So, you’ve chosen the noble path of the actor. Some people have the calling, and some don’t. For those just starting out in the industry, it can be hard to land jobs. Like, really hard. No one has any idea who you are, and your name is just one of thousands who are vying for the same roles you are.
On the other hand, once you start to become better known, and you start having the opportunity to choose between roles, your life can get pretty overwhelming pretty quickly. You need to make a living doing this, but you also need to build up your name and reputation as an actor who doesn’t take just any role.
You want worthwhile, quality parts, and you need to find the time to sort through them correctly.
This is one of those “good problems to have.” The question is, what do you do about it?
The answer: hire a booking agent.
Wait, you’ll say. How do I just hire a booking agent? Are certain agents meant for certain types of actors? How much do they cost? Is now the right time? Am I jumping the gun?
We’ll give you all the answers right here.
When You Know What a Booking Agent Is
Let’s start with what a booking agent actually does. Basically, as an actor or musician or any other type of talent, your agent will act as your job-finder and overall career advocate. He or she will find you jobs, vet those jobs based on your preferences, get you into auditions, and try to get better conditions or pay for you.
If this is day one of your acting career, probably don’t expect agents to just come calling. Agents are needed if you have established somewhat of a name for yourself already and need to start building yourself up.
When You Can Afford It
Agents that have booked talent for a number of years and know their respective talent industry well will cost more than more inexperienced ones. But the short answer to the cost question is: agents take a percentage of your earnings per job.
Generally, this percentage should not be more than 6%.
But, if you’re wondering if now is the right time to hire a booking agent, ask yourself if you can currently give up percentages of your gigs to your agent. If you feel you can, then maybe go for it. If you’re still building up your finances, you might have to put more time in.
When You’re Ready to Be in Regular Contact
Talent agents are busy, busy people. They like to know they’re not wasting their time with you by not having you take their advice or getting back to them when they send you information.
You need to be ready to be in regular professional contact with your booking agent. Be ready to take jobs that come up, answer questions your agent needs to know, and listen when your agent advises you. They’re in this role for a reason, so trust them!