Top 10 London Agents

  • User Deleted

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    Just out of curiosity - Who, in your opinion, would make up a top 10 list of agents/agencies in the London area...?

    • 28th Mar 2013
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  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    I agree. there are top agents who are great more becuase they have great actors on their books, but not good for beginners- some are not well known agents but are great for a new actor:

    its also about the agents reputation, responsibility, attitude etc...if an agent is in the "top" but is rude, off hand and arrogant- in my mind, then I dont want to be represented by that sort of agent- in the bottom for me.

    • 5th Feb 2007
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  • John Burton

    Actor

    Hi

    I can categorically state who are the top 10 London agents - it is not hard, watch any drama on tv (or get the Radio times) go through the castlists and search for their agent on Spotlight - the following will ALL occur very very regularly.

    Here they are (in no particular order)

    Conway Van Gelder

    PFD

    CAM

    Ken McReddie

    Evans and Reiss

    Curtis Brown Group

    Gavin Barker Associates

    ICM

    Markham and Froggatt

    Felix de Wolfe

    Hope this helps !!!

    • 7th Feb 2007
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  • Lucy Perkins

    Actor

    All good choices John but as Blake pointed out, these agents work with exsisting high profile clients. If someone like ourselves were to join their books we'd be right at the bottom of the pile therefore they wouldn't necessarily be the best kind of agent. If you're talking generally though, then I'd agree.

    Lx

    • 8th Feb 2007
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  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    Also,

    Remember that as top as these agents are, what many high profile agencies do is have a monthly or quarterly review of a clients income and how much they are making. From this, they are then either culled or given longer on the books.

    So unless you are established as an actor, you would not really find them much use. Many actors thik a high powered agent is crucial but an agent who can get you seen, has good contacts and gets all the breakdowns in and has a reasonable reputation is FAR better than the so called MAGIC AGENT. Also, I personally prefer an agency who treat me like a human being rather than product. Many high profile companies have no personal interest in thier clients. Im not talking about being your best friend but mainly just being affable and humane.

    So as far as business acumen, these companies may get some really good offers in, but I am slowly realising that 80 percent of the time, I seem to get my own work, and the agent is there more to play watchdog!!!! And ensure that everything goes okay.

    • 8th Feb 2007
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  • Kimberley James

    Actor

    I have to say i agree with Blake, perhaps the bigger issue is that primarily we are all looking for work. If you are with one of the"top ten agencies" but you are not already very established chances are you wont be put forward for a huge ammount of work. In my eyes much worse to be a small fish in a big pond, or their last choice so to speak. Far better for your cv and your sense of self worth to sign with an agent that will show you equal priority to their other clients and in my experience that doesnt always happen with the bigger agencies.

    • 8th Feb 2007
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  • John Burton

    Actor

    All very valid points but I will add one caveat which may shock some of you. I am close to several casting directors but VERY close to one in particular and she tells me the following " unless you are with one of the agents I have mentioned 95 % of casting directors will not even look at you, most submissions to CDs are made via the link and they will only look at subs from those mentioned".

    I know it is sad and very blinkered but CDs see these agents as she says "a safe bet - reliable and more imporatntly able to provide talent".

    Unfortunately we have to put up with this but if you are going to get decent parts in mainstream dramas this is what you are up against - I always thought this was the case but now I KNOW it is the case, Casting directors will always play safe and that is why these same agents are used over and over and over. Good luck

    • 8th Feb 2007
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  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    Personally,

    I find this questionable. I know many actors with reputable agencies not in the so called top ten who work regularly. And get good jobs etc.

    I am not disputing your casting director friends integrity but I have not found this to be the case. Its possible to get auditions, but it depends on the job.

    • 8th Feb 2007
    • 7
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I once again find myself mind-numbingly bored temping so I'm gonna chime in on this debate.

    I agree with all of you although I do think that the list of 10 you have is possibly missing a few agents such as McFarlane Chard, Gordon & French and a few others. I think we all know that the industry is very incestuous. -Especially in TV & Film. Casting Directors are always likely to use the same agents and even same actors.

    I was looking on IMDB Pro and in 2006 there is one actor who appeared in 4 diff epsiodes of Holby for example; playing 4 diff central residual characters.

