is it a truly good idea to find an agent and at what point is it advised? I am just starting in screen acting as background, its fun but I am growing concerned that doing such work may actually make it harder to get supporting and principle roles.
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The short answer - Talent agents (like real estate agents) want to sign up a person/property they can sell to the marketplace. You'll be ready for an agent when your reel/resume show that you're a sell-able asset. You're smart to be concerned about getting a reputation as "only a background actor," but the good news is that you don't put that background on your reel/resume. So who will know unless you tell them? :-) Build your reel/resume with supporting, lead, principal roles in Film/TV/Stage/Web/Commercials, and you won't have to worry about the negative side effects of being pigeon-holed as background.
Here inlays my other problem. I am in Louisiana. Just a hair north of New Orleans, I may be looking in the wrong places but all I see is extra background , and the likes. I have spent days and days with no exaggeration to no avail. Where can I go? I do have acting experience. But it's all theater like pirates of Penzance , Rocky horror picture show , at least 8 Shakespeare works , riggeletto( forgive the spelling) so is such experience viable for screen acting? I am sorry for all the question. But I'm sure you all at one point may have shared my frustrations
Hey Amber, that's a very different question than "at what point do I look for an agent?" I'm an LA producer, so not aware of NOLA business. Have you looked at Backstage's local casting calls and Actors Access? Good luck!
Have you met all your local Casting Directors? Rhetorical. I'm sure you've taken those basic steps already.
All that I can find I think. It's a bit like they are chameleon ish or something. You know there has to be more but they are just hiding...? Is there a site or Facebook page I should be looking for?
Also it embarrassing but how do i get this reel that people are referring to? That I really haven't a clue
@Amber, why don't you Google "demo reel," "actor reel," or "show reel." I think that could help your understanding of how to sell yourself. Best of luck!
Thank you. It will everything helps
Amber, thank you for asking the question because I had the same (or similar) question. I am in your same market although it's a drive and I know you are competeing with a lot of actors here in Texas from Austin and Dallas/Ft Worth. Regina Lee thank you for your answers to Amber. You have helped me also. And you as well, Helen Chan.
@Amber, @Lyn, as you work to put together a marketable reel/resume, you may also want to Google/IMDB the movies/shows that have shot in, are shooting in, or will shoot in Louisiana. Look for Casting Directors who are getting the "Additional Casting by" credit or similar credits. See if there are certain Louisiana-based on non-local CDs who do a lot of business on shows shooting in Louisiana. Submit yourself to those CDs who do a lot of biz for Louisiana shoots. I don't know which CDs do all the local biz in Louisiana. But for example, if you lived in Vancouver, you'd want Coreen Mayrs (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0563042/) to know your work. Coreen casts locally in Vancouver, and she is also a go-to CS hired by "Hollywood" productions that need a Canadian actor or who will be shooting in her neck of the woods. So it's very important for a Vancouver-area actor to get on her radar. Who is the "Coreen Mayrs" of New Orleans? I don't know, and I'm not going to do the Googling for you, but if you do the legwork, you should be able to find out.
That said, your work needs to be represented in a marketable reel/resume to submit to CDs, agents, managers, etc. Ideally, you'll have your own web address, so they can always Google you, keep "track" of you ("track" is industry jargon) and see what you're up to and how you're building your body of work.
Thank you Regina. I have done the research in my area. I haven't decided which agency to go with yet. We have several good ones. My main question was when I need to get an agent. I am getting some work on my own and I have started developing a good group from the actor I know, most that are doing very well, in Austin and more slowly here in Dallas, but I am attending the mixers in both places and I have had at least a couple of director that have taken notice of me. So my real concern was when to get an agent. I am working with my main nstructor on getting a demo reel made soon.
Thank you Regina. My main question was when I should get an agent. I am getting work on my own for now. I have done the research in this area and both Dallas and Austin has some good agents but I haven't decided for sure who I would like to have. I have established a good core of actor friends that are doing well and I attend the mixers in both Dallas and Austin. I have a couple of directors that have told me that hey want me for projects they have coming up. And I am working with my instructor on getting a "demo reel". I know that a some point I will need an agent which is the reason for my research, I'm just not sure when I will reach the point that I almost have to have one. Thank you again for being considerate enough to take the time to answer our questions.
@Lyn, it's awesome that you have your pick of the litter! So many actors wish to be in your shoes!! You say "you haven't decided who you would like to have." This leads me to believe there are multiple agents trying to sign you right now. Therefore, you probably want to go ahead and sign with someone, so as not to create ill will! Don't play too hard to get; it could bite you in the butt later on. If your resume/reel are packed, at a certain point, people will start to wonder why you haven't signed with an agent. That said, no one should take it personally if finding an agent is slow-going. Agents may have actors of your "type" on their client list already, and agents don't want several clients competing against each other for the same role. It's a very common reason for agents to pass on new clients, "I have 5 other women in that age range who play that type already." This is typically called having a "conflict."
Thank you for your advise. I will certainly take it to heart. I have heard what you said about agents not wanting to many of the same type. So I will try to keep that in mind. Thanks again.