What are acting agents?

Acting agents are a specialized type of agent that focuses on clients acting on stage or screen. Sometimes referred to as interim managers, interim agents' job is to locate potential roles for their clients and arrange for the client to audition with casting directors and others who will make the decision on whom to cast for an upcoming entertainment production. Acting agent is one of several different types of entertainment agents and is generally considered unique from model agents and talent agents who represent vocal performers, broadcasters, and other members of the entertainment community.

In many cases, it is impossible for a budding actor or actress to get work without representation from an acting agent. Agents of this type often function as advocates for their clients, using a variety of strategies to get the artist's name, credits, and likeness in front of the right people. This puts acting agents in direct contact with casting directors and other key people who have a say in who gets hired for a given project and who doesn't.

Acting agents tend to agree to represent clients on the basis of receiving a commission for their efforts. The commission is based on the gross payment earned by the client after being hired as a result of the agent's efforts. In some circumstances, acting agents may be entitled to some form of commission on other entertainment-related work that the actor may obtain without the agent's direct intervention. The exact terms and conditions surrounding the commission structure are defined in a formal contract agreed upon and signed by the agent and the actor.

Because acting agents make their living on commissions, they have a vested interest in placing as many of their clients in high-paying acting jobs as possible. However, there have been cases where an agent would primarily focus on one or a few highly sought after clients and pay very little attention to lesser known clients. When this happens, the client may be relegated to another agent associated with the talent agency or even switched to other talent agencies if there is a feeling that agents can get a certain actor noticed.

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