Signing with a talent agent is not easy these days. They receive so many submissions every day and have limited rosters. However actors should be submitting to all of the agencies at least once a month, considering how elusive an interview with an agent can be. For the most part, actors generally do not have the luxury of picking and choosing the agent of their choice, rather should be happy to get an interview with any licensed Screen Actors Guild (SAG) franchised agency or Association of Talent Agents (ATA) member. There may be quite a few agencies that are not licensed and/or bonded, charge upfront fees for representation, require talent to take classes at the agency, and require actors to pay exorbitant fees for photos and resumes at the agency. These types of agencies are considered "non-legit" or "scam" agencies, due to the fact that these practices are either illegal or extremely frowned upon in the entertainment industry, depending on what state you live in. Read Child Actor LA Scam prevention tips to find more.
One good way to at least be seen by agents is to study acting with a good acting teacher. Often the acting teacher will have agents come in to watch the students perform scenes. Cliff Osmond is widely accepted as one of the very best acting teachers, and he does have talent agents and casting directors come to his scene study classes at the end of each cycle to view the polished two-person performances. Before signing up, just ask the acting teacher if they do indeed have guest agents come in to the classes to watch performances. Also, doing live theatre is great for several reasons. Developing your craft, adding theatre credits to your resume (which both agents and casting directors love), and inviting agents to see you perform. Just make sure to send free tickets. You would be surprised to know how many actors send invitations via postcard, but no tickets!
Many actors have a misconception that signing with one of the top agents should be a top priority. There are four talent agencies that are considered "top-tier" powerhouse agencies. These four are William Morris Endeavor (WME), Creative Artists Agency (CAA), International Creative Management (ICM), and United Talent Agency (UTA). These agencies represent the cream of the crop talent which includes actors, writers, and directors. The problem for the vast majority of actors, is that these agencies do not represent non-established talent, and accept new clients through industry referral only.
Casting directors might hire you even if you don't have an agent, but it is less likely that you would be called in the first place. Agents get the breakdowns and are able to submit their clients to a lot more projects than you can yourself. Generally speaking, casting directors usually do not like to negotiate contracts directly with talent. But they will hire you for scale without having to negotiate your fee.
Also read: Child Actor LA Effective Tips For Acting
Child Actor LA Acting Institute with exclusive placement with top Hollywood agents, who come in weekly to conduct workshops within our educational facility. Children currently working as series regular on General hospital, Modern family, Cristela, Fresh Off The Boat, Nickelodeon and top national TV commercials and print + movies. Personal growth, location in Irvine, and soon in Culver City!
If you have been wondering if your child would qualify for the film, TV industry, just know that a visit to us at Child Actor LA would allow you to find out if your child has what it takes. Our children come mostly from the word of mouth after all these years.
We also maintain a presence at local events and at times, we will spot a child whom we feel has potential and is within a good age group, at a local place. Agents years ago, and I mean top Hollywood agents, may have approached you about your child at let’s say, the Beverly Hills Mall, and brought you for an audition. Then they would give you a list of schools to visit in order for your child to get training. It has been a long time since agents don’t scout in such way, and will consider kids with training only. They hardly open up package inquiries through the mail. The agents who visit us weekly come in to conduct educational workshops themselves, and emulate the auditioning process. By coming in to train our children, they get to meet our amazing families and our children, who are Shakespearian trained and trained in modern, improve.
Be wary of schools whose entire business is based upon stopping you at local places. We may at times spot your child at a mall or the beach, actually, but some fly by night institutes or long term scams, and there are such too, may bring anyone and everyone indiscriminately, as long as the parents are willing to pay for classes, or pay for a pretense pay per play seminar with supposedly “agents” going in. We work mostly from the word of mouth, once again.
Also local schools have their kids in little plays and they advertise potential opportunities for the children’s talent, which don’t exist. It is easy to spot, as you would see kids on their company sites perhaps in costumes, or just in class at their school, but never on anything which ever aired anywhere. Their cuteness may not make up for the lack of achievements. You may read about one of their kids having obtained a role somewhere, but check out the show/commercial. Then ask the school to produce the child’s file and see if it all connects. Hmm... I’m just the Face book lady, but I’ve heard it all.
Classical training mixed with modern improv’ goes a long way towards the children’s success!
Some scam prevention advice.
Child Actor LA scam prevention advice is here for you. Found on a site on which a local stage oriented place which claims they have agents going in, advertise. Ironically, they don't have agents' visits apparently, and are trying to spin that. But some of what I read made sense.
“““You answer a casting notice, get approached in a mall, or even get a phone call after filling something out online. The sales person pretending to be in the industry and posing as a casting director, agent or some other title tells you your child is “perfect” and would like you to audition for some part.”””
