How Can I Work Best with My Agent?

by Janet Wilcox

It is often said that you do ninety percent of the work and an agent does ten percent because that is the amount they earn from your bookings. Too often actors believe that an agent will do everything for them. That’s just not true, especially in this day and age.

I interviewed agents for my new book, Mastering Monologues and Acting Sides: How to Audition Successfully for Both Traditional and New Media. Industry experts point out that actors need to be very proactive with marketing even if they have an agent. You have to still constantly market with your website, postcards, and perhaps a newsletter.

You and your agent are a team. The more you can help your agent promote you, the better you will both do. You must always be very honest and professional. Show up on time for auditions or call if you run late. Prepare your part and be ready to perform. Take direction well and don’t ever have a bad attitude. Don’t bad mouth your agent if you’re not getting auditions. Evaluate what you might be doing wrong first. Find out if the industry is slow. Also, dress properly for the audition and always have good hygiene.

Aside from that, also know who the players are in the casting office. Be aware of who is casting what project. If you find something that is right for you, tell your agent.

Be toned and ready for any call. Keep up with classes or coaching sessions so that your skills are sharp. You don’t have time to tune up for an audition that happens the next day. Know that you are getting the right kind of coaching for each specific type of casting call as well. For example, you may need a different coach for theater than for on camera.

Send any follow up postcards to casting people to thank them when appropriate, and don’t forget to thank your agent too. Understand how much your agent works for you to get your auditions and appreciate it. Keep the lines of communication open so that you are both happy and can both prosper.


Mastering Monologues and Acting Sides is available for preorder on Amazon and The official release is October 4th. See monologues and scenes performed at the book signings. The New York Book Signing is October 22nd from 2:30-4:30 at Actors Connection, 630 Ninth Avenue, Suite 1410 and the Los Angeles Book Signing is October 13th from 7-9 at Book Soup, 1818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood California.

R.S.V.P. for the book signing at

Janet Wilcox is a voice-actor whose clients include E!, ABC, Lifetime, Kia, and AMC among others. She has worked as a writer, producer, and director on major promotion campaigns for HBO, A&E, and the History Channel. With Heyman Talent and the SAG Conservatory, she taught improv and voice-over workshops, and currently teaches a studio voice-over class at UCLA Extension. Ms. Wilcox also wrote, Voiceovers: Techniques and Tactics for Success.

To a New York monologue acting class, check out our upcoming class schedule by clicking the Classes tab at the top of this page.

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