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Targeting Agents



Actors and agents. It's probably one of the most mythical relationships in Hollywood. It's been portrayed in movies, on tv and even in theater. Agents are usually the sleazy ones in the expensive suits and slick hairstyle closing the deal. But the simple truth is this. Agents are job scouts. They are professional human resources that make money by helping you get a job. Without agents, actors would find it difficult to know about every acting job that was in town.

So, how do you get an agent.

Well locating agents are easy. There are lists and lists available - and even on this web site you'll find a list of agents within the Los Angeles area. But successful actors think through and target the RIGHT agencies before they go in and start dropping off headshots.

Remember that most agents receive dozens if not hundreds of submissions daily from people just like you. They want to get signed. If you walk into any talent agency, you'll see stacks and stacks of unopened envelopes of people who just print out a huge mailing list of addresses, stuff their envelopes with their headshots and generic cover letter and send it in. This couldn't be a bigger waste of time.

simple steps before you start targeting agents:

Know who you are and how you'll be cast.

This is called "Your Type". Type doesn't have anything to do with your acting ability. It's got everything to do with how you look and how you'll be cast. If you are six foot four, and you have blonde hair and blue eyes and look like Val Kilmer, it's a pretty good bet that you'll not be cast as the next "geek" in a John Hughes movie. So, why would you even target an agency that really serves mostly "models".

Your type is going to feed directly into your "Brand" as an actor. Who are you. What are you. How will you be cast. Just like Nike doesn't sell their shoes to ballroom dancers, you should know when and where you are appropriate. This is a time to be very honest, yet not cruel, with yourself. If you're not "model beautiful", you shouldn't be trying out for "model" types of roles.

When you're determining your brand and your type it should how you are most comfortably. How are you naturally.

Now, do your pictures (headshots) represent this look. If they don't, consider getting new pictures that represent what you really look like. If you doll yourself up in your headshot, and you get an interview with an agent who expects a glamour queen to walk in - and you walk in with your baseball cap and sneakers - you'll all but be thrown out on your ballcap.

There are plenty of resources available to start to develop your type/brand. But, you can start with your friends. Ask them who they think you most resemble. Or, even better, enlist a friends help and go to a mall. You go stand somewhere, and have your friend enlist strangers to comment on you. Tell the people you're doing market research on "actors" (people love to help out when they think it's show business) and ask them to comment on how you look - what movie star you most resemble, whether you look friendly, or preppy or whatever. Have fun coming up with specific questions that will really help you determine your type and your brand.

Then, get ready, because it's ready to start targeting agencies....

 

 
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