How to secure agency representation
Create a CV with one 10 x 8 Black and White industry standard picture and several character portraits from voluntary roles played if you have them. You need a minimum of 3-5 professional working credits to secure a good 'actors' agent. These credits may include deferred pay or paid independent short and feature film projects, fringe theatre work, theatre in education (T.I.E), commercials, corporates, presentations or any kind of theatre/TV/film performance related work which importantly also includes professional 'extra' or 'walk on' roles for televison soaps.
This work could more unusually be aquired by yourself or more normally aquired through an extras or actors agency in your area. Most 'actor agents' dont deal with extra work and will want to see professional performance credits, voluntary performance work such as amateur theatrical productions or perhaps student film projects on your CV before they take you on. Thye want to know your serious and dependable.
However an 'extras/walk on' agency will generally not require professional working credits. After aquiring your 'extras/walk on agent' for tv work you can then build up 3-5 minimal professional performance credits through extra or walk on roles. However this can take time.
Make sure you have contrasting audition pieces at the ready as most agents will probably ask you to go in to their office to audition as part of their agency policies before inviting you onto their books.
Never underestimate independent film projects as good experience or good platforms to boost your profile and get you that 'actors' agent that works for you but do understand that the media market is awash with independent film companies trying to make a quick buck from independent releases via dvd and online streaming to various media devices. Most independent film projects will be at best shelved after completion so REMEMBER your looking for nothing initially from independent projects other than SHOWREEL FOOTAGE in order to get you onto an actors agency books. It is difficult to get A GOOD AGENT and you must constantly be proactive so choose your voluntary or deferred payment projects very wisely to build your resume and 3minute (approx) showreel
Watch out for the wolves... there a plenty who will take your money willingly for photographs and agency administration fees and they will give you nothing in return. Be streetwise. Be savvy! A BAD AGENT is the same as having NO AGENT and they will still want you to sign a SOLE REPRESENTATION CONTRACT. However, although an industry norm this type of contract which it seems would restrict you working elswhere is actually an ILLEGAL pre-requisite to the working public and most of these type of contracts DO NOT stand up in a United Kingdom court of law.
Choose your agent wisely. It helps as always with work if you know someone within the agency. Your a human being and you need regular work. Getting GOOD REPRESENTATION is NOT as easy as it seems.