What Is An Talent Agent?

By AM Staff

  • A talent agent is a person who helps actors, models, musicians and other artists and talent find jobs in their profession. An agent works on behalf of the artist or talent to negotiate contracts and other business dealings.

    Actors don’t always need a talent agent in order to work as an actor, especially actors who live in smaller markets outside of Hollywood or New York. But even in larger markets, actors can still find work on their own without, especially in independent film and working as a movie extra.

    But having an agent, while not always necessary, can still be helpful and, in some cases, essential. That’s because casting directors often turn to talent agents to find actors to film roles in film and television projects. Having an agent gives the actor the ability to be considered for opportunities that may not be made known to the public.

    What Are The Talent Agent’s Primary Responsibilities?

    • The talent agent helps the actor find acting jobs or auditions that could lead to acting work.
    • The talent agent helps to negotiate contracts for the actor
    • The talent agent ensures that the actor gets proper and adequate compensation when a job is completed.
    • Helps guide the actor’s career

    How Do I Get A Talent Agent?

    There are a number of different ways to find an agent. Actors should look in industry guides, or even the phone book, to find talent agencies in their area. Once you have found a reputable talent agency in your area, you should contact them by sending a headshot or photo of yourself, a résumé of all your prior acting work, and a cover letter introducing yourself.

    Beware of Scam Agencies

    There are many scam artists posing as talent agencies. They lure actors in with the promise of acting work, but their real goal is to sell the actor photographs or acting classes. Despite spending large sums of money on classes or photos, actors rarely see any meaningful representation or acting opportunities.

    Finding A Franchised Agent

    A franchised agent is an agent that is affiliated with one of the various actor unions. For this reason, franchised agents are considered the most reputable. Actors can find franchised agents by requesting a listing of agents from the various actor unions or going to the union’s website.

    AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists)

    260 Madison Ave.,
    New York, New York 10016
    212-532-0800
    www.aftra.org

    Actor’s Equity Association

    165 West 46th Street, 15th Floor
    New York, New York 10036
    212-869-8530
    www.actorsequity.org

    Screen Actor’s Guild

    5757 Wilshire Blvd.
    Los Angeles, California 90036-3600
    323-954-1600
    www.sag.org

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