While it is often filled with glitz and glamour, the entertainment and modeling industries are two of the most challenging to get into. Aside from the ever-changing requirements, aspiring talents and models also have to deal with the pressure related to keeping their lifestyle in check and maintaining their appearance.
Fortunately, talent agencies take away the most difficult parts of starting and managing a career as a talent. Professional talent agencies offer their expert skills in keeping up with the dynamic nature of the niche while maintaining relationships with their talents and their potential employers.
If you’re looking to work with a talent agency, you must absolutely learn about what they do and how to get onboard with them.
What Does a Talent Agency Do?
Talent agencies are firms that offer representation services for actors, singers, and models. Not only will they teach you how to become a model, but they will also work on your behalf to get the perfect project and negotiate the best possible rate for you.
They will also take charge of ensuring that the contract works in your favor and guiding you through the process of getting permits and other necessary documents for the work you’re about to do.
As payment for their services, these agencies get a portion of your wage as a commission, which can range between 10 and 20 percent. Of course, it will depend on the kind of service they provided.
Taking that into consideration, it is important to note that a talent agency cannot be considered your employer. Instead, they will be the one working for you.
How to Apply to a Talent Agency
Gone are the days when talent scouts walked around looking for the next big star. Today, talent agencies are your best bet at kicking off your career in entertainment and modeling.
Here are the five important steps you need to take to successfully get a talent agency to represent you:
Step #1: Have Your Photos Taken
Your photos will serve as your “sample product” in this niche, so make sure you have them handy when applying to a talent agency. Aside from self-taken portraits, you should also consider having someone else take your picture, and keep both digital and hard copies of these.
Some images you would need to have are headshots and full body shots. If possible, have a professional photographer take them to ensure the quality of the photos. You should also have lots of practice by posing in front of the mirror before having your pictures taken.
Step #2: Build Your Portfolio
Now that you have pictures that showcases your best poses and highlight your look, it is time to build your portfolio. Its fancy name aside, a modeling portfolio is a book containing your best sample pictures, compiled in transparent plastic sleeve pages.
Aside from an actual book of photos, you should also capitalize on social media to establish your reputation as a model or actor. Constantly share as many pictures of yourself as possible, but be sure to put your best foot forward by including only those that showcase your best angles and poses.
The bottom line is that talent agencies should be able to “see the best you” so that they can determine whether you’re a good fit for their clientele.
Step #3: Choose a Talent Agency
Now that you have a portfolio, you can now look for a firm that will work for you. When choosing the best talent agency that suits your needs, you must verify their business, check their affiliations as well as their previous and current talents, and determine extent of experience in the trade. This will ensure that they can provide you with topnotch services and get the best modeling or acting offers for you.
Aside from that, you should also consider whether you really want a certain agency to represent you and vice versa. Remember that your agency will have a hand at managing your public image, so be sure to think it through before signing up.
Step #4: Fill Up the Necessary Forms and Submit Your Portfolio
Once you’ve decided on an agency, it is time for you to fill up your application form and submit it to them with your portfolio. After this is done, the agency should contact you for a face-to-face meetup or confirm whether they want to receive communication from you. If it’s the latter, you should pen a cover letter asking for a meeting to discuss a potential working relationship.
Some agencies also post open casting calls on their websites. If this is the case, you should attend the event, bring your portfolio, and make the best effort to impress them.
Step #5: Get Interviewed
After an initial meeting with a representative of the company or an audition, you should wait for a callback or an invitation for an interview. When this happens, it means that the agency is interested in presenting you as their talent. This also means you made the cut and would only need to verify the legality of your work (for young aspiring models, parents’ consent is necessary).
Final Word of Advice Before Signing a Contract
After successfully finding a talent agency to work with, it is time for you to close the deal by signing a contract. Before you do so, remember to read the document carefully and don’t hesitate to ask questions if you want to clarify something. This way, you would avoid getting into something potentially troublesome, like working with a fraudulent agency (if they demand payment up front, don’t sign the contract).