Finding an Agent

 

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So you’ve finished your degree or diploma in performance and you are now ready to set sails on the magnificent world of acting. Now all you need to do is to go to auditions, book a few gigs and bob’s your uncle. Sounds easy enough… The only problem is, you have no access to any audition information. So who has this information? Agents!

Another easy step you think… Until you realize that you don’t know any South African acting agencies. This information wasn’t made available to you when you were getting your degree in acting. This opens up a whole new set of problems for you before you even get started with fighting your way to a prosperous career! Who do you call? Where do you get their information? Do they have any requirements? Are they a reputable company? WHERE DO YOU BEGIN?!

Lucky for you I have fought the battle already and can help you skip a few nasty steps. The best place to go look for an agency is The Personal Managers’ Association website. Click on the Members tab. There you will find a complete list of all reputable agencies in South Africa. This includes their contact number, email address and website. I just saved you hours of googling ­čśë

Now you have all the options in the world (or at least SA), but this creates a whole new set of problems. Who do you pick? This is where you as an artist have to do a bit of homework. You have to go to every single member’s website and check them out. Look at what each agency specializes in. Some agencies are known for booking more stage gigs, others are specialized in the film industry. Contact all of them, see what they can offer you. You might not gel with a certain individual and then there is no point in them having to represent you.

This is where you have to sit down and decide what kind of artist you are and who will be the best agency to help you get to where you want to be. They need to understand you and respect you in order to advance your career. So make sure you make the right choice.

Don’t be put off by the occasional “No”. Just because you didn’t get into a certain agent’s books, doesn’t mean you won’t be perfect for another. Just remember that agents are extremely busy people too. Just be patient. The “Yes” will come.

Make sure to make a good impression when an agent invites you to an interview and be on time. (Being on time in the entertainment world means that you are always early). Be yourself. An agent needs to get a good idea of who you are in order to see whether or not they will be able to represent you.

One last thing… If you ever have to pay an agent up front to join the agency, they aren’t worth it. A proper agent will only make money when you make money, that’s the standard.

Happy hunting!

SmkClaven

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The South African Entertainment Industry

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It has come to my attention that South Africa has very limited resources when it comes to the entertainment industry especially when it comes to building a career out of it.

In 2013 I started my career as a professional actor / entertainer and as a fresh faced university graduate, I had a lot of questions… Where do I go? Who do I talk to? What’s the next step? How will I become a professional and build a rewarding career out of our entertainment industry?

One thing we all know how to do these days, and is our number one “go to” source, is Google. I tirelessly searched the internet for any information I could find regarding acting and the local entertainment world, to no avail…

 

There is a wealth of information available on the American and international film industries, but nothing that could help me in South Africa with regards to who to talk to to get ahead.

It seems though that the South African entertainment industry is kind of like a best kept national secret. Unless you know someone or at least know someone who knows someone, you simply won’t get any information, statistics or contact information. Not online at least. This was very strange to me… South Africa’s entertainment industry is booming now more than ever and you would think that the industry┬áwould make certain information available to help grow the industry even more. Surely the more people understand the trade, the more people can buy into it and expand it, but no…

I especially thought that, after studying acting at AFDA and receiving a Degree in acting I would at least have some sort of privilege to certain information to get me ahead. Maybe that was a bit naive of me, but that’s how I felt at the time. I had put a lot of money, energy and hard work into building a solid foundation. I thought that set me apart from a few people. But I was as lost as any person who had never set foot in the entertainment world.

It ┬áis because of this lack of information that I thought I would share my experiences openly with anyone who wish to know a thing or two. I might only have booked a few acting gigs and seen a few important people, but I can at least share this information with someone who needs it. When you are faced with the big bad world, any information will do! Heck I wish I had the opportunity to read a blog of someone in the South African entertainment industry who could guide me. Even the celebrities we do have, are very quiet…

So in the next few posts I will be discussing everything I have learnt thus far, especially from an acting point of view. I hope my experiences will not only provide information to those who need it, but also start a culture of sharing… So that the generation after us won’t have to fight so hard for a bit of information.

SmkClaven