1) Mailing Your Headshot/Resume
I’m sure most of you have heard many opinions about mass-mailing your headshots and resumes around town. Mailing is a very old-fashioned way of getting discovered by an agent, and some discourage it, but in my personal experience, it can actually be effective. The first step is to make sure that you have a great headshot and a well formatted resume. If you’re seeking theatrical (TV & Film or Theatre) representation, then make sure you mail your theatrical headshot. If you’re seeking commercial representation, make sure you send your commercial headshot. We’ll be talking more about the difference between theatrical and commercial headshots in our future blogs so stay tuned.
When using this method, I highly recommend using envelopes with a large front “window” so that agents can see through your headshot. This way, you make your first impression right away, encouraging the agent to actually open your envelope when they may not have, had they not seen your great headshot already. Now even if the agent doesn’t open your mailing, you’ve already made your first impression… They’ve seen your face! In my experience, using windowed envelopes really helps increase your chances of getting called in by an agent.
The next step is to write a personalized cover letter which should include a) the agents name (ex. Mr. Smith), b) what you’re seeking (ex. I’m seeking theatrical representation) and c) a very short bio. Please make sure that your bio is only a few phrases and that it includes important remarks about your career, like your credits, recent bookings, union status, your acting training (ex. Studied with leading casting directors, Adrienne Stern, Kim Graham and Matthew Glasner at Acting & Voice Studios), and your social media followers (if you have more than 10K).
Include your headshot, resume and cover letter and mail it out. You can find agents address as well as their category (theatrical or commercial) on IMDBpro.
2) Emailing Your Headshot/Resume
Now let’s take everything you just did and repeat the process online by sending your acting package to agents via email. In the subject line, you can describe what you’re seeking like, “Theatrical Representation” or “Commercial Representation.” Include your cover letter into the body of the email and attach your headshot and resume. You can also find many agent email addresses on IMDBpro, however not all agents list their email addresses to protect their privacy. If an agent doesn’t list their specific email address, you can also look for the company email address on IMDBpro and try sending it there.
Referrals are a great way of getting signed by an agent. If you know someone who’s signed by an agent or who knows an agent well, ask them if they can refer you or if you could use their name when sending their agent an email. Then use their name in the subject line to increase the chances that the agent will open your email. Email subject line example: Referral from Anna Smith.
4) Agent Workshops and Showcases
These can all be effective ways to get an agent, but perhaps the most effective is to do classes with the agents themselves. There you can showcase your talents in-person and create a long lasting relationship. Building strong relationships in the industry, in general, can be pivotal to the success of your acting career. Instead of just seeing your headshot and resume, in a workshop, agents get to see you act and get to know you as a person. So make sure you are prepared to make a great impression. At Acting & Voice Studios, we offer a variety of agent masterclasses, intensives and showcases featuring only leading NYC agents like, Abrams Artists, CESD, Buchwald Agency, Gersh Agency, Paradigm, Avalon Artists, DDO, Carson Kolker, The Krasny Office, Take 3 Talent and many more. These classes are taught by agents and are great places to showcase your talent, but we also offer classes to train you for these agent workshops so that you can make that great first impression. You can find the full list of our upcoming agent workshops and showcases at our website at: https://www.actingandvoicestudios.com/