Question: I wanna be an actor….

Two different companies offered to represent me, but they both told me I had to pay for it though. One company told me the cost was $1,200 and the other charges $600. What do you think I should do?

Answer:

You shouldn’t be paying anything. People like that run businesses and prey off of people like you. They tell you what you want to hear and suck you in that way.

Usually what happens in cases like this is, the person who asks the question will receive answers; good answers telling them not to do it as I am telling you now and as Theatredoc told you. Then, because that’s not what they want to hear, they continue to ask around until they find enough people who tell them that it’ìs ok to do it. Then, they pay the money and some months down the road, they realize that it was a bad investment and that the company that discovered them isn’t really doing anything for them.

Listen. I might be wrong about this company. In fact, I don’t even know which companies you are talking about, but my experience tells me that anyone who charges you to represent you is to be kept at a distance.

If you just can’t stay away, go back and ask a lot of questions about what you will get for all this money.
Ask specific questions about how many auditions you will be sent out on, how they will train you, how many training sessions, what kind of training will it be, which acting methods, if they will train you to go on auditions and again, how and how many sessions, how long will each session last, what will you learn, who are their other clients, ask if they have any success stories and if you can talk to those people, how long it took those people to get work, what kind of preparation they had before they came to that company, ask how they see you and your potential as an actress, who are the agencies they work with, who are the casting directors they work with and what kinds of projects have they casted, what kinds of auditions will you be sent on and how frequently can you expect to audition each week, also tell them that you know of actors who have told you that you shouldn’t pay for this type of service and that they told you that it isn’t normal practice (see how they respond to that) and…and…and..

Then ask the BIG QUESTION: Ask them if they will put down in writing in contract form that you will guarantee some of the things you expect from them. Talk it over with your parents and be prepared the next time you go in. I can also imagine that they will tell you that you can try your luck to get an agent, but without knowing the right people, you will have difficulty and that they can help you more than anyone right now.

My bet is that they will be a little perturbed that you ask all the questions and that they will hand you some story about why they can’t put it in writing and tell you something to make you feel pressured to sign with them and pay the money. They are more than likely very experienced at this type of negotiation.

My suggestion is to build your base first. Go to school for acting and bone up on how the industry works. I can offer you my website for new and aspiring actors for starters. Begin with this page and go from there. I think you will learn a lot. It will even explain how to get representation without having to pay for it.

Tony

p.s. Good luck!

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