Rejection after rejection

  • User Deleted

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    Anyone struggling with finding representation?

    I'm just about to finish performing at the Albany Theatre, and I got no work lined up.

    no agent = no work

    no work = no agent

    Unfortunately I did not train at drama school, so its even harder to get taken seriously by an agent.

    I did read in the newspaper an interview with an acting agent, they said "don't worry about finding an agent, the agent will find you".

    • 25th Feb 2015
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  • Stephen Moriaty

    Actor

    Hi Oliver. Of course the agent will only find you if they think that you are someone with whom they can work. I see that you are a member of Equity but you only have 2 credits. What did you put in your Equity application?

    Training is not necessarily an issue for agents but at the moment you appear to be looking for an agent without training or credits. Did you invite any agents to your current show? was it reviewed and if so did you get a good mention? If so then t might be worth showing the review to prospective agents.

    Apply for what you can on CCP and hopefully you will eventually get on Spotlight. That is the industry standard and agents are unlikely to be interested without Spotlight.

    Consider making your own work either solo or in collaboration with friends. This will give more experience and add to the CV. Whist you may not want to go down the full time drama school route you should also consider some classes at, say, The Actors Centre or some casting director workshops.

    Have you got a few audition speeches that you can go to at short notice. if not then get learning. Re-visit them from time to time so that they are not stale and you will probably find new ways of presenting them. As for having no work booked for the end of your current show, this is often the case even for far more experienced actors than either of us.

    No one said it would be easy but stick with it and I hope you are successful.

    • 20th Feb 2015
    • 1
  • Chris Bain

    Actor

    Hey Oliver.

    I was in a similar position to you about a year ago. I had no agent, no training and certainly no prospects.

    After completing my first feature film I tried tirelessly to get an agent and emailed various agencies for months on end. Eventually, I was signed to an agency in London but it didn't suit me as I'm situated in Edinburgh and I wanted to concenrate on Scottish productions. Now, I'm with an agent based in Edinburgh who works really hard for me and is the right agent for me too.

    I agree with Stephen, make sure that you invite prospective agents to your show as they can then see you in action and decide if they want to work with you or not. And remember, getting an agent is important but not just ANY agent, but the RIGHT agent for you.

    Hope that this helps and stick in buddy.

    Chris.

    • 20th Feb 2015
    • 2
  • Sue Parker-Nutley

    Actor

    Hi Oliver. You also need to get a show reel together. Try looking under "opportunities" on CCP and doing some student film work. It's not paid, but you will be able to build up some footage and edit a show reel together. It's a tool we ALL need!

    Good Luck.

    Sue

    • 20th Feb 2015
    • 3
  • User Deleted

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    Stephen:

    Thanks for your reply, I did 60 background artiste jobs over the years so I was able to get onto Equity. I have several monologues revised which I would be fine performing at audition. I have invited agents to the show, but none really replied lol. I totally understand what you're saying industry standard is at least four credits, so I guess until I have those then I can't get noticed. I have actually asked friend if they can feature me in their friends showreel, but I'm still waiting to hear back.

    Chris:

    Thanks for the reply, thats amazing you went from being in my position to being in feature film, however I'm not sure I would be so lucky! Oh definitely man, I met some rogue agents recently asking for me to sign contracts etc, some even took my money couple years back, so I'm definitely aware about finding someone reputable to represent me. I just hope I can find an agent like yours that actually helps me progress forward, only time will tell.

    Sue:

    Thanks for reply Sue, I have done student films, but I have given up with them, they turn up late, their scripts suck, they just want me to play boyfriend role, they never give me the footage, they are immature and unprofessional, so now I have resorted in asking people I know to help me put together showreel. Just waiting to hear back from them, I also want to get website together too. I will take your advice and get planning my showreel, I guess they call acting showbusiness because you have to show...business ;)

    Here some cool videos from actors/industry people:

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEKs4emdy6w

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuhEXnD4DVo

    • 21st Feb 2015
    • 4
  • Ashley Holman

    Actor

    Hello Oliver

    I never went to drama school either so I know how hard it is. I got an agent not by them seeing me perform or sending them a showreel but by the fact that I play musical instruments. My tip is thinking of skills that set you apart from other actors that gets agents attention. I was lucky enough to get him after Uni and not been out of work since.

