An acting agent is someone who represents you, puts you up for casting calls, and tries to get you seen by the right Casting Directors. They help negotiate your pay, contract, and working conditions.
In other words, an agent is a person who can submit you to a producer or casting director so that you can hopefully land an audition.
A good agent is most often the key to success for any actor.
They are a crucial part of the team that surrounds an actor and without them, it would be difficult to sustain a career in this competitive industry.
It’s hard when you’re just starting out to find the perfect talent agent, but don’t worry, We are here to help!
In this article, we will show you everything you need to know about acting agents and how to get one.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF HAVING AN ACTING AGENT?
- An acting agent can see castings that are not readily available to the general public.
- They get you places.
- You’ll Work together to achieve a common goal.
- A good acting agent will be able to take advantage of their professional relationships with directors and producers to get you auditions.
- Agents can remain organized.
- Agents always work to get you the best deal.
- Their reputation can get you seen by Casting Directors that you might not get on your own.
- Support you with your career goals.
- Agents are able to look at the big picture of a client’s career, including what they want to do, what they want to be known for, and what their strengths are. This knowledge offers innovative opportunities for building a long-term career.
- A good agent will have at least a couple of meetings with you over a year. You can both reflect and work together to see where to go next.
- They can help with your negotiations and support you throughout the contract period.
What are the disadvantages of having a talent agent?
- Unless you have some breakout success, most likely you’ll have to chase the agents rather than them chase you.
- They may not be the right one for you and put you up for roles you don’t want or don’t suit you.
- Take a commission for you to find your own work.
- Some agents don’t let you look for or create your work at all.
- An agent will not manage you.
- The acting agent is not your certified caretaker.
- Agents often have multiple clients, and thus they do not serve as your secretary.
THE ROLE OF A TALENT AGENT
A talent agent is someone who is responsible for finding and representing actors, singers, models, athletes, and other entertainers.
They negotiate with producers and casting directors on behalf of their clients to find work for them in film, television, theater, commercials, voice-overs, and other media productions.
The role of a talent agent is to promote and manage the career of a professional actor or actress.
Talent agents are typically employed by talent agencies, which in turn represent actors, actresses, directors, writers, and other artists.
Some roles talent agents undertake:
- Find work for their client in film or television
- Negotiate contracts
- Find new clients
- Provide feedback on scripts
- Help with marketing and promotion
- Make sure that you’re well researched on what a certain agent or agency is looking for. Know and understand what they want and need so that you can be successful in your submission process.
Its also worth noting agents charge commission instead of up-front fees.
TYPES OF AGENTS
- Commercial agents:: are a huge part of the entertainment industry. They’re responsible for submitting clients for TV commercials, music videos, and at times industrial films.
- Modeling agents: typically place high fashion models, but through which several actors and actresses have gotten their start;
- Commercial print agents: place actors in print media assignments suited to their talents.
- Voice over agents: Voice over agents are people who speak for animated characters, narrate TV shows, provide instructional videos and more. These professionals are responsible for capturing the emotion of the character or subject on screen. They also have to know how to use their voice to accentuate certain points and make it sound interesting.
- Specialty agents: handle sports figures, stand-up comics, cabaret, circus performers, radio talent, novelty acts, and just about everything else in show business.
WHAT QUALITIES SHOULD I BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR IN ACTING AGENTS?
- The skillset of an agent is vast, and a successful agent needs to be able to do more than just represent. Some agents have had careers in acting themselves and are familiar with the difficult landscape of the industry. Others have studied subjects at university which make them qualified to work with both the marketing and legal aspects of an agent’s job.
- Price: The agent should not demand an upfront fee. An agent will charge a commission and take a percentage of the work that they find for you. Plus, the agent should not stray that far from the 10% commission fee. Maximum 10%-20%, depending on the line of work.
- Signing with a franchised agent can be an excellent option for those looking to succeed in this industry. Franchised agents are agencies that are bound by specific rules, which serve as guides to help their agents operate more efficiently and effectively. There is no such thing as franchised agents in the UK, but if you’re in the US check out SAG-AFTRA.
- Professionality: A website or social media page is a reflection of the agency’s professionalism. Even if the agent has a good reputation, an unprofessional website or page will turn off potential clients. A good agency website or page should have easy to find contact information and brief bios of the agents. It should also have a few testimonials from past clients and show examples of their work (paintings,
How do you get an agent for acting?
When people are just starting out in their acting career, they usually don’t have the connections to get an agent on their own. Instead, they should look for open calls and auditions.
Open calls are usually hosted by casting directors, production companies or talent agencies. These events are geared towards actors who are just starting out in the industry and who want to get noticed by agents.
Auditions can be done virtually and through video chat as well as in person. Casting directors will post these auditions online with a specific type of actor they’re looking for and a deadline for submissions.
The best way to find an agent is through networking with other actors, film schools or film festivals. Agents will attend these events because they want to scout new talent.
Another way to get an acting agent is to send in a headshot and resume to the agency you want to work with. You can also go on YouTube and find actors who have signed with agencies and see if they have any advice on how they got their agent.
And finally, you can try to go through the list of agencies in your area and send them your materials if they don’t have any requirements for submissions.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN MEETING WITH YOUR AGENT
The first thing that an agent wants to see is what you’ve done. They want to know whether or not you have the talent and the drive to make it in this industry.
An agent will want to see your reel, your headshot, and your resume. They will also want to know about any previous acting experience that you may have had and what skills you bring to the table.
Agents are looking for someone who has a versatile range of skills and actors who can be cast in many different types of roles.
If an agent wants to meet you in person, then you are one step closer to reaching your dreams.
The purpose of the meeting is to give the acting agent a chance to determine if you have the drive to make it as an actor, so be ready to perform for the agent ;
- It is important to have a monologue to recite at any given time on the spot
- be prepared to do a cold reading from any script handed your way.
Remember that this meeting is just as much for them as it is for you. It’s a partnership so make sure you are willing to work with them and show them what you got!
Can you be a successful actor without an agent?
The answer is yes, but you will have to do a lot of leg work. You need to find the right people who can help you get your foot in the door.
You will also need to build your own network and make connections with other actors in the industry.
There are a few Actors who choose to go without an agent, this may be down to personal preference, or they may not have found the right one yet.
Often, if you get a gig and do well, a company will recommend you to another, which will enable you to continue working and build up your contacts.
Acting agents can make a remarkable difference in your acting career by allowing you to focus more on honing your craft than chasing down gigs.
Much like how a personal trainer can help an athlete get in shape by providing the right guidance and motivation, an acting agent gives actors the tools they need to succeed.
An agent can help you find auditions just as a personal trainer would put you on the right diet to lose weight.
Agents are becoming more and more essential in today’s business as actors are finding it increasingly hard to break into Hollywood.
This does not mean you take a hands-off approach to book work, you still have to be involved.
Be persistent and make sure that you are submitting yourself to the right people.
With that being said go out there and get yourself that right acting agent!
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