Before You Approach an Agent, Get Your S@#t Together!
Before you approach an agent, make sure that you are ready to present yourself as an actor who understands the business and understands what it takes to be successful.
(by Jim Webb)
Agents are in the business to make money. While every actor requires some degree of work, most established agents do not want to take on a big project; an actor who requires an extensive amount of work and time before they can begin to consistently book and earn the agent commissions. They simply do not have time for it. And, the bigger the project you are as an actor, the less inclined many agents will be to take you on as a client.
Here are 3 ways to ensure that you have your s@#t together before you go in to meet with a prospective agent:
Get your s@#t together!
You already know what you need in order to function as a professional actor. At least, you should know. You should already know that you need great headshots. Not just good headshots, but great ones. You already know that you need to have a good, high-quality demo reel, a well-formatted resume, and a good website or IMDb page wouldn’t hurt, either.
So, if you already know that you need these things, then, why not go out and get them. Why not get your s@#t together before you approach an agent seeking representation.
Presenting excellent marketing materials to an agent is a great way to demonstrate that you are not a project, but a professional actor who understands how the business works and knows what you need in order to successfully compete.
Research your desired agent(s)
When you go in for a meeting with a prospective agent, you should want to demonstrate that you are a professional. Professionals do their homework and come in prepared. You should, too!
Go on the agent’s website, social media pages, IMDb page and any other source you can find to gather information about them. Ask your actor friends about them. Google them to see if other actors have shared their experiences with the agent online. Learn as much as you can about the agent.
Research things like:
Which actors do they represent?
How many actors on their current roster fit your profile?
Which projects have their talent worked on recently?
Which area of the business does the agent typically focus on and have the most success with?
An unprofessional actor goes into agency meetings unprepared and unaware. A serious actor enters various agency meetings like a businessman or businesswoman seeking a successful business partnership.
Bring your contact list
If you have contacts in the business, you should bring a list of those contacts to the meeting.
• If you frequently get called in to audition by a particular casting office, you should mention that.
• If you have a great relationship with a particular casting director, you should mention that.
• If you have a list of casting directors and other industry professionals whom you’ve worked with in the past, you should bring that in.
• If you have a list of casting directors whom you are seeking to build relationships with going forward, you should bring that in.
Bringing a contact list to your agency meeting is yet another indication that you are a professional actor. It accentuates the fact that you are a serious actor who is ready to work.
Bottom line: Get your s@#t together! Don’t leave your prospective agent with the impression that you are a big project, requiring lots of time and effort before you earn money for yourself, as well as, commissions for your agent. Before you approach an agent, make sure that you are ready to present yourself as an actor who understands the business and understands what it takes to be successful.
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