American agents

  • Leila Kotori

    Actor

    I was wondering if anyone could help. I am interested in possibly getting an american agent. I wanted to know 1)if it is worth it while I am still here in UK as may not make a move to USA for a bit 2) where should I look (aiming towards Film and TV)

    If anyone can help would appreciate it.

    • 13th Apr 2012
    • 3874
    • 29
  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    Hey there

    Uk actors are big in the states now so it's a good place to be in terms of work potential .

    The biggest barrier will not be your look, talent or anything else but the Green Card. Even if you get a good agent, they can't send you up for stuff unless you can legally work there. I have friends who've been through the same ordeal.

    If you do get cast over there, you have to prove that you are the only one who can do the job to that level over all competent American actresses in SAG. So it's a tough call, but not impossible.

    It's an expensive trip but I would advise either aiming for an agent here with US contacts or getting seen for that sort of work here. There's a lovely woman on here called Claire Dodin ( French) who did manage to make the jump and is doing very well over there. Search for her on cup or if you can't find her, pm me and I will help. She's wonderful and a lovely helpful person and a good friend.

    Hope that helps .

    • 23rd Feb 2012
    • 1
  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    Ps. I mean if you get cast there without a green card and if you want the job you have to prove you can do it. Not if you're legally allowed to work there

    • 23rd Feb 2012
    • 2
  • Claire Dodin

    Actor

    Hello !

    Thanks Blake for the kind words! :-)

    I get asked questions about Los Angeles many times a week by actors so I tell them to do a search on this forum because we've covered the subject extensively with very detailed advise; you'll find it very useful.

    As for an agent, it's possible to get it before you have the visa and I would even say advisable because agents make the best sponsors for the visa.

    But it's unlikely that you'll be able to get one from the UK. It's also unlikely that you'll get one if you are planning to stay in the UK, they will want to be able to send you to auditions several times a week and therefore for you to live in LA.

    What I advise everyone to do is to come to LA for a little while on a "working" holiday. What I mean is for you to come and get a feel for the place, take classes, arrange meetings with agents if you can and then decide if you think you like LA and this is where you want to end up. It works out as an expensive holiday but it will really clarify things in your mind and allow you to see what you need to do.

    If the answer is yes, then it will take a lot of struggle and money; but it's possible! :-)

    Good luck!

    • 23rd Feb 2012
    • 3
  • Leila Kotori

    Actor

    Thanks so much for that guys. I thought It may be a case of actually going to LA, I have a few friends who are doing the same thing now.

    I will look into it more and hopefully get some results. appreciate the time you took to reply.

    All the best

    Leila

    • 23rd Feb 2012
    • 4
  • Forbes KB

    Actor

    You wouldn't believe the number of Brit actors who head off over to Lala land and come back 3-4 months later with their tail between their legs and massively in debt!

    I really hate to be the harbinger of doom but the reality is chances of you, or any unknown UK actor, breaking through in the states is microscopic particularly as you have not managed to secure an agent here in your own country or have any mainstream credits to back up your Greencard/O1-Visa application.

    My advise, for what it's worth is to get yourself a kick ass agent over here first and, with their help, build a solid CV/ reputation over here before splurging your life savings on the Hollywood dream!

    I've viewed your reel and also have some criticism there too I'm afraid!! The biggest problem with your most valuable marketing tool, is the people you are acting opposite. You yourself are a solid performer, real and believable! Your scene partners weren't...none of them, which make me, and any prospective CD/agent, think "MMmmm!! Student film!"

    By all means set your sights on Hollywood, but you gotta get the packaging of your product (you) rock solid before you go over there or you'll kill any chance of future success stone dead before you've even started.

    Onwards and upwards!

    • 23rd Feb 2012
    • 5
  • Leila Kotori

    Actor

    Thanks for the advice. Finding a American agent was just something I wanted to enquire about. I know my show reel isnt solid at the moment but the productions I have recently been working I hope will ammend that issue. Appreciate your honesty and Know I need to secure an agent here first. Long hard work ahead.

    • 23rd Feb 2012
    • 6
  • Louise Gubbay

    Actor

    Hi all. Was just shown this as the person that did, thought you may like my advice.

    With Forbes all the way here.

    But also, please do let me give you advice.

    Do not take advice from anyone other than an agent over here who works very closely with LA and who has the experience of LA (and no, I am not touting for business)

    La la Land is as it is. If you have half a chance of being a success, you do that through a London agent who can pitch you to the right LA Casting Director.

    All that said, it is very common for the British actor to go on tape for an excellent role (from here), but, guess what? If you haven't got the visa, then forget it. If you do want a visa, it will cost you around £7000. Still no guarantees.