    Hope it goes well :)

    Ash

    X

    • 21st Feb 2015
    • 5
  • User Deleted

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    Ashley:

    Wow thats quite a cool way of finding an agent, and especially when you got one so young.

    I don't really have many skills, I'm actually quite talentless, I can play guitar, but so can the majority of London and One Direction lol.

    I will keep it in mind, see if I can find a way to make the CV stand out.

    • 21st Feb 2015
    • 6
  • Farah Sardar

    Actor

    Set up a You Tube Channel and start creating your own stuff. Getting an agent won't make that much difference.

    I got an audition for Citizen Khan from one of my home-made videos.

    www.youtube.com/user/Farahsardar

    Also get another skill so you have another means of earning money when you're not acting and to support your acting.

    I know it's frustrating. We all want it so badly. But at least we won't have regrets because we didn't pursue our passion.

    • 21st Feb 2015
    • 7
  • User Deleted

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    Farah:

    Its funny because I have been thinking about having my own youtube channel, I am just struggling finding filmakers!!

    But thats really inspiring that you managed to get an audition from your own video, just shows you sometimes you have to take things into your own hands.

    Yeah its so hard because we all want it so badly, and we can all probably do great job on screen, but to get the chance seems harder than winning the lottery!

    • 21st Feb 2015
    • 8
  • Ashley Holman

    Actor

    Playing the guitar is something if it is too a good standard. Actor musos are always in demand no matter what the instrument :)

    • 22nd Feb 2015
    • 9
  • Farah Sardar

    Actor

    Windows Movie Maker and a webcam honey. That's all it took. x

    • 23rd Feb 2015
    • 10
  • Charles O'Neill

    Actor

    Hi Oliver,

    Keep at it, and things will happen. I started late in life only 2 and half years ago. It seemed like a mountain to climb and indeed a steep learning curve. I went through the same emotions but I feel that have achieved quite a bit since. I secured an agent very briefly last year, but they recently decided to quit the business, but already I have a meeting with another one tomorrow!! Some very good points made on here. Re student films, not all the ones I did were showreel material, but 2/3 were very good. Good luck in this marathon, it's deffo not a sprint. Charles.

    • 23rd Feb 2015
    • 11
  • User Deleted

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    Charles:

    Thank you for the advice Charles, you totally right about it being marathon, defo not sprint.

    Thats really cool you have lined up meeting with another agent, just shows you the industry is quite unpredictable, so I guess I can't beat myself up about it too much.

    The acting game is really an emotional rollercoaster...and not in good way lol. But just got to keep chipping away as you said :)

    • 23rd Feb 2015
    • 12
  • David James Keogh

    Actor

    Hey - in the same boat here too. Started at 40, no training or experience and written off by most people. I now have an agent (I had to make a showreel and do a lot of student films to get onto Spotlight) and am being put forward for work. Keep busy, practice accents, make actor friends - I got an agent by posting on the British Actors Network on FaceBook and asking if anyone had an agent who would take me on as a prospect. I was recommended - she's in Bormingham and I'm in London and that's ok.

    I have 6 short films in post production - none of them made me any money but they have me practice at auditioning, bulked up my CV and got me a feature length film and therefore Spotlight etc....

    Give yourself a year of doing that (or less) and prove to yourself you can do it, build up your confidence, be humble and hopefully like me you will get started.

    I am miles from getting in a big budget film or T.v. But I am leagues ahead of where I would have been had I not had lots of advice from fellow professionals.

    If I can make it, you most certainly can.

    Ride the dark days and enjoy acting! You'll make yourself lucky!

    David

    • 23rd Feb 2015
    • 13
  • User Deleted

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    Great advice david Keogh. I'm heading in the same direction and that's the advice a few actor friends of mine have given me !!

