When coming to LA to be an actor, the first thing you need to do is get an agent. The trouble most new talent run into is that most agents want experience, and getting experience without an agent very difficult. It’s just like that old adage, “what came first, the chicken or the egg?” Agents want actors who can book. So how do you get experience then?
The up and coming batch of new actors are making their own projects under the heading of New Media. This gives the actor a chance to be creative and show their acting chops in projects that show the actor in roles where they shine. This is great footage for your acting reel.
In the meantime, get some good headshots, paste your acting resume on the back, and send them out introducing yourself to the talent agents. A big mistake most actors make is going after the big name talent agents, like the ones below, before they have enough experience. Even if you luck out one of these agents agrees to represent you … you’re now a little fish in a big pond. Most likely they have one or more of actors similar to you on their roster, and those actors are already booking. In this case, you will get shelved. That means, they just took you off the market from another agent so you won’t compete with their booking talent. Instead, go for a smaller agency where you will be the big fish. You will land more auditions and subsequently, more roles.
Once you get an agent, make sure you are responsive to audition notices, and that you show up to the auditions on time and prepared. There is no better way to get dropped by an agency than to flake out on auditions. Take acting classes, go to workshops, an always be honing your craft.
Not SAG yet? Well, that could be a good thing. This means you can work on both non-union and union jobs, but if you’re already in the union, you cannot accept any non-union work. This is great for new actors because it allows you to work more, but once you’ve got some good roles under your belt, you’ll want to be SAG. The rates are better and there is a plethora of benefits to you as a SAG actor. The joining fee and dues can be pricey, so make sure you can afford.
Here are the best of the best talent agencies. When you are repped by one of them, you have truly made it …
Top Talent Agencies In Los Angeles
Agency Celebrities They Represent
William Morris Endeavor – Clint Eastwood, John Travolta
Creative Artists Agency – George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr.
International Creative Management – Jerry Seinfeld, Al Pacino
United Talent Agency – Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp
Paradigm Talent Agency – Laurence Fishburne, Antonio Banderas
The Gersh Agency – Patricia Arquette, Kristen STewart
Innovative Artists – Amanda Seyfried, Jennifer Westfeldt
Abrams Artists Agency – Paris Smith, Ryan Potter