What they are spinning:
*A casting director will not approach you at a place of gathering. They communicate with agents and the agents send your child to an audition. As you found out reading above, agents will not scout you either, and want kids who are already trained. It’s okay for someone to approach you, but they have to announce that they are a tuition based institute. NOT misrepresent themselves! *
“““Excited you go to the audition with your kid in tow. Once there you realize that there are 100’s of others there and that it is not a “real” audition. There is no part to fill, script to memorize or production company there. It is a sales meeting and you are in the audience. Someone goes up and reads a pitch to all the excited kids and parents. They tell you your kids were chosen to be a part of the showbiz industry. Sometimes, they pull you and your child into a room and make your child read a couple lines for them. They do this to make the entire experience seem more legit. The reading is meaningless because there is no real part you are reading for.”””
What they are spinning:
* A seminar/cattle call: (100 kids!). Everybody is beautiful and talented out of the 100 kids invited, 100 kids get “accepted”. They usually operate out of a seminar room, rented at a hotel. They often bring assistant agents from small agencies, who get paid to be there, and have no decision making power. They ask you to pay $7K or $8K for the chance to meet agents. Your child “performs” in front of them. They never received any training and hence, are not actors, but it’s okay because the “agents” are not real either like I just indicated. You should not have to pay to meet agents. A reading of lines which is not for the purpose of evaluating your child to become part of a legitimate institute is meaningless, because your child would never get picked up randomly to audition for a job without agent’s representation!
That is not an evaluation that is a fake audition, and the people you are dealing with may have misrepresented themselves as managers, or casting directors. They are just people who misrepresent a “pay per play” type of situation, and will announce to you a cost to move on to meeting actual Hollywood agents. Needless to say that the top 5 to top 35 agents who come to us to conduct workshops and meet already highly trained kids in such way, do not participate in the scam events described above!
NOTE: Child Actor LA scam prevention tips also include, never pay to audition. Real casting directors would never stop you and offer you a job. They work with agents. Then agents would not offer you representation, if you pay for:
“““Expensive, inferior classes, worthless acting workshops and poor quality portfolios.”””
*Simply because the law does not allow agents, nor casting directors to offer any services. They can only work on percentage basis. Do not believe anyone who approaches you to offer you jobs for your child. Legitimate schools may approach you at places of gathering where they maintain a booth space for instance, or as they are shopping for themselves, and consider your child to become part of their institute. But then your child has to go through an evaluation process. ANYBODY who offers you A JOB and not an opportunity to visit an institute is misrepresenting themselves, and certainly their title. They are not agents! Besides, acting demands skills like everything else. No one will just “hire” you or your child!*
Thank you for reading!
CHILD ACTOR LA AND THE DOS AND DON’T OF THE FILM/TV/COMMERCIAL INDUSTRY.
AN AUDITION AND AN EVALUATION ARE ALWAYS FREE!
Child Actor LA is an Institute, in business for 19 years.
The institute allows for children to be trained by professional actors, along with top five to top thirty-five agents, who conduct week end workshops.
Those agents emulate the auditioning process and give the Child Actor skills, which they can use in front of casting. Those agents get to meet the children and families, and often offer representation to the Child Actor LA graduate which is nice icing on the cake, as per the education provided by the Institute.
With Child Actor LA scam prevention tips on their Face Book page, warning the aspiring actor against potential scams, which they may get exposed to.
A school which tells you they’ll give you lists of agents to submit pictures of your child to, are fraudulent. Who will open your unsolicited submission? None of the agents from the agencies on that list will.
Also, a school which organizes little local plays, and don’t have agents on board, going in to conduct week end workshops, should not tell you that your child will have access to agents. The spin is, that a little play, performed on stage by children, could be fun, but there is no outlet to the children’s talent. Be careful what you sign up for. Getting your child in on something like that is an ongoing money pit, paying tuition to a school, which requires often, more “rehearsal money”, and more “costume money”, then more money for a “nice space”, rented at additional expenses for you, so your child can perform in front of ONLY you, and the other unsuspecting parents.
At Child Actor LA, our children are Shakespearian trained and trained in modern improv’, and although they get invited at times to participate in summer camps, with performance and no surprise in cost, those are not the whole business for our school. The main education is based upon training towards being able to perform in the film. TV and commercial + print industry.
Finally, very alarming when someone tells you, you need to purchase classes and pictures from them and they are also an agency, and send your child to jobs. They are breaking the law.
For more info about Child Actor LA, contact our Institute for an invitation to participate in an evaluation for your child.