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Once they've finished training, most performers usually join a talent agency in order to be put up for casting. When casting for a show, the directors will usually inform all casting agencies in London and around the country of the specifications for their wanted actor. The agency will then search their records for any similar or matching profiles and refer their client to the audition or casting session.
An agent will usually take a certain amount from their client's pay check, usually around 10-15%, and will endeavour to find work for clients in the field of work that they prefer. It is important to choose the right agency or casting associates for you: small or new agents might not get the quickest notice of auditions, or not know much about HOW the industry works – and large agencies may have too many clients or too high-ranking clients for you to get noticed.
Therefore, you need to pick the one that you feel comfortable with. If selected, the agency will help you with the business side of your profession: they will help you choose the right headshot, discuss the type of work you want to do, help you produce showreels and voice samples for your Spotlight and will share their contacts with you, where appropriate.
A true talent casting agency will never ask for money, before you have started your first job.
Listed below are a couple of agencies that have a good hold in the industry.
Williamson & HolmesWebsite
Jorg Betts Associates
Conway Van GelderWebsite
Burnett Granger AssociatesWebsite
So – we have looked at a few agencies, working in London, to provide opportunities for their clients working in all aspects of the Performing world. While these agents may correspond mainly to the Acting world, there are also many agents working in the Dance world to provide dancers with representation. LSC Management, Betty Laine Management and the Stella Mann Casting Agency are all prime examples.
Getting an agent and getting on the books is not an easy task. It requires a lot of mailing, talking to casting agencies, making CVs, printing headshot for distribution and so on. The Business of Acting can sometimes be a costly and never-ending struggle.
Written and donated by Alex Nair