Getting an agent in England

  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Hey everyone,

    I have been acting for around 6 months in short films, online series and also i have a small part in the new series of Shameless. But what i find frustrating and confusing is how to market myself properly so i can find a good agent who can recommend me for auditions in big productions etc.

    Most of my work is currently being edited, therefore i don't have a show-reel yet. Should i just forget about getting a high profiled agent until i have a show-reel?

    Also i am with an agency who help me get a foot in the door with certain productions. I guess i am sub-consciously inpatient, but hey i am 19 years old!

    Some help/advice/tips would be great!

    Thanks!

    • 3rd May 2011
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  • Kat Kumar

    Actor

    I would suggest, as it seems you're already having some success and getting jobs, that you wait for agents to come to you. You'll be in a much better position to negotiate terms if you're the one in demand and it's always good to have options.

    I was approached by two agents after signing with my current one and from my experience would recommend being patient, trialing agents if you can and then choosing whoever you feel works best for you.

    Good luck!

    Cat -x-

    • 20th Apr 2011
    • 1
  • User Deleted

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    Ah i see! I can see where your coming from now. I constantly tell myself that by being patient and continuously acting, whether its student films or whatever that it will eventually pay off!

    I guess by asking agents to be represented can look a little desperate, and being patient is key. after all it only takes that one person to notice you.

    Thanks Cat! :)

    • 20th Apr 2011
    • 2
  • Kat Kumar

    Actor

    No worries, and don't feel bad about approaching agents, that how I got mine! I'd just left uni with only stand-up experience and uni theatre on my CV and I really needed the legal guidance of an agent more than anything.

    I suggest you wait for someone to come to you because you're in a much stronger position than I was and you might also have BETTER agents offering you representation if you wait.

    They're going to be taking a percentage of your earnings, choose wisely before signing.

    And a last little note, I went to a drama school open day last week and was told that apparently in a year only 25% of actors will get auditions for paid work. You're doing much better than you think and it might not be a case of having a better agent, but just that work is tough for everyone right now.

    Cat -x-

    • 20th Apr 2011
    • 3
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    True! I have already done 6 student films this year, some better than others but acting is acting at the end of the day. Payment is just an added bonus to doing what we love. People seem to think that student films are crappy and somehow means you act differently because its not paid! These roles lead to making a show-reel and then of course getting an agent and being noticed at short film festivals.

    I can see what you mean with only 25% being sent for paid auditions, I find a lot of paid roles are very specific and very rare to find one that you are suited to.

    How did you find doing stand up comedy? Would you recommend it?

    A x

    • 20th Apr 2011
    • 4
  • Kat Kumar

    Actor

    Oh definitely, student films are great for getting experience, but it can be a bit hit and miss. Some students just want to pass the class, but if you're lucky it can be a great learning experience.

    The only thing I'd say is to not put too many student films on your CV. If you really insist on doing so, however, find a way of dressing it up as a low budget film or short film.

    Keep doing student films by all means, experince is exprience, but as student films don't carry an awful lot of weight I'd advise against having too many on your CV.

    What other acting websites are you on?

    Regarding stand-up, I actually studied it in my final year of uni so it was pretty intense! We were thrown on stage in week 2 of the course and as we had to perform almost weekely on campus for a regular audience we had to continuously write new material.

    It's a great boost to your CV so yes I'd recommend it! Message me and I'll tell you all I know and gladly help you out.

    Cat -x-

    • 20th Apr 2011
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  • Paul F. Knight

    Actor

    Hi Adam, Michelle and I have had our showreels made by a company called Micksing Productions they were excellent, reasonable and very innovate. We have asked to be our personal manager and we have registered with fab castings who are very good. Regards Nathanielle Dickinson!!!!

    • 20th Apr 2011
    • 6
  • Mark Kempner

    Actor

    Ooooohhhh…..grrrr!! "Payment is just an added bonus to doing what we love"

    ....SIGH!!

    I wish you well Adam...but there are agents....and there are a "few" genuinely pro-active agents who get their clients seen for PAID work. Not everyday of course….but who don't always submit you for the unpaid stuff…quality rather than quantity if you like!!

    To be so ready to submit to the methodology… "getting paid is a bonus" will - in the end- limit you as an actor, and the only type of agents you will attract will be those who only get you seen for some unpaid/very low paid projects, or nothing at all. You can and have got that yourself....there is plenty of it avail on the casting section of this site!

    My advice would be...get that show-reel done as well (i can help you with that if you need it) and as quick as you can....and then carefully research some "worthwhile" agents, who have a track record, or who already have clients who are working in paid, mainstream work....and def approach the agents yourself...they won't come to you matey!

    If you are good, or at least what they are looking for by way of a client...and your showreel backs that up....you will always get somewhere and be on the road to proper paying work...rather than go through your career as a glorified hobby.

    All the best

    Mark

    Actors showreels filmed and edited from scratch

    • 20th Apr 2011
    • 7
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Nice one Paul.

