I think any agent will tell you that the question they get asked the most is, “How do I join?” I’ve certainly found that to be true since opening Casting 101 in 2014.
The question will come in all different forms such as the very short and very annoying, “Am Interested”. To the very innocent, “I’ve never done anything like this before!”
Each agency will have their preferred way of being contacted and each agency has their own style of working but the information we need from you will more or less be the same:
- How old are you?
- Height and clothing sizes.
- Do you reside in Cape Town?
- Are you available to attend castings in the week within working hours?
- Are you signed with any other agency?
- Do you have any experience?
- Clear photos of yourself.
Depending on the type of agency they might want more information regarding specific sizes and experience or diplomas or portfolios. Other agencies, if not most, will ask if you have a TAX number as it is now the law that every artist must have one in order to be paid. But more about that in another blog post.
Those are the facts that agencies need from you and as the cliché goes, “first impressions are everything”. I’m not throwing that cliché in there to imply pressure on you to always say the right thing to an agent, no. We are all human and being yourself is probably the best thing you can do for you and your future agent. But what you do need to do is make an effort when approaching an agency. Here are some helpful tips on how to do just that:
Do you research
Check out the agencies website or Facebook page. Somewhere on the website it is probably written how they would like to be approached. The most popular being to fill in an application form and second to that an email with all the required information.
When I get a Whatsapp saying, “Am Interested” I sigh because it shows me that this person has not taken the time to read the Casting 101 website or Facebook page. It implies laziness and I unfortunately I don’t have the time to reach out and ask for all the information that I need from this person. So just sending an email saying, “Hi” will most likely be ignored.
Don’t be afraid
When approaching an agent you have never met, in an industry you know nothing about, in a career path you’ve only ever dreamt about I can totally understand the nerves you might be feeling! But I’m here to remind you to not be afraid! The agency is run by people just like you and all of us being human we can only try our best. So don’t be afraid to voice your expectations or concerns to your potential future agent. That’s why an agent is there, to manage your expectations and to protect you where possible. Honesty is the best policy and saves so much time in the long run.
Photos are important when approaching an agency because this will help them determine whether they’ll be able to find you work or not. Some agencies might require a portfolio of professional photos, while other will be happy with a selfie. But please make sure your photos check these boxes when sending them to an agent:
- There is good lighting so we can see you clearly.
- That you are not wearing any hats or sunglasses.
- That there are no filters, no greyscale and no borders or stickers on the photo.
- That you are the only person in the photo.
- That we can clearly see your head and shoulders in the photo, no fancy angles.
- And at least one full length photo.
Though these tips may help you when making a good impression when approaching agencies (or even Facebook adverts looking for talent), they cannot guarantee you a definite thumbs up from every agent you approach.
Please remember that each agency has their own unique criteria when looking for new talent and sometimes there is nothing we can do to fit those requirements. If you are rejected by an agency it just means that they weren’t the right agency for you. So gracefully move on to the next agency on your list.
So next time you approach an agency make sure you have all the information they need, clear photos and to just be your wonderful self!
Keen to sign up to Casting 101? Not a problem! Here is a link to our application form: Click Here