Once you've gotten the acting ball rolling, you may want to think about getting an agent, to further your opportunity. This can be an overwhelming task!
But at the New York Acting School for Film and Television, we know that this is a big challenge and we are here to help you with classes and coaching for each of these phases.
First, you need to decide what you are looking for in an agent. You'll need to consider the strength of your resume, your level of experience, whether or not you are a union member, if you've had an agent before, and what kind of work you're wanting to excel in. Be sure to observe your ambitions and talents realistically and decide what kind of agent you need at this phase in your career.
A key thing to keep in mind? Very few actors stick with the same agent their whole career.
* First of all, there are many ways agencies can be categorized: do they represent clients for extra work, or for actor and principal roles; do they promote clients for union or non-union work; are there many agents, or only one or two; does the agency maintain a large or a small roster; does the agent pay close attention to each client's career, or act as a booking agent; do they represent established, experienced actors, or develop new talent. Some of this can be found in the listings in this book. The rest you must learn from the agent and others in the industry.
* In order to get what you're out for in an agent, you also need to be able to offer them what they are looking for in a client. It's true, you may need to compromise in the earlier stages of your career, but once the negotiations are over and you have a mutually satisfactory agreement with your agent, remember that you are the client and have hired the agent to perform services on your behalf. It needs to feel right and work well.
* Don't commit to the wrong agent out of panic. That will place you in a worse situation than having no agent at all.
* Don't make choices out of desperation. While many kinds of work can only be accessed through an agent, there are projects that are available to the unrepresented actor who works at self-promotion. Signing with an agent is a major step in the development of your career. Make sure that the agent is right for you.
* Getting a good agent is not easy. There are many things you can do to improve your chances. Make sure you are regularly taking classes. This will both improve your skills and give you opportunity to make contacts; just do whatever you can to gain experience.
* Take cards, shake hands, ask questions and keep in contact with receptive and experienced people in the industry. Even invite them to see you in theatre projects you've developed. This will boost your network and confidence.
* Once you DO have an agent, don't think it's your answer to a free ride. You've got to do your part. Keep in touch with your agent, and continue to develop your skills. Your agent may be able to suggest ways to do this that you have not yet considered. Work with your agent to improve your chances and build your future.
This is your career and dream. Take it seriously. Take some classes. Be open to growth. You can do this and we are happy to do it with you.