An artistic agent is a person who represents the interests of actors, singers, musicians or writers. He recommends the artists he represents to producers, directors, casting directors and negotiates their contracts. He usually charges 10 to 15% commission on contracts that are signed. An agent helps you develop your career and can advise you on the choices to be made. A good agent is a dynamic person, very sociable and is also a good salesperson. To be effective, he must above all have a lot of contacts. If you want to have a good talent agent, you have to present a quality product and have a very professional attitude. With a lot of work and perseverance, the Caesar is not far away!
Part 1 of 3: Gain experience
Step 1. Work
Whether you are a singer, writer, actor or musician, if you want to find a talent agent to represent you the first thing you need to do is gain experience. An agent prefers an artist or designer who is experienced and has a consistent biography that highlights them. To get a contract with an agent, you have to show that you have experience in your field and that you are persevering. Of course, a young artist does not have many years of experience and talent is an indispensable factor. If you want to be a singer, sing. If you are heading towards a career as an actor, take the stage.
Be on the lookout for auditions, participate in open stages and improvisation battles. Take on the small roles and make up the numbers (Harrison Ford got connected to the business by cleaning up movie studios and when asked today what he thinks about "The Force" he replies: "Strive and the Force will be with you"). If you are a singer or a musician, take part in open stages, play in bars (practically all famous artists and groups have done this), festivals. Connect your microphone or instrument to your computer and record, write songs over and over again. If you are a writer, read, but above all, write! Show that you are consistent and that you can be counted on
Step 2. Perfect yourself
Experience is one thing, but you also need to improve (Al Jarreau has taken singing lessons his whole life). You can refine your technique by taking lessons, attending workshops and working from home of course. If you want to be a comedian or if you interpret monologues that you have written, sign up for a class and participate in workshops, teachers and other participants will give you their opinions on what you write and on your interpretation (the reviews are always positive, especially if they are negative). As with other professions, to be an actor there are some skills you need to learn.
If you don't like spending hours rehearsing every day and the constant work that this profession entails, there is no point looking for an agent because they will make you work even harder
Step 3. Communicate with people who have the same passion as you
You will exchange a lot of information with like-minded people and you will learn a lot. Create a network of trusting relationships with which to exchange information on casting offers, productions looking for actors, places looking for musicians and other opportunities related to your specialty. If you have a date with an agent and a friend of yours worked with that agent on a project that went well, mention your friend's name, it might help.
Share the information with your friends. Is there an agency doing a casting tomorrow afternoon? Mention it to your friends, don't jealously guard the information thinking there will be less competition. If you are not the person they are looking for, you will not be accepted even if you are the only one to introduce yourself. Pass the information on to your friends and if it is not you who is selected, congratulate the actor who was chosen and organize a party in his honor. If you pass the information, other comedians will like you and you will receive information from them and thus generate more possibilities for yourself
Part 2 of 3: meet agents
Step 1. First, you need to fully understand the role of arts agents and what they are looking for
Some well-known actors, for example Bill Murray, choose not to have an agent and find their contracts themselves. The role of the agents is to find you auditions, to contact the producers, directors and casting directors to find you contracts. To become an agent's client, they must be convinced that you will make them money one day.
- An agent makes money if he makes you sign contracts. He will get a percentage when signing this contract. He must therefore believe in you and be certain that you will sign one day or another. If an agent is not convinced that you or your product has a commercial interest, they will not want to have you as a customer because they will think you will not make them money. It is of course necessary to choose with care the agents that you will contact, an agent promoting classical pianists will not sign you if you sing Hip-Hop.
- To be accepted by an agent, you must have experience, talent and also a strong personality or be very charismatic. The ideal is to have all these characteristics together.
Step 2. Make yourself known on social networks
Promote yourself or your product by being present on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and other social networks. You can use these platforms to promote yourself, post videos, make contacts in the industry that concerns you, post your concert dates, a few lines from your books, your new songs, etc. These networks will also allow you to search for agents or artistic agencies that you may be interested in.
