Three ways to get an agent, and the one silver bullet to guaranteeing you one.
Everybody wants an agent.
Well, everybody wants to be loved.
And when an agent or manager or other rep signs up, they are raising their hand and saying, “Hey. I love your talent. And I’ll work for you and handle all the yucky business stuff so you don’t have to. Oh, and I’ll only get paid when you get paid.”
So how do you get one of these lovers and a fighter (the best agents are both)? As I promised yesterday, here are the three most common ways that you can score an agent in the theater biz. And these three ways work for actors, writers, designers . . . it don’t matter.
And those three ways are:
1. THE LOTTERY TICKET
I like the lottery. And I play every once in a while. It’s not expensive. It takes no time. And the reward could be enormous. But, do I expect to win? Nah. Somebody does, I guess (although I’ve never met a winner).
The ol’ school tactic of sending out pictures and resumes (or letters and then pictures and resumes as K Callan taught in her book (which I highly recommend)) is like playing the lottery. It can work, but don’t count on it. And if you do it, don’t just blanket every agent on the planet. Do your research and pick a bunch that like your “type” and focus on them.
2. THE SET-UP
One of the best ways to get in the iron doors of an agency is to have someone that is a client introduce you. Ask your represented friends to make a call on your behalf and set you up. That kind of recommendation from someone they know and trust goes a long way. Now, your friend can get you in the door, but once you’re there, it’s up to you to seal the deal-i-o. That’s why The Set Up is a great way to go if your’e looking for an agent, but it’s not the best way, which is . . .
3. GET SEEN
By far the #1 way to get an agent is to get in a show with other represented actors that agents come to see. Agents are like pick-up artists – their eyes are always open, looking for the next get. Surrounding yourself with great people will get great people to come to you. And that’s what brings me to the silver bullet of how to get an agent . . .
Without a doubt, the one surefire, guaranteed-to-get-you-a-rep way to get an agent is . . .
good great work.
Sorry, but it’s that simple. There’s no secret way to write a cover letter, or perfect picture, or even the right recommendation that is gonna guarantee that you get the representation you want. But if you do great work? Agents will be chasing you down. And, well, to continue the metaphor from yesterday . . . wouldn’t you rather the Head Cheerleader ask you to the Prom, rather than you have to chase after her?
I know actors and writers that spend 50% of their time trying to find an agent, because they think an agent is going to be the answer to their career dilemmas. Sure, look for an agent . . . with maybe 10% of your time. The rest of the hours in your day should be spent working on your craft . . . writing . . . doing shows . . . taking classes.
Because when you’re ready for an agent, one will magically appear, whether you like it or not.
So don’t worry if you’re not repped. Just go . . . get great. And if you can’t find an agent then? I’ll represent you.
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