How to Uncover a Talent Agent

A talent agent can open up up doors for actors and get them auditions and bookings that the large greater part of people today never even listen to about.

Really don’t feel me?

Just ask Ethan.

Ethan was a teenager actor who had signed up for an on-digital camera performing workshop I was teaching. He had some theatrical expertise but hadn’t accomplished any on-camera acting formerly. But he was pretty gifted and enthusiastic, and right after the workshop, I invited him to fulfill with me at the expertise company I worked at to go over representation.

We ended up signing Ethan, and in just a pair of months, we received him booked on a major supporting purpose in Spike TV’s The Get rid of Position, starring Donnie Wahlberg and John Leguizamo.

This teen actor with nearly no knowledge in front of a camera got booked on a significant cable community Tv show since he uncovered the suitable agent.

Can you picture the auditions and bookings you’d have entry to if you signed with the appropriate company?

How unique would your occupation (and your life) be?

It all commences with finding a great agent to stand for you.

The place do you even obtain a expertise agent?

And how do you know that they’re legit?

And not likely to rip you off?

A single of the very best items of assistance I will give to any actor setting up out is to perform with what is termed a union-franchised company (or agent).

There are quite a few unions that you may offer with as an actor-SAG (Display Actor’s Guild) and AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) are the most popular when it arrives to operating on camera. SAG and AFTRA applied to be their personal independent unions, but in 2012 the two merged to come to be SAG-AFTRA, a person blended union to depict all actors for on-camera operate.

There are pros and negatives for actors who are a element of SAG-AFTRA.

The union ensures that they get paid out a certain least wage for any on-camera operate they get booked on. They also warranty particular performing circumstances, and present actors health and fitness insurance, retirement, and other added benefits.

Nevertheless, the moment you be part of you can ONLY do union operate on digicam. If you are living in one of the many, a lot of scaled-down markets all around the nation that will not have a whole lot of constant function for union actors, this could be a enormous downside.

But the query of whether or not or you not you must sign up for the union is a debate for yet another day.

The critical point for ANY actor to know is how unions get the job done with expertise businesses.

Advantages of doing the job with a union-franchised agency

SAG-AFTRA issues franchises to experienced expertise businesses that meet up with certain prerequisites.

These are named union-franchised companies.

These agencies need to utilize, shell out a free of charge, and be authorised by SAG-AFTRA in order to be in a position to depict union actors.

It does NOT imply that you need to have to be a part of the union in purchase to work with these businesses.

In point, for most actors living exterior of a main market place like LA or NYC, I typically advocate that you you should not join the union (but that is a for a longer time dialogue for yet another time).

What it does suggest is that these companies are remarkably controlled by SAG-AFTRA, and have all agreed to sure situations for ALL of their actors, union associates or not.

These disorders include:

  • the agency must make its money almost exclusively as a result of commissions they acquire when they get do the job for the actors they depict
  • they are not able to demand a price for having actors auditions
  • the agency can’t be linked with an performing school or teach any lessons or workshops as an company
  • there are unable to be an in-home photographer or precise 3rd occasion photographer that actors are needed to use
  • they can only cost actors 10% commission for SAG-AFTRA work opportunities (they can demand better fee for non-union employment, generally 15-20%)

Union-franchised agencies only get paid when they get operate for their actors. They are generally a risk-free haven from the quite a few scams out there designed to rip off unsuspecting actors.

Does this indicate that non-franchised expertise companies won’t be able to be trustworthy? Or that you shouldn’t indication with them?

Of class not.

There are a ton of very respected non-franchised companies out there that abide by the identical pointers as the franchised businesses. They function really hard to get do the job for the actors they depict, and they only have the most effective of intentions.

But getting out which of those non-franchised agencies are reputable and which kinds are a scam is a little something that arrives with a ton of knowledge operating in that industry.

And there are a lot of that show up to be legit Until finally you get started to operate with them and close up squandering your time and your income.

So that is why I normally propose that actors try out to do the job with a union-franchised company when first starting off out.

How to discover a union-franchised expertise agency

Getting a franchised agency in the vicinity of you is straightforward-go to SAG-AFTRA’s franchised agent website page on their site at and research for the organizations in the current market closest to wherever you reside.

Will not be scared to expand your research earlier just your nearby region-you could even examine in a few hour radius of where you reside.

It may possibly be harder to get to auditions in particular person, but there could be prospects for you to self-tape your have auditions and submit them to the agency.

It truly is a great deal better to uncover the franchised agency that will be the greatest match for you, and then determine out the logistics of how and when you will audition.

There could be many non-franchised organizations that are nearer to in which you reside.

Lots of of them will be entirely above board, and give you access to some of the exact same auditions and bookings that you’d get if you were being signed to a franchised agency.

And there are some who will lie to you, address you poorly, and cheat you out of hundreds or even hundreds of dollars.

Above time, you’ll be able to location these faux organizations and frauds from a mile absent.

But right until then, and specially when you’re just commencing out in your job, I practically normally advise signing with a union-franchised agency.