Recently we asked an agent and manager about what actors should and shouldn’t do when reaching out to them for representation. Since this is a crucial process we thought we would share this information to help actors have a higher chance of being signed. We are going to break this up into two sections. Things you should do and things you should not.
Things You Should Do
- Do Your Research On The Rep
Understand who you are reaching out to before you do. Is this an agent or a manager? There is a difference. Do they work at a boutique agency or do they represent a lot of clients. Go through their roster on IMDB and see if they rep other actors like you. It is important to target reps that give you a higher chance of being signed. Targetting reps is a strategic move and the more information you have about the ones you are reaching out to the better your chances are. Landing a bigger agency is not always better than a boutique agent. You want to be with a rep that has time for you so you arent lost in the mix of their talent pool. Make an educated choice that will be best for the furtherment of your career.
2. Be Professional
Make sure your materials are in order. Email should be neat, with your headshot, resume and applicable links (demo reel, IMDB etc). Attach a well written cover letter, proofread before sending. Our advice is to send the email to yourself before sending it out to anyone just to be sure it looks great. Make sure your demo reel and resume are updated with all your latest work. The manager we spoke with said that it was crucial to have footage of the bigger parts that you have done. Many actors have great credits on their resume but no footage of them. Get all the footage of your best credits and include them in the materials.
3. Mention Referral
One of the number one ways actors are signed is when they have been referred by an existing client. If you have been referred to a rep by one of their clients or a friend of theirs, make sure to mention that in your email. You should lead with it.
4. Highlight Your Qualities
Many times an actor with not many credits will reach out to a rep and say, “I know I don’t have a lot of credits, but”. Don’t do that. You are trying to present yourself in the best light to get a shot at being signed. Highlight your skills as in, here is what I’m presenting instead of here is what I’m laking. Commercials often require special skills and reps really pay attention to that. If you have specials skills mention them but don’t make up or exaggerate them. Special skills can help a rep see commercial potential.
Things You Should NOT Do
1. Send Mass Emails
When reaching out to reps, actors forget to change the name of the rep and might even be emailing a casting director by mistake.We are told this happens a lot. Write each email separately to avoid embarrassing mistakes. I know we want to send as many emails to reps as possible to get a better chance of being signed but this can backfire. Pick the reps you think you have the best chance with and really personalize your pitches to them. That is a much more efficient and intelligent way to approach things. Five great pitches with personalized cover letters will go a lot futher than a mass pitch to fifty reps. Agents get emails everyday with the wrong name and info, this will really ruin your chances of being signed in the future.
2. Aggressively Follow Up If a rep does not get back to you, maybe reach back out another time to check in. Do NOT aggresively follow up. We understand getting a rep is important to you but badgering them will not help. I promise 🙂
3. Stalk On Social Media Agents and Managers have personal lives as well and don’t like to have to deal with actors on their social pages. Unless they give you their social information refrain from following them on their pages. Many have company pages that are fine to follow so that you can stay up to date with what the agency is doing. We would suggest to stay away from their personal pages. Just don’t do it. Don’t be one of those. Put it down….step away from the phone.
Hope that helps!