    • 24th Feb 2015
    • 14
  • User Deleted

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    I’ve just had a peek at your profile and my initial thoughts are ‘Oh dear’.

    You have a few seconds to stand out and grab the attention of employers and agents. At the moment your profile is somewhat flat.

    I’m just quickly going to give you my thoughts and recommendations as honestly and constructively as I can. You can/might/will probably disagree with a few of these, but take what you like.

    Your online presence is absolutely **KEY** in the world of 21st century performers.

    Grasp every opportunity to shine as much as you can – that means making sure your profile does you the greatest justice it can.

    Let’s start.

    HEADSHOTS – these are your greatest tool, and for some reason your shots are all black and white AKA super dated. You need to update with some colour headshots and some body shots if your budget allows and certainly invest in some variation.

    I don’t quite understand the picture which features a guy with intense hair and then you in the background. It’s a wasted shot and the thumbnail is misleading as it isn’t you. I’d suggest replacing with something which focuses on YOU.

    If funds are low, seek out budding photographers who may be looking to update their own portfolios and who will be happy to collaborate with you on a TFP basis (time for print – ie, you give your time as a model and they give you a CD of your shots).

    Files Section

    -No showreel

    -No Voice Clips.

    Nada.

    Agents and casting directors won’t often call people into their offices based on solely your ‘look’. This isn’t modelling. You need to prove you are worth their time by providing them with a reason to invite you to audition.

    Showreel is imperative, It can take YEARS (literally) to build a strong showreel. For most actors, it is an on-going process of starting with a base scene or monologue if you don’t have any footage, and then adding student film footage, low budget film footage etc.. etc..

    I would make a showreel a joint TOP priority with colour headshots.

    For now, I would advise filming a scene with another actor or at least a monologue which you can put up and which shows off your voice and delivery style. Something is better than nothing.

    ‘About Me’ Section.

    “London based actor with experience handling complex and challenging roles in theatrical productions”. – Okay, but you only have two credits that are listed. If you’re going to make this statement, back it up quickly with some solid credentials, such as a particular performance.

    “Accents include native Standard British, South African, Australian and Standard American .” – Fine, but a little ‘general’. I would suggest moving this information to the bottom of the section and re-wording to “Accents I am able to perform are; Standard British (Native accent), South African, Australian and Standard American.”

    “I always aim for maximum delivery in my performance” – What does this really mean? It makes me think of pizza delivery and now my attention is on food and not you as an aspiring actor. Perhaps consider re-wording to make this clearer. Ie: “I am a hard worker, happy to receive direction in order to help me in my pursuit of giving powerful performances.. etc.. etc..”.

    ”Comfortable handling classical and modern texts, including Shakespeare”. – Great, but I would be tempted to re-word to “ I am comfortable working with both classical and modern text”.

    “More suited to playing off the wall and twisted characters opposed to the standard civilian personality”. – Says who!? What you see in yourself by way of casting type is likely not to be what potential employers and agents see. Stating what you are and aren’t can conflict with a role for which you may be considered and in all honesty looks as though you are trying too hard to ‘push’ for these types of characters. Yes, they are interesting. No, nobody wants to be ‘one of the crowd’, but right now you need to be open to getting what you can or risk being viewed as a diva. Personally, I’d DELETE this statement and never let it darken your page again!!

    Education Section

    Have you ever taken a short course or weekend class? Put it in!

    You mentioned in your thread earlier that you have plenty of ‘extra’ work under your belt. This is NOT taboo. Give yourself some credit!! Working as an extra gives you valuable insight into how shooting days work.

    List a few of the productions where you have worked as an SA or ‘Supporting Artist’.

    At the very, very least, it could be beneficial to add ‘Higher education’.

    Additional Information

    - Why is this not filed in!?

    Consider adding whether or not you hold a full/provisional drivers license and mention if you are happy to travel for work. Mention where you have bases in the UK or abroad – this implies to production companies that you could be a money saver for them if they don’t have to fork out for hotels for you during a shoot.

