Last week a voice talent asked me for advice about landing an agent. This is what I told him…
There are many, many factors to consider before submitting to agents. Read this blog entry first (The Secret To Getting An Agent) : https://tomdheere.com/voiceovers-not-silent-blog-91316/. Agents do not make voice talents successful, they only make them more successful in certain genres. If you think you need an agent to be successful, you aren’t ready for one. You also need to consider if you are willing to audition & record online or in person. Can you audition and record broadcast quality audio files from home? How far are you willing to travel? Are you union or non union? Once you answer those questions and determine pursuing an agent at this point in your career is worth it, order the latest issue of The Call Sheet. It lists all of the agents and their submission criteria.
TIP OF THE WEEK
Let’s take my reply and turn it into a “landing an agent” checklist:
Do you need an agent at this point in your career? Most aspiring voice talents think they need one immediately and that is never the case. You need an agent once you achieve a certain level of success and want to be considered for projects you can’t get on your own.
If you determine you do need an agent, what exactly do you need them for? If you want to be more successful in a certain genre (most often commercials but also animation and a few others) you need representation that will submit you for the projects you want to get cast.
Which part of the country/world do you need an agent? Usually you’re only allowed to have one agent in a 50-mile radius. Make sure that geography lines up with your genre needs. For example, if you want high-end animation work, landing an agent in the Los Angeles area is a good idea.
Are you willing to sign with an agent? If you do, most of the time you’re not allowed to be submitted for projects by other agents. Read the exclusivity clause VERY CAREFULLY.
Are you willing to travel for auditions & recording sessions? There are agents and studios in pretty much every metropolitan area. If you can’t or won’t commute for auditions & recording sessions, that will have a big effect on your choice of agent. FYI there are many reputable agents out there who submit talent online.
Are you union or non-union? Many agents represent union talent, non-union talent, or both. Don’t waste your time (and the time of the agent) submitting if they won’t cast union/non-union projects.
Did you follow ALL of the submission criteria in the Call Sheet? The best way to never be considered by agent is to ignore the submission criteria. That will prove to them immediately that you can’t take direction and therefore are useless to them.
Are you willing to take no for an answer? This is not the part when I say “don’t give up” or “don’t take no for an answer” cliche crap. I have submitted to agents before who loved me & my demos, but they had too many people on their roster who sound like me. That is not a bad thing! That just means there isn’t room for you on their roster right now. Be sure to stay in touch and follow-up in six months or so. Pinning your hopes on one particular agent is, in my opinion, starving-artist-like and unrealistic. There are many small agencies out there who can get you good work and ensure you are paid well.
NEWS AND NOTES
Sunday, March 18th @1PM EST: at Abacus Entertainment I will teach the seminar ‘Learning to do eLearning’. You can attend either in-person at the New York studio or online. Use the promo code TOMSENTME to get 20% off! (in-person only) Click here to sign up.
Tuesday, March 20th @7PM EST: at Abacus Entertainment I will teach the seminar ‘Get Your $$$ Going!’ about how to manage your finances, pay your taxes, get insured, and save for the future. Use the promo code TOMSENTME to get 20% off! (in-person only) Click here to sign up.
Thursday, March 22nd @8PM EST: my next Edge Studio “Business and Money 201” webinar topic will be ‘Tax Time!’. We’re going to talk about how to file your taxes this year and get ready for the new tax code next year. Click here to sign up.
Thursday, March 29th @8PM EST: my next Edge Studio “Marketing 201” webinar topic will be ‘What Your Website Says About You’. Click here to sign up.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
(On Richard Nixon) Richard Nixon is a no-good, lying bastard. If he ever caught himself telling the truth, he’d tell a lie just to keep his hand in. Harry S Truman
From my village to yours; this is Tom Dheere, The H is Silent, but I’m Not.
Tom Dheere is a 20+year veteran of the voice over industry who has narrated thousands of projects for clients in over a dozen countries. He is also a coach at Edge Studio, voiceover business consultant known as the Voice Over Strategist, and is currently producing the comic book “Agent 1.22”.