This is a question I hear often: When should I get an agent or manager?
At the end of the day, this is just my opinion. Rules are definitely meant to be broken. However, based upon what I’ve learned and how I’ve applied those lessons to success, this is what I can offer…
Get an agent when you are ready. When you have something to offer to them. Come with a full arsenal of tools that they can work with. If you’re at home and thinking about getting an agent or manager, take a look below to see if these dynamics are in place:
**Do you have a clear vision for yourself and what you want? Can you walk into an agent’s office and clearly lay out what you’re about? I have discovered that agents and managers really like it when someone is clear about their journey versus someone who is not clear about their journey. Having clarity about yourself gives them something to work with. Having clarity about yourself lets them know that you don’t expect them to do all the work. Think about it, if an agent is receiving a 10% commission on every job you book, that means you’re receiving the remaining 90% on every job you book. So you better be pulling your weight and doing the majority of the work in your journey. I have also discovered that some agents and managers are against/resistant to someone who is clear about what they want. For me, these representatives are not worth my time because they are not going to be supportive of or in collaboration with or excited about my dream. We won’t be able to dance together.
I just shared my DOIN’ (Declaration of Independence aka business plan) with my agent and she was blown away. She wrote:
BRAVO! I think that is a brilliant plan of business action. Very impressive! My pleasure to read such a complete well thought out plan. Keep up the great work towards goals. Extremely proactive of you.
So we are dancing together because she saw first-hand what I’m about through my business plan. And so when I ask her to pitch me to this person or to look out for this TV series in production or this TV series in development, she’s excited to do so because she gets my plan. She gets my dream.
**Do you have specific, current headshots that reflect your first circle of casting? First circle of casting refers to those characters that come easily and naturally to you. Characters you have mastery over and don’t have to work so hard at playing. You walk into a room and we immediately get, “Oh, he’s the college star athlete.” “Oh, she’s the bitchy high school ‘it’ girl.” “Oh, he’s definitely a cop.” “Oh, he’s the gang member.” These specific headshots will help an agent submit you, pitch you and market you into the right neighborhood of shows, films, casting directors, producers, etc.
**Do you have a reel that reflects your first circle of casting? A reel containing a few short scenes that reveal what you can do? It’s one thing to have a headshot, but it’s another thing to have scenes on your reel that show you can actually play these characters in your headshots and that you know how to act on camera. Recently, I added a new scene to my reel as a computer hacker. I uploaded the clip to Actors Access and let my agent know. A few days ago, she emailed me:
By the way you were submitted on a IT tech expert role…Guess what video was attached? Of course, the new one! 🙂
**Are you in an acting class which shows the agent or manager that you are staying current and sharp with your training? That you are working out in an artistic gym? That you are pushing yourself artistically?
These are just the basic dynamics to have in place the next time you find yourself asking, “When should I get an agent or manager?”
Again, rules are meant to be broken. There have been actors who have secured representation without the above dynamics. For whatever reasons, they were able to secure representation without the above dynamics. Maybe those actors were in the right place at the right time. I can only speculate. Ultimately, you have to decide for yourself when to get an agent or manager. For me, I’d rather invest the time to build my arsenal and my artistry first before securing representation. I feel that I would get more mileage out of my journey with them if I do that first.
Until next Sunday!