Whether you’re an aspiring actor or a would-be model, there’s one thing you’ll need to succeed in the entertainment industry no matter how skilled you are — a great talent agency. Sure, we might be slightly biassed in our view here, but there’s no denying the fact that every single successful actor or model has a talent agency at their back making sure that they’re getting the best opportunities out there.
But finding a good talent agency can be a tough job and finding the right talent agency even tougher.
With dodgy agencies seeming to pop up left right and centre, it’s no surprise that actors and models looking to launch their fledgling careers are more than a little apprehensive about signing with an agency. With this in mind, we’ve created this quick guide to finding a talent agency you can trust so you can start off your career on the right foot.
What to Look Out for
Before you head to any auditions or start sending out resumes, it’s important to understand what you should be looking out for. Here are the main aspects you should consider.
Your ideal agency should be easy to talk to and eager to share everything you want to know about their work processes, their clients, and their success stories. If a talent agency is holding back information or keeping certain details on the down low, there is a reason why and it’s probably not a good one. Whether it’s dodgy practices or sketchy contracts, a lack of transparency is a major red flag.
Remember, while you are trying to sell yourself to the agency, the agency is also selling itself to you. So don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions and expect to get some reasonable and detailed answers!
If you feel pressure to sign on the spot or are rushed into making a decision, this could be an indicator that something isn’t quite right. A great talent agency (like Hunter Talent) will never rush your decision.
Ask the agency what kind of goals you should have in your career and see if the agent’s answers align with yours. No matter how much you may want to win an Oscar or hit the runway at Australia’s top fashion events within the next year, the agency should have a more achievable goal in mind.
This is why we always tell would-be models and actors to beware the promise of success. Some less-than-reputable agencies will promise the world on a platter or even just continued work each and every month. Trust us, this is an impossible guarantee to make as the very nature of the entertainment industry means that there will always be quiet periods when there aren’t too many opportunities for work. And this is true no matter how experienced you are as an actor or model.
Values that Align with Yours
Yes, this is actually a very important aspect of talent representation that very few aspiring actors and models think of when looking to sign with an agency. You need to know that the agency’s values align with yours. For example, some agencies may be super eager to put you forward for any work at all just to get you out there. This could see you offered assignments that you may not be comfortable with. This is why the great communication we mentioned earlier is so very important between you and your talent agency.
Remember, as much as you want to be discovered and earn your big break, you should always stay true to your values. If you don’t want to do a certain type of modelling or acting work, then the agency should be perfectly okay with that.
The talent industry is surprisingly close-knit and casting directors know pretty much all there is to know about each and every talent agency out there. This means that they know the good from the bad and will quite often actively avoid working with those that have anything less than a stellar reputation.
As you can imagine, this is why choosing your talent agency is such a major decision and why you really need to take your time to ensure that it’s the right choice. Even if you apply for auditions yourself, once a casting director finds out that you are represented by a less-than-reputable talent agency, they probably won’t consider you at all. Guilty by association of sorts.
But this also works the other way around. If the talent agency has a great reputation, then the casting director or anyone looking for talent will assume that the models and actors at the agency (you) are reliable and high quality.
Clients and Success Stories
We totally understand that not every agency will have clients that read like a who’s who of the entertainment industry. But they should have at least a few names that you can instantly recognise. Whether these clients are local production companies or big international fashion brands doesn’t matter. What matters is that the agency can show you that they have worked consistently with recognisable brands over the years.
What’s even better is when a talent agency can share a few success stories with you such as a model who has worked on a major ad campaign or an actor who has featured in a TV show or feature film. These are the stories that truly show what the talent agency is capable of.
Acting and modelling is a business, there are no two ways about it. So there’s absolutely nothing wrong with asking the agency straight up about money. While they won’t be able to tell you with any degree of certainty how much money you will earn, they will be able to tell you exactly how much their fees and commissions are.
A talent agency won’t usually have its commission rates on its website, as these rates depend a great deal on the type of work you are doing. However, if you ask, you will be given a range which is usually from 10% to 20% and how the various types of work can affect those rates.
Any talent agency that fluffs their lines when asked this question is one to avoid.
How to Get Signed by the Best Talent Agency
Now that you know what you are looking for, you’ll need to impress the agency with your skills and enthusiasm. Any talent agency worth its salt will ask you to come in for a face-to-face interview or a Zoom interview. The idea here is to get to know you and see if you are a good fit for the agency.
While this can be a nerve-racking time, there are certain steps you can take to avoid common mistakes and make a good impression.
Arrive on Time
You wouldn’t show up late for an interview for a regular job, so don’t do it here. Showing up late gives the impression that you aren’t really interested, or worse; you’re unreliable. A talent agency will only want to represent an actor or model that is going to show up on time for their assignments because anything less than this very basic necessity reflects very poorly on the agency.
If you are an actor, we suggest having a monologue prepared that you can perform if asked to. While this is not an audition, the talent agency may want to see how you might handle an audition scenario. So rather than doing a cold reading of something handed to you, have your own monologue prepped and ready to go.
If you are a model, then it’s a good idea to have a few poses ready just in case the agent meeting with you wants to take a few photos. This doesn’t have to be anything too complicated, just some simple modelling poses will do.
You should also have a good think about your career goals and be ready to talk about them if asked. After all, the agency is supposed to help you with those so it’s a good idea to know exactly what they are.
Cool it on the Chit Chat
Again, while this may be a very informal setting, you should treat it just like you would an interview. This means that you understand that the agent is a very busy person and that their time is valuable. Sure, you can answer whatever questions are asked of you and you can ask your own questions about the agency. But try not to go off on any tangents or get bogged down in details that aren’t really all that important at this stage. For example, asking about rates and contracts = good. Talking about that one time you saw Elle McPherson in the mall = bad.
Likewise, you shouldn’t over-share too much about yourself. At this point your financial situation or relationship status is irrelevant to the agency. However, your work situation might be as this can affect your ability to attend auditions and work assignments.
Find Your Ideal Acting and Modelling Agency
Think of everything we said above and don’t be afraid to be super picky before signing with an agency. Remember, this is your career and your decision could have a major impact on your development as a model or actor. So don;t rush into anything and take your time to find your ideal acting and modelling agency.
Here’s a quick shortcut though (and just a little self promotion!)
You can save yourself a whole lot of time and effort by getting in touch with Hunter Talent today. We’re not going to promise that we’re the perfect fit for you, but we can guarantee that we are reputable, have great clients, and will work our socks off for you if we end up working together. So what are you waiting for?
Want to break into the world of modelling and acting?
Our agency is dedicated to helping aspiring models and actors achieve their dreams. We have a team of experienced industry professionals who will guide you every step of the way, from helping you create a portfolio to finding the right auditions and casting opportunities. With us, you’ll have access to a wide network of industry contacts, and we’ll provide the support and guidance you need to succeed. Don’t miss this opportunity to kickstart your career.