Dreams of being an actor coupled with real talent plus some training are a good start for those hoping to pursue an acting career. But landing roles isn’t as easy. When people need actors, they don’t ordinarily approach actors directly. They approach agencies and agents with their specifications and wait for them to suggest some likely matches. If you’re not on an agent’s books, you don’t get suggested – and there’s a good chance you’ll never know about the casting opportunity. This begs the question of how to get an acting agent in the UK. Here’s what you need to know!
What Does an Acting Agent Do?
Acting agents are intermediaries who take care of the needs of two different groups: actors, and production companies who are looking for talent to fill roles. Naturally, they have to work to please the parties on either side of the deal. They make an effort to find work for actors, make sure they deliver the goods when it comes to submissions and auditions, and negotiate to ensure they’re fairly treated. They also have to look after the companies looking for actors. That means suggesting candidates that have a good chance of meeting their requirements.
Do I Need an Agent to Become an Actor in the UK?
Just as you don’t really need an employment agency to get a job, you can be an actor without having an agent. However, you won’t necessarily get a look-in at all the opportunities that are out there. And, without endorsement from an agent, you’ll have a lot more to prove. If you decide to avoid working through an agent, be sure to sign up on casting websites so that you get access to all the latest casting calls and have a platform to showcase your portfolio.
What Are The Different Types of Acting Agents?
As an actor, you may be interested in working on stage productions, television series, voice productions, or films. And, although it might not be your dream role, acting in commercials is lucrative and a great way to get experience and exposure. Most agents specialise in one of these areas, building their network of industry contacts within their preferred field. If agents are working under the umbrella of an agency, they will fill a role that relates to one of these specialisations. So apart from asking how to get an acting agent, you should ask yourself what kind of agent you’re looking for.
How to Get an Agent for Acting in the UK
Talented though you may be, persuading an agent to sign you up for their books may not be easy. Remember, anyone who asks you for a subscription upfront before you’ve even landed a role may not be above board. The best acting agents will only charge you fees once you have found work through them.
Start by browsing talent agencies with special attention to the agents that they employ. You can also research productions similar to the ones you’d like to be cast for and find out who the agents supplying the talent were. Most of the top agents in the UK are located in London, so that’s a good place to start. Remember that networking is even more important to actors than it is for most other people. Can someone in the trade offer you suggestions regarding agents? It could be a good starting point.
How to Improve Your Chances of Getting Signed
You know that you have tons of potential, but proving it is what matters. You need to know how to get an agent for acting in the UK. Improve your chances of getting signed by treating it much like any other job application – with a few extras. Start with your headshots. You want really professional ones that show you off at your best. Prepare a resume that includes your qualifications, experience, and any references you may have earned so far. But, since pictures, and especially moving pictures, speak louder than words, submit a high-quality reel that demonstrates your acting ability too.
If your initial preparations made a compelling enough case for agents to consider signing you, they’ll call you in for an audition and interview. Find out if there’s anything you should do to prepare for this important appointment and be ready to put your best foot forward.
Maintaining a Good Relationship With Your Acting Agent
You followed all the steps on how to get an agent for acting, and you got signed! Now it’s time to build a relationship. Staying in touch is one thing – being a pest is another. Once you’re on their books, you can always ask your agent when it would be proper to reach out. In general, it will be if you have specific questions regarding a production you’ve been earmarked for. Not getting signed? Go and find a few roles of your own and notify your agent about what you’re doing and how that will affect your availability.
Don’t think that being busy will harm your chances. On the contrary, showing that you’re a working actor in your own right and that you’re developing your career and skills proactively will only serve to create a positive impression. However, if your activities affect your availability, your agent needs to know. You may even want to ask them if you should go ahead with a project before you accept a role in it. Here’s why. If your agent has earmarked you for an opportunity, and goes to a lot of effort to get you a chance to audition, you’ll have wasted their time if you aren’t available.
If you get a really nice opportunity all on your own, do involve your agent. It’s not just a matter of giving them a fee. They’re also taking care of your interests along the way. Plus, involving your agent when you manage to land a role off your own bat shows that you’re serious about the relationship and encourages them to work hard for you too. As for the work your agent does for you, always remember to be grateful. Nobody wants to employ a prima donna.
Between Roles: Opt for Flexible Employment
Acting jobs are often like buses. You wait for ages and then three of them arrive almost at once! Most actors need interim work to bring home the bacon between roles. “Acting” like you’re a steady employee when you’re really waiting for your next opportunity leaves burned bridges behind you. Opt for flexible employment instead.
Looking for something unique that also allows you to practice your voice and acting skills? RSVP is a call centre that actively seeks to employ actors in a flexible working relationship that benefits both actors and ourselves. We get articulate people who know how to project a brand personality and can identify with audiences. You get a job that offers you ultimate flexibility when you have classes, auditions, or acting roles. We’re looking for the best! And we even offer agency benefits to our employees. Want to know more? Visit the RSVP Careers page. We’re looking forward to you playing a role in our clients’ success.