How to Get an Acting Agent in Toronto

By Kimberly Caines

Things Needed

  • Headshots
  • Manila envelopes
  • Stamps
  • Computer with Internet
Tolerating rejection is part of an actor's job.

If you are an aspiring actor living in Toronto, Canada or thinking about moving there, somewhere along the road you will need an acting agent. An agent is the person that represents the actor. He submits the actor for various projects which may lead to auditions and ultimately booking the job. The agent also handles the business aspects for the actor. For instance, he negotiates pay rates for clients and gets all necessary contracts signed. Getting an agent can be challenging, as agencies can be picky in what they are looking for. The actor has to have a thick skin and be able to handle rejection well.

Find out what kind of agent you are looking for. There are theatrical agents who represent film and television actors, and there are commercial agents that represent actors aspiring to act in commercials. Some agencies are full-service agencies and represent both commercial and theatrical clients.

Headshots should resemble the actor.

Get a professional photographer to do your headshots. Make sure that your headshot resembles the way you currently look. Headshots are the 8 x 10 size business cards of actors. They are the first thing that agents and casting directors see when considering you for representation or for a part in a production.

Put together your acting resume. An actor's resume informs potential agents of the work you have done in the past. Also make sure to include acting training and special skills that you may have on the resume.

Mail your headshot with the resume attached on the back to the agencies of your choice. The website ''Acting Career Start Up'' provides an alphabetical list of agencies throughout Toronto. They also include the agencies' websites. Agencies might mention on their website how to go about being considered for representation. If this is the case, follow those guidelines.

Take drama classes or acting workshops. Toronto acting agents are more prone to sign you if they see that you are working on your craft. You can even join a theater company. Agents sometimes scout for talent by visiting various productions set up by acting schools.

Actors with agents can expect to get 90 percent of the total amount paid to them.

Beware of scams. If you are new to acting, you are an easy target for talent agent scams. If an agent offers to represent you but expects you to pay him to do so, walk the other way. Toronto agents only get paid when you get paid for a job that you booked through them. They take 10 percent of whatever you make and you will get 90 percent of the pay.