    Additional skills

    I’d like to bring up something you wrote on this thread: “I don't really have many skills, I'm actually quite talentless, I can play guitar, but so can the majority of London..”. --- Hello? I can’t play the guitar and I can assure you that not every performer in London can. Write It Down!! You NEVER know what could grab the eye of a casting director or agent.

    Acting is about growth and experience. If you feel you are lacking in the skills department, go and learn something that will help you to grow as a performer and add another string to your bow.

    Can you dance? What sort of dance? – put it down.

    Can you sing solo? Chorus? – Write it down.

    Do you have a dog which you are happy to bring with you on appropriate shoots? – Write it down!

    You MUST be your own cheerleader and highlight as many things as possible which might make you stand out from the thousands of other 20-something, brown haired, male actors in London.

    I will lastly say that your profile should be a TRUTHFUL reflection of yourself as a performer and of your capabilities. For the love of all that is good in the world of performance, don’t ever lie. You WILL live to regret it!

    Finally, network and network. Get on facebook/twitter/youtube. They are free tools to help you spread the word of your talent! Don’t pass them by!

    Goodluck!

    • 24th Feb 2015
    • 15
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Thank you for your detailed reply, it is much appreciated.

    Headshots:

    I’m completely aware of my weakness in that area, I have uploaded my colour one, but I don’t feel it represents my energy correctly, hence why I stuck with the black/white. Its tricky to find photographer that can do photoshoot unrushed and truly create the right photo, I’ve used friends before, but their efforts were in vain!

    Files section:

    I have been trying to ask around for someone to film me performing a monologue, I hope someone can offer their time to help me do so.

    You are right its definitely bad idea not having any footage, but as you said its nightmare getting one together.

    About me:

    I have taken on your feedback and made adjustments, I kinda see what you’re saying regarding my experience not matching my personal description.

    Education:

    I have only done one acting workshop, can’t say I found it helpful, prefer working on the job rather than getting training…may be the wrong attitude, but I feel I learn so much more performing with good actors in productions.

    Additional skills:

    I have put the guitar skills in my description, currently going to hip hop dance lessons to improve my ability so I can use it as a skill…its very hard though!

    My singing is atrocious so I have left that bit out, I do have dog, I will mention that also.

    And I will strive to be honest in my profile, so that I don’t disappoint casting directors. Again thank you for the feedback.

    • 25th Feb 2015
    • 16
  • User Deleted

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    I don't think you should neccesarily be disheartened about not having work lined up. I don't think many actors do. But they hired you and acting is a job for life, even if you don't make much money. And its not all about money, which I guess your 60 (bloody hell) extra jobs would have given you.

    My fave role was a fringe production where I didn't make any profit and it led to me being unemployed basically but I can get up in the morning and say... yeah those people in the audience were happy with it. Just hold on to the memories and have some pride for being a resting actor imo. Saying that... getting pretty frustrated myself so maybe, in fact no, I am a complete hypocrite.

    • 25th Feb 2015
    • 17
  • User Deleted

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    Bryn:

    Thank you for the advice.

    Oh tell me about it, couldn't face anymore SA work...quite depressing after a while...they take ages to pay too!

    I'm totes like you I rather act in cool project for no money and leave good impression on the audience, than be paid to work on something empty. It shows your dedication that you dropped your job for the production, thats real actor right there.

    Also its nice to hear you feel my pain in the struggle to get noticed and getting work.

    • 25th Feb 2015
    • 18
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    actually it was university I dropped out of. One could argue that students are unemployed. One could argue that actors also are unemployed. I have never worked full-time for more than 2 months when I worked arguably the hardest job there is... in a plastic bottle factory... 12 hour shifts... that is what led to my decision of becoming an actor, although my A-levels and the little university I completed came a close second.

    All in all, acting is even harder, and I guess I am proud to be one.

    You should be too.

    • 25th Feb 2015
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