Agents are salespeople working in an employment agency.

That's what they do. They call people who have jobs to fill and they try to sell the business people they represent (actors). They are just like salespeople at a temp agency. Just because they sell actors doesn't change the job.

 The most important thing to understand about them is that they do it for money. Like many people in many professions - no, like all people in all professions - agents like to make money for their efforts. Unlike lawyers, however, agents rarely do pro-bono work.

I've only had two agents during my 30-year acting career, but I know a lot of agents - including some of the biggest in the business. I've gone to parties with them, played poker with them, and softball - seen 'em at chili cook offs, awards ceremonies, golf tournaments, you name it.I know these folks.

 Read the following very carefully:

 I've never heard an agent say, 'Yeah, I just took on a client who's thinking about being an actor. She hasn't done much on her own but I think I can teach her to work. I've got plenty of time to show her how to be a pro. And even though she's got the wrong attitude, it probably won't take too long to explain why her attitude is problematic. I know she hasn't managed to get going on her own but I'll just send her out for every part in her age range until she gets work. I know it's risky, but she's got a feeling she's going to be a star, so I'm going to give it a shot.'
 I've never heard anything like that.

 This is the kind of thing I hear agents say while playing cards or lining up a putt, 'Yeah, I just took on a real comer. This guy can do it all. He's a good actor - wait'll you see this little student film he did. He's smart. He's been making pretty good money - all non-union, but he's ready. Hustle? The guy's been in like a hundred plays, he teaches a class to kids. He's doing a one-man show over at this Equity waiver theatre in West Hollywood - go go go. I tell you, Bob - I'm going to make a fortune off this kid.'

 Do you see the difference? Of course you do. In your heart of hearts you know that this is reality. You know it.

 So, how does this help you to get an agent?

 In this crucial way: Now, you KNOW what agents are
 really looking for.

 1. Actors who are acting for money. Because 10% of that amount is what the agent lives on. It is his income. If the actor cannot book work - nada.

 2. Actors who are getting cast. They've been in plays, student films, non-union work, it really doesn't matter what level of work is, as long as the actor has a history of getting cast. It's a good indication for most agents.

 3. Actors who work hard at getting good enough to compete for jobs - actors with the right attitude. (They know they have to commit and work hard.)

 4. Actors who hustle.

 You also know what they are NOT looking for.

 1. Actors who haven't made the commitment to act for money. (This kind of self-induced commitment is probably harder than you think it is.)

 2. Actors who haven't bothered to do much without anyone else's help.

 3. Actors who believe that an agent can 'make it happen.' (Rule of Hollywood: Agents don't make actors - actors make agents.)

 4. Actors who take an attitude because of that belief.('They just don't care about talent,' is a hollow complaint - and changes nothing.)

 5. Actors who think agents don't know what they are doing. (Maybe the agent knows what she's doing and the actor doesn't know what he's doing. It's a possibility.)

 Now, these 'observable realities' can lead us to only one conclusion with regards to your "getting an agent" problem.

 IT CAN BE DONE... IF you are the type of actor they are looking for.


 Bob Fraser is an actor, writer, director, producer and the author of You Must Act! The #1 Acting Career Course on the Internet

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