thewellingtonactorsstudio

Choosing an Agent

In Professional Advice on August 30, 2010 at 3:22 am

So, you’ve decided to get an agent.  You’ve read our previous Blog about what an agent does and the process of how to get an agent.  See the link first before reading ahead… https://wellingtonactorsstudio.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/getting-an-agent/   Now, how do you choose one? Who is the best agent to sign up with?  There is some significant preparation involved before you even pick up the phone.

Ari Gold: Agent Extraordinaire from TV show "Entourage"

Once you’ve found out what each Agent’s application process is (by looking at their website), you want to try and get a meeting with them all.  Some Agents will have full books and won’t be in a position to take on new actors but may give you a time frame for when they are, or what they are looking for from you to do before they are ready to take you on. Meaning, they may want you to have more experience or more training. If you really want to be with that particular agent, or even be considered, you need to get from them what specifically they want from you before they would consider working with you. This will not be the case with all agents. Some agents will be prepared to work with you at whatever level of experience you are at.

As mentioned in the previous Blog on Getting An Agent, most agents will have an online directory attached to their website. Look at the list and profile of the other actors in your age range, gender, and type. If there is a lot of competition in your category and many of the other actors have more experience and/or training (you’ll be able to tell this by looking at their resumes), then you’ll need to take this into account when making the final decision about which agent you sign up with.  

While many actors will assume that it’s better to be with the biggest and most reputable agent in their location, the two main criteria for choosing and sticking with an agent are:

  1. Do you feel a personal connection with the agent? Do you feel comfortable enough that you are going to be able to regularly call, email, or arrange an appointment to discuss advancements you have made in developing your craft and career, or questions you have in regard to opportunities available to you.
  2. Do you get a sense from that agent that they are excited about representing you, or at the very least that they get who you are and that they are positive about how to sell you to casting directors, directors and producers?

Before you meet with all the agents that you can get a meeting with, you should write down a list of criteria that you want your prospective agent to meet. That list should include:

  1. Do I feel a personal connection with this agent? Do I feel comfortable to have regular communication with them?
  2. Do I get a sense from this agent that they are excited, or at least positive about representing me?
  3. Do they know how many other people on their books that are in my age range, gender and type? Can they tell me how much competition I have from other actors on their books? (You should also be investigating this on your own, and have done this homework before you meet with them.)
  4. Can they communicate to me honestly about what I need to do in order to improve my opportunities for auditioning and landing roles? Meaning, can they give me clear and specific advice about what I can tangibly do?
  5. Do they have a plan for how they will market and promote me?  When asking this question, what you are really trying to get from them is an understanding of how they see you and how they are going to sell you. More than just putting your profile and resume on their online directory.  In order for them to do this and get a better idea of who you are, you need to have answered the questions in our previous Blog  and told them this information.

If there are any other issues that are important to you as an actor and a creative professional, then you need to add these to your list. You can see by reading over this information there is a lot of homework and preparation that needs to be done before you pick up the phone, email, or fill out any agent’s online application. You need to be very clear about who you are, what you want to do and what you want from an agent. The clearer you are about this information the easier it will be for you to find and nurture this professional relationship that is so pivotal for you and your chances as an actor.

Once you have an agent, you should regularly update him or her with ‘news’. Whether it is a class you’re taking, a role you auditioned for that you organised yourself or a part you got. Regular contact with your agent is the best way to keep you top of their mind.   See the link for a list of agents in Wellington… https://wellingtonactorsstudio.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/getting-an-agent/

For more information on developing and nurturing your relationship with your agent, so you get put forward for more and more opportunities, see the next Blog on https://wellingtonactorsstudio.wordpress.com/2010/09/07/nurturing-your-relationship-with-your-agent/

For information on courses available at The Wellington Actors Studio go to www.wellingtonactorsstudio.co.nz

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  1. […] choose one? Who is the best agent to sign up with?  There is some significant […] Reply Choosing an Agent « The Wellington Actors Studio Blog 30 August 2010 at […]

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