Sometimes in this business, it can feel like you’re going in the wrong direction—forced to take lackluster parts to pay the bills, or go on nightmare auditions that don’t suit your best skills—but the right agent can keep you on the path to that big break you’ve been working so hard for.
Finding an agent is like finding an apartment—there are plenty of options, but finding the perfect fit is tricky and hard work. Who has time for that? To create more time for you, we’ve gathered a list of New York City agencies that are perfect for actors looking for their next break.
The Breakdown: Actors looking for a real support system in a business that is often short on cheerleaders will thrive at BWA, where your losses and successes will always be shared (the latter via the agency’s social media!).
This female-led agency had several clients land big roles on the stage recently, but it treats every single one of its actors the same. Each performance is highlighted on its Facebook page, be it in film, theater, or television. The agency even includes the time and date on which people can tune in!
Included on BWA’s roster is rising star Isabelle McCalla, who played Alyssa Greene in the Tony-nominated musical “The Prom,” and just booked her next gig as Tink in the world premiere of “Fly” at La Jolla Playhouse. In addition, Mia Pinero just made her Broadway debut in “West Side Story” as the understudy to Maria.
“BWA is truly a collaborative and supportive agency that puts their clients first,” Pinero tells Backstage. “They invested in me when my résumé was bare, believed and supported me through dry spells and successes, and continue to connect me to opportunities that both align with my vision as an artist and grow my career. I wouldn’t be where I am without them!”
The group has consistently landed its clients gigs in big-name shows on the Great White Way, including “Dear Evan Hansen,” “Aladdin,” and the 2018 revival of “Angels in America.”
On the TV and film side, familiar-faced clients include Welker White, who played Josephine Hoffa in “The Irishman” and Kelcy Griffin, who memorably played a feisty young Debbie Allen on the Emmy-winning limited series “Fosse/Verdon.”
Boals, Winnett & Associates plays the long game with its clients, too, finding extended gigs on shows like “Legacies” for star Aria Shahghasemi. In addition, the agency’s clients have landed roles on “New Amsterdam,” the NBC series recently renewed for an additional three seasons.
To submit your materials, you can email [email protected] or send hard copies to 262 W. 38th Street, Suite 1207, New York, New York 10018. The phone number is 212-500-1424.
The Breakdown: Kids and teens looking for their big break and performers with a lengthy résumé can find suitable representation at CTG, which focuses on achieving personal career goals through substance rather than pomp and circumstance.
A mix of experienced talent and rising stars are represented at this bicoastal agency. Up-and-coming “Modern Family” star Rico Rodriguez and his sister Raini Rodriguez (“Austin & Ally”) are just getting started in their careers, proving CTG is in the business of developing promising talent. Also exploding onto the scene recently is Frankie A. Rodriguez, who plays Carlos on “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.”
Meanwhile, stalwarts like Lorna Luft, daughter of Judy Garland, and Andrea McArdle, the original “Annie” on Broadway, are proud to call Clear Talent Group home. Other clients include Amber Benson (Tara on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 3 competitor Carmen Carrera.
Since 2003, the group has maintained a presence in all areas of the entertainment industry, making it easy for actors to find additional work as a choreographer, a director, or even a designer.
The agency has an online form for talent to fill out if they are seeking representation. You can upload your reel, headshot, and résumé on the site.
The Breakdown: Performers on their way to becoming heavy hitters under the lights should look no further. With a roster of Tony and Academy Award winners, DGRW is a bona fide agency with the hardware to prove it.
Some of Broadway’s longest-working performers are represented at this New York City–based agency, including Tony winner Alice Ripley (“Next to Normal”) and the original “Evita” in the West End, Elaine Paige. Other stage alums include Kathleen Chalfant (“Angels in America”), Paul McGill (“Memphis”), Tracy Jai Edwards (“Legally Blonde: The Musical”), and Christine Pedi (“Chicago”).
The voice of Belle in the Disney animated film “Beauty and the Beast,” Paige O’Hara, is also represented, as is Janet Hubert, who played Vivian Banks on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”
There’s some serious hardware at this agency, too: The legendary two-time Oscar winner Olivia de Havilland is represented here. Given the high pedigree, it’s unsurprising that unsolicited demos are not accepted and interviews are by appointment only. Avoid calling or dropping off materials—email them first to [email protected], and then mail your headshot and résumé directly to 33 W. 46 St., Suite 801, New York, New York 10036.
