I booked the lead role in an independent film over the summer and subsequently (after submitting to the only 4 legitimate agencies in my area) landed an audition with one of the four talent agents. I prepared a monologue and scheduled my time, they had my headshot and resume (fully updated).

Upon interview, they [never] asked if I had ever done any acting work or if I had a headshot, they didn’t ask me to perform the monologue I prepared for; they simply handed me the contract and told me it was fine if I had no credits yet (I have 7 theater credits, 3 tv credits, and 2 film credits – one being the lead).

I felt as if I was just another number to them but then convinced myself that a lot of people have good things to say about how well this agency works, and they have been known for submitting clients to major shows (only for more minor roles). So I thought that perhaps this bad first impression was simply due to their lack of being prepared due to being busy, as there is a new tv show being filmed in my town now using our local talent pool.

I asked [the agent] to review my headshot, she complimented it and asked about the photographer I used, I informed her of my successful audition to land a lead role in an indie film, and explained some other roles I had been in. I have checked in roughly every month, at best every 6 weeks via email but I feel as if I am just another number on their roster. I was called in for one job as an extra (the email said the first 25 to respond get the job….so it wasn’t specifically for my type, just for another body on set) and I was called to be a stand in for Ashley Judd in her new film.

I have been submitting myself via Actor’s Access for roles and they haven’t submitted me for them. I always ask before I submit.

I have even asked if they would submit me for a role that I fit, that required a video audition. Upon responding to my request their answer was “We’ll see what we can do.” They never let me complete the video audition and never responded to my request to complete one. I have gotten myself another audition as well (I have gotten myself 2 physical auditions in the last couple of weeks alone) and called to update them that I landed an audition and wanted to know if they again would help me create a video audition to submit to the CD (per CD’s request) (I should mention my agent told me they have an actor who is an agency worker on hand to help all their actors with video auditions when they become needed, which is why I’ve asked for their help) the agent told me “Oh, I don’t know. I’ll call you back when I decide”.

She never returned my call and that was over one month ago. One of the video auditions was for a paid role, the other was not but would help my credits. Is this normal for agents??? I feel like they try to get all their people in for extra work (as they had 25 of us for a commercial extra that I mentioned earlier) but they never promote their actors who they aren’t sure could land something. I read your post above and have daily thought of what I should do to make myself more marketable – my agent complimented my initial headshots, if those aren’t good wouldn’t she have said something? Regardless, I’ve updated my headshots. My resume stays updated. I check in with them, very politely. What am I doing wrong?? I even get auditions myself but obviously not alot as agents have access to paying roles. HELP??? Is it me or my agent or both?


Answer: Britt, thanks for asking. And, congratulations on your booking the lead in an indie film. You’ve asked a very common question, so let’s see if we can take this one step at a time … (continued in David’s answer below)