One of the most common complaints I hear from actors involves finding the right representation. Snagging a solid agent or manager can be tricky, time consuming, and expensive. A lot of actors experience the old catch-22: “I need an agent to get work and I need work to land an agent”. What’s an actor to do?
Whether you feel like you don’t have enough time or money to grab the attention of an agent, or you question whether or not you’re ready for representation, you can begin planting seeds with prospective agents easily and inexpensively. All you need to do is commit to these small steps.
Apply a Laser Beam Focus
I’m a big believer in “doing less more often”, so narrow your agent list to a manageable target group of about 10 agencies. Ask for recommendations from fellow actors and any industry connections, such as casting directors, producers, acting coaches, etc. Do you have a peer with representation whose career you admire? Research their agency. The Hollywood Creative Directory, available as a reference book in many libraries, and IMDB Pro are good resources to help locate names and contact information for anyone in the industry. Don’t forget to plug in to online forums such as the Hollywood Happy Hour Yahoo Group. You will be amazed by how easily you can access up to date information about any agent you may be researching.
Reach Out On the Cheap
People often think good marketing costs money, but there are numerous effective ways to get in touch with agents without breaking the bank. You might market to your target agents by emailing, calling the office, sending a fax, dropping off a headshot, or asking a friend to make a referral call on your behalf. Not only are each of these steps free or inexpensive, but they’re also highly effective.
Remember, you don’t have to knock an agent’s socks off with your fancy marketing package. You’re better off applying the Rule of Seven and sending out small, inexpensive touches on a regular basis.
Make It Personal
I’d say the most effective way to secure good representation (other than booking great work) is to rely on referrals. Think about who you know that might be willing to recommend you to their agent. Do you have a teacher or friend who could provide a solid recommendation? If so, ask them to lend a hand in your agent search process.
If you can’t get any referrals, then be your own best referrer. Show up to your prospective agent’s office and drop off your materials. Ask for a meeting and share why any agent would benefit from working with you.
Respected as one of the entertainment industry’s leading experts, Dallas Travers teaches actors the career and life skills often left out of traditional training programs. Her groundbreaking book, The Tao of Show Business, has won over five awards including first prizes at The Hollywood Book Festival and the London Festival along with the National Indie Excellence Award. She has helped thousands of actors to increase their auditions, produce their own projects, secure representation and book roles in film and television.
If you’re ready to jump-start your acting career, get your FREE Thriving Artist Starter kit now at http://www.dallastravers.com.