Identify Relevant Criteria for Choosing Your Agent Based on Your Location
Before we get deep into the subject and the geolocalized list, let’s evaluate when and why you need an acting agent and what particularly could one do for you and your professional ascension.
If you decided you want to pursue an acting career and you already managed to go through the first steps like getting some acting lessons, trying to prepare a portfolio of headshots and taking some voice or dance lessons perhaps, then you might be ready for auditions. Some of the auditions for developing artists are available only for represented actors and consequently aren’t made public. If you started participating to auditions, but want to take it to the next level, this is probably where an agent fills in the blanks. Not only can an agent get you in the right place at the right time, but he or she can also help you with your positioning during a negotiation or even establish a sort of value for you in the market. There are no disadvantages in having an acting agent, as long as he has an appreciated image and seems trustworthy. As for advantages, those are plenty: your agent can fix you up and contribute to your success, with no financial pressure on your behalf. Your agent usually gets a percent from your income, so he is as motivated as you are for you to become the next rising star at Hollywood. Your agent can take a huge responsibility off your shoulders.
Benefits of Getting an Agent
1. You Will Feel Safer about Your Career
An agent gets you performances, auditions, interviews for talent agencies, commercials, photo shoots and a good echoing of your name in the industry. You won’t be alone anymore and you will get backed up from a professional who has done this before some several times. If your current local setting isn’t going to be prolific for your ascension, your agent is the one who will suggest relocating too.
2. You Won’t Need to Fix Your Portfolio by Yourself
He or she will make sure that your resume, head shots and photo shoots that present your best poses and reveal your natural skills will look great. An acting agent has seen tens of cover letters, so after getting to know you better, you will definitely benefit from some experience based advice.
3. Your Professional Life Will Improve
An agent is familiar with casting directors, knows how to negotiate in your favor, can establish a good assessment of your skills and recommend workshops or coaches and will hook you up into contexts you wouldn’t be getting in by yourself. An acting agent is as functional as a visa to a magical land where you will develop your craft.
How To Get An Acting Agent
Before we get on to some localized talent agencies, let’s see what you have to do while you are still on your own in order to be the closest to what an acting agent himself or herself looks for.
1. Perfect Your Act
What you’re doing needs to be seen, verified, tracked – for the single reason that it’s the only way an acting agent can get to know your craft and sense your capabilities, even if your experience is just starting to build up. Work hard, involve yourself in projects, manifest availability. No one will discover you from your couch, sitting with your cat and browsing on Facebook. Get out there, volunteer, do your best. Gather practice, get some references, ask around. Once you network with other fellow artists, it’s only easier and easier to make something of your name and also get closer to potential interested agents. Last but not least: try to be as informed as you can. Understand the type of work an agent does, its timing and its tasks. Research other actors’ relationships with their agents. In a phrase: prepare yourself! If you are shifting from another preoccupation where you previously had an agent or some connections, like modeling or singing, try to get recommendations from your previous representative.
2. Define Your Image
This is the century of www, so don’t think that it’s wise to be discrete and unavailable. It’s really dramatic, but there are so many talented artists out there who will probably remain undiscovered simply because they don’t put themselves out there like they should. Your presence nowadays is not only demanded on stage or on set, but also on most social media platforms. Your 3D persona needs to have an image, a voice, an online opinion. Find ways to use social media professionally and upload your experience, your resume, a personal presentation on media platforms. You never know when and who is going to browse for that. Learn these first steps yourself in order to make a good impression and abuse the Internet, as you can now inform yourself easily and for free! If you don’t want to wear a Disney character’s uniform as a kids entertainer for parties forever, you need to step up your game!
3. Researching & Making A Choice
In the end, you have to make a move. Our best advice is to opt for a recommendation. There is definitely someone out there who can recommend you and help you make your first steps. Avoid overreacting and cold calls. Create yourself healthy connections and ask around. Then, don’t ever be caught off guard. Keep those monologues fresh on your mind and decide to choose some agents or agencies. Once you’ve secured a meeting, do your best to be prepared to the last detail. Make sure your agent is licensed and look for the agency’s registration. Check him or her out online and ask for information from anyone who has ever heard of your agent. Also, keep in mind that someone who is overbooked won’t work so hard for you to get noticed as an agent with a smaller roster would strive to present his finding! Trust your guts too: you need to immediately form a good personal interaction as well, otherwise things won’t simply work and casts won’t show up from thin air.
Acting Agents or Agency Listing
Sure the Internet is full of suggestions and there isn’t any Agent Orange Act of 1991 for acting agents, but that doesn’t prevent us from presenting some top hits for a few states and cities in the U.S. It’s useful to double check your agent in a guide or a list from rom SAG/AFTRA, even at the Better Business Bureau before you set up a meeting.
- New York City
If you’re new to NYC, start by browsing for agencies like Affinity Artists Agency, Ann Wright Representatives,Inc. or Artists Group East.
- Los Angeles
Freshly landed in L.A.? Try the Agency for the Performing Arts, Creative Artists Agency, Diverse Talent Group.
- Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta Models & Talent, Aligned Stars Agency.
- Chicago, Illinois
Gray Talent Group, Paonessa Talent Agency: Chicago Boutique Talent Agency.
- Dallas & Houston, Texas
Mary Collins Agency, Dallas;
- Miami, Florida
The Green Agency, Next Management
- San Diego & Sacramento, California
Shamon Freitas, San Diego;
Cast Images Model & Talent Agency, Sacramento;
- Denver, Colorado
Big Fish Talent | Colorado Models
- Las Vegas, Nevada
Spectrum Talent Model and Talent Agency, Goldman & Associates – Las Vegas Casting Agency
- Baltimore, Maryland
Central Casting, E.C.E. Talent Agency
- Seattle, Washington DC
Tiffany Talent Agency
- Charlotte, North Carolina
Evolution Modeling and Talent Agency Charlotte, NC
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Reinhard Model & Talent Agency
- Richmond, Virginia
Liquid Talent Agency
- Detroit, Michigan
Detroit Casting Company
- Boston, Massachusetts
The Cameo Agency
- Columbus, Ohio
If You Plan on Being Independent
Not all actors search for or want to have an acting agent that much. If you believe you can do that work yourself, if you have what it takes – ability, time, involvement, networking and negotiation skills, then you can start building your career by yourself. Some actors do that – like Bill Murray. Keep in mind that the digital era we are now living in benefits your communication and accessibility, but the big sharks in the industry still tend to keep a low profile on Facebook or Twitter and it might be difficult to engage into a personal relationship with those you need to be acquainted with if you carry all the work with no endorsement on your side. It can be especially difficult if you’re planning on working with an agent for a talented child or someone parallel to this industry, like for example an athlete looking to act in commercials for a sports channel. On the other hand, you would indeed eliminate a cost and a foreign influence. Analyze your situation from all possible points of view and in the end, the most important asset you have is the voice inside your head saying “I want to become an actor”, because that is what keeps you going on motivated and staying focused on your goal.