If you’ve been taking acting classes for a while, you’re probably starting to dream of the day when you’ll get cast in an episode of Chicago Fire or land a big, juicy national commercial. For that to happen, and believe us, it can, you need to have a talent agent. But how exactly do you go about getting an agent? There are many agents in Chicago, but the process of getting one can seem daunting and overwhelming.
Actually, getting an agent is a lot easier than you think. But before you get an agent, you need to get these three things in order:
- Create an Acting Resume
Once you’ve been in a few shows, it’s time to create a professional acting resume. It’s important that your resume follow the standard template. For an example, click here.
- Get a Professional Headshot
This needs to be taken by a professional photographer, not your roommate’s brother. Make sure the headshot is current, too. More details on how to take a good headshot.
- Memorize a Monologue
Although this isn’t always required, it is becoming more common for agents to ask new actors to come in and do a monologue to be considered. So make sure you have at least one monologue ready to go for any audition. Trying to memorize one the night before is not a good idea.
Ok, now that you have that done, here are the steps to take to get an agent.
- Get in a Show
Not only is it good to have several theater credits on your resume, but also most good agents are constantly going out to see live theater, either to look for new talent or to support one of their clients, so if an agent is in the audience, he or she may be interested in representing you after seeing you on stage.
- Ask Your Friends Who Have Agents to Recommend You
The quickest and most direct way to get an agent is to ask your actor friends who already have agents to recommend you. It doesn’t matter if you are in class with them or have performed in a show with them or not. Just ask them if they would be willing to introduce you their agent. Trust us, the hardest part is the asking, and if you can get over that, we have found that this is the fastest and most reliable way to get representation.But remember, every agent works differently. Once your friend recommends you, the agent may ask you to call him or her directly, or write a letter saying you are friends with the person. It all depends on the relationship that your friend has with the agent.
- Do a Mailing
Not as easy as having a friend vouch for you, but this a tried and true way of getting an agent. Send them your acting resume along with a short, punchy cover letter that says you are seeking representation. (And if you are in a show, by all means mention it; agents like to see that you are working.)
Most likely you will hear nothing at first, so be persistent. Just realize that if they don’t respond, it has nothing do with your talent; agents are busy people. Don’t give up. If you don’t hear back, send out another mailer. We encourage you to be clever, be funny, but be brief. You want to stand out and not end up in the garbage.
Talent Agents in Chicago
Here is a list of some of the talent agents here in Chicago that can send you out for TV, film and commercial auditions:
Actors Talent Group Inc.
Shirley Hamilton, Inc.