Landing a London agent is one of the main goals for many actors – one they know will have great contacts, put them up for the right auditions, nurture their careers and fight their corner. What a great goal to have!
So why is it so many of you struggle to land a London agent?
- The competition is high – very obvious.
- Many actors don’t have clear goals – goals is not just a word bandied around for the fun of it, they get you clear.
- Many actors give up too soon – I understand – hearing no (or nothing) can be disheartening, but it’s not personal.
- Some actors don’t have the right skill set – Your Mum may be proud of your CV, but can an agent sell you with it? Can that particular agent sell you with it?
- Lots of actors don’t know their casting type and where they fit in the industry – casting type is pants isn’t it? But can you really play EVERY role going?
- Lots of actors do not value themselves – ooooo this is a new one (I’ll come to this later)
- Lots of actors self-sabotage – another new one!
- Inaction – in other words, doing sweet F.A
We might as well admit it, we’ve all done one or more of the above haven’t we?! That’s ok because as of today you are going to put a stop to it. Before I move on let’s find out what the last two pointers really mean.
How do I know if I’m not valuing myself?
You may take on any role, even if it doesn’t fit in with your values/goal/vision. For example you get approached to do an unpaid role but you promised yourself you would only take on paid work however you haven’t worked for a while…. And you have been promised lots of exposure…. AND you don’t want to let them down….
You know what you want on your showreel but because a “big time” Charlie is producing/editing it for you you go with their vision, not yours, because you feel inexperienced next to them.
You are accepted by an agency – yaaaaaaay – oh hang on you really didn’t want to be represented by them, but after all it’s better to be represented by someone rather than no-one. Erm really?????
You take on that role you said you never would because you need to bump up your credits…. Uh oh!
How do you know if you’re not valuing yourself – IT FEELS BLOODY ICKY INSIDE. That amazing thing called intuition is always right. You must listen to it, even if you don’t 100% feel you know what your values are. It’s ok to say no. And no it will not ruin your reputation, people (manipulative people) use that as a bribe. I must point out that if you act like a jerk then that’s not ok, but saying no with a professional attitude is acceptable. You are not a little puppet living the dreams of someone else, you are living your life and your dream.
What is self-sabotaging?
“Behavior is said to be self–sabotaging when it creates problems and interferes with long-standing goals. The most common self–sabotaging behaviors are procrastination” (Taken from Psychology today).
Good old procrastination – not a good combination when fuelled by those pesky mind monkeys – “I’m not good enough”, “I don’t have enough experience”, “I’m not pretty/good looking enough”, “I’m too old/young”, “I’m not/can’t __________ (insert negative self-talk of your choice).
How do I know if I’m self-sabotaging? You won’t be doing much, if anything at all, and you let the negative self-talk dominate.
How do I land a London agent?
One of my acting students did just last week, so I am going to share with you step by step what he did. Yes he did do some, if not all of the above but with a little guidance he began to adjust his strategy.
Step 1 – He built his CV up. He began doing unpaid work to start. He was running the danger of only doing unpaid work until I asked him to cap it. He set himself a goal of only X amount of unpaid gigs and stuck to it – it did feel weird at first for him saying no to people
Step 2 – He saved up enough money for good quality head shots. FYI he has only ever worked part time in the last 4 years, a choice he made.
Step 3 – He set himself a time frame for when he would like to be on Spotlight
Step 4 – He committed to honing his craft. He has trained with StandBy for 4 years and only missed 3 classes in that time because he knows the value of training.
Step 5 – He applied for roles EVERY.SINGLE.DAY for 4 years. I kid you not, he must have applied for 3-4 roles per day and was rejected more times than he’s had hot dinners. Yes it got him down every now and then but with clear guidance he picked himself back up.
Step 6 – He went through a period of applying to agency’s every day. I asked him to get clear on what he wanted from an agent and who fit in line with that and he landed representation. He also wasn’t afraid to leave an agent if they didn’t fit in with his values (I must note he stayed professional and grateful).
Step 7 – He never ever relied on the agent to land him work and in fact never got any work from any of the agents he was with, yet his CV continued to grow and only with paid projects. Why? Because I made him accountable to me and questioned him every time he went against his values. He also worked with his type.
Step 8 – He did extra work and built up good relationships with those who were also actors. He’s not ashamed of it and has never been branded “just an extra”. It didn’t go on his CV though, that’s the difference.
Step 9 – He utilised his contacts
Step 10 – quitting was not an answer. He had set himself a goal and was going to see it thorgh to the end and bingo, last week he was signed up by a top London agent. Whilst he was in his interview Nina Gold called up his new agent, the CD of Harry Potter did too and he heard his new agent take a call from a production company who were trying to lower the fee for one of their actresses yet his new London agent fought her corner. That’s what he wanted in an agent.
So you see you can do it too. He started from the bottom and has been determined to climb the ladder of success. If you identify what’s holding you back and follow these steps you too can accomplish your goals. Be brave, you can do it.
Please share this with an actor you know is struggling. I’d also love to connect with you and hear your comments below.
To your success, which I genuinely mean.
PS if you want to work with me, I am more than a method acting coach, I also support you in starting your career the way I have done with this particular actor and many others. I will give you a good bum kick if you’re not sticking to your goals. My motto is that you must have a good balance of both the training and the business side. You can apply to audition HERE
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