How to know the different types of UK agencies
There are a range of agencies available to performers and creatives within the UK. Whether you are an actor, a model, an extra, a comedian, a writer or some multi-talented something/something else, then there is sure to be an agency that is perfect for you. Whilst those looking to forge a career may find it tough, it is important to bear in mind that you employ your agent and not the other way around. Whilst seeking representation it is possible to fall into the trap of thinking you have to impress the agent, you should remember that they are also trying to impress you. It is your talent which will be bringing them money, a percentage of your earnings which will be going to this person and as a you should always consider what benefits they can bring to you and your career.
The agent’s part of the bargain is that they will be using their connections to get you a chance to secure this work. Different agents will have different connections and thus it is important to know your way around.
An important thing can be the size of the agency and who your direct point of contact will be. Some agencies are massive and you may be represented by a series of people, others are smaller and you will only have one specific agent or an assistant.
Another concern which goes hand in hand with size, is the geographic location of your agent. Where are their main offices and where do they work? You often get bigger agencies with multiple offices and connections all around the world. This is important to consider when seeking representation as you don’t want to be considering agencies which only represent clients in Manchester, if you are in London but conversely, don’t be quick to rule out any agencies as you may find that London based agency also has an office in Dublin.
When looking to secure an agent you must analyze yourself as a performer, what can you bring to the agency and what are you looking to get out of the relationship. Then and only then will you know what type of agency to approach. As mentioned before you get dedicated agencies which work within a specific field, but then you also get broader agencies which will have authors, models and reality tv show contestants all represented under one roof.
If you are a multitalented performer or are someone at the start of their career, seeking to find their niche then these diverse agencies can be a great way of finding all sorts of work, with a range of opportunities and a staff who will be experienced in getting the best out of your range.
If you are looking for something more specialized then you will have a range of decisions to make as this specialization can go quite some way with agents. Only within the field of acting you will find agents who specialize in theatre or television or film and while they will obviously have connections across the industry, most agencies have a clear strength or predisposition towards certain types of work or performer.
Along with traditional agencies, there are also increasing numbers of co-operative agencies. This is a group of actors who work together and co-operate to find work so while another actor will be working as your agent, you will be working as the agent for yet another actor. Co-ops can be great for a performer looking to make a start and they can be a fantastic way to learn about the industry and its workings.
There are a huge range of agencies, almost as many as there are types of performer, so with something to cater for everyone, it is important to know what you want and then to speak to a wide range of representation to discover who can best help you achieve it.