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How to become an actor and find an agent?

I always seem to be getting the same standard response: take some acting classes, network, get head shots...

But how? Most people in this profession are very competitive and they do not necessarily want to pass on what and who they know to you. So how do I find an agent? Or about casting calls?

Let's say I have taken some acting classes. But how do I find out about auditions? How do I find an agent? I know the names and addresses and emails of some top notch agents for UTA or CAA etc, but i can hardly contact them and say that i am looking for an agent (not to mention those only take top celebrities, not someone never heard of).

I am totally new to this and it seems like a chicken and egg problem: I cant get hired (or an agent to find about casting calls) because I dont have any film or commercial roles yet (i.e. experience), but I cannot gain any experience, if no one will hire me ( and if I dont even get the chance to audition to be hired because the only way you can do that is by finding an agent etc). So what do I do?

Should i find some B or C list talent agency and just submit my headshots and resume?

Does a resume even matter? Not that my ivy league education will matter for acting. What if i make up experience in small production? Are they really gonna check?

What do I need to od concretely?

Contact b -list agents?

A list agents? Take a chance?

2 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Since you're starting out, you will NOT be able to get signed with a Big 4 (WME, UTA, ICM, CAA) or B Agency (Gersh, Paradigm, Innovative, APA, Buchwald). They DON'T take developing actors. You need major film/tv roles and a celebrity/industry endorsement to get with those agencies.

    You gain experience by doing student films and indie films. In LA, the 3 LEGIT sites for getting that work are LA Casting, Nowcasting, and Actors Access. Know that you're only going to see 30% of the work out there. ONLY Agents have access to the other 70%.

    Here are agents that DO take developing talent:

    Top Commercial Agencies(*=definite winners):

    KSR *-Alicia Ruskin

    Abrams *- Mark Measures

    CESD *- David Ziff or Adrienne Berg

    Diverse *- Wendy Morrison

    Coast to Coast * -Hugh Leon

    Daniel Hoff * - Daniel Hoff

    Commercial Talent * - Neil Kreppel

    Commercials Unlimited - Richard Reiner

    Innovative Artists * - Marcia Hurwitz or Cher Van Amburg

    Independent Artists- Jenine Leigh or Laura Fogelman

    Flick Commercials- Tina Kiratsoulis

    DPM - Daniel P. Mulheran

    DDO - Marlene Sutton

    Bobby Ball-Mike O'Dell

    Venture IAB - Noel Palm

    Sutton, Barth, Venari * -Pam Sparks

    Arlene Thornton and Associates - Tracy Mapes

    Pantheon * -Patricia Dawson or Pierre Gatling

    Beverly Hecht -Teresa Valente-Dahlquist

    Don Buchwald and Associates *- Kristy Dax

    M. Greene and associates - Jim Lighte

    AKA * - Doug Ely

    Amsel, Eisenstadt & Frazier -Gloria Hinojosa

    Brady, Brannon, and Rich * - Judy Rich or Pat and David Brady

    Brass Artists - Jack Ianacci

    Aqua - John Kolinofsky

    Special Artists Agency - Alexandra Gucovsky

    Amatruda, Benson, and Assoc. -Kimberly Gola

    Angel City - Gwen Davis

    BiCoastal - Greta Hanley

    Clear Talent Group - Tim O'Brien

    Lemon Lime - Robin Harrington or Chaim Magnum

    LA Talent - Pam Loar or Mike Casey

    LW1 - Sean Robinson

    Mavrick - Brad Diffley

    Momentum - Garry Purdy

    NTA*- Nancy Luciano

    Up and Comer Commercial Agencies:

    -Talentworks (Emily Hope from ACME is here)

    -House of Representatives (Top theatrical agency that now has a commercial department)

    -Sovereign (Top theatrical agency that now has a commercial department)- Annalisa Babich

    -Hollywood Select Talent-Mike Sutton of Baron Entertainment is there.

    Theatrical Agents (Minus the Big 4 (William Morris, UTA, ICM, CAA) and the B Agencies(Gersh, APA, Paradigm) who do NOT take beginners) :

    Abrams

    David Shapira and Associates

    Diverse

    Domain

    The Glick Agency

    GVA

    IFA

    Kazarian Spencer (KSR)

    Metropolitan

    Michael Greene and Associates

    Pakula King

    Peter Strain

    SMS Talent

    Sovereign

    Stone Manners

    SDB Partners

    Talentworks

    AEF

    AKA

    Chasin

    Coast to Coast

    Daniel Hoff

    Defining Artists

    Gage Group

    Geddes

    Hervey Grimes

    Henderson Hogan

    House of Representatives

    Osbrink

    Pantheon

    Privilege

    To get an agent, you need to get GREAT headshots, a good resume, and training from the best. These are enough to get you a commercial agent at least. Getting a GOOD theatrical agent (Film/tv) takes longer. Most good theatrical agents won't see you unless you're SAG, have a polished resume, and a demo reel. Commercial agents are more lenient about that. What the best Commercial agents want to see on your resume are good commercial classes, improv, and cold reading.

    You can get an agent multiple ways. Here are a few common ways:

    -Mail in an unsealed manilla envelope with a CONCISE coverletter and headshot with the resume stapled on the back. If you have a demoreel include that too.

    -Attend a showcase and impress them. By showcase I do not mean scammy conventions like IMTA, IPOP, Proscout, or Best New Talent. I mean legit ones like at Actor Connection, Reel pros, Network Studios, etc.

    -Get a referral from a friend who is with the agency that you're interested in

    DON'T

    -Email them unless they tell you to. IT'S UNPROFESSIONAL!

    -Call unless they tell you to. ALSO UNPROFESSIONAL!

    -Walk in and ask for a meeting. UNPROFESSIONAL THREE!

    -Sign with them if they ask for upfront money, make you take new photos with THEIR photographer, or take THEIR classes. Agent's ONLY make money when you do. Agents usually make 10% on film/tv and commercials and 20% on commercial print.

    Sample Resume:

    http://i707.photobucket.com/albums/ww80/ELDORADO59...

    Avoiding BAD Headshots:

    http://bbs.backstage.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/801103...

    Source(s): LA Actor
  • ?
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    if you get acting training and do some research you will find out how show biz. works. everyone

    you will meet out there will have training and experience. you will need to know what your doing when you start going out on things. there are auditions you can find on your own like

    community theater, you can look in your phone book for theaters and student films. if you

    have any colleges around you with film programs, they are always looking for actors. for

    anything of a commercial nature you will need to be near where the auditions are held and

    get an agent near the acting work and near you. with no training or experience your not

    going to be getting an agent until you get training and build up a resume. if you lie on your

    resume they will know, as they will expect you to be able to act according to whats on your

    resume and you won't have a clue as to what to do because you haven't done anything. legit

    agents don't advertise on the internet. get some training, do local theater and student films

    for experience and when you know what your doing you can look for an agent. all of your

    experience does not need to be of a commercial nature. any training you complete and

    anything you do on stage or in front of a camera is good for a resume. you can look on SAG'S

    website for agents or in one of the acting trade magazines like VARIETY for agents and open calls

    also for acting classes.

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