The 4 major pros and cons of changing your acting agent

Getting an acting agent in the first place can be difficult enough for some actors but once you’ve secured one, worked together and decided it might be time to move on, making that change can be a daunting process and, sometimes, the wrong decision.

Mandy News talks you through the pros and cons of changing your acting agent. 

10th April 2018
/ By James Collins and Andrew Wooding

Acting agent change tips PIXABAY

Pros

Career Growth
Growth is part of your long-term career development and moving to a larger, more established agent often brings in bigger opportunities on bigger projects. If you feel that your current agent can’t provide these opportunities – and will never be able to – then perhaps a move is for you. A new agent might understand your long-term goals better.

New Contacts
A new agent will likely have a different list of contacts to your current one, as well as a different set of casting director contacts that could bring in new prospects. Do you feel there are strict limits on what your current agent can do for anybody, let alone you? Contacts are everything.

Rejuvenating Your Existing Contact List
A new agent could potentially ‘sell’ you in a new, different and better way to producers and casting directors you’ve already auditioned for. Feel like you’ve been marketed a certain way that doesn’t jive with your strengths and what you are as a performer? Your new agent could change the way past relationships have gone and have you seen in a different light.  

Face Value
Landing a new and well-known agent can work wonders for your career look. Obviously getting the work and performing excellently is the most important but having an agent with a better perceived value can work wonders for casting directors’/producers’ perception of you. It’s called showbiz for a reason. 

Cons

Losing that Knowledge and Experience
All things being well, your current acting agent will have a good knowledge of what you can do and what auditions you are most suited to. A relationship that evolves together can do magical things for both of you. Ending things with your team too early could end the possibility of a beautiful evolution together. How long have you been with them? How much have you put in? How much have you communicated? 

An acting agent isn’t your slave. Be realistic with the time and energy you’ve given the relationship before making any rash decisions. You could be losing out in the long term.

Lack of Time, Energy and Care
If you’re hoping to move from a smaller agent to a larger one, then perhaps it is worth looking at how many clients the larger agent has. Will they be able to work as hard for you as your current agent? How much time will they be able to dedicate to your career development? Will you be able to contact them as easily?

Unchartered Territory
There is no guarantee a new agent will be any better than the last one, or get you any work at all.  How much work does your current agent get you? Is it that bad? Have you given them enough time?

You’re Not Ready
What are your current credits? How many realistic propositions do you have coming up? Are you lucky to have an agent in the first place? Might it be a struggle to get a new one?

What To Do

In some cases, changing your agent is a no brainer. If the agent is inattentive, careless, is marketing you in a way nobody ever would – or worse, not marketing you or communicating with you at all – then you’ll likely know your answer. But if the situation seems complex, have a good, long, hard think about all of the above before deciding whether changing is the right move for you. Ask around your trusted friends and colleagues. Find out what other agents and clients are doing and how they’re working together. Make sure to contextualise your own situation too. If you have few credits and an average showreel, you can not necessarily compare yourself with a friend or colleague who has a string of lead credits in distributed features, TV or theatre shows and a top agent.

Need help with how to approach an acting agent? Here are our top tips on the best ways to go about it.

Based in London or the UK? Check out our list of the top acting agents in the capital.