The Breakdown: Dulcina Eisen Associates gives its clients the white-glove treatment through open communication and collaboration that leads to tailored careers, including ones in experimental performance work.
This boutique agency has a history of booking its clients on everything from Broadway hits and TV gigs to regional venues. Leading talent agent Barry Katz has placed his clients on Broadway shows like “The Humans,” “Wicked,” “Indecent,” and “Hello, Dolly!”
2019 MAC Award winner for best debut Sierra Rein is also repped at the agency—so this is a good place for up-and-coming cabaret performers to get an agent. Several performers have landed gigs on the national tours of shows like “The Book of Mormon” and “The Phantom of the Opera.”
Rein, who recently signed with Dulcina Eisen Associates, said she was first struck by its communication skills, including honest feedback about résumé-building, skills to list, and good email etiquette. “While I don't expect every submission request to result in an appointment, I feel very comfortable emailing the office what I’m interested in being seen for. I believe communication is essential for a marathon-type agent-actor relationship, so this made me view the Dulcina folks as an appropriate team to represent me.”
In addition, the performer shared some thoughts on best practices when looking for an agency. “It's a combination of making a target list of agencies and getting seen by those agents in person. My previous Los Angeles agent saw a musical theater performance of mine and called me after receiving a targeted postcard mailing, creating a 15-year relationship that spanned beyond my move to New York City. After he retired, I spent a year in NYC as an unrepresented actor (not as frightening as I thought) before getting signed at Dulcina.”
Performers looking to do more experimental work Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway, and beyond have been well-represented here, too, with clients getting work at the Irish Repertory Theatre, the Pearl Theatre, and the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, among others.
Recently seen on TV are Patrice Bell (“Evil”) and Anthony Gaskins (“The Blacklist”), with clients also landing roles on shows like “The Good Fight,” “Homeland,” and “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.”
Given the small size of the agency, the best way to catch its attention is by sending a headshot and résumé, along with a flier detailing any upcoming performances. If you know someone in the industry who can refer you, all the better. Postcards and invitations are also accepted. The agency’s address is 154 E. 61st St., New York, New York, 10065.
The Breakdown: With a recent hot streak of booking TV gigs for clients, HCKR is setting up a promising 2020 thanks to its always-two-steps-ahead strategy and established agents who’ve been working there for over 20 years.
HCKR has quite a few performers who have landed roles in anticipated shows debuting this year: Curtiss Cook (“The Chi”) just landed a gig on Showtime’s upcoming “Rita,” while Miles G. Jackson will appear alongside Al Pacino on Amazon’s “Hunters.” Film, TV, and Broadway actor John Procaccino (“A Most Violent Year,” “The Good Wife,” “A Time to Kill”) will join Mark Ruffalo (who plays twins!) on HBO’s limited series “I Know This Much Is True.”
It’s always good to see performers book their next gig so soon after they finish a job, too. Despite announcing his departure from “Black Lightning” in January 2020, Damon Gupton will star as Jeh Johnson in an upcoming James Comey miniseries from CBS Studios.
A slew of stage favorites are also repped by HCKR, including Andy Mientus (“Spring Awakening”), Kaley Ann Voorhees (“The Phantom of the Opera”), W. Tré Davis (Off-Broadway’s “Seared”), and Nadia Bowers, who just finished a run opposite husband Corey Stoll in “Macbeth” at Classic Stage Company.
Your best bet is to inquire about submissions via email: [email protected]
The Breakdown: Known for getting its clients back in front of the camera after a lull, HHA has run a tight ship representing a small number of clients for more than 50 years, with a diverse portfolio of talent that thrives in ensemble work.
Performers at this boutique agency are frequently found on the small screen, although its clients are represented in film and theater as well. Fans might recognize Dakin Matthews for his roles on “Evil” and “Desperate Housewives” as a man of the cloth, and on Broadway as Coach Mickey Goldmill in “Rocky the Musical.”
The agency also is noted for getting stars back to work after an extended break (chosen or not). For example, “Moonlighting” star Allyce Beasley booked a gig on YouTube comedy series “Champaign ILL,” starring Adam Pally and Sam Richardson. “T.J. Hooker” and “Grease 2” star Adrian Zmed has found work on “Lady Dynamite,” in “Sharknado 4,” and in the upcoming “Spring Break ’83.”
In addition, clients can currently be found on Broadway in “Hamilton” and “Frozen.” Its TV credits include the SAG Award–winning ensemble of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” and its film credits include the likes of Oscar-nominated films like “The Post” and “Straight Outta Compton.”
