There’s an African proverb that states that it takes a village to raise a child. In the case of an actor’s career, it takes an army of well-trained, disciplined professionals.
If an award-winning actor thanked all the people involved in getting him or her to the awards podium, the acceptance speeches would last until dawn.
The leaders of this campaign—the Generals, if you will—are the actor’s talent agents. Although important contributions are made by such people as headshot photographers, acting teachers and coaches, managers, entertainment attorneys, publicists, business managers, accountants and other professionals, without the guidance of the agent, that actor might not have had the opportunity to give the lauded performance.
“You have to have an agent to get the better jobs,” declares Linda Rutledge of the BNB Talent Group. “Most of the castings come through agencies. You can get extra work or do independents on your own, but if you want to get on a film or get on the big commercials, you need an agency for that.”
Mystie Buice of Houghton Talent says that the aspiring actor needs only a few things to grab an agent’s attention: “We recommend that they start with a simple headshot from an industry photographer and some general classes. It’s pretty basic.”