Agent Pie Part 1 – Do You Need One or More?
- 1 well Trained Voice Actor
- Add something unique
- 1 Agent whose roster isn’t full
- 1 Creative Marketing Plan
- 1 Direct Connection
Blend until you can break through, but don’t let this recipe sit too long, you must keep up with your recipe for the best results
If you started your career at least 10 years ago or more, I am sure you’re of the mind set that all you have to do is get a good agent, and you’re good to go. Those of you who started many years ago, probably still have the same agent and may be finding a very successful career with only one representation, but if you’ve started your career in the last 9 years or so, you may find it next to impossible to book that one agent and even if you do find that one agent, having a full time wage with one representation is now extremely rare.
There is a big challenge and misconception when it comes to today’s voice market and agents. First off many years ago there were only a select amount of voice talent out there, so as long as you were talented, creative and good at business communication, getting an agent wasn’t too difficult. The proof was in the talent, not the experience. At that time talent didn’t have home studios and clients weren’t willing to even consider going outside of an agency or local studio to hire a voice actor. But alas times have taken a drastic turn.
In today’s market you can have more than one agent. Agents aren’t a big fan of this of course, but as it stands you can have an agent in each city, state/province and country, unless of course your agent has signed you to an exclusivity contract. This will allow them to govern you for all projects. Although this is great for the agent, this isn’t ideal for today’s talent. When you are only pursuing the local market and not the global market, then this kind of contract is great, but if you are an at home talent, having more than one representation can be a good thing.
Here are some things to consider:
Most North American agents go through casting sites such as Casting Workbook and Actors Access. This will mean that if you have more than one agent, you may find that you have the same audition coming from many agents. Most agents will want you to only submit through one agent. Some don’t care, but I recommend only submitting through one agent for each audition. I make that decision by first come first serve.
If you don’t have an agent, then you have no one to help you with industry standards, difficult clients, contracts etc. It’s great to have an agent, so this isn’t a step I would bypass.
Many of you will assume that the agent doesn’t do enough to justify the 20% plus commission that they charge, but I strongly encourage that you consider what a day in the life of an agent is like. Imagine contacting (whether through email or phone) 50 plus people in a day for an audition, only to have many of them request changes of audition times, script questions etc. Now consider the job is worth $500.00. They agent has spent a ton of time with the client or on the casting to find the right talent, be ready for questions and changes etc., then they submit the talent only to find out that 15 other agents were also contacted. By the end of the day the agent has put in several hours without any pay vying for that $100.00 only to learn that by day two the client chose a different agent. Now lets add 10 auditions to their day!
Trust me, the agent works hard for the money and at the times that it seems they aren’t, eventually they will put in more time than they are paid for. Of course they profit and can keep in business when you book long-term contracts or high paying jobs. They need to make money after all.
So how do you find and maintain a relationship with an agent? Look for Agent Pie Part 2 to learn more.