Jen Govey's Film Industry Portal
Actors' Page







This page has been especially set up for Actors. I only have experience in amateur theatre, so can only offer basic advice, but I have found you some handy links! Please let me know what you would like to see here or if you would like to write some articles for this page or drop me a line to suggest a link!


Actors Frequently Asked Questions

I am 17 years old. I am a student at College doing Performing Arts. I am looking for an Acting Agency which can help me to show my talent. How do I do this?
Getting an Agent is a very difficult task and I'm not sure if I am the best person to advise you how as it is not an area I'm experienced in. I do know that just writing to agents, when you have no professional experience, is unlikely to produce results. You could try an agency that is used for extras, as it is a lot easier to get on their books. Never, ever pay to join an agency. They should take a percentage of your wage. If they require a fee up front they are most likely dodgy and should be avoided.

A good thing to do is join a small, independent London theatre production, as a lot of these have special nights where agents and journalists review the work and you can get noticed. Others I know have got together with friends and put on their own production, with the intention of inviting Agents, etc. If you do get involved with something like this, send out a letter, photo an CV with an invitation to see the production. This may be something that your college could set up, or help you set up. You may be able to get a grant to do this from your local Arts Council or from the Prince's Trust. See the Funding page on my website for contact details.

Another thing to do is go to as many auditions as possible. These are generally listed in The Stage theatrical newspaper and PCR. You can also find some web sites that list casting calls on the web.

The best advice I can give is:

1. Get a good photo, preferably a couple in black and white, with different moods/styles. You can generally get these cheaper if you find a college or university that are running National Diplomas in Photography and contact some of the students. Most will just charge you costs as you are offering to be a practice 'model' in exchange. So it works out good for both of you and you both get something for your portfolios.

2. Sort out your CV.

3. List yourself on as many free web directories as you can. You can also set up your own website for free. Yahoo and AOL provide free space for members and provide free space in exchange for banner ads.

4. Go to as many auditions as possible. This is the most useful advice I can give.

5. Gain experience as an extra.

6. Try to get involved in independent / fringe theatre and lo-no budget independent films. The lo-no budget films option is good as you can sometime swap skills. You be in their film in exchange for a copy of the finished product on tape or dvd and a credit. (For your showreel). Make sure you at least get expenses if there is no wage. Again it would be good to contact film students.

7. Go to an Actors' Workshops like

8. Make sure your work while you're at college is video taped. This means that if you ever get an opportunity to access and editor or video editing equipment (for example; someone who has access to an iMac may have simple editing software pre-installed ), you can make up a showreel. This is a great thing to send out to agents. Remember to enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope, so they can return any items you send, or you will not see them again. You could invite a photography student. Many have reportage style projects and this is something again that could benefit you both.

9. When you have done all this, you can try approaching the main agencies. These are listed in film directories, like Kays, Kemps or The Knowledge. These are usually available in bigger public libraries. You may have luck in your own college library, if not you can usually get them to order one.

10. You can also send out your CV to Casting Agencies. This is especially good if you become a familiar face at auditions / casting calls, as you can get company names and contacts and look them up and write a follow up letter.

11. REMEMBER: Go to as many auditions as possible. This is the most important!

Getting an agent is the hardest thing to achieve (so I am told by my thespian friend)
Please see the above page for advice. PAAW Performing Artists Database Guys & Dolls Casting Professional Supporting Artists Agency. London, UK Nina's People Agency for extras, models & entertainers. Also Image Consultants
My list of UK Acting Agents

Here are some sites which list casting calls, et cetera The Casting Studio. A leading casting database of UK television, theatre, film and commercial talent. Free for agents & Casting Directors to become members, small charge for pro performers. Flaunt. Database & resource; lists casting calls. My Entertainment World. Lists up coming auditions & casting PAAW. Performing Artists Database The Stage Theatrical newspaper

ORGANISATIONS Artists Rights, USA (LA) based site. Equity; the British performers union. Screen Actors' Guild, Equity's American cousin!
For more film organisations, please see my Film Organisations page.

PROMOTION Academy Players Actors Directory, LA, USA The Actors List Flaunt Database & resource; lists casting calls Players Guide View & print CV's with photos & agents details Progressive Studios Show reels and workshops Spotlight View & print CV's with photos & agents details
For more information on networking webstes, please see my networking page

RESOURCES Actor Club A fantastic resource for the professional actor. They run regular inexpensive workshops covering both classic and modern plays in North London. They also offer free advice. Very highly recommended!! Acting Magazine The ultimate guide to acting! PAAW Performing Artists database.
email: Spotlight Advisory Service. M-F 10:30-5:30 Samuel French The famous theatrical bookshop Who Represents Who? Free, searchable database.
Books My film and theatrical books page - Books and Bookshops

TRAINING Actor Club A fantastic resource for the professional actor. They run regular inexpensive workshops covering both classic and modern plays in North London. They also offer free advice. Very highly recommended!! The official guide to drama training in the UK U.S.A. based Actor Training Program Based in New York City, USA. Acting classes for professional & aspiring actors in NYC. Showreels and workshops
For more information on Training and film schools, please see my Film Training page.
Jen Govey Film Links