As much as everyone loves a great story of discovery, not all actors are found on the streets. To get your acting career rolling, an agent will help further circulate your name and profile to important casting directors, ensure contracts are sound and give up-to-date career guidance. Agents are not, however, one size fits all. There are key things you need to know about getting an agent and signing on to their books. A few things to remember when you look for an agent are:
What is their specialisation? Agents can cover directors, writers, actors and even extras. Be sure that they represent artists for the focus you want your career to follow. Is it specifically film, anything for screen or a mix of theatre and screen? You do not want to use your time submitting yourself for representation if they are not going to help you further your career path you want to follow.
Do you have an updated headshot and CV? Just like submitting yourself for auditions with casting directors, you must look like your headshot! This is one of the key aspects of you getting into any casting room, as you are what an agent is marketing to the industry and you must be at the top of your performance game and be who they are expecting to walk through the door. If your CV isn't long, your skills and training will help agents further see the qualities they may be looking for in an actor to represent.
Are they charging you to be on their books? Agents should not ask for upfront fees to be on their books! If they say you have to pay just to sign on, be sure that is something you are comfortable with and ask where that fee goes. Commissions are the negotiated percentage they will make when you book the work they find you auditions for!
Ask Questions and do the Research! Ask yourself things like 'does this agent have the qualities and contacts I need?' or 'Do they have requirements to be considered for representation and can I meet those requirements?'
If you have made it through the door of an agency for an audition, research the company to be sure you know who they are, their clients and how your presence on their books would benefit not only yourself, but them! You may find that you have questions for them to answer just as they will definitely have questions for you.
There are many things you can do to get your name out into the industry! Learn more with IPM Acting Academy by enquiring about our classes below!