The first action you need to take when you decide to be an actor or performer as career is to consider how you can present yourself or make yourself known via a talent agency. Talent agencies will expect you to be prepared to do a lot of leg work. Any talent agency you sign up with will ask you to invest in your professional development by attending workshops and producing headshots. There are many actors who are happy take time off work to perform an audition but won’t take the day off work to participate in a workshop that could greatly assist their audition technique.
The rewards and opportunities you can enjoy by taking these professional development opportunities and this is hugely enhanced by preparations for auditions. Talent agency industry work can often be sporadic. You need to be to wait for auditions and castings and to be prepared for rejection, but each time you audition you will learn something new that will help you for next time. Unless you already have a relationship with a Talent Agency, in order to get in front of a Principal Casting Director, it’s difficult to know what opportunities are up and coming for you.
The other benefits to having a Talent Agent is that they can help weed out the projects that you are not suited for, and they make sure you get paid for the work you do in your projects. Choosing a Talent Agent to represent you is one of the most important things you can do to ensure you get quality opportunities to act on. Talent Agents can negotiate your above-minimum rates and working conditions for all the productions for which you will be hired. For this reason your relationship with your Agent is crucial and choosing a talent agency to represent you can save you much hassle both prior to booking and after booking a job. Most Talent Agency charges are based on a “sign-up” or “administration fee”, which means the agency makes money without having to actually find work for performers.
A good talent agent will change a nominal starter fee and then take commission on the work they procure for you in the film and television industry.
A good Agent should help you with your resume and give you pointers on headshots without requiring you to use a specific photographer/ make up artist, etc. Look out for agencies that charge and exorbitant amount for headshots and portfolio preparation.
Ask your prospective agency what they offer as far as dealing with making sure you get paid and how you pay them. In other words, they get paid only when you do for jobs. Make sure you are committed to attending workshops and auditions and sign up with the right talent agency, and you’ll give yourself the best chance of getting hired and beginning your path in the acting and entertainment industry.