How to get an agent
ActingCareerQuickStart’s Tony interviews himself on the subject of how to get an agent.
How to get an agent: first question
So how can I get an agent?
Before I answer that question there are a few other ones to answer first. It is absolutely crucial to know how to be able to answer this next series of questions before going out and looking for an agent. It can make all the difference in the world for you.
How to get an agent: second question
What do talent agents do and why do they want to work with actors or represent them?
Talent agents are business people. Many of them are free-lance professionals and entrepreneurs. That means they do what they do to make money. And they want to profit from their business activity.
Having said that, talent agents only want to work with actors who they are reasonably sure that they will be able to send out on auditions and who have a good chance of actually beating out the competition and booking an acting job.
How to get an agent: third question
What do talent agents expect from actors?
There are a few important things they expect.
a. that actors are professional, which means well-trained and who place value on knowing the craft of acting and on knowing not only how to audition, but also how to book and keep the jobs.
b. that actors take an interest in their careers. This means being proactive and also being able to book acting work on their own without the talent agent’s help and find breakdowns and invite-only auditions on their own for their agent to obtain permission to send them to the audition. In other words, they want an actor that knows how to work together with a talent agent and not just rely on a talent agent.
c. actors who are low-maintenance and who keep in touch with the talent agent as the agent wishes them to do so. In other words, agents don’t like actors who are always calling and wondering when the next auditions will come, but rather like actors who are proactive and who know how to take care of themselves.
d. actors who will represent them well in auditions, which means who conduct themselves in a professional way during the audition, who are prepared for the audition and who are on time for the audition and who know how to audition. It’s important to know that there is a difference between acting on set and auditioning. Auditioning is like the serve in tennis. Acting on set or on stage is like the volley. They are two similar, but different skill sets and you must know how to do both.
How to get an agent: fourth question
How much do talent agents get paid?
Talent agents in the United States traditionally get 10% of what the actor earns for a job. The way it works is like this. You go to the acting audition. If you book the job, you actually go and do the acting job. After you have done your part, the agent will be paid the entire sum of money that you earned. Then, the agent is authorized to keep 10% of that money and will then give you the rest, which is 90%. That’s it. That’s how it works if you book a job through an agent.
In the Acting Career Quick Start Home-Study Course we go through all the steps, one by one on how to get an agent. There are two modules dedicated to this argument.