Every single actor on the face of the earth that currently isn’t represented by an acting agent is constantly craving for one. It seems as if actors believe that agents have this sort of mystical powers given them by the druids of the Forodwaith, and will save anyone they chose by giving away lead parts for the upcoming super hit films. While the latter might not be so true, acting agents do open a door or two for a struggling actor, especially if they’re talented. Therefore, it’s totally reasonable to have “Get an Agent” goal on your to-do list.
However, due to the fact that most amateur actors give some acting agents more credit than they deserve (we’re back to mystical powers now), they try every desperate move known to man to get signed by one. Let’s take a look at a few things that every actor should definitely do if they want an agent they were trying to make a connection with place them into their blacklist forever. Warning, your sarcasm detector might overheat here; you better turn it off.
How to Not Get an Acting Agent
Start submitting to acting agents the minute you have decided to become an actor.
As soon as that idea popped into your head, when you still haven’t even considered the training you’ll have to go through, drama schools or Universities, acting classes and workshops, getting bit parts in student films, experiencing what a life of an actor could be — email every agent in the city and let them know that you’re an aspiring actor looking for representation. They might or might not be as excited about the prospect as you are.
Drop by a talent agency’s office with your CV as if you’re applying for a waiting staff position.
Everybody in the agency will be thrilled to meet you, especially since you’re a new face on the block without much of experience and name for yourself. Acting agents usually love when actors just come by unannounced with the intention of leaving their headshots and resumes for consideration, or maybe even getting a meeting with the busy people working in the agency. Don’t be surprised though if you’ll be asked to leave immediately; their top agents are probably just away for the time being.
Offer your headshots and acting CV/resume to agents on any possible occasion.
Everyone knows actors should be very aggressive when it comes to getting representation, so if you’re in the gym’s locker room and you know the person going towards showers is an acting agent, don’t pass the opportunity to slip them your acting resume and possibly a headshot, too. They can check those out while shampooing. Same goes for when you’re in the hospital, or at the funeral, or maybe just running around in the park. There is never a bad time to approach an acting agent and ask for representation.
Lie on your resume and during the meeting because that’s what every actor does.
Fill your resume with strong credits. If you’ve been on a major film set doing background work, put it in there — they will think you’ve been part of the cast. You should also do this when you’re meeting an acting agent that is possibly interested in you. Tell them how great you are and mention those known drama schools you’ve never gone to — there is no way the agent can call them up and ask, and they definitely don’t have connections with people from the city’s major talent factory.
Marketing yourself is the only thing that matters, forget about the actual acting craft.
It’s 2013, and nobody cares how good your acting talent actually is anymore. When you meet an agent and do a monologue, maybe a few other scenes for them, they don’t really care whether your skills are good or not. To become famous, you just need your name to be out there, and that should be your primary concern. You will only waist your time with all the hard work you put into perfecting yourself as an artist, and acting agents hate that.
Personal connections are overrated, so don’t bother yourself or the acting agent by making one.
Acting agents never care about their actors, and only see them as an opportunity to make 10-20% from their income. This means actors should also see acting agents as service providers in the entertainment industry. Whatever small talk you have during the meeting or a lunch you’ve had to discuss your career, you don’t need to remember any of the personal things — their kids’ names, where they’ve gone to school, what casting directors they know — all this is none of actors’ concern. It’s not like you’re going to be working together closely.
These seven points alone should go a long way in terms of not getting an acting agent. If that indeed is your ultimate goal, please follow these tips to a tee and you will succeed without a doubt. If, however, your aim for your acting career is different — possibly completely the opposite — turn them around and do the exact opposite of what has been told. Acting agents are real people, just like all of us, trying to make an honest living. Treat them like such, in a professional manner, and be rewarded for it.