Getting Signed by An Agency. What does it take? What does it mean?

Getting signed seems to be the major goal of VO Artists so I'm asking those who are signed to give the rest of us the 411 on what the game is about. What does it take to get signed? What does it mean to be signed? Support the democratization of information by sharing what you've learned with your fellow actors. C'mon. You can do it.

Mike

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Getting signed by an agency, [in my opinion] takes practice [VO-coaching] & booking great gigs...namely National spots & Big Brands. Research the agencies you think will benefit & position you. Contact them and get info on what you need to do to get representation from their agency.

For me, getting signed to an agency means being heard by more potential clients, a few more good hands in the pot...knowing I'm not the only one out here in the Universe pushing for me. When it comes to payment I have a go between that will speak on my behalf [as well as theirs..after all agencies work for pay too :) ] to be sure its received. Ultimately, I think having the right agency on your team will take you to a higher level by affording more great opportunities.

Denise...
Thanks Denise. Appreciate the feedback
"If you want to compete in Los Angeles or New York, you really must live here (or NYC). Everyone seems to think they are an exception, but unless you are a big honkin' celebrity, you are mistaken!" -- lifted from Beau Weaver's Website, VO FAQ, on 5.2.2010. www.spokenword.com.

It's truly different for every individual, but Beau's VO FAQ is on point, a must read.
1. Killer Demo
2. Audition Well
3. Availability

As it pertains to black voice over actors, face it, you will be expected to audition for the entire spectrum of "Black" - Urban, Educated, Gangsta, 60's Negro" and a wonderful list of stereo-typical characters like "Pimp, Prostitute, Politician, Prisoner" - and that's just the P's. These auditions come by default and should not be taken lightly or misconstrued as "that is all you believe your agent thinks you are capable of." You have to find a way to see beyond it.
In other words exhibit versatility? Thanks Kevin.
A large part of getting signed is who you know that's already in the business. I am not generally a pushy person so, upon landing in L.A., I didn't initially take advantage of connections because I didn't want to seem rude. After sending numerous packages to a variety of VO agencies and being ignored or rejected by each and every one of them, I came to realize that I was never going to get my foot in the door without a leg up. So, I broke down and called a friend. This friend put me in touch with his agent who agreed to give me an audition. The rest was dependent on an assessment of my talent and I did get signed immediately but, without that leg up, I believe it would have been a long time before I would have been able to land a contract.

That said, getting an agent and getting work are definitely two different animals, especially in the major markets! I have been on numerous auditions and have yet to book a single job. It's not for lack of training and/or experience. I have a decent resume that includes 22+ years in radio and VO work in the Boston market. but the fact is that, here in L.A., I am a little fish in a very big pond and I'm still waiting for the hook to come my way. I have faith that it will - eventually - but in the meantime, I am auditioning against known names (actresses, well-known VO talent, etc.) so I know it could take a while for all the stars to align that will offer me the break that I need. Luckily, I am a patient woman, confident in my craft, and I accept rejection with a (relatively) thick skin.

By the way, I joined Voice123.com back in October and, in April, I received an email from an agency that was interested in representing me based on my posted demo. It should be noted that this particular agency was among the many I contacted when I moved here but I never heard anything from them. Therefore, it is my assumption that they might not have been actively seeking talent at that time and, when they had some openings, they decide to peruse the voicebank. So Voice123.com might be a useful tool for those just getting started.

Oh...and a word to Kevin...a fellow VO artist who is based in Boston has no trouble landing work nationally/bi-coastally. He is represented both here in LA and in NYC. Of course, not only is he good but he's been in the business for a long time and had a few good breaks early on. It wasn't always easy for him but persistence has, indeed, paid off.
For my experience it takes a great demo, having your studio to audition and being available. I was able to land 3 agents that way. Having reputable agents has given me the opportunity to audition for bigger & better gigs, get feedback and suggestions from my agent on choices for my read. As well as get jobs w/o having to audition.

Miles
Then also, you must ofcourse get out there with a good cover letter and send your demo to agents. Check out there website 1st to see if they already have your type.

Hi all..!

Silence on my part for a L-ON-G time on this site ..  . I've been working on a film that took us to Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana and back here in Johannesburg! I will share once the film's released.   o))

When we're on the subject ..... Any Aget out there interested in Black, southern African accents?

Take care ...

   

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