How do I find an agent? I get this question frequently from actors with little to no experience, and even some who have been trying to grow their career in New York or L.A. for years. There are many considerations an actor must make when seeking an agent and I can’t cover them all in this article. I can, however, give you a few bullet points to think about as you explore this question.
No Credits Vs. No Experience
So you’ve been dreaming of a career in acting but you simply haven’t had any chances to act. You’ve auditioned a few times, to no avail, and you have an uncle who runs a studio in Burbank, but he won’t return your calls. There is a big difference between no acting credits and no experience. You cannot control whether or not you get cast in a role that will land you an IMDb credit. If you could control that, you’d be busy memorizing lines for your next role right now instead of reading this article. But you can control your experience. In other words, what steps are you taking to grow as an actor? Have you taken classes? Workshops? Have you hired an acting coach? Any of these options give you experience in the craft of acting. Don’t think of it so much as a resume credit but as actual tools you have in your tool belt to put on a character, and give amazing acting performances. If you’re not training, you’re not growing. Also, training is not just about acting but also is about the business, etiquette, and branding strategies.
In our upcoming workshop, “Hollywood Auditions: Inside Tips” I will discuss the strategy of audition self-submissions. The fact is, even actors with agents should be self-submitting for roles. You should be working hard to land any audition you can: community theatre, unpaid student films gigs, independent shorts, indie music videos, and even musicals or plays! For early career actors, every credit is a valuable credit. We tend to let our pride get in the way of accepting roles early on, thinking that we are so great and so talented that we can only accept high paying roles that will land us on a major network or feature film. But every role we land adds to our experience level, builds our credits, and most importantly. . .grows our network!
Okay, you didn’t sign up for a career of meeting random people in the hopes that something with them may work out someday. After all, you may consider yourself a classically trained actor who understands the craft with ease. My point here is, no matter how talented you were when you came out of the womb or how many degrees in performance you have acquired, there is nothing more valuable than building a strong network. And it’s often this network that will put you on the path of meeting your future agent.
Finding the Agent
Bottom line: how do you find an agent? Do all of the above. And do all of the above a lot. Once you have built some experience in the craft of acting, you have acquired a few credits here and there, and you have started to build your network then you may start the process of looking for an agent. Here’s a list of ideas: