It’s very common that every new actor’s first goal involves getting signed on casting websites and then finding acting agents in London. However, getting signed by an talent agent is no easy feat. Today, agents are viewed by actors as the gatekeepers into the show business, and this may be true.
Because of how popular it has become to chase after agents, the whole concept of being signed has gotten even more complicated for actors, too. If there would be a secret to getting quickly signed by someone from the best acting agencies out there, nobody would be agent-free in this business. Unfortunately, there really is no easy way to do this.
The concept of “being an easy to sign actor” is broad, so there’s a lot of ground to cover. Consider this as part one on acting agents in London and keep an eye out for more advice posts to come in the future, such as what do talent agents want to see in actors.
Acting Agents in London
For any aspiring actor that has just either graduated from one of the best drama schools in UK or decided to dip into the business without any academic training, the first few years should be dedicated to some acting training, acting material and of course being signed by one of acting agents in London (or any other city where you might be pursuing your career).
If casting directors are the gatekeepers to your success, then acting agents are key holders. These people will provide an actor with the best of the best casting breakdowns and audition opportunities. Good agents usually have access to breakdowns of big budget films and serious stage plays involving other named actors and directors that do not advertise anywhere online.
Normally, every agent charges the actor 10% of whatever you earn; and this can come from anything even remotely related to your acting career. It also does not make a difference whether you found the job yourself, or the agent put you up to this — you pay the 10% anyway.
It’s a fair business, and that also gives you the calm of mind because aside from finding work, your acting agents in London will always negotiate pay for you, make sure that you are getting paid on time and that everything is being followed according to the agreement.
Acting Agents in London and Casting Call Websites
In 2013 though it is easier to be a budding actor because you have access to many different online resources like TheStage, casting websites like CastingCallPro and communities like ours, Acting in London. The most important, of course, is the freedom of submitting yourself to various projects, paid or non-paid, that will garner you some material for your demo reel and put your name out there before you even find a powerful agent in your city.
As mentioned above, acting agencies in London is not a piece of cake to become a part of; you have to be somewhat established within the industry or have an extremely marketable look. The process of getting signed is not as difficult, but you do have to come prepared. We talked about this in What You Need When Signing With An Agent, and covered it to a bigger extent in our Acting in London handbook.
Therefore, since there are so many struggling actors in London, Los Angeles, New York and other big cities these days, the only escape from being unemployed is to submit yourself to different projects online every single day. When you’re just starting, student films and very small indie projects, low budget stage plays and films is the best way to go.
Acting casting websites provide all the necessary information you need to know about the project and they are always live, meaning that as soon as casting people put up an ad looking for you — it’ll be instantly online; just keep hitting that “refresh” button.
A lot of acting agents in London are currently opting for online submissions as well due to high commissions they have to pay to their agencies. In a way, this is a good news for beginning actors, because this makes it easier to acquire new connections within the industry.
If you’re new to acting business, always keep in mind that there are also newbie agents in your city. While it’s good to get to know them just in case they become the next Ari Gold in 5 or 10 years, at the beginning of their own career they can’t do much for yours.
Starting agents — especially those within fresh agencies or freelancers — find work for actors the exact same way that you would, and that’s through casting call websites. Some of them might have better connections that the others, know a few casting directors or producers, which can always be an advantage for a signed actor.
Newbie actors should consider reading the following articles on how to get into acting:
- How to Get Into Acting #1: All Start-up options
- How to Get Into Acting #2: Prepare for the business
- How to Get Into Acting #3: First business steps
- How to Get Into Acting #4: Getting An Agent
To sum up this case in short, there are plenty of casting websites out there that will help you out, just as there are plenty of “weak” or new acting agents in London. Casting calls websites can easily compete with these types of agencies, especially those that are out of London.
But any reputable talent agency, any of the powerful acting agents in London cannot be even compared with what you get from casting websites — those agents are your one and only key to success in this business.