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It’s tough to get an agent. It’s really tough to get an agent. So therefore a lot of people are without an agent, and yes there is real value in having an agent.
But in my book, in a digital age, it’s better to have no agent than have a bad agent. Let’s face it, if I look at a page of actor thumbnails. I’ve sent out a breakdown on one of the online casting sites. And these photographs come back and they’re all presented to me as a page of thumbnails, a bit like wallpaper really.
I get the choice of do I want to see 20 on each page, 50 on each page, or 100 on each page. 100 actors, all right for the role on the one page. Now obviously if I’m seeing 100 actors on my page, I don’t know them all, that stands to reason.
So if you’re sitting there on my page, and it’s an actors headshot, so therefore you’re all looking very much the same, all looking right for the role. What is the difference between you and someone else? Your agent. Who represents you. So if you’re with an agent that I don’t have a lot of respect for, or if I think only has extras, walk ons, bit parts, little roles, then I naturally, automatically assume that is the kind of actor you are.
That is why I say it is better to have no agent, than a bad agent. So how do you work with no agent? The thing about a casting director is, if I structure a casting session I’m looking for somebody who is really special, really different.
And if I have a casting session with a director and I get an actor in but he doesn’t have an agent, the director doesn’t say ‘Oh he can’t be very good because he doesn’t have an agent’. The director thinks ‘Intriguing, so here is an actor that the casting director has brought into the room, even though they don’t have an agent. What is special about this person?’ You are actually now intriguing, because you don’t have an agent.
It puts the pressure on you to be able to communicate. To be able to connect in the digital age. That’s what we explore here at The Audition Technique. That’s the empowerment you have as an actor.
That’s the territory that I want you to understand, that in the scale of things it is not bad to have no agent. It is bad to have a bad agent.