Don’t just pursue an agent. Study the craft. Do good work. Then, invite them to pursue you.
(by Jim Webb)
Pursuing a talent agent is one of the more unsavory, yet necessary, aspects of “the business”. There are a limited number of talent agents with a limited number of slots available on their rosters, with hundreds, even thousands of actors, vying for representation at any given time. Yet, in order to get into certain audition rooms, an actor must have proper representation.
Most new actors send their headshots to talent agents all over town, hoping to get a hit. The problem with this strategy, of course, is that the actor becomes one of the thousand other actors begging to get noticed. Some actors attempt to call or physically drop-by an agent’s office, a practice distained by many agents. Other actors go even further, harassing agents in-person as they enjoy a meal at a restaurant or play with their kids in the park. Yuck!
Yes, chasing after agents can be a distasteful task. But there is an alternative strategy: make the agent chase you. That is to say, concentrate on being the best actor you can be. Then, invite your select group of desired agents to view your work.
Doing a showcase? Invite them to come out. Performing in a play? Offer them complimentary tickets to opening night. Appearing on a television show? Alert them to the date and time it airs. Got your first lead role in an indie feature? Ask if they’d like to come to the screening. Booked a great role in a commercial? Tell them to be on the lookout.
Pursuing an agent is a necessary task in the actor’s life. But don’t just pursue an agent. Focus on doing great work. Then, invite them to see your work. After all, what better way to “make the sale” than with a product demonstration. In this case, what better way to land a great rep than by letting them see what you do best.