Getting an Agent with no Acting Qualifications

  • Siobhan Witter

    Actor

    Hey Guys!

    I am a professional dancer who has had a love for acting from a young age. Within the last 3 Years I have revisited this love and ventured into the Acting world, where I have gained the majority of my skills and credits from being a Member of the Tricycle Theatre Group.

    I am in need of an Agent as my access to auditions is limited as well as needing a direct contact for advice.

    Will I be able to get and Agent as I do not have any Acting qualifications? Will the credits I have be enough? And if so, how can I go about it?

    PLEASE HELP!!!!! :(

    A distressed Actress

    xx

    • 11th May 2011
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  • Claire Dodin

    Actor

    Hi Siobhan,

    The truth is that there is no absolute rule!

    Keep working and invite agents to come and see you and you'll see what happens.

    Also, there's nothing wrong in taking acting classes on top so you can learn more.

    And don't forget that you are your best agent, you will find more work by yourself than you will with your agent, at least in the first few years; so if you don't get an agent for a while it is not a big deal.

    Good luck!

    • 10th May 2011
    • 1
  • Kevin Leslie

    Actor

    Hi Siobhan, I would also recommend getting a showreel together because that can help agency's see what you can do if they can't make shows your in.

    Wish you all the best

    Kevin x

    • 10th May 2011
    • 2
  • Siobhan Witter

    Actor

    Thanks for the advice guy's.

    I am trying to get work so I can put a showreel together, but its like catch 22. I suppose I just need to do a bit of unpaid work to get the material...

    Which agencies are known for providing a good service to their clients?

    • 10th May 2011
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  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    As the others have said, getting experience and boosting credits first isn't a bad idea.

    Your CV is very much a dance one at the moment, and your "Any other info" free text box is also all about dance, so maybe going for fringe theatre and low budget film in order to refocus your cv is the first step to take.

    Getting an agent isn't the be all and end all of course. Many people on here carve careers without being represented by an agent.

    What is it you want to achieve? If you want to boost the access to auditions then get on to Spotlight. No agent will look twice at you if you're not on there either.

    • 10th May 2011
    • 4
  • Forbes KB

    Actor

    Professionally trained or not, if you have the talent you need to be creating or locating the opportunity to show off that talent either with a showreel, showcase or theatre production to agents or personal managers that can take you to the next level.

    You have significantly more training than I've ever had and I'm making a living as an actor...just about! :-) There are, however, certain areas of this business that quite rightly need significant levels of professional training and I don't embarrass myself by applying for these gigs, sticking quite closely to areas I know I have a decent chance of success in.

    I've been with my agent for nearly 5 years now and am pretty happy with our relationship to date however my mate who joined the same agent at the same time moved on 2 years ago as they weren't getting seen at all and we are very similar in profiles. He's doing fine now with a different agent.

    Time to start doing your research on which agent and/or PM you think will be good for you! It's horses for courses I'm afraid...you may get a few names from your plea for help on here but just because one agent is good for one actor doesn't necessarily mean they will be good for you!

    Onwards and upwards!

    • 10th May 2011
    • 5
  • Siobhan Witter

    Actor

    Great advice from you all!

    Thanks!

    My want is to be a versatile professional Actress, working in Theatre, T.V and eventually Film. My passion for the Arts is HUGE! My creativity had steamed from a small child, painting, writing and performing! Dance actually was a by product from my initial mission. After intensive education and experience in dance, I had come to the conclusion that being an Actress was where my heart laid. I am not dismissing my love for dance, as my experience will help me, but being an actress is where I belong.

    I know I have the gift to perform, but just need the opportunities. My drive to succeed is overloaded lol.

    I can't afford Spotlight at the moment and I was told that you needed to have had at least 2/3 paid credits before you can apply… is that true?

    and Mr ForbeskB, how did you get your agent?

    Thanks Guys!

    xx

    • 10th May 2011
    • 6
  • Forbes KB

    Actor

    I got my first agent by travelling all over the country doing student films and from that footage created a showreel. I then sent it out to hundreds and hundreds of prospective agents, finally getting one at the end of the first year of trying! I subsequently fired them 6 months later 'cos they were worse than useless, and then fired my next agent a year after that for pretty much the same reason.

    The one I've got now is young, hungry and proactive! I could always do with more acting work but even through the dip in the market we've been going through for the past 2 years, she's still getting me seen so sticking with her.

    Even with a decent agent, I'm still finding the majority of my work through networking and reputation so being represented isn't the be all and end all. I have friends who are not represented at all and get shed loads of work just by making sure the casting directors don;t forget about them and by trawling all the various casting services.

    Best of luck...we all need a huge amount of that to make a living from this game at our level.

    • 10th May 2011
    • 7
  • Dubem Nuabe

    Actor

    Hi,

    Your first step is getting yourself a spotlight profile, seriously agents are hard enough to come by as it is but without a spotlight profile no one will take you seriously.

