Q: Does your agent have to live in the same state as you?—@it.z.fern*
If you live in a large acting market, you need to have an agent in that area. They need to be working full time with local casting agents and networks.
If you live near several regional markets, most agents these days get the same breakdowns and can take care of most of the other markets that it would be feasible for you to work in. Therefore, you might be fine with one agent.
It is sometimes acceptable to have multiple agents for different regions. For example, if you live in Dallas, you might also have an Atlanta agent. However, your Dallas agent could submit you for something filming in Georgia, and vice versa. A lot of those auditions are for small roles that they will book right off of your first tape. Your agent will let you know if they want you to be a local hire (a resident of the area where they’re filming) or if they will pay for your travel and per diem. Some actors even choose to travel on their own dime so that the production doesn’t have to pay for them.
If you have different agents in different regions, they should know about each other so that they can negotiate how auditions will be divided. Don’t try to get an agent in a market that you’re not willing to go to in person.
Those actors who live in areas far from any acting markets should not sign up with an online agent. Agents need to be in the city they serve. They work hard to network and have a familiarity with their regional contacts. You’ll need to be willing to drive to the nearest city with an acting market for auditions. Fortunately, most first auditions outside of Los Angeles these days are self-tapes. When it comes to callbacks and shooting, however, it will be up to you to get there. I have students who drive hundreds of miles for auditions, classes, and shooting.
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This story originally appeared in the April 15 issue of Backstage Magazine. Subscribe here.
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