Agents, Personal Managers & Casting Directors
What is the purpose of the publication?
One of the greatest challenges facing an actor is the process of securing representation. As a newcomer or even a seasoned professional the sheer volume of agents and personal managers operating in the UK can seem daunting. Some agencies welcome submissions while others reject them as a waste of their time and the actors money.
We believe that it is in the best interests of both the actor and the agency to be transparent regarding submissions.
We want to help you to make the most informed decision that you can. The more informed an actor is about an agency the more they can target according to their type. This allows the actor to make a more judicious mailout rather than the blanket mailouts that have been a feature of British actors for years. This will result in savings in time and money for the actor but hopefully decrease the mountain of mail that the agent receives as well. The less general submissions the agent receives the more time they will have to look at potential clients.
Who is the best agent?
The simple answer is that there is no such thing. It is not our intention to provide a rating system as the simple truth is that what makes a good agent is entirely dependent on the relationship they have with a client.
The actor must find the best agent for them. The best means of doing this is to find out as much information as possible about the agent. Look at their website if they have one. Look at their clients on the website or go to Spotlight. Talk to your friends, professional actors, college tutors and any other industry professionals that you may come into contact with.
Avoid the temptation to pursue the agents with the biggest names. A very large and prestigious agency will work predominantly with recognised and established talent and it is unlikely, (though not impossible), that they will take on clients with little or no experience. Some agencies see themselves as more nurturing. They seek out unknowns with talent and work to build careers from scratch. Others work with established stars and work to maintain their careers. It is a different skill and an important one but more than likely not one that you need right now.
How should I make contact with an agent?
One hard and fast rule is that it is almost never a good idea to call an agent or personal manager directly. They are extremely busy people and the chances of calling at a bad time are pretty much 100%. Emailing as a method of communication, while new, would seem to be growing in popularity. If you do choose to email your submission remember to keep the files small as the last thing you want to do is to clog an agent’s inbox and have your name all over the offending item. It is far better to embed a link directly to your showreel or website within the email rather than ask them to download an attachment.
Most agents ask that you include an SAE for return of materials and a possible response. However do not depend on a response and if after 6 weeks or so you have not heard anything the chances are, unfortunately, that you won’t. Be wary of follow up calls. Agents will almost certainly contact you if they wish to.
We have included, wherever possible, the website details for each agency. This is an invaluable tool for getting a feel for an agency and helping to decide if it’s the one for you. Most sites will list the agent details, some history of the agency and even specific submission details.
Finally and most importantly this publication is for you, the professional actor. We welcome, and need, your feedback. Tell us about your experiences with the agencies, the good and the bad.
What we can share we will.
Good luck in your search and in your career.