Your site is so great, it makes researching the business sooo much easier having all the info in one place! thankyou thankyou thankyou.
Amada, aspiring actress, Sydney, Australia
Just wanted to say that this site is FANTASTIC! It's helped me quite a bit and it's now my #1 bookmarked item, which means I'm going to be visiting here regularly :) Thanks again,
Rob, aspiring actor, Canada
I absolutely love your site - it's SOOOO helpful and very impressive!
I am a frequent visitor and have signed up for the newsletter, plus I think it's so good I have recommended it to all my acting friends! Thank you for creating such a wonderful website!
Wow Tony! I would just like to comment on how much you have affected my life.
First of all, any questions I have are answered extremely fast, and not only that, you give me a very helpful answer every time. Also, by reading your newsletters, I obtain just the right information that I need to succeed in the acting business. I am so happy I discovered your site, and I hope you know how much we actors appreciate you. Thanks again, and I can't wait to read your next newsletter!
Laura Doukas, Actress
I did what you said and I got two interviews with two agents! Thank you! Sorry but can I ask you how do I prepare to go meet the agent? What do I have to do?
Marsha P., New York, NY, USA
This site has taught me a lot that I needed to know without dragging me all over the place.
Lauren, actress, Atlanta, GA
Knowing how to get a talent agent is an absolute must! Some aspiring actors are under the impression that somehow they will be discovered and that somehow an agent will magically appear and discover them! While that does happen, probably about 0.01% of the time, it's just not likely. If you have already started training and you are constantly working to improve your acting sills and have at least that to put on your résumé, then what you will read below is what I recommend with regard to how to get a talent agent. This information you will read below is based on what I was coached to do three years ago. I actually did it and it worked! In this way I got two agents and a personal manager in a short period of time. In addition, using this method, I also got casting directors and production companies to call me directly to come in and audition or to book me for jobs directly!
For some great tips with regard to how to prepare a résumé, I highly recommend visiting Brian's website.
1) Something else that is important when trying to get a talent agent is to first try and figure out what your type is. If you don't know, take a stab at it. Are you the tough guy, the nerd at school, the super intelligent kid, the bully, the gang member, the super stud, the jock, the class clown, a comedic type? What kind are you? A rapper? Movie executive? A lawyer? Are you more of a leading lady/man/girl/guy type or more like someone in a supporting role? Casting directors and agents need to know that. If you don't know, start by asking a lot of people and ask your teachers, acting coach, career coach. Take a poll and try to narrow it down. Ask the question: "If you were to see me in a film or in a television series, what role do you think I would be best for?" See what people say.
2) Find a couple of monologues, about 2 3 minutes in length. They could be short comedic monologues, serious, dramatic, classical or whatever. Whats important is that the monologue you choose speaks to you, that character we talked about in point number 1. Then learn how to memorize it quickly and effectively and learn how to perform a monologue so that you can avoid common mistakes. If you need help choosing them, then ask your acting teacher, your monologue coach or go to your local Samuel French or Drama Book Shop in New York. Those stores have people who can help you choose a great monologue. If you are in New York and are looking for a Monologue coach, I can highly recommend Karen Kohlhaus of the Atlantic Acting School and who has a very helpful website called monologueaudition.com, Brian ONeil, or Wendy Ward of the Ward Studio.
Both Karen and Brian have written books. Karen has also created a step by step monologue audition dvd. Wendy, one of my first and best acting teachers, has an interview featured in the book, Acting Teachers Of America.
3) Carefully choose a headshot photographer and get some headshots that look as much like that character as possible. It must be natural though. Don't make yourself up.
If you really look like that character, then you shouldn't have to do very much. Just wear the right clothes, make sure your expression says the same thing. For example if you are a comedic type, you won't have a blank stare on your face, but not a shot with your mouth wide open either. Make sure your eyes have a look in them that makes them pop off the picture.
4) If you want to get a talent agent, you will have to get good at writing cover letters that communicate that you are the type you say you are and that those are the kinds of roles you would be best for.
