Okay so one of steps/goals for an actress is have some sort of representation. I'm looking for an agent for theatrical (movies and Netflix and shit), commercial (superbowl commercials ideally), and print (basically modeling, more commercial-like).
I did the whole "submit to everyone" approach about a year ago when I first started looking for an agent. I ended up signing with a commercial agent through a referral from a friend. Unfortunately, that agency didn't get me any work so I ended up leaving that one 6 months later.
Then I started up on my procrastination and excuses for why I shouldn't bother looking for an agent:
- I don't need an agent. I book my own work.
- I should get new headshots first.
- I don't really have a solid reel put together.
- I should update my website.
- Then I have to write a whole updated cover letter.
- No one's gonna want me anyway.
- Ugh so much computer work.
Well I finally defeated all of those distractions and updated my website, wrote a new cover letter and sent out submissions to a bunch of agents today!
How do you get an agent?
Well, there's a few different ways:
- Get a referral from someone. Then submit your shit.
- Submit your shit online.
- Submit your shit by mail.
- Work on shit and meet people and sign with an agent.
Most agencies want a referral with your submission, because as we all know, it's about who you know.
Backstage has a filter system for looking up agents. I used it today to see which agents would be a good match for what I'm looking for. It narrowed it down to 70. Out of the 70, 17 really fit the criteria I was looking for.
A lot didn't fit the bill because they were "by referral only." I also cut out a handful because they only accepted submissions through snail mail & I don't have that kind of fun right now, ya feel me.
Others were cut out because they fit what I was looking for but over all I'm proud of my 17 submissions today!
I'm sure there's a lot more I can research and submit to but it's a start! It also made me update all of my shit for submitting to agents so I figured I'd share a little about that! Things You Need for Acting Agency Submissions:
- Headshots. Professional headshots, ideally. Have one commercial look, one dramatic look ready to go. Also, if you're submitting for print or any type of modeling it would good to have some "snapshots" on hand. Unprofessional, basic/no make up, clean, close up, profile, full body.. that kinda stuff. I should really have someone snap a couple new ones for me actually.
These are the ones that I used today:
2. Resume! This deserves a blog all to itself but I'll give you a couple pointers and post mine here. First of all, make sure it is up to date. Today I edited some info that needed to be updated-like my weight and the name of my film (because they changed the title again lol). Second tip: don't lie. I don't have a lot on my resume right now honestly, it's mostly filled up with theatre stuff. But I'm just owning it! We're all adults. Don't lie. It just wastes everyone's time and screws yourself. Third & final tip, make yourself look good by constantly updating your training on there. Continue to take classes and adding them on there! (This is one tip I really need to work on myself.) Well anyway, here's my resume. Updated and shipped out today!
3. Cover Letter! Wether you're mailing out submissions or only submitting online (like me right now), you need a cover letter. Just like you would with any job in any profession. This could have it's own post one day too lol For now, keep it simple, talk about what you've done, what you want to do and just get to the point. I've attached the one I'm using here. I'm sure it could be better. Would be 100000% better if I actually had a referral to throw in there in the beginning, but whatever. It's the best I got right now. lol Hopefully this gives you an idea of what it should look like.
So, obviously, if you read that (I hope you're getting the idea here), you email this to the appropriate email with your appropriate attachments (headshots and resume).
4. Demo reel. Ideally, you'd have a demo reel together as well. I left links to website where I have short commercial/theatrical clips but I don't consider them full reels. I need a little more footage together to really call anything a reel. I'm not sure about attaching a video file to an email. Usually they only accept files under a certain size so it's probably best just to leave links to your youtube or Vimeo or wherever your reel is. This is something I'm working on. But again, I didn't let it stop me. Just because you don't have a perfect reel yet or even any kind of clips or reel yet-you might as well submit anyway! You're going to end up agency-hunting again at some point in the future and by then you'll have something better of a reel but for now just try to look as professional as possible.
5. Time. Updating all your paperwork/computer files and submitting to agents takes some time. I've spent almost the whole day today doing this and look, all in all, I only submitted to 17 agents. I've got more work to do, but the biggest chunk is having everything set up. If you have your files in a folder or all together or the desktop or something, it makes submitting easier. Take the chunk of time you need to get everything together and start submitting and then it will be easier for each agency you'd like submit to in the future.
Sitting on the computer all day isn't my favorite thing to do, but it's part of the job. And unfortunately it's one of the more tedious and non-paid aspects of this career path, but it's not so bad. Sometimes you just gotta suck it up and get it done. I know it can be pretty overwhelming so hopefully this helps you with process. Not that I should have to say this, but I'm going to anyway: this is all to my best knowledge. If there are better ways of going about any of these steps I'm more than open to them and would love to learn! Just throwing out what I know in case it can help anyone!