Finding Talent Agents and Getting Noticed
by Aimee Mitchell
You won't find agents listed in the telephone book. So here's how you go about finding a talent agent.
In another of my articles, I mentioned that you are not just going to be noticed as easily as you think. It's important that you know exactly where to get information, how to present yourself and what other ways you can be seen. Without the knowledge, you could be trying to get into the industry without success and there's nothing more upsetting. Getting a talent agent can be fairly simple if you know just what to do, so I wrote this article to compliment my others so that you can easily find what you want.
Finding a Talent Agent
Where do you find talent agents? Finding the name and address of talent agents and talent agencies in your hometown can sometimes be difficult. Most agents and agencies do not advertise. You won't find agents listed in the yellow or white pages of your local telephone book. Legitimate talent agencies do not advertise for clients in newspaper classifieds and they never solicit clients through the mail. So where do you begin? Actingland.com is the world's leading online acting community - and you guessed it, you'll find talent agent and agency contacts there. Actingland provides a comprehensive listing of Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) affiliated talent agents.
What are SAG-AFTRA affiliated agents? Talent agents that are recognized by the acting unions because they follow the rules and regulations and code of conduct set forth by the acting guilds are called franchised talent agents. How important are franchised agents? Very! A talent agent can be an actor's greatest ally, strongest supporter and best business partner. Franchised agents place the interests of their actor clients above their own. They do more than just seek out work opportunities for their clients. They also make sure actors are paid a decent wage, assist the actor negotiate and sign union contracts and help make the workplace a safe environment. Choosing a franchised talent agent is one of the most important choices a performer can ever make.
So, now you have a good list of talent agents in your chosen area - this could be where you live, or where you plan to be working. You need to start getting together your resume and headshot copies so that you can mail loads of them out. If you're chosen area is a large city, start with perhaps ten agents rather than mailing all of the agents in the area. If you are not successful with those you started with, then continue going through the list remembering to call the agent first to ensure that they represent actors and not models. Secondly, ask if they are accepting applications at this time.
Give those agents you have mailed to around two weeks to respond.
Whilst you are working in a play, you could start by contacting the agents in the area in which you are working. Always be sure to travel with a copy of your resume and headshot so you never miss out on a golden opportunity. By learning that you need to approach the agent in a professional and courteous manner, you will also learn about being patient as it's unlikely that you are going to get the first talent agent that comes along.
If you are in the area for a short time, call agents and try to arrange meetings while you are there. Of course, if they are not accepting new clients then you may need to re-visit them in the future. This is why I stress how important calling them first really is - you don't want to waste your time showing up on an agent's doorstep to find that they will not see you, and they don't want people knocking on the door without an appointment even if they are taking on new people.
As a final word on this subject, do make sure that you are determined but professional at all times. You're an actor and that acting job won't come unless you work it baby! Take my advice, or parts of it and you are most certainly going to step into that world you always dreamed of.