How to get an agent

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.

Acting in New York: Move first and THEN take the course? WRONG! Here’s why.

QUESTION from one of the folks on my list from Argentina:
Would it be better to take the course once he arrived and was in the New York environment?

ANSWER:

I agree that you should start contacting industry professionals only after you arrive in New York IF your goal when you get there is to simply study acting and not pursue acting work.
If however, you want to begin working as an actor as quickly as you can after you arrive in NY, then you should start contacting talent agents and casting directors at least six to nine months before you arrive there. If you don’t do that, I can tell you that you are destined to waste a lot of the hard-earned money you saved to get there. Why? Because it takes time to create and build relationships. It takes a lot of time. So not only do you have to start early, you have to do it in the right way to get the maximum result, which means getting as many of those people you contact to call you in for interviews and/or auditions.

In the Acting Career Quick Start Home-Study Course, I spend three modules on just that, the whole process of making those contacts, which consists of 16 steps. We go through how to figure out who to contact, which talent agents and casting directors, HOW to contact them, how to format your resume, how to get the best headshots that will get attention, how to write your cover letter, where to put it and how to send them for maximum visibility, what to do AFTER you send out that initial package to increase your chances over time of getting called in, how to follow up, how to prepare for those interviews and auditions, what the talent agents and casting directors are looking for and how to give it to them even before you step into the room.

All that stuff is what I did to help me get 2 agents within the first two weeks I was in New York, which in turn led to me being SUBMITTED FOR a little more than 200 auditions in three months. Out of those submissions I got 37 auditions, 10 acting jobs and made a little more than $4,000 in JUST MY FIRST THREE MONTHS in New York. So, I know it works. As a matter of fact, I created a bonus eBook that I give out in the first month of the Home-Study course in which I wrote all about it.

FOLLOW UP QUESTION:

But if I decided I wanted to stay here in Argentina to pursue acting, will the Home-Study course work in my country?

ANSWER:

I obviously can’t customize the course for all countries in the world, but I know for a fact from many of my students in more than 15 different countries that many of the things in the course are customizable and that the individual concepts can be adapted to the local markets.
For example, when I talk about agents and that you need to know what they want and I list some of the things that agents look for in an actor and that agents are in business to make money and want to work with actors who they believe can audition well, those concepts are universal.
Another example is the module about how to choose the right acting school for you. That is also a universal concept. Or when I talk about how to properly interview acting teachers and schools.
Another example is about headshots, how to get a good headshot, how to interview the photographer to make sure you can get the best headshot possible. That also is a universal concept.
Other things like mailings and whole process of getting agents and casting directors to notice you, while those concepts are local and specific, one can learn a lot from what goes on in many other markets around the world, which is what I teach and that in some way can be applied to your market.
Another example has to do with how to make and keep contacts and nurture those contacts with casting directors and agents, using post cards, internet, meetings, forums, showcases, etc.

BE INNOVATIVE.

What I believe is that learning what goes on outside your country can give you an edge. Some of the things you learn in my course and that you apply in your country might be considered different, unique or maybe even strange, but they might also be considered innovative. In the end, by applying them intelligently and adapting the concepts by doing things that others don’t do in your marketplace, that can be a huge advantage for you and make you stand out and be remembered. That’s exactly what you want!

Tony
Creator of the
first-ever
Acting Career Quick Start
Home-Study Course