For those looking to pursue a career as a professional actor, having a solid team behind you is a must. Most careers don’t really get started without the backing of a knowledgable rep, but how to actually get a talent agent or talent manager isn’t always so obvious (or easy).
At Diane Christiansen Coaching we have been committed to introducing actors to reputable agents in a friendly and educational environment. There are many ways actors can ‘get signed’ and below we break down the most common ways one gets representation in Los Angeles.
For the record; we personally do not recommend searching for talent reps before you are ready. A bad impression could potentially be irreversible. Before looking for representation, you need to learn basic acting skills and scene study. An audition technique class is especially important to know what to do in the audition room!
5 Way to Get an Agent/Manager
Self-Submission Do your research on agencies and management companies throughout the Los Angeles area and send them your information: head shots, resume, reel, cover letter, etc. While this is the most basic, obvious, and classic way of getting signed – I can’t say it is the most effective. Rarely do actors hear back, but nonetheless, it never hurts!
Referral This is one of the best ways to get a one-on-one meeting with an agent or manager, but not necessarily the easiest. Knowing someone that can give a personal referral is great – if you know someone. Usually referrals come through an acting coach/teacher (as many have professional relationships with reps), a personal friend who is already a client of that agent/manager, or if you have a manager, they will personally talk to agents on your behalf to set up an interview.
Getting “Discovered” You’ve likely heard at least one story about somebody being “discovered” at the mall or while sitting in the stands at their brother’s soccer game or at Whole Foods. This isn’t a fairy tale. In fact, it happens quite often where a talent rep (typically a manager) will spot someone and convince them to be an actor! Obviously, this isn’t exactly a reliable means of getting signed, though.
Advertisements This is the only one I would generally tell people to steer clear from. The reputable management companies and agencies in L.A. don’t need to advertise that they are looking for new clients. I don’t want to say that it is always bad because it’s not, but we advise our students to be very wary of answering listings like that as you want to be careful you are not getting yourself into a scammy situation.
Showcases In our personal experience as actors and 26 years as an acting school – this has been the most effective way for actors to find representation. Talent showcases exist in many forms throughout L.A. Basically, an acting studio or school, acting teacher, or some other type of company brings in agents or managers to scout talent. Actors perform some kind of material for the reps and afterwards, the reps call the people they are interested in representing. It is worth noting that not all showcases are equal. Some are very inexpensive, but also offer very little as far as education and coaching is concerned.
It’s not really an opinion that showcases work when it comes to getting a talent agent… but more of a fact based on the percentages of our own students who have found their team this way. For many years, we have held showcases to support our students in finding reps. The vast majority of the actors that have showcased with us, have gotten interviews and been signed!
In 2017, we redesigned our workshop/showcase format to ensure that every actor participating has the best shot at not only getting signed, but having overall success as an actor!
is a truly unique and one-of-a-kind experience. A must for those that are looking for their very first rep or to upgrade. We invite 15-20 reputable, professional, and hard working reps to watch you in a well-rehearsed show. We strive to create a wonderful environment for the agents and the actors participating!
If you’re wondering how to get a talent agent or how to be a professional actor – Screen Test Live is the best option to set yourself up for success!
What provides the feeling of success more than a screen test?