Questions & Answers
Questions written by actors - and answered by The Actor's Life
Staff. These will be added to and edited from time to time.
Q. What do Agents look for?
A. Agents are looking for a well-rounded roster of talent
that will help them make the most money. Just like an investment
banker recommends having a diverse portfolio - agencies want to keep
all different kinds of actors so that they can have the widest
choice when submitting their clients for jobs. Having said that,
some agencies do specialize and you should research agencies before
you submit your material to them. You should know what they look for
Beyond that, agents are looking for a certain look (not always
beautiful) and talent.
Q. What are good places to learn how to act.
A. Universities and colleges all across the country have
programs. If you are looking for a coach, there are a number of
acting coaches in Los Angeles. The Actor's Life has a list of them
Q. Do I need a manager or an agent
A. You may need either or, or both depending on your
situation. An agent - especially a SAG Franchised agent is bound by
certain rules - such as how much percentage they will take etc... A
manager is not bound - and can take as much as you negotiate with
them. Typically, an agent's services will be limited to finding and
negotiating deals for you. A manager, on the other hand, may take a
much broader role in helping you to succeed and market yourself.
Q. Should headshots be in black and white, or in color?
A. These days, headshots are normally done in color.
Q. What should go on my "reel".
A. A reel has two purposes. It should show that you
look good on camera and that you know how to act. Therefore it does
not have to necessarily be commercials and/or films that you've been
in. If you can put together a compelling video of you doing a
monologue then you should do it. There are services that will help
you edit a reel. The tape shouldn't be longer than 5-8 minutes. You
should also have enough of the tapes that sending one and not having
it returned is an issue.