Dedicated to Helping You Achieve Your Goals
VADA wants to ensure you give yourself the best chance possible to get signed by a talent agent. We assist our students in understanding how to put together their professional actor’s package to make the best impression possible.
For all of our 6 month Dramatic Arts Diploma graduates, we provide professional headshots, demo reels and guidance on which agencies to send your professional package.
Learn more about Getting an Agent.
Your Professional Package
Before you approach an agent for consideration, you will need to put together your professional actors package. This will include a cover letter, actor resume, headshots and demo clips.
Cover letter: Some things to avoid would be not trying to sell yourself or repeat what the agent can see in your resume. It should be similar to a bio; help peak the agent’s interest about the real you (where you were born, why you love acting, and why do you want to be represented by that particular agency) and make sure to get the name of the agent correct. Referrals are often given priority, so if you met one of their actors on set, include who referred you. Lastly, don’t make it too long or they won’t read it, make it brief and interesting, like a skirt – short enough to be interesting, but long enough to cover the subject.
Actor Resume: This will include your name and contact info, height, weight, eye colour and hair colour. It should have separate categories for TV, Film and Theatre work you have done and list the name of any productions, roles you played (Lead, Supporting, Actor) and production type (student film, feature film, Independent, short film). It should also list Training you have completed (course name, school name and instructor) and include a separate category for Specialty Skills and your ability with each (beginner, intermediate, advance) as well as any languages and level you speak them.
Headshots: These should be actor headshots NOT portraits, and if you don’t know the difference, check out Getting the Perfect Headshot before spending hundreds of dollars. Many professional portrait photographers are unaware of the difference, so if you don’t see an actor headshots link on a photographer’s website, it is highly likely they do not understand what casting is looking for. As a basic rule of thumb, if it is a photograph of you that you’d put on your mother’s piano, it is not an actor headshot. You can also go to Vancouver Photographers for a listing of professional photographers who do actor headshots. Search their websites and find one who shoots your “type” well.
*Please note: Headshots cost not included in program fees.
Demo Clips: Your demo clips should consist of two contrasting scenes to show your acting range (e.g. one dramatic and one more lighted-hearted) and be of a high production quality. This can be achieved using a video recorder or a cell phone. They should be no more than about a minute to a minute in a half in length. Agents will not have the time (nor the will) to watch much longer than that. And, if you have created a demo reel from a collection of scene clips you’ve been in, make sure to put the strongest work at the front.
The reality is a lot of your success in getting an agent and breaking into the industry is going to come down to you; your type, what you have to offer and your persistence to not give up. The most important role a school can perform in that process is to ensure you are adequately trained, have an understanding of how to put together a professional actor package, and that you are ready to meet with an agent (and not before), because if an agency decides to pass on you, they will rarely be willing to take a second look.