How to start a talent agency

Written by dialogue queen
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There are thousands of young hopefuls each year who dream of fame and fortune and are actively looking for an agent to represent them. If you want to be an agent, you'll be sure to have a talent pool to draw from. But how do you set up a legitimate agency so you can be taken seriously?

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  1. 1

    Find an office. All legitimate agents have an actual office, not a home office. This way, clients can come in for meetings. You'll also need to come up with a name that is not already in use by another agency. Like any other small business, you will have to handle the legal aspects of starting a company, including obtaining a business license, opening a current account and printing promotional materials such as business cards.

  2. 2

    Get to know some industry players. Attend networking events and get to know as many people as you possibly can. All these contacts will come in handy when you're trying to pitch your clients to casting directors and producers. The more people you know, the easier the industry will be.

  3. 3

    Recruit clients. Have an open casting call at your office. Hire someone to help you for the day with checking people in, taking instant photos, filing out information sheets, handing out sides and ushering talent in and out. Audition each potential client by giving them a commercial to memorise then having them perform it on camera so you can see what they look like on the screen. Not everyone translates well onto the screen. Ask each person a variety of questions regarding their personality, experience and goals. Take notes of who you like and why.

  4. 4

    Go back through your notes after the open call has ended and figure out who you want to call back in. Have them prepare a monologue. When they come back in, have them perform the monologue for you. Offer some coaching advice and see how they take changes. If an actor cannot learn to take direction, he will never be hired and will end up being a waste of time.

  5. 5

    Offer your favourites a contract. Have them come in to sign, and you will have a roster of talent! Have each of your clients take head shots, and get those printed along with resumes. Get them all in acting classes, as well. Subscribe to a breakdowns service, which lists all current calls for actors for film, television, commercials and more. Once your clients have good pictures, start submitting them for auditions. You're on your way!

Tips and warnings

  • Network to meet other agents and managers who can help you out. Get to know casting directors.
  • Don't lie to your clients; be brutally honest.

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