A Handbook for Hollywood, Part 2 of 3: An insider’s guide on how to land the perfect agentĀ 

Now, where were we?…Oh, yes, how did I manage to get Lakey Wolf (at CESD, NY) as my agent? It’s simple really. I did exactly what you did, or what you are doing rather. However, there is the right and wrong way to approach any agent regardless of how well known that agent (or agency) may be. Remember the words of Yoda, “Judge me by my size, do you?”

To book a SAG franchised agent you must first and foremost know what to say, when to say it, and, most importantly HOW to say it. What do I mean? What you need to remember is that every agent wants to represent talent that is marketable, intellgent, well spoken, educated, who takes direction well, and is who knowledgeable about the entertainment industry as a whole. Just remember the old saying, “Knowledge is power!” and everything will go according to plan. Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration? You see, even the best laid plans can go aire. Thus you must always have a contingency plan, or back up plan rather.

Let’s start with the basics – a headshot, resume, website and demo reel. Now, hold up! A word of caution before we continue: DO NOT submit to any agency without ALL of the things listed herein. All you will inevitably do is prove your incompetence and thus there goes your chance at being taken seriously.

Still, even if you have a demo reel you most likely don’t meet the “submission guidelines.” You see every agent has different submission policies. Now, how do you know what each agencies submission policy is? Well, you call and ask. It is that simple. Once you know what to submit then go ahead and submit it.

It’s normal to want to call an agent after submitting and following up about the status of your submission. Don’t! Never call an agent ask ask, “Hi. I wanted to know if you received my headshot?” That is a deal breaker. Just wait and be patient. Sometimes it can take up to six weeks before you will get a reply.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to designing both your headshot and website is to never misrepresent yourself. In others words make sure you look like you. Stay away from glamour pictures as a primary headshot unless you are specifically looking to get into modeling. Use only professional headshots that represent the “real” you. Do not use provocative pictures that portray you standing in a studio half nude under a hot light. Agents are not matchmakers. They (agents) want you is to be professional, reliable and trustworthy. Later on in this blog series I will tell you more about creating and developing  your image, and why it’s important.

Know what the different types of headshots are before submitting to an agent. If you send a headshot to an agent who casts commcerials and you are posing in a suit with your hands in your pockets and a hard glare in your eye, they will send you to a modeling division. You will ask them why and, of course, they won’t tell you but I will. Simply put: to be cast in commercials you need a “commcerial headshot.” What does that mean? Well, think about it…What do you see more often then not in commercials? Don’t know? I’ll tell you – a smile. So, to get cast in commercials send in commercial headshot with a nice, bright white smile.

Your website should be simple. If your not already established don’t pretend that you are. An agent will ignore your website if they feel you are trying to hard to impress them. Though, that doesn’t mean that your website should be ugly. 

That does it for now…Until next time.