If your young actor is serious about becoming a professional in the film industry, it’s vital that they have an agent.
Although finding an acting agent may seem like a daunting task, after reading this article you’ll have a clear idea of which steps to take. So read on!
Why does your young actor need an agent? What is the agent’s role?
An acting agent has three primary roles:
- To guide actors through their career
- To find auditions and roles
- To negotiate the terms of conditions for each job
Qualified acting agents belong to the Screen Actors Guild Franchise, which provides access to daily lists of projects that actors can audition for.
Agents keep a close eye on the roles that are right for your child and notify you when it’s time to audition.
In essence, a children’s acting agent is your guide, your researcher and your attorney. They help young actors get parts, get publicized and get paid.
So where do you find acting agents for kids?
The key to finding the right agent for your young actor is to do A LOT of research. You must be diligent in finding all of the agents in your area that you’d like to submit to.
If your young actor wants to make it big, they should start small and build their career from the bottom up – at home. This is not an overnight process.
You do not need to live in New York or Los Angeles to find an agent – there are agents in every area. So start local.
- Start by looking for local agents in directories like www.kidscastingcallpro.com. Make lists of all of your possibilities; research agent’s personal websites for success stories, awards and SAG membership.
- Ask around. Talk to your local acting schools, drama departments and industry friends who may know people in the business. Finding the ideal acting agent, as well as great auditions, is often about networking. So don’t be shy!
- Call your local SAG or AFTRA offices and ask about full service acting agencies in your area that you can apply to.
- Spend some time searching agents in Google. Although this can often feel overwhelming and difficult to navigate through the spam, it can definitely pay off.
- Read everything you can on local acting possibilities (magazines, newspaper classifieds, websites, etc.) and take part (even if your child is not taking part. There may be scouts at these events that you can introduce your young star to.
The important point here is to create as thorough of a list of prospective agents as you can.
You want to know EVERY possible agent in your area, in addition to the lay of the land. Become an expert of your local acting scene – it will pay off!
Once you have a great list of possible agents – what comes next?
Prepare! After you’ve determined which agents you’d like to meet with, rank them in order of whom you think will fit best with you and your young actor.
Next, you must create a professional and impressive press kit to deliver in person to each acting agent. (Learn how to prepare your headshots and press kit in our blog post: How to Become a Child Actor – Learn What it Takes to Make It!)
Delivering your press kit through email or by post often won’t suffice. Acting agents are busy people and your package may get pushed to the bottom of the pile.
Physically going into each agency is a wise idea; there may be a chance that you can meet the agent face-to-face.
If the agent isn’t available, you’ll at least get to speak to an assistant or receptionist who will hopefully forward your kit along and put in a word for you like, “An interesting or beautiful young actor came into today. I think you should take a look at their headshots.” (Always bring your young actor with you!)
Also, taking the time to stop by each agency will give you a good idea about what level of sophistication and professionalism they offer. Be selective and skeptical – make sure the office is legitimate and trust worthy, which brings us to our final tips.
Don’t fall victim to any schemes or tricks!
As you well-know the film acting industry is competitive, challenging and takes a lot of dedications and hard work. So don’t believe any “get rich and famous quick” gimmicks. Here are a few important things to remember:
- You should never have to pay anything up front. A reputable agent gets paid when an actor gets paid (which is typically 10-20%). So don’t ever hand over a dime – now, or in the future.
- Make sure that you’re meeting an agent for the first time in their office, during regular business hours. If an acting agent suggests meeting elsewhere in the evening, there’s a good chance they’re not legitimate.
- If a talent agency is promising your child immediate work and thousands of dollars to merely pass a simple screening – or anything else that seems to good to be true – run for the hills.
- Above all, use common sense. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. If you’re getting a bad vibe from an agent and are unsure if the auditions he or she is sending you to – don’t go. Protecting your child from Hollywood scammers is obviously of paramount importance.
Finding the right children’s acting agent is a crucial step in your young star’s journey toward a fulfilling and bright career on the big screen.
If you take the time now to diligently research and prepare, the reward of powerful representation will surely pay off in the long run.
Best of luck!