Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Top 3 Ways to Get A Talent Agent

Wendy Alane Wright with Talent Agent Fatmata Kamara of Abrams Artists Agency

Wendy Alane Wright is a Hollywood talent manager and the president of WAW Entertainment. Her clients have appeared on television networks such as ABC, NBC, TNT, CBS, Comedy Central, BIO, Lifetime, and more. They have booked TV shows including “Modern Family,” “Blackish,” “Extant,” “The Colony,” “Animal Kingdom,” “My Haunted House,” "Nightshift," "Walk The Prank," and “Henry Danger,” as well as hundreds of commercials for major spots including Shutterfly, Mercedes, Visa, Taco Bell, Honda, Legos, Hot Wheels, and many more. Prior to being a manager and a talent agent at Burn Down Entertainment, Wright assisted many high profile managers, agents, and publicists. For 20 years she was a recording artist, actor, and music producer, and is now the author of five books called, “Secrets of a Hollywood Talent Manager.” Wright teaches the business of acting all over the country and is on the faculty of the New York Studio for Stage and Screen in North Carolina For years she has appeared in numerous magazines, and on radio shows and talk shows including “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Wendy is also a Recording Artist, Actress, Author and Music Producer all  giving her a 360-degree perspective of the industry.

Do you want to get a Theatrical Agent's attention? Here's one of my favorite secrets; Start getting CALLBACKS!

What is a Call Back? A Call Back is what you get when you do a great job in your audition. Actors get call backs to come back in and read a 2nd or 3rd time for producers, directors, studios and networks. Getting a Callback is VERY IMPORTANT and means you did something right in the first audition that the Casting Directors liked, and they think the big wigs will like it too. So, Actors go back in and do the exact same thing they did in the 1st audition to give other people a chance to see what the Casting Director saw.

Actors who get callbacks are closer to actually getting the job than the actors who did not get a call back. Usually a Casting Director will see 20-100 people for each role in the pre-read  (audition) and only a handful of actors will be called back. You want to be one of those. When you are getting a lot of callback you are seriously in the running for a job and are more likely to make an agent money than the actors who are not getting call backs.

When Agents sign actors, they see within a year which actors are getting callbacks. The actors who are not getting call backs are typically dropped  by their agents at the end of 1 year. So if you are getting a lot of call backs they would much rather have you on their roster than the actors who are  not getting callbacks. Make sense? If you are getting callbacks and their own clients are not...you will become very interesting to agents.

So lets get started....

Start building your resume with THEATER. Here is a resume of a 16 year old in Kentucky. She is serious about becoming an actor and her resume PROVES it. Look at the training she has had and the theater she has done. How does yours compare?  Click on this link to see Alicen's resume. This is what you need to start building your resume into.

Then, submit yourself like crazy for projects on Actors Access, La Casting and Backstage - get out there auditioning for Low Budget Films, Webisodes, and Shorts. You will book some along the way. Remember to always add these important credits to your resume to continue to build your credibility as an actor.

(SIDE NOTE: You really should be subscribing to Backstage.com if you aren't already. It is full of audition notices and chock full of acting business articles that will greatly expand your understand of this business. If you are not constantly reading how this business works you will have a difficult time navigating it. Remember, you are a business owner. You are the CEO of your company. And YOU are the product. Nobody runs a business on a wing and a prayer. Do your research.)

To continue...so your out auditioning like crazy and booking some jobs. Then what? Keep track of your callbacks. Every single time you get a callback send a postcard to your target agents letting them know you got a callback for...and write name the specific project and the casting director. Do not be vague. Don't say "I am getting a lot of callbacks" Instead, be very specific and say:

Hi Mark, I just a callback for "The Prodigy" with casting Director Fern Champion. Would love to meet with you! 

When YOU are getting callbacks NOW you have something wonderful to offer! It will distinguish you from the pack of wannabe actors who have a dream but no proof of concept. When you are getting callbacks for most of you theatrical auditions that's the time to get an agent. Create a list of 5 - 10 Agents you want to meet. You can create this list by getting the book "THE RIGHT AGENT" from Samuel French Bookstore either online or in Hollywood. The book lists Talent Agencies, agent's names, address and often email. Below each Agency is a description of the types of clients they represent; kids, teens or adults, union or non union. Often they also list what they are specifically looking for right now; 18 to play younger, ethnic looking, character types or leading man, etc.

Read through the entire book, highlight the agencies that may be right for your type! Make a list of 5-10 Agents that are accepting submissions from your type and send them your Headshot, Resume and demo reel to introduce yourself. Put links to your website and/or IMDB page. Be sure to tell them what acting jobs you have booked, call backs you have gotten recently and where you are training. Then follow up with that same agent every 3 months and continue to tell them what acting jobs you have booked and the call backs you have gotten recently. It often takes several contacts with an agent before they will be willing to see you. You have to prove to them that you are booking and getting callbacks and can MAKE THEM MONEY. This is a business and they are not a charity. They want actors who can make them money, period.

SHOWCASE I always suggest if your target agents are attending showcases... go perform in front of them. Nothing makes an impact like a live acting performance. They need to see you do great work. Make sure you choose a light, or funny scene to present. Nothing heavy or dark. A good laugh goes along way. Get coached on your scene before you put it up. Showcase for these agents so they can see your acting live then follow up with a phone call or email asking of you can set up a meeting with them, If you don't ask you won't get anywhere. You won't always get a yes but you will only get a yes if you ask.

If you are in Los Angeles you can coach with these great coaches! (myself included) 

Wendy Alane Wright  wawentertainment@yahoo.com
Gloria Garayua             Gloria Garayua@gmail.com
Kimberly Crandall        Kimberely_Crandall@hotmail.com
Josh Latzer                    Joshlatzer@yahoo.com
Rodney Rowland          Rodrlan@aol.com

SKYPE COACHING - If you are outside of Los Angeles:
Gloria Garayua and Wendy Alane Wright do Skype Coaching. So you can work with us from anywhere, just email visit out websites for rates and times. secretsofahollywoodtalentmanager.com and  gloriagarayua.com


Good luck. And remember, follow your dreams and don't let ANYONE discourage you or get in your way. Have faith in yourself and keep on going. You can do it!

Get 3 FREE chapters of my new book "Breaking Into Show Business; Secrets Of A Hollywood Talent Manager." 

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