Acting is one of the most lucrative and rewarding careers in the world, however it also comes with its pitfalls and adversities. Due to its high risk and volatile nature, a budding actor/actress might ask themselves on whether to freelance their own career or to seek out suitable acting agencies. A case can be made for both sides of the spectrum and we shall go through the age old question of why an actor should sign with an acting agency.
Benefits of signing with an agency:
1. Experience and mentorship
One of the main reasons to seek out acting agencies is due to their knowledge and possible networking benefits. Especially in the case of someone new to the field, they can provide you with valuable understanding of the business as well as what is entailed in contracts. Furthermore, this could also lend itself to providing a scenario in which they act in the capacity of a mentorship role due to their experience.
2. Credibility and support.
Reputable acting agencies are established and come with them, the perceived position of power to leverage and negotiate in your favor. In addition, they act in essence as a team who support you through rejection and failures and at the same time applaud your successes.
They can free up your time to focus your energy on perfecting your craft while they search and organize the right auditions on your behalf.
As with any career, acting is not exempted from having a few downsides as well. These can include:
1. Agency fees.
Although they work well for you, the work does not come for free. A percentage of your earnings goes to them, normally around ten percent and this could be several years after a booking.
2. Contractual obligations.
A big drawback on agencies is that you are required to be signed to them. This does not cause problems unless you are in the potential position to acquire a job outside their scope. They could block you from working with another agency even if the offer was something you would want to pursue.
The question of whether or not to sign with acting agencies largely depends on finding the right team or company and also on what you want to achieve out of your acting career. Although a lot can be involved in the making of that choice, with the above considerations in mind, you will be well on your way to making the right decision.