A talent agent is an absolute must for making it in the film and television industry! There are many businesses out there who will lead you to believe that you can make it in the film and television business without having a talent agent. This is simply not true. It is 100% mandatory that you have not only a talent agent working for you but they must also be well established with industry trust and connections. And the number one reason is this: you as an actor do not have access to the breakdowns a.k.a. the job postings.
What are the breakdowns?
The breakdowns are in essence the Craigslist of the acting world. Everyday casting directors from all over town go on to breakdowns and post the characters that they are looking for, in the particular show or movie that they happen to be casting at the time. An example of a breakdown might look something like this:
Cop – Male – 20-30 – Ethnically ambiguous. Good looking but with an edge. He has been on the force for over three years now and is definitely not happy with the way things are going. Actor must be available on June 3. Guest star role.
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know what it is that they are looking for. But the one thing that you need to have in order to submit to this job is access. You need to have access to the breakdowns and you as an actor don’t. Only a talent agent or manager can you go on to breakdown services and submit you for this role. Then they can get on the phone and call the casting office and beg them to see you, and if they have a relationship with the office then you might have a very good shot! That is why it is crucial that your main focus should not only be having an agent but it should be having an agent who will submit you to this role if you fit the criteria.
What about the sites that advertise that I can submit myself with a talent agent?
There are many sites that will lead you to believe that you can submit yourself to projects and for the most part they’re not lying. But what they are not telling you is that the real jobs, the paying jobs, the jobs you want to be working such as Scandal or Modern Family, those jobs postings will not be on those sites. The casting director is from those shows will not work with actors who are not repped by an agency. Period. That’s the way the system is set up and for very good reason.
You see, even on a simple job as we mentioned above I casting director will receive on average over 2000 submissions from legit agents and managers. Imagine how many submissions they would have to look through if they opened up the system and allowed anybody to send in their headshot and resume. It would be a complete disaster. So, in order to run actors through a vetting process, they first want to make sure that an actor has been able to secure a representation for themselves. This gives the actor credibility.
So, don’t stop until you are represented by an agency that is constantly getting you out there. And if you want to mass submit, sign up for a free account now and get your face out there!