
Since I was picking up a gift for myself, I asked one of my agents Steven Jang: what’s a good gift to give an agent?
I never know what to get my agents and during holiday time, it looks like they’re inundated with gift baskets. How can I compete with all those tins of crackers and non-articulable cheeses? Steven said that actually in the onslaught of holiday gift baskets, sometimes people’s well intentioned gifts can get lost in the shuffle. This includes gift certificates, wines, even massage gift certificates! “Oh, good massage. Thank you – to whomever gave this to me! You’re…zoink.” (Asleep.)
He was sure to make the point that they appreciate gifts but the good ones are the ones that have a personal touch to it and are memorable. And lets face it, we all like getting good gifts but the art of giving a good gift? We know who, among our own circles, are good gift givers. We make mental post-its on them and remind them of our upcoming birthdays.
I’m responsible for this beautiful designer bed.
I used to think that if I didn’t give my agent a gift, he would put me on the “less” list, but Steven told me… You said it to my face Steven, no takebacks! That gifts aren’t obligatory and it’s not like the agent will work harder for you if you do give them something and the opposite if you don’t. It’s more like, if you choose to give them something, add your own personal detail so they can remember you in the gift. In my case, I am the bed his dog sleeps on. (I will need to process that one a little more.)
Steven’s top memorable gift suggestions:
Home baked goods. He said that he has a few clients who make the same exact thing every year and he looks forward to it every holiday season. It’s like their signature gifts! Peanut butter balls, toffee, yum.
(I would like to note that I made all of my reps homemade candles one year. Slaving away, boiling wax in my kitchen, inhaling poisonous paraffin, and their response to the candles were…. “Great. A candle.” Where was this blog when I needed it?!)
Journal. Steven once received a journal and loved it. I am personally quite fond of quality stationary and journals myself. Thumbs up from me.
Home or office decor. You could mess this one up, so you may need to know your rep well enough and not buy them shabby-chic if they’re more more moderne. This fine box is from a client and sits on his desk. I asked if it came from Africa? He said it may have come from a flea market?
Unique photo frames. This is something I could really use since I just prop my photos up against the wall until they bend and lose their shape.
Office gift. The agency received this no hassle Keurig coffeemaker from a client and they love it! SCORE.
Timing. Instead of sending a gift during the mad holiday rush, send something after the holidays. Perfect for me since I’m always late. He also said that he appreciated when a client sent something after a big job or difficult negotiation was secured as a gesture of celebration.
Box Sets. If you know they like a certain TV show or if you’re able to find out what kind of music they like, they might like owning it and watching/listening to it at their own leisure.
We both acknowledged that times are tough so it’s not the big gift, it’s the personal detail. I still think hand written notes are classy, but I’m notching the home made baked goods for sure. I always include assistants. I brought them all coffee today. Cailin’s coffee is on her shirt. But I mean, look at that smile!
So what memorable gift did Estee Lauder bless me with? Drum rooooll. Trumpets….
Skin Corrector! Yeeah. They sent me Clinique EVEN BETTER Clinical Dark Spot Corrector. Now in a larger bottle. I guess…they feel I have uneven skin. Oh a hand written note. How exciting! I LOVE IT. Seriously, it’s perfect. People will notice that I have freckles, but really, it’s just sun damage. So I really am the right candidate. Thanks Megan Marsanico for your classy note and personalized gift. I will definitely use this and report back when the magic starts to unfold.
Thanks Steven for indulging my blog!