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 😉
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.