Once upon a time… there was an actor looking for an agent.
One of the things we always want to know is how best to approach an agent. And, while every agent is different, there are still things we can do to ensure we give ourselves the BEST possible opportunity to be picked for representation.
Last week I talked with Miles, the founder of Marlowes Agency, to find out a little bit about what agents want to see…and what you shouldn’t do.
Do you like emails or post?
Miles definitely prefers emailed applications, and personally I love that he is helping save trees!
“We get a lot of applications every day.”
Should your email or letter be personal?
“Yes! I hate it when it says Dear Sir/Madam and even more so when it is a cc to every agent in London and not even a blind cc.”
As he rightly pointed out, it is very easy to use the web to find out the agents name.
Miles was honest enough to admit he doesn’t even read emails when someone has cc’d him. And why should he. He is obviously not important to them if they have cc’d him as a cc’d/bc’d email isn’t even personal. It’s important to be as personal as possible. This is your future representative we are talking about. If you don’t know their name why would they possibly want to know yours.
What if there are other similar-ish looking actors on your books?
Miles explained it really important for applying actors to check the agent’s current client list. If you look similar to someone already represented with them they will not be interested. They don’t repeat clients as they want individual looks.
So how could an actor go “one better” and impress the socks off an agent?
At Marlowes they love knowing you have done your research with the agency…it is very useful to speak about a client at the agency who is a friend or professional film colleague. Also generally speaking agents love to hear if you have worked with a director, writer or producer that one of their own existing clients has worked with. It’s all in the research and presentation.
But this will backfire if you don’t check with ‘Joe Bloggs’ first. If you are going to mention ‘Joe’ make sure they know. Miles explained thay he will check this sort of detail… And “If Joe doesn’t know what you are talking about you won’t stand a chance of representation with us.”
Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty detail. What about headshots – Colour, black and white, full body?
Miles’ personal preference is for colour (and don’t so many agents and Casting Directors in the UK love colour nowadays). But don’t send body shots. And this is a biggie. If you are an actor there is no reason to send full body shots, or half dressed model shots when hunting for an agent. Check your audience. A serious TV and film agent isn’t going to need to see model shots. Miles explained that at their agency if an actor sends revealing shots they are deleted straight away. “Believe it or not we actually get sent photographs from performers with not much clothing. A sure way NOT to get seen and to be deleted.”
Would I be seen if I popped in to your office to introduce myself?
“Do NOT just turn up at my office asking to be seen. You will never be seen again.”
Ok that answers that. At Marlowes, they even prefer not to be called. They see the emails that come in and they respond accordingly in between castings and submissions for their existing clients.
What type of actors are you favourites?
– Proactive actors
– Actors who are always at workshops and classes and constantly learning and training.
– Quirky actors
– Dangerous actors
– And actors who network
Any final thoughts?
“…have a very good clear colour Headshot, an up-to-date Resume, and a good short but interesting showreel. DEFINATLY be on Spotlight (www.spotlight.com) and Casting Networks (http://cni.castingnetworks.
Want to know more about Marlowes. You can check them out here:
2 thoughts on “Agent calling”
Very interesting. It seems certain rules apply both in the UK and in the US. Yea, who would like to know your name if you don't know theirs? I think this is not just actor/agent relationship, this is politeness and consideration.
I loved the post.
I'm also a professional actor and I have a blog where I write on acting and everything else related to it.
If you're interested in what I write, I would love to have your comments and feedback, and I would love to have you as a follower.
Thanks for posting this. Very useful, for when I'm back in London.
Good stuff Ange. Although I tend to think 'expert' opinions are generally worthless in this industry, the trait of an actor seeking to better oneself – whoever one chooses to ask – is the most admirable quality and you've always been one to do this.
Sorry I haven't been keeping up with your blogs but once this doco is done and I'm back in LA, I'm all over them like white on (white) rice. 😀