How to choose a good agent

Finding and agent as a budding or experienced actor/actress can be a daunting task. The bottom line is that whomever you chose is going to play a major part in the success of failure of your career. A good agent is going to do more than find you a part. They are going to get you auditions, pitch your “brand”, chase leads, negotiate pay and negotiate your contracts. This is why it is extremely important to find a legitimate representative. The bad news is that there are plenty of “agents” out there that are going to lead you down the wrong path, they are looking for a quick buck and couldn’t care less about you long term. These are the types of people/agencies you need to avoid. The good news is that we have put together a list of things you can do to maximize your chances of finding the perfect agent for you.

  1. The most important thing you can do is research any prospects. It is best if they are associated with the SAG or AFTRA, this way you know they are held accountable for their performance. If they are not, make sure that they have the right kind of reputation. (You can request a list of agents that are SAG/AFTRA franchised as well)
  2. Spend a little money! Everyone knows that this can be difficult when you are just starting out. It is going to pay off in the end though. Buying updated books containing lists of agents and managers is one of the best ways to find someone reputable.
  3. Ask people you trust whom they would recommend. Word of mouth is one of the best methods; no one is going to recommend someone that they were not satisfied with. So ask around, teachers, peers, family, and friends in the industry are all good examples of who to ask.
  4. Go online and visit the websites of agents you are considering. Read and familiarize yourself with the agency, make sure that they specialize in the area you are attempting to have a career in.

Once you have finalized the list of potential agents you may want to work with, it is time to submit your materials. These materials should consist of a portfolio (if you have one), headshots, a resume and a cover letter. Use these as a way to explain to the prospective agents why they should take you on, and what you think you can bring to their agency. Do not get discouraged, sometimes even if you do everything right it’s just not the right time. Do not repeatedly send your materials to the same agent, this just seems desperate, a better option is to have a “second” and “third” choice list. If you do not hear from your initial round of submittals begin sending your material to the agents on these lists as well.