5) To have a better chance to get a talent agent, it's important to have some good training to put on your résumé, even if you don't have any work experience.
6) Part of the work you have to do to get a talent agent that is right for you is to find out which casting directors and agents and production companies and extra casting companies (don't limit your mailings to only agents) cast for the kinds of projects that speak to your type.
7) Do a mailing using the method on this page link.
8) Some actors will tell you they did mailings to try and get a talent agent and that they don't work. In their cases they probably only sent out one mass mailing. That's not good enough. Make sure you follow up with everyone you mail to about four weeks later making reference to your first mailing and reiterating the fact that you would like to audition for a casting director or to have a meeting with an agent or production company.
9) To follow up, you should have postcards made up with your headshot on them and your contact information.
10) It would be a shame to waste all that time that you spent to try and get a talent agent if you don't take care of all the details. You should have an answering service/machine for messages on your phone and you should keep your phone with you at all times so as to be able to return phone calls immediately.
11) Follow up every 6-8 weeks reporting progress that you are making in your career or at the very least, classes that you have attended and have finished or whatever. Make sure you have something to report, always using the post cards you had made up. Keep following up. every 6-8 weeks.
Also, see if you can make some of these 17 things happen to help get you work.
Complete Mailing Cost Breakdown Information: You will need to send out at least 150 - 250 of these kinds of mailings if not more, but try to be as targeted in your mailings as possible, really sending them to the agencies, casting directors, production companies (although I would do mailings to one group at a time.) that really cater to your type. Dont be surprised if you only get around 5% responses back. Dont be alarmed. Its normal and if they dont answer you, it doesnt mean that they are not interested. It could just mean that they are inundated with mail and havent gotten to it. It could also mean that they just arent interested in that moment. Sending out that many increases your chances of success. Once I met a producer at a forum one evening. He openly told me that he found my work very interesting and that I should keep in touch. I kept in touch every few months with updates on what I had been doing in the way of acting. His office called me in a year later for a job!
Also, very, very important: Only send out as many packages as you can follow up to. It doesnt make sense, much less to mention that it is a waste of time and money to send out packages only once like I said above. You must follow up! That increases your chances for success!
12) Once you've done all that and sent out your first mailing, don't think that you can just sit back and chill. What if you get a call? What if you are contacted? Then what? You must start preparing yourself for the meeting with a talent agent! That's right. You need to know what to expect, what will be expected of you, questions you should know how to answer. You'll need to know basic and very important communication skills that will help increase your chances of getting signed. One of the absolute best and most complete guides to all the things I just mentioned is Brian O'Neil's book. It takes you through the whole process and more.
Yes my friend, it's hard work, but if you stick with it, sooner or later you will be able to get a talent agent. If you are under-aged (still living at home with your parents), just make sure your parents are involved in what you are doing.
I will finish with the same thing I said at the beginning. While it is extremely important to get a talent agent, you should be training and going to acting classes too. That will be the icing on the cake and will help you be much more prepared for anything agents throw at you if you are well trained.
In conclusion, I'll give you something to think about. An agent will get 10% of whatever you make through work that you booked through his/her office. A good rule of thumb is to expect that the agent will do 10% of what is necessary to do to get you auditions. You will still need to be very active doing other things to promote your acting career!. Never forget that!
There is a lot of help and information to be found on the subject of how to get a talent agent. And most of the time, it's not far away.
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I want to say you changed my life. I want to be an actress so bad, but i began losing motivation when I couldn't figure out what to do. And then I found you! Thanks to you, I'm taking my first acting classes next month! Yippee!
Sara, Pasadena, CA
Just wanted to thank you for bringing me in to [audition for the video], meet you and chat this Saturday. I was really excited to hear about your working on actingcareerstartup.com and even took a look at it today - it's awesome! You are very well-spoken, knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and it shows through the work that you do! I hope our paths in the industry will cross again and really enjoyed meeting you. Thanks, again and best wishes with your very important work!
Gretchen, NY, NY