Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesTheater & Acting · 2 months ago

What do agents and casting directors look for in an actor?

Other than a resume and plenty of experience and skill, what are they looking for?

2 Answers

  • 2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    Agents look for an actor who has demonstrated that they can book jobs at a professional level.  Since agents are paid on commission, only getting money when the actor books a paying job, that would be their biggest concern.  It is a business and they're in it to make money, pay their bills and support their family.  

    They need a stable of actors that reflect the type of jobs they're most adept at booking.  If they have an abundance of a certain acting type then they'll avoid taking on more.  If they're finding the industry needs more of a particular acting type, they'll look to represent those.  

    Agents are a go-between for an actor and a casting director so they need to keep casting directors happy by submitting strong, capable actors who are appropriate for the roles.  So agents need actors who are responsible and dependable - ones who will show up for auditions on time and prepared.  They need actors who are confident and strong, team players with a good reputation. If an agent sends actors who are late, unprepared, hard to work with then casting directors will stop looking at submissions from that agent.

    Casting directors are looking for actors that are best for the roles they're working on casting - and that depends greatly on the project.  A casting director works with producers, directors, studio executives to understand the goals for the project and find actors who could help them reach that goal.  

    Again - they need actors who come to auditions on time and prepared.  That last thing a casting director needs is to waste the time of producers, directors or others.   If a casting director is familiar with an actor and their work, then they may just contact the actor's agent to arrange an audition rather then waiting for an agent to submit them so it's important that actors work to maintain a good reputation and a strong relationship with a casting director.

    This is why networking is so essential for a professional acting career.  People who think they can just run off to LA or NYC or London and be "discovered" are fooling themselves.  Building a real acting career takes talent, training, experience and a lot of time.  Even though actors are cast maybe once out of very fifty or more auditions - that they are auditioning is good because it's a way to build a reputation and network with industry people.  

    Responsible actors do things like keep an audition diary tracking who was at the audition, notes about the audition and how things went.  Then when they apply for future jobs they can remind the casting director of previous auditions that went well.

  • Cogito
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Both look for huge talent, first class training at a recognised drama school and a really impressive resume.  

    Agents also want someone who is versatile, reliable and appears to be marketable.

    As far as the casting directors are concerned, as well as the attributes already mentioned, they want the 'look' which they consider suits the role, any other skills which would be really useful for that particular role, intelligence, a quick learner and someone who is easy to work with and takes direction very well.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.