To submit for representation email materials to [email protected]. The agency only represents performers over the age of 18.
The Breakdown: Another agency with a visible cheerleading team on social media, Krasny puts in the work to get its talent a wide range of gigs that are trendy no matter a performer’s age.
Like Boals, Winnett & Associates, the Krasny Office adds a special touch by maintaining an active social media account, announcing casting news as soon as it’s public.
Recent successes include Chris Medlin, who joined the original Broadway cast of “Diana” after appearing in “Mean Girls,” and Lamont Walker II, making his Main Stem debut in “MJ The Musical.”
Other stage clients include the award-winning Joe Ngo as Chum in “Cambodian Rock Band” (which opened Feb. 4 at the Signature Theatre), Kevin Curtis as Babydoll in “Moulin Rouge!,” and Chloé Nadon-Enriquez in the San Francisco production of “Hamilton.” Abby C. Smith is another recognizable performer at Krasny, portraying the lovably daffy Mrs. Puff in “SpongeBob SquarePants” on Broadway.
Multiple clients have landed parts on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” while “The Report” star Fajer Al-Kaisi landed an interview in Sharp Magazine thanks to his powerful supporting role performance. “Pose” actor and frequent stand-in for Bette Midler Bonnie Rose is at the agency, too.
Loyalty clearly matters at Krasny: June Ballinger, now the artistic director of Passage Theatre, has been with the agency since 1979. Additional representation can be found on the Great White Way in “Ain’t Too Proud –The Life and Times of the Temptations,” “Beetlejuice,” and “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”
There’s quite a bit of girl power here, as well: Performers have recently landed roles on TV and in films that feature strong female leads, including “Dickinson,” “Younger,” “Hustlers,” and the upcoming “Mrs. America.” Actors who can sing and dance will be happy to know that clients have booked roles in the highly anticipated movie musical adaptations of “West Side Story” and “In the Heights.”
No calls or email submissions are accepted here. You’ll have to mail your materials to 1501 Broadway, Suite 1507, New York, New York 10036.
The Breakdown: Forecasting a rise in star power is Nicolosi & Co.’s specialty, handpicking performers who are ready to go the extra mile and represent the true diversity of arts and culture in America.
This agency has a powerful roster of Broadway stars that reads like a who’s who of people to keep an eye on, including Joaquina Kalukango of “Slave Play,” J. Harrison Ghee of “Mrs. Doubtfire,” Jeannette Bayardelle of “Girl From the North Country,” and Ben Fankhauser of “Newsies The Musical” just to name a few.
More established stage alums are here, too. Quentin Earl Darrington, who made his Broadway debut in 2009 in “Ragtime,” will return to the stage this summer in “MJ The Musical.” “Wicked” alum Julia Murney is also a client here, and will return Off-Broadway this spring in the musical adaptation of Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer’s “Between the Lines.”
It’s not just stage work, though. Clients have appeared in films like “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” and the upcoming “The Good House.”
A quick peek at its website’s news section shows off its diverse roster of talent, as well—an exciting thing to see for underrepresented performers seeking representation at the start of their career.
To learn more about the submission process, email [email protected] or call 212-633-1010.
The Breakdown: Working closely with casting directors, Wolf Talent Group is a midsize agency that dedicates its time networking hard to get its clients in the audition room.
This agency, headed by Teresa Wolf, has over 150 clients, with work seen across all mediums onstage, in film, and on television.
Client Megan Channell will appear in seven out of the 10 episodes on the first season of Amazon series “Hunters.” Other TV appearances for Wolf Talent Group include “Pose,” “Daredevil,” and “Chicago Med.” Recent film credits for the agency include “The Irishman” and “The Kitchen.”
Broadway alum Wade McCollum (“Wicked”) recently starred Off-Broadway in a production of “Fifty Million Frenchmen” at the York Theatre Company. “Wolf Talent Group has helped me grow my career on Broadway, TV, and film over the past 10 years,” McCollum tells Backstage. “They are the most devoted, loyal, hardworking team out there. Wolf Talent Group is a superlative midsize group of agents that nurtures strong relationships with all of the top casting directors and their actors. So grateful to be on their roster!”
Previous clients include Tony nominee and TV and film star Colman Domingo (“The Scottsboro Boys”).
To be considered for representation, mail materials directly to 165 W. 46 St., Suite 910, New York, New York 10036.
Ready to get to work? Check out Backstage’s theater audition listings!