How to Get a Talent Agent

by Aimee Mitchell

Talent Development sign

Getting yourself a talent agent can be a struggle. But by following a little bit of free advice and doing some extra leg work we guarantee you will get noticed.


Getting yourself a talent agent, if you want to be an actor, can be hard as quite often the individual talent agent or the agency in which they work are inundated with mailings and applications from hundreds of other budding actors, just like you. So how you go about getting a talent agent can be testing. Don't give up though, it might take time or you might be one of the lucky ones, but try taking a little bit of my following advice on how to get an agent and you will realize just by reading through it how just doing a little bit extra can get you noticed.

Firstly, call a selection of talent agents in your area to find out whether they are taking any new clients at the present time. If they are, remember that they may be busy and not want to talk at the moment. You won't be able to find a list of talent agents or talent agencies in your local phone book. Searching the web using standard search engines will prove to be difficult, too. The easiest way to locate talent agents and talent agencies in your area is through Actingland.com. Actingland.com provides its members the complete listing of all SAG affiliated talent agents in the Unites States. Actingland.com also list hundreds of AFTRA affiliated talent agents as well. Ensure that you are contacting 'franchised agents' because these agents abide by the rules and regulations set forth by the acting guilds and therefore are accountable for their actions. It's not likely you'll find a dishonest talent agent who is franchised by the unions. Once you have selected one or two talent agents in your area, mail them your materials. Or mail to all of those agents in your area if you live in a smaller town.

They might prefer to see your resume first, so start by mailing out your actors resume and headshot to all of the agencies in your area that are taking on new clients. If this is a large city then it might take time, and many print outs of your resume, so remain patient. Ensure that your headshot fits in the recommended 9"x12" hard-backed envelope to avoid your photo and resume arriving at its destination creased and battered! If you want your envelope to stand out (don't expect there to be a certain order in which applications are opened) and be opened first, then you could try and add a logo or using a more colorful envelope so that it jumps the queue, as it were.

Your envelope may be sitting in a pile unopened for a short while, until the agent catches up with their backlog (a common occurrence!), so give those that you've sent your resume to around two weeks. If you haven't heard anything within that two weeks, then give the agent a quick courtesy call to check whether or not your mail was received, and if it has then it's good to ask if they have had any time to look over your details yet. Be courteous and polite, but please don't be put off if your resume hasn't been read yet - as I said earlier, it's common that there is backlog at the agents' office, so being downhearted about it won't help you.

Be positive and start sending more mailings to some more talent agents. Another very good tip is to contact agents in the area you are working in - if you are already performing in a play in that area.

Remember that 'Showcases' are always a good idea, too. A showcase is set up so that a couple of talent agents and casting directors get together at a certain venue on a pre-arranged day. You will generally get the dates and further information from a brochure that you will have to request. Then, you will be expected to send a small fee (around $25) and your resume / headshot along with the date you would like to be seen. On the day you are coupled up with another actor and asked to perform cold readings.

In addition to mailings and showcases, a small handful of web sites have been proven to connect actors with talent agents. Be forewarned, many showcase / profile web sites are scams. The only web site I personally recommend (because it has helped literally tens of thousands of beginning actors) is Actingland.com. Actingland.com can put you in touch with talent agents and casting directors who are searching for new and upcoming actors. You'll have to register, but then you will be able to post your personal profile in Actingland.com's the talent database. When talent agents and casting directors are looking for someone like you, they could find your profile within their search results. Once they have located your profile, they can then contact you to set up an interview or audition.

Whatever you do, do as much as you can to get an agent on your own. Make sure that you treat getting an agent like your own business - you are your own business, so market yourself in a good manner and continue that way until you have secured getting an agent. Once you've secured an agent, you are well on your way to finding a super role and setting your foot in the industry door.
Aimee Mitchell is an acting coach, short story author, community theater director and playwright. She has spent the better part of her adult life working with young actors and actresses.

Copyright © Aimee Mitchell. All rights reserved. Used with permission of the author. Not to be reproduced or distributed.
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