Invite Talent Agents and Casting Directors to Pursue You
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!
Make the agent chase you
Yes, chasing after agents can be a distasteful task. But there is an alternative strategy to consider: 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.
Casting Directors, too!
This concept can also be applied to casting directors, as well. With all the forms of media that exist today, it is easy to believe that your work will get lost in the shuffle. With traditional media, streaming services, online content and the bevy of cable channels out there these days, your work will go unnoticed by casting directors, right?
When you do good work, casting directors will find you, eventually. When you concentrate on perfecting your craft and do good work, it won’t take long for the right casting director to hear about it. And, it’s your job, as the manager of your own acting business, to help them hear about it, by respectfully alerting them to all the good work you’re doing.
Remember, it’s their job to find great talent. If you are producing great work that showcases your great talent, make it easy to help them find it.
Pursuing talent agents and casting directors, is a necessary task in the actor’s life. But don’t just pursue them. Perfect your craft. 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.
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