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MN ACTORS ACADEMY

  • Thomas Newton

How to get an acting agent in the UK (cont'd)

Ability and practice play a crucial role in the pursuit of a professional acting career; however, without a representative, opportunities for more prominent roles may be restricted. Possessing an advocate ensures proactive job searches, contract discussions, and timely payment. The process of securing a representative may appear daunting; thus, if you are uncertain about initiating the process, we are here to provide guidance on how to get an acting agent in the UK.


An exceptional agent excels at juggling various responsibilities, such as discovering audition opportunities, advocating on your behalf, and fostering your professional growth. By leveraging their established relationships with casting professionals, producers, and directors, agents ensure that the appropriate individuals notice you— a feat that might be more challenging to accomplish independently.


Upon securing a role in the acting industry, your representative will serve as a liaison between you and the production firm, coordinating aspects such as lodging, transportation, and addressing potential concerns such as remuneration. A seasoned agent brings years of expertise to the table and contributes substantially to the foundation of your professional journey. Furthermore, they become your primary source of advice and encouragement.


In the United Kingdom, the standard commission rate for talent representatives ranges from 15% to 20%; requests exceeding this amount should raise suspicion. Be aware that a credible agent will not impose initial fees or membership charges. Actors with agency representation tend to be required to enroll on Spotlight, the UK's most extensive casting network.





Numerous performers without representatives secure paid roles independently, with the internet serving as an ideal starting point. Online casting platforms offer daily audition listings, which can help develop your resume and compile material for your showreel.


Prominent UK casting websites consist of:

Participating in courses and workshops led by industry experts can further refine your skills and expand your network, as you never know who you may encounter. Ensure you have accounts on all pertinent social media channels, as casting calls are frequently shared through these platforms. Regularly consult IMDb to stay informed on shows in pre-production, and submit your CV, headshot, and showreel to the respective casting director. Although they may not respond immediately, they could consider you for upcoming projects.


Initially, ascertain their preferred mode of communication; adhere to their preference if it is specified as email. Your email should contain a cover letter/email, a link to your profile or website, a headshot and if you have zero experience, most importantly of all include a showreel. Highlight any supplementary skills on your CV, such as equestrian abilities, singing, juggling, or a driver's license, to distinguish yourself.


Personalise your cover letter, and include the rationale behind why you are contacting each particular agency. Keep the letter concise and proofread before sending; include an invitation to a production you are participating in if applicable.

Avoid sending your email to a generic address; consult Contacts Listings if the agent's website does not provide contact information. If you receive no response, send a follow-up email after a few weeks; one follow-up is sufficient.


 


If you are asked to meet an agent:

Allocate ample time for commuting to the appointment, as tardiness can negatively impact first impressions. Ensure your appearance matches your headshot, refraining from dramatic alterations. Don’t try and devise a list of too many inquiries to facilitate engaging dialogue, instead evaluate your compatibility and have. an open and honest conversation.


Do do your research on the agency:

  • Research the types of actors they represent and discuss anyone of interest. The careers of the actors on that particular agency, who you admire.

  • Notice the types of projects their actors are getting involved in and again discuss if there was something you have watched and enjoyed.

  • Do ask about their commission structure as that is something you won’t be able to find online.

If they extend an offer (congratulations!), thoroughly review the contract and seek expert assistance if necessary. Take the time to find the most suitable agent rather than hastily accepting the initial proposal. Always keep the fundamental principle in mind: An agent is NOT employed by you, many websites will say otherwise but trust us when we say that no agent will appreciate you treating them like a employee - especially if you are just starting out, have no/little professional experience and your agent spends countless hours in the first two or three years essentially representing you for free while you gain experience.


We hope the above helps answer the question of how to get an acting agent in the UK. On a different note, MN Academy is a sub-division of Middleweek Newton Talent Management a leading boutique agency in the UK. Join our classes, learn the art of screen acting, build a reel and showcase your talent.


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