Social networks are good business platforms and you should use them as such. Write professional messages and content, writing them the same way you would if you were talking to a producer or agent sitting across from you at a social dinner party or the private party at a production house. Congratulate others for their achievements and promote your concert dates, the places where you play comedy, your new musical or literary creations
Step 3. Create a press kit and biography
A biography will mention your personal history in the field that concerns you, drama or music school, names of teachers, plays in which you have performed or a list of concerts you have given. Make a biography on paper and post it on the internet. A press kit includes some professional photos and items that showcase your professional skills and perseverance (no need to indicate which bar you went diving to buy yourself a new guitar). Indicate which producers or directors you have worked with, mention the names of the musicians with whom you have played (unfortunately for some, the list must be quite short), your current and future artistic activities. Make a press kit on paper, put it in a nice folder and post one on a website so that it is accessible online. In either case, be concise.
Step 4. Don't hesitate to ask for help
When you're ready, ask other actors to introduce you to their talent agent and make appointments. Always be on time. Clearly state your plans for both short and long term. Clearly define your career vision and explain to the agent why you would like to work with them in particular, what you expect from them and what you have to offer them.
- Be professional and objective. No agent will be interested in someone who is impatient and lacks objectivity. You are supposed to be a professional, behave like a professional or you will annoy the talent agent very quickly.
- Don't appear out of the blue. In the not too distant past, it was possible to call an agency or an artistic agent out of the blue and make an appointment by phone for an interview, this is no longer done today. You must be presented by an artist or a member of the agency. You can attend auditions organized by agencies looking for new talent or respond to announcements looking for actors or extras.
Step 5. An interview cannot be improvised
When you get a date with a talent agent or agency, you may be asked to perform something the way you would during an audition for a role. Don't get caught off guard and miss out on an opportunity that might be unique just because you haven't prepared yourself. Prepare some fairly short monologues and showcase your versatility.
Part 3 of 3: Choose an agent
Step 1. Take an agent who has a license
Artistic agencies or agents, like other sectors of activity, must pay income tax to the State. Make sure you speak to an official agent, there are people who claim to be artistic agents who are not in good standing. They take advantage of the inexperience of certain young artists who do not know the trade in order to exploit them. You will not get any positive results with these individuals and you may have problems.
Today, it is easy to verify the authenticity of an agent by searching the internet or by going to the chamber of commerce and industry. If you want to achieve good results, you must have a good agent, the best would be if they have established artists in their portfolio
Step 2. Find out about other artists that an agent represents
Schools have a limited number of students for each teacher. This aims to allow a good interaction between the teacher and his students and guarantees the availability of the teacher. Some private schools have a very small number of students per class in order to personalize the lessons. As in schools, an agent with a lot of artists will have less time to spare than an agent with a small selection of artists.
If you sign with an agent who is known, but has a very large number of artists to represent and is therefore very busy, they are most likely not paying you much attention unless the last video you have posted on YouTube got more than five hundred million visitors. A lesser-known agent, with few artists, will give you more time and interest (even if you didn't get five hundred million hits on YouTube)
Step 3. It is best to get along well with your agent
The relationship between an agent and an artist goes beyond a simple professional relationship. The agent must be genuinely interested in your career and you must have an open discussion with him. You should be able to tell him what you think frankly and vice versa. He must be able to give you recommendations on your artistic choices and help you orient yourself and you must be able to take his advice like that of a friend. An agent who doesn't completely believe in what you are doing is not a good choice.
During your first interviews with an artistic agent, talk about your career. Ask him for his vision of things, how he sees your future and what he thinks of you. If his vision and yours coincide, it could be the start of a long professional association and perhaps a long history of friendship as well
Step 4. Don't hesitate to change artistic agent
If the professional relationship with your agent is not fruitful, if he does not represent you effectively, do not hesitate to seek another. Of course, when you sign with an agent, contracts aren't going to rain overnight, but if your agent sees you as a bottom catalog, he takes advantage of you and he slows down your career development, so you have to put an end to your collaboration and look for another artistic agent.
Some young actors don't change artistic agents because they are used to the stability of the agent they currently have. “My agent can't find me contracts, but I might not have an agent at all. This reasoning will get you nowhere. If your agent doesn't make you sign any contracts, it's like you don't have an agent at all. Worse, with another agent you could sign contracts! You must absolutely change artistic agent if the one who represents you does not make you sign contracts
- Do some research on the financial aspects of working with an arts agent. You will find information on the internet and you can get information from other artists. After all of your efforts to get this far, you don't want your agent to keep most of your contract money.
- Do not sign with the first agency you find on the internet. Contact different agents or artistic agencies and be sure of what you are doing when you sign up.