    Secondly.. Mark, When i said " payment is just a bonus for doing what we love "

    I mean that in the sense of, " I don't act just for for money, i do it because i love the craft " If you understand. Of course i want to be paid good money for what i do, as it's the career i want and will strive for. But i do see how you interpreted it.

    Do you know some agents who have a good reputation, who i can approach when i have my show-reel?

    Thanks,

    Adam

    • 20th Apr 2011
    • 8
  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    Hi Adam,

    I think your concern to get an agent is perfectly understandable, because the acting marketplace these days is so competitive, and the amount of decent paid work open to you without an agent is pretty limited. While having an agent is not, and should not, be thought of as the be-all and end-all of developing a successful, or at least rewarding, acting career, it shows a professionalism and maturity in your approach that you are eager to start off in the business as you mean to go on.

    What you say about waiting on good showreel material is sensible, because it is true that many of the best agencies will want to see that you have notable credits guaranteeing your saleability before they wish to consider taking you on, and your showreel will be the tool that can show them that. Yet, it's unlikely that, even if they ask you to come back to them when you have a showreel available, most agencies would write you off simply because you didn't yet have one.

    Your mainstream TV credit (won, I assume, from your own efforts at canvassing) and your regularity of working since first coming into the market both speak well of your potential. In the eyes of many agencies, this is the best advantage you can have, and it may well be worth attempting to write to big agencies already - the worst that can tend to happen is that they send you back a refusal letter. There is also no guarantee that any refusal now would be a refusal later down the line - your perceived status or saleability within the industry can change as you age, fashions change and you are seen to offer different possibilities to casters.

    Having had a look at your profile, though, I would say you have a classic 'leading man' potential, which is always in demand. You are tall, a good looking guy from your headshots, your ethnicity is very castable (and very 'now' - this may seem a strange thing to say, but you have to begin to think as casting directors think). You are also young, which can sometimes be a disadvantage in the marketplace (as there are no more oversubscribed areas within the industry), but is also often a benefit - as it's assumed you have untapped potential, and it may be well worth a mentor or two taking you on now so that in later years they can say they helped make you into what you will become.

    From this perspective, I think you have as good (if not better) a chance as most to get some significant agencies to take an interest. It may be possible for you to whet their interest without pushing matters too far by sending out feelers and telling them that you would rather be considered seriously when you have the showreel available, but, in the meantime, would they be interested in a meeting? Again, you can't know until you try.

    The bottom line will always remain: if they think you are going to be an advantage on the agency books, an agency will always chase you, regardless of whether you have a showreel or not!! It's all worth a punt!

    I appreciate w

    • 20th Apr 2011
    • 9
  • User Deleted

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    Hey! Listen to what Lee says - he knows what he's talking about. Gentle, professional chasing of proactive agents is definitely worth it, show them you're hungry to work (not desperate to work, that's completely different) and focussed about your career. Maybe look at agents who don't already have a hundred similar actors on their books. But in this business you never know what gamble's will pay off! Nothing ventured, certainly nothing gained :) All the best!

    • 20th Apr 2011
    • 10
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Thank you Lee, for your positive comments and taking the time to give me some feedback. Could you recommend to me some agencies i could contact, also should i write to them in letter form, or send them an e-mail.. does it make a difference? I need guidance on how to approach them, without messing it up straight away with basic errors in my approach.

    I am currently with an " agency " who are good in some aspects, they have got me on Shameless and also a TV commercial for Adidas, which something better could come about from, by meeting new casting directors, producers etc. However i want to be put forward for acting auditions in good scale productions, and need an agent who can do this. While i want to be earing money, i find greater satisfaction doing an unpaid lead acting role in a high standard short film that will be entered into festivals, rather than being an extra in a big production earning £70 after commission.

    As i have got all my work from my own back, without anyones help, i am now at the stage where i need guidance. With regards to a mentor, could you elaborate some more on that for me? Do you mean like an acting coach?

    Kind regards,

    Adam

    • 20th Apr 2011
    • 11
  • User Deleted

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    Hello! Cat makes some really good points and Mark is right that you really, really need to get a good showreel up together. It's the only quick way for an agent to see what you look like on camera, if that's the medium you most want to work in. However, I think it makes a great deal of difference having the right agent scouting for work for you. I have applied for castings via CCP and not had an audition and yet been given an audition for the same casting through my agent. An agent with a good reputation has weight and clout and will open doors that you simply can't open by yourself. I'm not sure you can wait for agents to come to you, you need to be proactive and get out there and seel yourself, show that you mean business. I have no formal training, but had got myself together a CV and a showreel and sent it out to countless agents, was offered an audition with my current agent and accepted their offer. They are a small agent, but known to be proactive and a great start-up agent. All my well-paid jobs come from them and without them I just wouldn't have access to the castings I get. An agent is like a seal of approval on your acting ability (rightly or wrongly) it's a quick sorting system for busy CD's. You are incredibly unlikely to be invited to audition for representation by the big agents unless you land yourself a stunning part in a fantastic film. It just won't happen. You are a product but you are one of a million similar products so you have to fight for the advertising space!! So get the edits from your films onto a showreel, get your CV in tiptop condition and then go out and show agents why they need you to make them money! Check out the agents who are not already inundated with actors of a similar type and age. Find an agent who has a gap for your look and email them (unless they stipulate posting stuff) your CV, attach your headshot to the email so it jumps out as soon as they open it and put a link to your showreel when it's done. We all love dreaming big, but to realise the big dreams we generally have to start small and work, work, work our way up. In this market I count myself extremely lucky to have a great agent who took a punt on me and gets me quality paid work. You could always contact them and see what they say :) And network like mad, go to any and every industry event you can lay your hands on. Good luck! :)