    There are no set acting qualifications to have to secure one. People go to drama school and do well or not at all, others don't go for whatever reason, but work hard get experience on the job and do really well agent or not.

    Just focus on getting more experience from fringe shows, student films etc and sort out a spotlight profile asap!( the first step on the path to being a professional actor is investing in yourself i.e spotlight,decent headshots, training where possible) think of it this way- for agents it's a business so if you can't invest in yourself & prove yourself a solid investment, then why should they take a chance & invest in you?

    also You can find out from spotlight directly if they will accept your current credits.

    cheers & good luck :)

    • 10th May 2011
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  • Siobhan Witter

    Actor

    Thanks for your input guys,

    I am a proactive person with a determined mind set.

    Bring it on!

    Agent or no agent...

    Any other suggestions are more than welcome.

    xx

    • 10th May 2011
    • 9
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I know you said you can't afford Spotlight, well really you can't afford not to be in Spotlight.

    Go to their office and speak to them and see if they're prepared to accept your credits and list you.

    • 10th May 2011
    • 10
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Hello there

    My advice would be to get some acting training, even just short courses, especially if you want to get in to Film and Tv. Natasha Stephenson often posts workshops on here and there extremely good, but there are loads of workshops if you look for them. From what I've hears, most agents expect actresses/actors to remain in training all the time to keep learning so get some courses in. It can only help you.

    And I agree with the other comments, try to get a show reel together, its a so important (though I'm still getting mine up to) and invite agents to everything you do. Its very hard to get them to come out to you, and in my experience, its often easier to get them to come to show cases rather than just to see you, but I may have had a warped experience.

    I hope this helps you. All the best. X

    • 11th May 2011
    • 11
  • Siobhan Witter

    Actor

    Thanks Mia,

    Your right courses can only benifit me. I have done a few things now and have filmed them so hopefully I can create a short show reel to start off with.

    Shiv

    x

    • 11th May 2011
    • 12
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Show reels don't need to be long, just a couple of contrasting pieces to show you can act. Keep your eyes peeled for Natasha Stephenson posting workshops. There brilliant! Let me know if I can help more.

    Xx

    • 11th May 2011
    • 13
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I agree with the others on these points :) Showreel, Spotlight and really top-notch headshots are essential. I feel your headshots don't do you justice,they seem distant and a little flat and I'm sure you have more personality waiting to shine out then they are giving you credit for :) I would also go so far as to say (as Colin notes) that your CV is indeed a dancers CV, so you might want to take the plunge and lose the dance credits completely. That way there will be no confusion about what you see yourself as and what your goal is. Others may disagree, of course :) Look for some final year or MA student films for good-quality showreel as soon as you can and get the ball rolling. FYI I got a very good actor's agent without training, it just went on my audition. But I had saved up and the shelled out the whole of my pay for one rare paid job plus a bit more (ouch!)on headshots by a well-known photographer with a good reputation in the industry and also done a variety of carefully-chosen short films and commercials. So I also had a showreel and Spotlight membership to back up my wild claim to mbeing marketable! Sometimes you just have to be brazen and say "Okay, I'm not trained but look what I've done anyway!" All the best :) x

    • 11th May 2011
    • 14
  • Siobhan Witter

    Actor

    Thanks Vanessa,

    You have given me some really good advice. I think I would want to keep some dance credits on my profile to show dance experience as well as my qualifications. As sometimes a role may require dance or movement.

    I have a lot to do and better get started lol.

    Do you know any good photographers? My headshots were done this year, but I agree with you, they don't really show my bubbly personality…

    Shiv

    xx

    • 11th May 2011
    • 15
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Hey Shiv,

    The other thing you could do (which i do with my singing and piano skills) is put all your dance qualifications and best credits in the Special Skills section, or whatever it's called. I've done hand-doubling work for Skins and some other stuff for the BBC but I've just shoved it in that section as I don't want to do lots of hand-doubling work for the rest of my life!!! Like you say, it's just another string to my bow, rather than my profession.

    Different people vary on their opinions of photographers, but I've gone with John Clark the last two times. He's well-known, trusted by the industry for getting an accurate headshot that really looks like you, but in your best light. Some photographers are simply that, just photographers. Which is very different from being a headshot photographer! But the best way is to look at actor's headshots on the site and when you find the ones that draw you in with their eyes (not their hair, cleavage or dramatic hand gestures) then check the name of the photographer. Good luck! x

    • 11th May 2011
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  • Clare Cameron

    Actor

    Hi Siobhan

    Don't worry about getting an agent, worry about getting a reputable, professional one! And, yes, the first step towards that is to get yourself in Spotlight, no two ways about it, followed closely by a showreel, assuming you want to do screen work.

    Good luck!

    • 11th May 2011
    • 17