Facebook Live: How to get an Agent

Whether you are an emerging actor finding your place in the industry or you are an established name with heaps of credits under your belt, the journey to getting signed by an agent is something all actors have experienced. Partnering with a good agent can help take your career to the next level, which is why we wanted to dive into this topic and lift the lid on how this process can begin - and how you can maintain the relationship.

During our recent Facebook Live, we were joined by renowned agent Marlene Sutton, who is the Partner and Head of Adult Commercials at DDO Artists Agency in Los Angeles, and Jennifer Goldhar, who is the President of the Characters Talent Agency in Toronto! They manage a successful roster of actors in film, TV, commercials and theatre, and they were on hand to offer their expert guidance on the inner workings of how actors can get signed by an agent, build a successful relationship with them and how their careers can soar to new heights. You can check our full conversation with Marlene and Jennifer below!

Established actor and Mandy’s Business Development Executive on the USA’s East Coast, Collin Meath, posed questions to our panel. Marlene and Jennifer provided a unique insight into how actors can get an agent, as well as how 2020 has impacted the industry.

Jennifer: "If you aren’t successful in finding an agent, do something to build on your resume so the next time you seek an agent you have a little more to offer. That’s my advice - really consider what may or may not be setting you apart from other actors."

Marlene: "For commercials we’re looking for short and sweet demo reels. Show us your work and a special skill. Having improv experience can be hugely advantageous for this type of work."

Jennifer: "We have a lot of actors contact us for representation, and you see immediately when a submission has mistakes. If you are going to copy and paste your cover letter then you need to take extra care to personalise the message. These are small details that matter. I often like a submission to be unique and catch my eye when you are asking to get signed."

Jennifer: "There is no reason to not reach out to your agents - just do it all in a respectful way. If you have not landed a role in a while or feel you are missing out on opportunities, maybe something is developing behind the scenes, maybe your agent has been fighting for you. I always appreciate actors wanting to feel in control, and we can achieve this together."

Jennifer: "If it is proving harder and harder for an actor to get auditions, maybe you are not the best agent for that particular actor. We aren’t always a great match. Sometimes fresh eyes really help and it may be time for that relationship to conclude."

Marlene: "The one thing actors are digging now is not having to commute to each audition or casting call. I find more actors are responsive right now because they can instead submit a self tape. It’s a blessing, we have had less cancellations from actors. For commercial castings, actors are now often sent the equipment for a project and this helps them connect with the project at hand."

Jennifer: "While submitting self tapes for casting has been a game changer. Where I find it's difficult is for some of my older actors. However, in Toronto we are lucky to have a lot of self tape facilities in the city which they can use. Our industry is coming together to adapt and thrive."

We would like to extend a huge thank you to all those who tuned in to our Facebook Live and those who submitted questions! A huge thanks is also in order to Marlene and Jennifer.

The Partner and Head of Adult Commercials at DDO Artists Agency, Marlene is a titan in the industry, with over 30 years’ experience. She has seen many young actors rise to stardom who started out as commercial actors, and currently represents ‘Captain Obvious’ - the spokesman for Hotels.com - as well as other top talents who appear in ongoing campaigns. DDO Artists Agency continues to expand and keep up with the latest trends in the industry, and it spans the USA, with offices in LA, NYC and Chicago - it has recently launched a diversity and inclusion division!

The President of The Characters Talent Agency in Toronto, she manages a successful roster of actors in film, television and theatre which include some of Canada’s top talent such as Emmy Winning Tatiana Maslany, Donald Sutherland, Jason Priestley and Lauren Holly. With over 20 years of experience representing and managing actors, Jennifer has established a reputation within Canada as one of the top most sought after and respected agents.