Acting students at the Los Angeles departament of the New York Film Academy were able to ask questions to one of Hollywood’s top agents, Jennifer Boyce, who has been heading the casting department for commercials at The Savage Agency for over 22 years. The Savage Agency has been one of the top agencies representing young actors aged 3 to 40 for over 35 years. They represent theatrical actors as well as announcers and advertising actors.
Jennifer Boyes shared the most important information for aspiring actors
1. You need good professional photography and portfolio. If the casting director is not familiar with you, his imagination won’t help. Take a set of photos in different images (different mood, emotions, style). When the casting director gets to know you personally, he will have an idea of your physical appearance and acting style.
2. A good resume and quality social profiles are also a must. This is especially true for the Linkedin profile, as it is a serious tool that positions you as a professional in the first place. Therefore, heeding the advice of linkedin profile writers when creating your acting profile is a must.
3. Be “I can” person. Jennifer said, “As long as you don’t earn money, I work for free. Therefore, it is in my best interest for my actors to have a job. And, if I advise something, you should listen. I must see your full interest.”
4. Casting is not a trip. You must really want to get there. And if you don’t want to, there are many others who are really interested. Always be ready for casting, keep your resume up to date, as well as your Linkedin profile. Every casting is an opportunity. At the beginning of your career, you must be willing to do whatever you want.
5. Do not rely only on the agent. Don’t sit idly by the phone, complaining that your agent isn’t doing anything for you. “My commission is 10%, so I always say that I will do 10% of the work and you have to complete the remaining 90%. I will lead you to the door, but the further depends only on you. ” It is important to improve yourself – to play in performances, go to improvisation classes, and involve yourself in the profession.
6. If something goes wrong, don’t blame the agent, look for the problem in yourself.
7. In the end, it’s your job to go to castings over and over again. Some actors hate the casting process. Get used to it. Sometimes they will approve someone else for the role only because of the external resemblance to the manager’s sister or girlfriend, but this is the reality. You cannot control their selection criteria, but you can control your actions during casting. If you got a call back, then you have done an excellent job. But if you didn’t get the job, it’s not your fault. You cannot influence the rules of the game. Only with this approach, you can enjoy this business.
Acting students bombarded Jennifer with questions. Here are some of them:
Q: How do you select new actors to collaborate with?
A: As a rule, I choose those whom I recommend. If the person did not have a recommendation, I make a decision on photographs and resume. I’m interested in those who have great photos and many hours of acting training under their belt. Those who go to improvisation classes. A commercial most often requires comedic skills and the ability to improvise, so having these two qualities in an actor is most important to me.
Q: How many portrait photos does an actor need to have?
A: Take one good portrait photo to meet with the agent. But don’t spend too much money on this, as the agent will most likely ask you to take new photos anyway. Each agent has a different taste. A theatrical portfolio is different, you need one good portrait shot. For advertising, you need to have several photographs that reveal you in different ways.
Q: What do you rate in photography?
A: For advertising, I select photographs in which the face is well lit. When looking at which, it is immediately clear what role this actor is suitable for.
Q: Is it easy for actors who are not SAG (Screen Actors Guild) to get cast?
A: For non-guild actors, it becomes increasingly difficult to get into commercials. The company should write an “essay” that reveals good reasons why they need you to shoot this video. And if there is no compelling reason, they will be fined $ 750 for approving a non-SAG (Screen Actors Guild) actor. Competition is growing, and casting directors are increasingly less willing to deal with those outside the US Screen Actors Guild. Most likely, they will invite those they already know to the casting. It is more and more difficult for novice actors to get into the working cycle, but not every actor receives an invitation to absolutely all auditions, regardless of his level.