By Aphile-Aphile Sololo | Actor Spaces
You’re an actor who is dedicated to their craft and hungry for opportunities to showcase your talent, but you don’t know where to start. What you need is a talent agent.
agent /ˈeɪdʒ(ə)nt/ Noun
An agent is someone who represents actors that they believe in. They submit them for auditions, pitch them for roles, follow up on auditions and submissions, and negotiate better pay and contracts. Here are some tips to help you find an agent suitable for you:
1. CREATE A PROFILE
Professional actors have a showreel which serves as a visual CV. This doesn’t replace the written actor’s resume, but it’s necessary. If you don’t have any videos of your work to showcase, find a good variety of monologues to film using a capable cell phone, including a beautiful introduction of yourself. You’ll be able to share your work with various prospective agents before any of them call you in for a meeting.
2. HAVE UPDATED HEADSHOTS
It’s been said that a headshot is your first audition. It gives a good idea of what a person really looks like. Hire a photographer who’ll know how to best capture your essence, or do research on what headshots look like and have a friend assist you in a well-lit area with a simple background. Do not send selfies.
3. FINDING A LEGITIMATE AGENT
A good way to avoid being conned is knowing how to distinguish between a credible and a suspicious agency. The internet has made it simpler to find credible agents and if you visit the Personal Managers Association (PMA) website, you’ll find a list of legitimate agencies to look into, along with their contact details.
“It’s beneficial for actors to be represented by a PMA affiliated agency as PMA members conduct their business in a reputable manner which always seeks to enhance and promote the artists’ rights. They’re also constantly working towards upholding the professional status of the industry”, say Anna Duckworth and Lisa Modisane on behalf of the PMA.
Once you find a few agencies you’d like to contact, the next thing to consider is how you go about it.
Do not pay for representation or for auditions.
4. EMAIL AND PHONE ETIQUETTE
Be friendly, professional and straightforward. The subject line of the email should state the reason for your email and the body give them an idea of who you are, your level of experience and why you’re interested in that particular agency. Express an anticipation of their response and put your contact details in your email signature.
An agent makes your journey in the industry more manageable, making it easier to focus on your craft. When you’ve found the best fit for you, form a good relationship with them by communicating your interests, concerns and quite importantly – your availability.
BONUS | AGENT WORKS FOR YOU
It’s important to know that the agent works for you – you’re the boss. More importantly, always understand that the actor-agent relationship is a collaboration aimed at building your career.