Once you get yourself out there and begin pursuing acting career, one of your goals will be to get signed by a talent agent. This begs the question, how to approach acting agents and ensure that you make a good impression, possibly score a meeting and even get signed.
Acting agents might be one of the most discussed topics among actors on the Internet today. Everybody wants to know how to get one and get signed by one of the best acting agencies out there, and rightfully so. While this might not speed up your career significantly, getting an agent’s attention is a big step forward on this journey of yours.
How to Approach Acting Agents
We’ve already discussed why you shouldn’t stress about getting a talent agent and what you shouldn’t do to get an acting agent. Today, let’s talk about how you should be approaching one of those scary acting agents with the key to the gates of success.
Which acting agents to approach?
First of all, you need to do your research. Find at least 5 talent agencies in your city. If you are in Los Angeles, New York or London (or any other major city), you can easily find at least 15 of such agencies just by using Google.
If you’re a fairly new actor with little professional credits, your best bet would be to find smaller and younger agencies which still have connections within the industry. These types of talent agencies will have acting agents that are more open to fresh talent. Email or mail these agencies with your marketing packet; don’t call.
Another way is to find agencies that are looking for new clients. Most of them usually specify the type of roles they want to fill in: “tall, dark haired, 30s playing age, girl next door” — if you fit the type, it’s very likely you will be signed. However, be cautious about approaching these types of acting agents. Some of them might be just a waste of time or even a scam where they’ll try to get you pay for workshops and headshots.
Is there an alternative?
Alternatively, if you believe to be getting a certain amount of acting work and you’re in one of the major cities, then a different approach would be finding a personal manager first.
Getting a manager is slightly easier, but you’ll have to pay them 15% of your every paycheck. However, the advantage of having a personal manager is that most of them have connections and can get you in the door of acting agents more easily than if you would try to do this on your own. It all depends on how marketable you currently are, how strong are your credits and training, and how lucky you get.
When should I approach acting agents?
This has been discussed many times: never go in there bare handed. Contact your possible future acting agents when you already have a professional headshot and some good credits on your acting CV/resume, as well as training (either acting classes or drama school).
Demo reel is a big advantage and if you have one — always send it in for an agent to watch; this might just raise your chance of getting called in.
How do I contact these agents?
Staying in touch or contacting them for the first time requires some understanding on your part. Don’t spam them with messages and emails. You should give the agent at least 2 weeks of breathing space. Yes, it feels long, but acting agents are busy people.
At the time when you do contact them about your submission, response, jobs, anything else — be short and concise. In the email, introduce yourself and quickly state your business. It shouldn’t take more than 4-5 sentences; be positive and charming.
What do I say to acting agents?
When you’re approaching acting agents through emails (preferred way), hoping for them to respond to you, avoid being overly pushy. When you drop them an email, let them know your availability and cast-ability, how marketable you are and what’s your type, what have you been doing so far. If you’re currently producing your own web series and working on a play, tell them that (in one sentence!)
When you’re approaching acting agents, you want them to sign you. Talent agencies are looking for ways how to make money of their talent, so make sure you let them know that you will be of benefit to that agency. Agents aren’t doing this for the hell of it — they need to feed their families, and signing actors who don’t know what they’re doing or whether they will be making money in the nearest future will be of little interest to them. Try to get into an agent’s mindset and you’ll know exactly what they want from you.