This page aims to give you some helpful advice about the industry. Its some of the Do’s & Dont’s of the industry.
Unfortunately a number of recent incidents have prompted Point Break Drama to warn Actors, students & Parents of some unethical practices in the industry.
Production Companies have been sending audition notices for plays/ musicals through legitimate agents. Unknown to these agents, these companies turn out to be drama schools producing the shows. There is of course no problem with this, but the companies involved are not being upfront about who they are, or what is involved until completion of the audition.
Children & Teens audition and are offered a place in the production on the spot(which is highly unusual), and parents are asked to pay fees for their child to be involved. No mention of money in the audition notice. The child must participate in the schools drama classes. In some cases the fees were well over $1000. We have no problem with companies who are upfront, but these companies are clearly trying to recruit business for their Drama school. Some of these shows have hundreds of kids involved. No doubt a great experience for some, but more importantly what does your child get out it?
Agents that are schools
This is particularly a problem with the kids agencies, but also some adult acting agencies. Agents representing actors are setting up their own school, attached directly to the agency. The approach is, “we will represent you on the condition that you train with us and take our courses”. This is great if the agency is going to find you work. Unfortunately an agency can sign hundreds of clients, sometimes thousands and the vast majority will never get one job. Parents be aware as you will be asked to pay fees that may reap little or no result for your child. Please always remember that a good agent never takes anyone on, unless they see real potential and possibility to make money.
The industry at every level is highly competitive so why would an agent take on hundreds of clients? They cant possibly find all of them work. Good agents work incredibly hard to represent and find work for their select few. On-going Training is of course very important. Please don’t be conned.
If in doubt ask around and get advice before signing anything. Ask the agent how many clients they represent? If you do decide to give it a go don’t stick around if its not working out.
How to get an Agent
In reality getting good representation is not easy unless you have credits, experience and /or a showreel. Admittedly some kids agencies will take on children if they like the ‘look’, or come from a recommendation. These agents will actively seek work for your child. For most its a catch 22. You need to have work, training behind you to get a agent, but can’t get work until you have an agent.
Do anything you can to build up experience in film/, tv & Theatre. Try to get into some quality short film projects because these will give you scenes for a showreel. When you have a strong reel(1-2min), send it as a link to people you want to represent you. Your strike rate is likely to be much higher once you have something to show.
Once you have professional credits it then becomes easier to find a new agent if you want to change.
If all else fails do some classes, practice your craft and meet like minded people.
Choosing an Acting Course
Its important to find the right school that gives you what your looking for. Acting Schools are springing up everywhere, its becoming more difficult to know how to choose. There are full & part-time courses in most cities.
If you want to learn about acting and acting technique, be careful that your teachers understand acting technique. Being a high-school drama teacher does not qualify someone to teach acting. For example all acting teachers at Point Break Drama must have studied & graduated at a major drama institution like NIDA or WAAPA , and have professional working experience in the industry as performers.
An acting school that offers short courses will have students working. Ask them about their students successes. Ask around about the school and get the whole picture.
Does the school offer access to casting professionals, agents & professional teachers?