How to get a talent agent

24/01/2014 05:35
How to Get a Talent Agent: Actors
For actors, the type of agent you need is called a talent agent. That might seem obvious, but there are a number of different types of talent agents depending on what type of work you're looking for.
You want to start by finding someone who specializes in the area that you're hoping to break into. A talent agent that specializes in film is very different from the one who specializes in commercials. So, begin by determining which direction is best suited to you.
Talent agents usually find their clients in one of three ways: 1) they are referrals from other people; 2) they are people they sought out (most often established actors that were "stolen" from other agencies); or 3) by "discovering" them through a talent showcase, student film or other completed work.
Does this mean that you won't ever be discovered by working as a waitress at a Hollywood industry hangout? No, but your chances are markedly decreased if this is the only effort you make.
Too many actors think that an agent will choose to represent them, simply because they have an amazing headshot. True, a good headshot might give you the slightest edge toward getting a meeting, but more often than not, it ends up in the circular file (the trash).
NOTE: One quick note about headshots -- you want to be sure that no matter what, you look as close to your headshot as possible. If you've gained or lost weight, changed your hair style, or simply aged a few years, nothing will turn off a casting agent faster than an inaccurate photo representation of you. Pay the extra money and update them as you need to.
The trick to getting a good talent agent is to be sure that you put yourself in a place to get discovered. That means, find work on your own. That could mean anything from doing talent showcases to student films to whatever else you can find. If you live in Los Angeles or New York (and even if you don't), you should subscribe to Back Stage West (either the magazine or the website), as this is an excellent resource for aspiring actors to find student and low budget movies that are casting and are more likely to consider "green" actors.
You should also check out It's surprising how many low budget films advertise there looking for casting potentials. Be careful choosing this route however, as a lot of low-lifes post seemingly legitimate ads only to reveal later that their only objective is to get you to take off your clothes.
NOTE: Be aware of anyone who wants to charge you money for their "representation" services. Agents rep their clients for free and only get paid when they get their clients work. Stay as far away from these types as you can.


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