    • 21st Apr 2011
    • 12
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    >>>And a last little note, I went to a drama school open day last week and was told that apparently in a year only 25% of actors will get auditions for paid work.

    I feel bad for the other 75%, but God that does make me feel better. Count your blessings time.

    • 21st Apr 2011
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  • Leigh-Ann Clarke

    Actor

    Cat - I see you are with Nic Knight management. What are they like? Did you need a showreel or will a photograph and CV suffice? They appear to be quite friendly from their website.

    And does anyone know of any other agencies that are good for young actors and/or ethnic clients?

    L x

    • 24th Apr 2011
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  • Louie Mckenna

    Actor

    Getting a decent agent is getting even harder. Recently i appeared at The Menier Chocolate Factory in there hit production of Accomplice which is Time Outs critics choice. I invited 15 agents and they all said they wasnt interested in coming to watch the show. I finally managed to get a meeting with Bronia Buchanon but they said they had people like me already. I said that im unique so they couldnt have ha ha but they got annoyed and said dont tell them how to do their job. After sending out over 45 letters in the last year i think the current climate has made it harder than ever to get a decent agent. But dont give up!

    • 24th Apr 2011
    • 15
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Adam you need to do the leg work I'm afraid. That's trawling through Contacts or Actors' Yearbook and checking the websites of any agent who takes your fancy.

    Look at the work that their clients get and look to make sure you aren't duplicating a client already on their books.

    They usually have something on their website which states how they prefer to be contacted regarding representation and you'd be best advised to follow their request.

    Don't forget that CCP has a list of agents with open books. And have you considered approaching a co-op?

    • 26th Apr 2011
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  • Annmarie Hodson

    Actor

    Hiya,

    with regards to getting a good agent. I find that when I am in a play I invite them. Best to do it as early as possible to give them plenty of notice.

    Also yes defo get your show reel done and a voice reel if you can and then bang them out to the agents that you would like to work with. Remember nothing is secure or for certain in this industry apart from the fact that you always do what you love to do no matter what.x

    Annmarie Hodson.

    • 26th Apr 2011
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  • Marc Zammit

    Actor

    If I'm honest Alot of the best agent in the Uk are rarely taking anyone as it's very quite compare to how it use to be. And to get on a big agent they like to see you have experience, good at networking or already in a high climb to save them doing it for you. Or to be set up in meeting with them by someone who is already in the agencie like a invertation. I'm trying to get a agent in America and I'm facing same problem but then some people hit lucky with a great agent by meeting them at events and them liking the motivations and personality. Showreels can help but so many people have showreels. And in all fairness make it a short showreel not a long one. 2 min tips what I was advertised by a casting director. As they Just like a quick flick. And u have a longer showreel on request. Also you headshot is important. You new to advertise your self and look as a character type. Ie lead role, boy next door, victim, ect if u can bring that out all in one image u get Alot of heat from it, as it stands out. From others.

    Sometimes you hit lucky but I know some well known actors in Uk that are facing such a quite year. So hard to get an agent at moment that's got a good reputation as one actor with Curtis brown asked me is there any Bafta event or actor events, wrap parties for feature films, he can come to as it's been quite, as I help with these or organise them events, and I was thinking I

    Would need him more than myself. But then again another agent told me it's quite they can't even focus or there

    Main priority let alone new people, but then some are busy. But best bet dude is keep getting them jobs in flow and then a agent will approuch you. I can put in some good words or invite you to a event at bafta or others to meet some agents to help you what's is totally free and can help you

    network, this industry is a network and scratch back to many see it as a challange just make sure you remember me, if you do come and works for you.

    Marc zammit

    • 28th Apr 2011
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  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I have heard a lot about English actors having a punt in America, personally i would love to do this, but i would not have a clue where to start! What would be some tips you could offer me if i ever considered going to USA?

    I live in Warrington, near by Manchester up north, and it's very hard to get acting work for a start with the agency i am with " EKA " i have done Shameless and that's the biggest production this far. Basically, i want an agent who will send me to auditions for speaking parts auditions in big productions, but i guess that's what every actor wants!

    I am in process of making a short show-reel, around 2 mins of my best material. What stage of your acting career are you at then mate?

    Would be awesome if i could come to an event, keep in touch!

    Adam

    • 28th Apr 2011
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