Different agents have different "types" they focus on, actually.
There are some who only deal with children . . .
Some agents deal with only adults . . .
Others deal with only "celebrity" clients; which means you'd have to already be famous.
A great idea would be to get educated on show business . . . with the emphasis being on "business".
It's a business. An agent needs to make money . . . thus, you have to what he or she sells. And he or she needs to be able to "sell you". Thus, if you have only talent and no experience or training -- it is not worth their time to sign you, and they will not.
Some of you think it's just easy to get an agent and then be in the movies or tv. Not that easy . . .and you do NOT need an agent to get the experience, training, etc. In fact, you really cannot get an agent [at least, not a good one] without years of training and experience you must gain on your own.
I mean, it is your career, right?!
There are actors of all shapes and sizes:
All of them, completely different types . . . yet, all working, at one point or another. So, agents, are looking for someone they can sell; based on the type they work with.
The 40% you speak of are more like 2% and they are "celebrities" >> which happens so RARELY, you shouldn't even worry about it.
The way to go about it, and be "smart":
Remember, it's called "show BUSINESS" and thus, it is run as a business is run.
So, your action is this . . . make a sensible business plan.
1) Education> Are you trained? Have you finished school? (High school diploma, at the very least)
>> Is a college degree a consideration, in a solid business plan?
>> Which, in turn, may give you the funds to survive and live in Los Angeles, CA or New York for four years. [Student Loans> for school and dorms]
>> Or a performing arts school? [Student Loans]. Although, most of the performing arts schools (i.e. American Academy of Dramatic Arts) do NOT provide dorms.
> a) A place to live
>> Do you have friend's or relatives in Los Angeles or New York where you can live rent-free for a while?
>> If no, do you have one month's move and one month rent to get a place? (approximately $2,000) AND three months just general living expenses [food, water, transportation]? $5,000.00 to $10,000.00 at the very least.
>> TRANSPORTATION: In Los Angeles, CA you will need a car! Public transportation sucks! And for that car, you need: Gasoline, Insurance, A valid driver's license, general maintainence money. And it better be a good running car. Everything is far apart, especially auditions and such.
>> New York City you have great public transportation and auditions are usually very close to where you live. And to have a car is not recommended in NY. Too much trouble to park or find parking.
Once you get to LA or NY:
You must: Get a regular job (to keep the rent paid, food, headshots, classes, etc., etc.)
>> WARNING: Unemployment is highest in California!
>> Only other option is if you have a benefactor: someone to let you live free and support you with a car, gasoline, food, headshots, classes, etc.
Still it is best to:
Start where you are, like everyone else does.
If you're still school age:
Take your school's drama/choir . . .
Do school plays . . . .
Graduate/Finish School > with top grades!
Apply to a performing arts college . . .
Go to college . . . learn something besides acting (even teaching is a usuable degree) . . .study BUSINESS (Remember, it’s “show BUSINESS”)
And read and learn:
"Respect For Acting" by Uta Hagen
“How To Sell Yourself As An Actor” by K Callan
"Being and Doing" by Eric Morris
"Acting Professionally" by Robert Cohen
“Toxic Fame: Celebrities Speak on Stardom” by Joey Berlin
Also a great site with wonderful resources:
“You Must Act” by Bob Fraser
For your soul and dreams:
"Ask And It Is Given" by Jerry and Esther Hicks