When you’re ready to take your acting career to the next level, one of the best things you can do is get an agent. A good agent can do things for you like help you find work, hone your craft, and negotiate better pay. In this article, we’re going to walk you through some of the steps you can take to securing your agent and launching your career in the entertainment industry.
FIRST YOU NEED TO UNDERGO SOME TRAINING
The first step to getting an agent and starting your career is getting some industry specific training. Acting is no different than becoming a chef or a plumber. You need to have the correct training before an agent will take you on.
If you live in the city or are willing to move and make the financial commitment, acting schools are a great option. But there are other things you can do. Check out your local recreation centres or community theatres; they often have acting groups and classes that you can attend. You can also look at acting schools’ websites to see if they offer any online classes.
If you’re a high school student, consider taking drama courses and learning more about the industry before you graduate. All of these options will better prepare you for the industry and look on your resume.
GET SOME HEADSHOTS TAKEN
Headshots are a crucial part of your submission package. Find a photographer who’s not only professional but who also specializes or has experience in taking performers’ headshots. You’ll want the headshots to start at mid chest, and they should include a bit of what you’re wearing as well as a bit of the environment. Don’t forget to smile in one of them!
COMPILE YOUR PERFORMER’S RESUME
An acting resume is crucial when you want to show an agent what your experience is and what training you’ve undergone. However, it’s not the same as a traditional resume. It’s formatted differently and in a specific way, so you want to make sure that you follow the rules. You can find a free downloadable sample at freeactingtips.net.
DON’T FORGE THE COVER LETTER
The cover letter for your resume is just like the average cover letter used in other job applications. It should briefly introduce to your agent who you are, what your skill set is, and what your intentions are for the acting industry. It should also demonstrate your commitment to your work. Don’t be afraid to use a little bit of humour in it as well!
YOUR AUDITION TAPE AND DEMO REEL
Next, you’ll want to create an audition tape and a demo reel. An audition tape is a brief video recording of you acting and should provide 2 one-minute contrasting performances (something dramatic and something funny, for example). A demo reel is a short and edited collection of your previous work. You can see samples of these online.
When you’re recording these, ensure that there are no big objects or windows in the background. For more helpful tips, you can check out our article about creating your own self-tape.
TIME TO SUBMIT YOUR PACKAGE
Now that you’ve taken some training and completed your submission package, it’s time to reach out to agents in your area. There should be lots of information online; you can also check ACTRA and UBCP databases for more information.
Once you’ve found some agents, give them a call or send them an email to find out how to best send them your submission package.
MEETING WITH AGENTS
Once you’ve sent out your submission packages, it’ll be time to meet with an agent in person. You’ll want to make sure that you’re sufficiently prepared for this. The agent might have some questions for you, and they may even ask you to audition for them or do a cold read of a script they have.
It’s also a good idea to have some questions of your own prepared, such as:
-How many other performers do you have on your roster right now?
-How many of them are considered ‘my type’?
-What kind of roles would you send me for?
-What productions are casting right now?
BE PREPARED FOR REJECTION
Rejection is part of the industry. If you don’t land the agent you were looking for, that’s okay! Don’t take it personally. You might want to consider continuing your training, auditioning elsewhere, and finding other ways to build up your resume before trying again in a few months.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, HAVE FUN!
If you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, then it isn’t the right place for you. Keep looking for other opportunities that make you happier and are more fun for you. Just because one agent doesn’t work out doesn’t mean you won’t find one that more suited for you. Make sure you’re enjoying yourself above all else.
So, there you have it! Nine crucial elements to landing yourself an agent who can help you advance your career in the entertainment industry. We hope you learned something! Have a great day!