    However, it's totally possible to still get good, paid work like this without being in one of the 'top' agencies, it's just a littler bit harder. But hey - it it's not hard why bother trying. I personally just think it depends on how you or your agents present yourselves given the opportunities and once again the time old 'being in the right place at the right time'. Once you've built a certain amount of credits like these I then think one of the top agencies are in a better position to help you out.

    • 8th Feb 2007
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  • Alan Brent

    Actor

    I have to agreewith both John and Blake on this. As I see it Casting Directors are lazy ba***rds who don't want to have to put much effort into their jobs abd would rather spend their time sipping Pimms in a bar than scouting out talent.

    So they leave their enterprise at home when they go to work andchoose the easiest option which is 'go to those you know'.

    36000 members of Equity, 10000 non members all chasing the same job? It must be a daunting task for them, poor dears!

    • 8th Feb 2007
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  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    I also think fear has a lot to do with it as well. People are afraid to take risks so they choose the old thing always- and to be honest what is safe is not always good!!!! The industry creates fear- screw up once and youll never work again mode.

    • 8th Feb 2007
    • 10
  • User Deleted

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    Thanks John for sharing your words of wisdom. I too play look up the actors listed in the radio times on Spotlight and had come to much the same conclusion as you.

    Yes it's sad that CD do not spread their nets further but there are a lot of casting directors all competing (the same as Actors) for very little work and they want to ensure they get repeat bookings.

    On a hopeful note the same CD have there favourite agents for casting smaller guest roles from and if an actor is incredibly lucky it is possible to be in the right place at the right time and network network network. They do say it takes 15 years to be an overnight success.

    • 8th Feb 2007
    • 11
  • User Deleted

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    This is cool. I'm getting into these boards.

    OK - So who can do a list of agents that are especially good for young actors with a few good credits who are trying to break into more mainstream work? (A LIST mind - a discussion of the principles of it all is interesting but ultimatly not hugely practical.)

    Will be very gratefully accepted.

    • 8th Feb 2007
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  • User Deleted

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    Isn't it really a case of a)perseverance and b) being in something you can invite potential agents to come and see? If there were 'good, set agencies that took on upcoming actors with few credits' wouldn't everyone be either a) with them or b) constantly harassing them?! I really think each case is individual as well. Sorry if that's not much help!

    • 8th Feb 2007
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  • User Deleted

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    I mean agents that are in a place in the industry where they have access to reasonably decent work (ie - they dont try and send u to crappy TIE auditions that u could easily get yourself, more things like small parts in mainstream TV/film and theatre)but aren't so darn lofty that it's pointless. There must be a big clutch of agents at this level. I wanted people on this to recommend some that they have good experience of/ any that are looking for women (HaHa!)/ any that are particularly helpful.

    • 8th Feb 2007
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  • John Burton

    Actor

    You are in a dream world, agents are there to make money hence why all the "big" agents do - it is in their interests to do so, with little experience in the business you just have to keep trying and keep your fingers crossed, x

    • 8th Feb 2007
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  • User Deleted

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    I agree with johnburton...

    Through my experience working with an agent is a case of what you can do for one another.

    They find you auditions and negotiate contracts; in return you also hunt for work while keeping your tools of the trade in order.

    It's a business partnership which must be cared for by both parties.

    I certainly agree that it's important to be with an agent who is 'warm' (to a certain degree), but at the end of the day it's a profession and we are there to provide our services as performers.

    • 8th Feb 2007
    • 16
  • User Deleted

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    This is fascinating...

    I wonder, has anyone had any successful experience of getting one of the apparent 'top 10' agencies to sign them through the whole "if you have any openings on your books I would love to come and audition for you" letter writing process?

    • 9th Feb 2007
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  • Caroline Boulton

    Actor

    Just a thought but if we run before we can walk we may end up on a big agents books but not getting much work.

    We all know stories of actors who have been taken on by big agents and then just sit on their books for ages, they dont want to leave but equally dont get much work as they are not that experienced yet. Its a catch 22 but I guess we will all get better agents as our careers progress. Its frustrating but like others have said here just keep working hard and it will eventually pay off.x

    • 10th Feb 2007
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  • User Deleted

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    I would think it most productive to approach the top ten agents when you have: a) won the Perrier award for best comedian. b) Been presenting for a couple of years on the ITV or BBC. C) Come straight out of stage school and landed a years contract in East Enders or d) You are born the son, daughter, niece, nephew or grandson /daughter of Vanessa Redgrave.

    Call me cynical but what the hell!

    • 10th Feb 2007
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