    The Casting Directors who are worth their weight in gold (in LA)will fight for the production company to pay for the visa IF you are the 'one', however, gone are the days of any major production company turning over several 01 visas a day. LONG GONE.

    So many actors go over on the tourist visa (90 days without being able to work) for the pilot season........waste of money.

    Work with your agent to give you half a chance of making it in the States.

    I have had 100's of CV's from British actors resident in LA, wanting me to represent them over there - that says it all really>

    I hope my advice will teach all well.

    Louise

    • 23rd Feb 2012
    • 7
  • Leila Kotori

    Actor

    Makes alot of sense what you have said Louise. Appreciate it. It is good to know the real facts. Thanks

    • 23rd Feb 2012
    • 8
  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    What I think both Louise and Forbes are saying is sound advice- focus on the dream, but it's not the right time . Claire has a very special usp in that she's French which made a huge difference .

    Focus on your credits , get the best footage you can and gradually build yourself up here in all mediums including theatre . If life moves you to LA, then great- but you can develop a good career here where well known casting directors could see you for good American films.

    • 23rd Feb 2012
    • 9
  • Forbes KB

    Actor

    We need a "like" button on here 'cos I like the last 3 posts!

    • 24th Feb 2012
    • 10
  • Claire Dodin

    Actor

    We too, I want a "like" button for all the posts!

    All of the above are the reasons why I think it's worth visiting LA for a short time first without hoping to get work.

    You may find out that you don't like it, it's not for everyone!

    And if you do, then you can come back to the UK with a clear vision of the things you need to work on in order to qualify for the visa and be at the level you need to be to get work over there.

    It's a long term commitment, it will take years to have everything in place and a lot of money, so be sure this is what you want first.

    On the plus side, when I decided to do this, it gave me clear focus and allowed me to really think of my career as a business to develop. If I had applied the same focus before, I probably would have done better in the UK.

    The main reason why actors struggle is because they don't have a thorough, well thought out business plan with a clear vision.

    • 24th Feb 2012
    • 11
  • David Vaughan Knight

    Actor

    If there's a Like button, there should also be an Unlike button. I'm happy with just a Reply button.

    • 24th Feb 2012
    • 12
  • Leila Kotori

    Actor

    Couldn't agree more. Like to all the posts.

    • 24th Feb 2012
    • 13
  • Louise Gubbay

    Actor

    It's my pleasure. I feel it is paramount for those who are knowledgeable and experienced with the LA circuit to give advice to anyone wanting to make the leap across the pond.

    I work very closely with LA on a daily basis and have been over already several times in the past 12 months.

    Even when I am putting clients forward for work out there (from here) it can only be either those that have the O1 visa or those that have excellent credits for which a production company will get them a fast track visa but it still leaves you limited.

    Those without the visa will not get one even if they are offered a guest role in a TV series (for example).

    The transatlantic leap needs to be taken extremely seriously. Yes, there is a huge about of work out there, but there are also a huge amount of talent there too.

    Explore your opportunities here first.

    Also, it should be noted that there is a BIG difference between the O1 visa and a green card.

    You will only get a green card immediately if you are

    a) extremely wealthy and can afford to invest a massive amount into the US (commonly known as the million dollar visa).

    b) you are eligable to enter the Green Card Lottery, which sadly, if you are a British citizen with a British passport you cannot take this route.

    • 24th Feb 2012
    • 14
  • Leila Kotori

    Actor

    Thank you for the advice. Some points there that i was not aware of. Believe it beat for me to focus here and build a solid reputation and resume . Thanks again

    • 24th Feb 2012
    • 15
  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    One thing I will add, that I'm sure Louise will back me up on, is that I have seen how seductive the "la dream" is.

    I saw an actress go there for a short 2 week holiday , secure a few auditions and come back almost smitten by the promise of work etc.

    It's got that appeal everywhere because it feeds into the American dream .

    Also, here where a class system exists for even getting castings- ie . A CD won't see you if you have gone to a drama school they hate , or will only see you if you have RADA or Lamda.

    Claire battled that discrimination for years here, and was given proper equal footing when she got there. I think the system is more equal there which is why it's so attractive . You don't have to battle the class system as much .

    Correct me if I'm wrong, Louise?

    • 24th Feb 2012
    • 16
  • Leila Kotori

    Actor

    I have heard that about the class system too. They seem more relaxed about it over there.

    • 24th Feb 2012
    • 17
  • Leila Kotori

    Actor

    I have heard that about the class system too. They seem more relaxed about it over there.

    • 24th Feb 2012
    • 18
  • Charles Delaney

    Actor

    ....Best way to go to L.A is to be invited!

    (What do you think of that post folks?!)

    'Pole'

    • 24th Feb 2012
    • 19