How Frequently Should I Apply to Agencies for Representation?

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Q: How often should I apply for agency representation? Do they start to notice if you apply frequently? Can you get blacklisted? —@danlabuda

It can be tempting to wake up on Christmas morning or New Year’s Day or any given Monday and want to make big changes in your life, including taking the first step toward new representation. But truthfully, you’ll get a better response if you tailor your application to announce something new you’re working on.

Rather than apply for representation when the itch strikes, wait until you have something new to announce. Are you performing in something you can invite a potential agent to see? Do you have a new reel to show off? Unless your résumé is top-notch, with a demonstrable level of professional experience, most agents will not consider you unless they’ve seen your work.

Handled professionally, repeated contact can be a good thing. Sadly, there are no rules for how much is too much. My usual advice is to try to read between the lines and tailor your approach. If you’ve had polite correspondence with an agent, it’s acceptable to continue this correspondence by letting them know what you’re up to and sending new material and invitations.

If you’ve never had a response, it’s safe to assume there’s currently no interest. Try to work out why: Are the agents you’re approaching the top in the business? There’s no reason you shouldn’t approach them, but if they’re not replying it’s likely because your résumé isn’t strong enough to interest them at the moment.

“I’m not taking on new clients” might be true, but it also might be a polite way of saying, “Thanks, but no thanks.” If an agent advises you there’s a conflict with another artist, it may be worth keeping in touch to see if the situation changes.

Try to assess the level of interest. Did you receive a standard response or a more considerate one? If it’s standard, leave it six or more months before applying again. If you detect some interest, don’t be afraid to check in a few months later, particularly if you have something new to share.

I wouldn’t worry about blacklisting. As long as you’re always polite and professional, you should have nothing to worry about. Keep it appropriate at all times.

JBR is a London-based agent with over thirty years experience in the industry. In that time, he has directed, produced, written, dramaturged, coached, and acted in radio, film, TV, stage, musicals, and opera. For a number of years, he was the editor of the UK’s only magazine aimed at emerging industry talent, “Fourthwall & The Drama Student.” In addition to writing and agenting, JBR is also an acting coach working with a number of U.K. drama schools and operating a private one-on-one practice in acting and industry survival skills. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook, and at

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and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.

Josh Boyd Rochford
JBR is a London-based agent with over thirty years experience in the industry.
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