Getting an agent and showreel

QUESTION:

If I have a little bit of theatre experience on stage just from school and university but no professional experience in theatre or film at all, is it a waste of time to try to get an agent? When I look on different agency's online all the actors have professional experience in theatre, film, tv or short film. My other question is since I don't have any professional experience can I do a monologue in front of a webcam and make it my showreel? Or does the showreel have to be about professional work?

ANSWER:

Yes, it's very hard to get an agent without professional experience, but I don't think it hurts to send out headshots and resumes when you're starting out, just so agents see your face and to put the energy out there (and beginners luck counts for something!)

After that, it's best not to spend too much time looking for an agent and just focus on building your resume. A filmed monologue won't work as a demo reel. If you have any friends into filmmaking, maybe they could write something just for you and take a day to shoot it? It's not that expensive nowadays to film good quality. Depending on how professional the end product looks, you may or may not be able to use it.

Also, audition for student films at good film schools in your area. That's the best way to gather material for a reel, and when you do get hired, make sure you request a copy and don't leave the set until you get all the contact information of the person who will be responsible to send you a copy, along with when it will be ready. After that, you may have to call them a few times, but be persistent and make it a rule to get a copy of all your work on camera.

Good luck!

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