Do you Need an Agent?

Becoming an actor or actress is a dream fostered by many young people. The glamor and glitz of the Hollywood lifestyle is enough to make acting anyone’s dream, but there is much more to acting than what the media shows us. One of the first questions that an aspiring actor or actress must ask themselves is whether or not they need an agent. While it’s not unheard of for an actor to make it big without the help of an agent, it is very uncommon. So unless you happen to be Brad Pitt’s cousin, the answer is probably yes.

An agent can serve a variety of purposes and just having one can give you validation in the eyes of the industry. It signifies that someone who is well-known in the casting community has enough confidence in your talent to take you on as a client. It is very likely that you will be taken much more seriously because if you have representation in the form of an agent.

In addition, an agent is your advocate. Those who have to sell their own talent often don’t fare well with the task. As an actor, it is wise to have someone who can speak on your behalf. Things such as submitting material to casting directors can certainly be done by you, but having it sent by an agent lends it credence that it wouldn’t otherwise have, particularly if the casting director already knows your agent.

An agent can also give you access. It is their job to know what projects are currently being cast, even those that aren’t posted. This type of knowledge means that an agent can create opportunities for you that would have otherwise been missed. In the majority of cases, agents alone have access to television, movie, and commercial auditions.

An agent does more than just set up auditions and book jobs however. They negotiate in an actor’s best interest when it comes to the details of your contract. An agent gets paid only for work that is booked and they get a certain percentage of the actor’s pay. It is in their best interest to make sure that you get a fair contract because that is how they maketheir money as well. A legitimate agent will never ask an actor for money
up front. 

In the end it’s a personal choice of course, but the bottom line is that an actor who is interested in any real commerical, tv, or film work needsan agency. This is particularly true in markets where there is not an abundancy of projects.