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What Not To Do When You're Looking For An Agent

Even Good Actors Have BAD Habits

If you live in Los Angeles you may have seen actors that decorate their car with their name and headshot, you may have seen billboards that advertise actors and you may have even seen actors sitting on the street in front of agencies with "sign me" on a sandwich board. Basically, you can rest assured that if you've had the crazy idea - it's been tried before.

But gimmicks and fads and tricks are just that. Gimmicks, fads and tricks. As a professional actor trying to make a career out of acting, you shouldn't waste your time with these kinds of gimmicks.

Sure you should be ingenious and sure you should be inventive - but don't waste your time trying to do circus stunts. Believe it when we say - the agents, the casting directors and the directors have all seen it a million times.

Getting an agent is just one step in the long process that is The Actor's Life. You'll eventually get one. You'll also eventually drop that agent and get another one. An agent is simply a member of your team that's going to help you succeed. So, don't start the relationship off with your agent by illustrating that you're a clown.. Well, that is unless you ARE a clown..

As explained in another article on this site, before you start targeting agents, be sure that you have developed yourself. Just like you wouldn't introduce a product into the market before it's time, you don't want to go out and start meeting with agents until you are comfortable. You don't want to waste their time or yours by presenting yourself until you are ready.

Once you are ready, then pick your target wisely. You may get lucky and not have to pick your targets. You may star in a play, get amazing reviews and have agents calling you up to sign you. This is unlikely. What's more likely is that you'll perform in a play, and you and your co-performers will be inviting agents to come to performances. This is a great chance for you to network and get to know who they're inviting, and for you to invite agents.

Beyond inviting agents to something that you're currently performing in, you can also send your headshot and resume to targeted agents. Again, do you see a theme here. We don't recommend that you blanket the city with your headshot and resume. That's simply a waste of time. Know your business and know your market. Target the agencies that you want to work with, who are appropriate for your level of talent and who will work for you.

If you're a beginning actor, it makes no sense for you to target CAA as your first agency - because even if you were to get signed there, you would be lost among all the other actors there. No one will notice you and you won't work. Now, of course, if CAA comes pounding on your door that's another story... But then, you wouldn't be reading this article.

Okay, so once you've targeted the right kind of agents here are some other things that you SHOULDN'T DO...

1. NEVER just send your headshot with a form letter to an agency without it being personally addressed. Do you read junk mail? They don't either.

2. NEVER spend a whole ton of money on a huge portfolio and send that to an agent without being specifically told to do so by an agent. And even then, this would be an extraordinarily rare occurrence.

3. DON'T send a reel to an agent that's half an hour long. They won't watch it.

4. DON'T assume that you can't personally drop off a headshot and resume. It's a good way to get it noticed.

5. DON'T Just go to the agents listing on this web site and print it out and send out a mailer. That list is just a helpful assistance to get you started.

In summary...

Do your research. Know your business. Know who your targeting. Make it personal.

Good luck.



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The Actor's Life
A Sirius Fun Production
Los Angeles, CA