How to get an agent if you are based outside of London

There are a few different ways I have heard of people advising on how to get an agent. I can only think of one. Write. A lot. No matter how good you are, if you don't put the effort in, you will get nowhere. The problem is, there is a chance that if you do put the effort in, you will get nowhere. That's dangerous in life, but also quite exciting.

From what I have seen, agents tend to prefer trained actors. Or actors who have got a few credits already. That is not to say you have no chance if you have neither, but it will make life massively harder.

After Graduating uni with a BA(hons) degree in acting, I knew one thing. I needed an agent. Being that my uni was out in a lovely, yet far away town in Wales, we had had it drilled into us that we would have to work harder to get anywhere.

So I compiled a list of agents. A long list. I researched the agencies based in Wales, Manchester and London (This took a long time, but was worth it). Being from Manchester, with new Welsh connections, my two preferred places to live were somewhere I knew people. I chose Manchester. From the research I had done I narrowed (ish) my first choice of agents down to 50. I then, using the information I had gleaned, emailed, or wrote to them, based on which one they had said they preferred. This was Around January/February. If I had got nothing, I would have gone for my second 50 and so on. Fortunately, I got two responses (which felt depressing, although I know people who wrote the same amount as me, if not more, and got no response) - two Manchester based agents. After much deliberation I went with the one I felt best about, and thankfully it has worked out really well.

If you are from outside London, and want a London agent, You'll need to stand out. Your CV should look nice, a great 8X10 head shot (professionally taken, and then printed) and a cover letter/email. I tended to adapt my emails/letters depending on the priorities of the agency (film, theatre etc) as I didn't want them to think I had just mass produced letters and sent them off en masse. I don't think that's would get me anywhere except in a lot of people's bins!

This Industry is definitely a learning curve, but you can see what works and what doesn't as you go along. Like anything, you will get the hang of it. It's difficult, and it will take a ridiculous amount of strength and perseverance, but it's worth it if you can make what you do count!

Also, getting an agent is not the be all and end all. There are lots of happily working actors without an agent, who do very well. There are also many actors who have an agent, never get jobs, and spend most of their time complaining.

Which brings me to another point. There is nothing worse than actors who have an agent, and assume they can just sit there, wait for the auditions to come in, and don't otherwise get off their bums! whether you have an agent or not, it is MASSIVELY important not to stop looking for your own work. An agent can only do so much, even if they're amazing, and you are in essence your own promoter. you need to eat.

To conclude, work hard, write lots of letters, and if you are lucky enough to get an agent, for god's sake don't stop promoting yourself. If you can't even promote yourself, who can?!