Fall 2012

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Getting agent. But before you pick up the phone or send that email, you need to honestly assess whether you are at the point in your career where an E very actor, sooner or later, has to face the decision on whether to get an you are ready for an agent. In acting school, you learned about timing, how to inhabit your character and how to work as part of an ensemble. You learned about Meisner, Strasberg, Stanislavsky and Hagen. But, if you're like most actors, you didn't learn about the business of acting. Recent SAG-AFTRA-sponsored events in Los Angeles and New York examined the process of getting an agent, and while each instructor had a unique approach, both emphasized a fundamental truth: Before you make that call, you need to be 32 SAG-AFTRA | Fall 2012 | featured Richard Lawson, an actor and teacher who trains fellow actors through his Richard Lawson Studios. In New York, Lisa Gold, an actor and owner of Actors Connection, spoke on June 14. Each of these knowledgeable entertainment industry veterans offered insight into what it takes to generate interest from agents and grow your career. So, are you ready for representation? your craſt. The Los Angeles event on July 11 Having a manager can help expand your network of contacts, but managers can't get you work (see sidebar). For that you need a SAG and/or AFTRA-franchised agent. Do your homework: start by ready, and that means working as hard at promoting yourself as you do on (and keeping) gent finding agents that get actors hired on the kinds of shows on which you envision yourself working, and find out about that agent's reputation. Find out the size of the agency and the kinds of clients they represent; targeting the right agents is going to be a lot more effective than a scattershot approach. If you're just 1 3 2 starting out, you probably want to start with a smaller agency. But before anyone will take you on as have to offer. Find out what they are looking for, so that you are bringing relevant, marketable skills to the table. While versatility is important for a performer, Gold suggests knowing your strengths and focusing on your specialty. Agents make money when they book you, so knowing where you fit in to their agency's roster helps keep you on their mind when the perfect role comes up. The agent sees lots of talented actors a client, you have to be able to convince the agent that he or she can sell what you every day; what can make the difference is how you market yourself. Gold is blunt about the necessity of self-promotion. "If the art is your passion and the craſt is your passion, that's what community theater is for — and karaoke — so that you can exercise your passion. But if you want to make a living as an actor, it's a business, and it's just like every other business out there on the planet: It takes marketing, visibility, creating demand and knowing exactly what your product

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