What is the best way for an actor to get your attention if seeking representation?
When emailing in regards to representation with StevensonWithers, make sure you have something to say rather than a general “I’m looking for representation.” What is most important when sending an email is the format in which it is written. Emails need to be clear, concise, and straight to the point. For example, emailing us to invite us to a play, or to have a look at your new headshots, or to tell us you’re in an episode of Doctors/Casualty/EastEnders etc. that is airing on a particular day is worth letting us know. This means you have a story to share with us and it grabs our attention.
A huge red flag is when an actor sends in a general email, which is not addressed to us personally and is obviously sent out as a mass email; know your audience. Take the time to research each agency.
However, for us I guess it really just depends what we are looking for and what’s casting at the time. I think that our industry is similar to the fashion industry – there are waves of different trends.
Do you think it’s essential to have a showreel if you’re approaching an agency like StevensonWithers?
No, I don’t think it’s essential, although not all other agents would agree with me. You are better off having no showreel than a bad or makeshift showreel. If you are a graduate or new to the industry then it’s understandable that you may not have a showreel. If we are interested, we can always ask the actor to put himself or herself on tape so we can see what they look like on camera.
What can an actor do that makes for a great meeting with an agent?
From the minute you walk into an agency, always be polite to everyone you meet and speak to, as you don’t know who is who.
When you have secured a meeting, we are not only judging you on your talent, but also how you come across in the room. After all, how you are with us in the meeting is how we will perceive you’ll come across in a casting.
An actor should always be prepared. Don’t come too late or too early. Know the company. Have your CV to hand us, along with a variety of printed headshots and a list of industry people you’ve met.
What do you expect from your clients?
Having an Agent/Actor relationship is like a marriage. It’s teamwork!
There needs to be trust, honesty, and commitment from both sides. So when you’re waiting around for that phone call to tell you that you have an audition, you need to be ready.
Be on top of your game by:
- Going to workshops with casting directors
- Doing your research on what’s casting
- Taking acting classes
- Practicing self-taping
- Doing cold reading practice
- Learning accents
There are tons of things you can be doing as an actor; these are just a few suggestions.
I understand that these can all add up in terms of cost, but there are cheap and cheerful ways of being on top of your game. For example, it’s not expensive to get together with a group of actor friends and work on scripts from home. You can download scripts from the internet and practise doing self-tapes and cold reads.
What is one thing you wish all actors knew about being an agent?
You wouldn’t believe the amount of hard work we put into our job. Being an agent is 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It can be hard to imagine when you’re an actor waiting around for your next audition, but we don’t stop working when you’re not working. When you’re not earning, we’re not earning, so we are on your side!