Is This Agency Legit?
We get calls all the time about which agencies are the best, and who’s looking for new clients to add to their roster. The simple answer is, we don’t know. Are you ready for the complicated answer now?
Our company works with every agent and agency in several major cities internationally. Because we have substantial business relationships with them all, we must remain totally unbiased. Some we work with more than others, some have a more prominent reputation, but we simply can’t tell you that one is better than the other. The same goes for the acting schools we work with, casting directors, or any project posted on our site.
Now normally it feels a little awkward to tell clients to go check out other sites for information, but that’s what we’re going to do. We want you to get your questions answered, and if we can’t answer them, we want to help you find people who will. There are a couple of websites we know of that could help you, or at least start you off in the right direction.
In Vancouver, there is a wonderful website called vancouveractorsguide.com. This website was set up to help navigate the Vancouver acting world. Not only does it list agencies in the area, but there is also a massive forum where actors, agents, casting directors and anyone else in the industry can go and talk about what’s happening in the acting world. They list classes, productions and industry news.
There is also the BC Film Commission that lists current projects. It’s usually pretty good about being updated. You can get info on the industry, including links to various website, and various industry contacts.
In Toronto I would try the ACTRA website. The union has a very comprehensive list of projects currently in town. They also have a full list of agencies including contact details. Their section of ‘Performer Resources’ is quite extensive, and they have a current news section of everything going on in Toronto including classes and acting programs.
The Canadian Actor Online Website has a check list to help you avoid fraudulent projects and agencies. The site doesn’t seem to update frequently, but the information there is currently valid. They also link to some ‘in production’ lists around Canada and the U.S.
For U.S. news and info, check out the SAG-AFTRA website. Union websites usually have updates on what’s happening in their area, so they’re always a good place to start. Most actors will eventually want to become part of the union anyway, so you should learn their guidelines sooner rather than later.
There’s also the FindTheBest agency finder. This site lists agencies by number of clients. It’s important to remember that just because an agency is small, does not mean it’s less impressive than the big ones. It means the agents have more time to really focus on all their clients.
IMDB can be hard to navigate. Without an IMDBpro account, it’s hard to find contact details on anyone. But use it as a resource to research people if you’re not certain who you’re being asked to work with. It is the most extensive database for the film and television world.
And of course there’s the ‘Resource’ section in your Casting Workbook profile. This gives you links to ‘what’s filming’ lists in your area. You cannot access the database of agencies or casting directors, but it can start you on your hunt.
We hope this helps in your research. Finding the right agency is important, and we know how frustrating it can be to go through the process. But stick with it. It’s important to understand the industry you’re trying to be part of.