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