Above: Beautiful Brunette Actress Kristen Stewart Modeling For The Cover Of British Vogue Magazine Modeling As The Highest Paid Actress In The World For British Vogue Fashion Editorials. Actress Kristen Stewart Photographed By Mario Testino.
Many models at some point in their modeling careers consider the option of acting for major motion pictures, television shows, and television commercials with speaking roles. Many models are able to get started in acting with no problems while other models do not do as well in their acting careers and constantly struggle to get major acting roles or even secondary acting roles. Becoming an actress is not extremely difficult, but becoming a very successful and famous actress is something completely different that requires acting training, education about the acting industry, discipline, personality, very well developed acting skills, charisma, networking, passion, and most importantly having the right acting agent (talent agent) to help you to become as successful as possible in your acting career.
Above: The Highest Paid Actresses In The World – The Highest Paid Actresses In Hollywood.
How To Get Started In Acting And How To Get An Acting Agent (Talent Agent) To Become An Actress
The business of acting covers many different things such as unions, acting auditions, acting casting calls, acting contracts, and of course acting agents (talent agents). While many will not agree with this, specially because there are always exceptions, it is safe to say that in general (again, there are always exceptions) having an acting agent and an acting agency (a talent agency) is the first step in distinguishing amateur and sometimes professional actresses from highly successful and famous professional actresses. For example, if you live in Los Angeles it will be extremely difficult to get principal leading roles in major motion pictures and movies without an acting agent (talent agent) representing you. You might be the most talented actress in the entire world but it will be extremely difficult for you to get major acting roles if no one in the acting industry knows who you are and what amazing things you can do as an actress.
Promoting an actress (in this case you) is the job of an acting agent and the acting agency which represents actresses (in this case you being one of the actresses). An acting agency (talent agency) could have dozens or even hundreds of acting agents, talent agents, and/or employees (this is common for the largest acting agencies and/or talent agencies in Los Angeles Southern California) with the objective of getting their actresses as much acting work around the world as possible. Try to find a successful and famous actress that is currently acting in major motion pictures and movies and does not have acting representation from a major acting and talent agency. While certainly possible, it is indeed rare.
Above: Beautiful Blonde Actress Charlize Theron Modeling For The Cover Of British Vogue Magazine Modeling As One Of The Highest Paid Actresses In The World. Actress Charlize Theron Photographed By Patrick Demarchelier.
What Kind Of Agent Do I Need?
Now that we have explained why you need an acting agent (talent agent) it is important to explore the different types of agents that are available to represent actresses. Commercial agents handle television commercials, voice-over agents handle radio and off-camera work, theatrical agents handle movies, television shows, stage, and theatre. There are also other types of talent agents such as modeling agents (think ZARZAR MODELS), as well as talent agents that focus on professional sport athletes, musicians, authors and writers, film directors, producers, broadcast journalists, and other members of the entertainment industry. Even within each major area you can find different specialties such as fashion runway, commercial print, editorial print, fashion print, etc. for modeling agents and modeling agencies (all these areas of modeling are covered by our modeling agency). Typically, the larger the agency the more specialized the agents.
For actors and actresses, theatrical and commercial is where most of the acting work is so from a business perspective you probably want to make sure that you are represented by an acting agency (talent agency) that handles acting work in these areas. Acting agents are also franchised or not franchised. A franchised agent is one who is licensed to represent union performers. Union pay is sometimes much better than non-union pay, and you will get benefits that non-union actors might not get, which brings us to one of the most common questions that beginning actresses ask and that is “what in the world is SAG-AFTRA and why should I care?” which is the subject of our next section.
Above: Beautiful Brunette Actress Kristen Stewart Modeling For Balenciaga Paris Florabotanica Fragrance Fashion Advertisements And Perfume Ads Modeling As The Highest Paid Actress In The World. Actress Kristen Stewart Photographed By Steven Meisel.
How To Become An Actress And What Is SAG-AFTRA?
One of the first things that confuses beginning actresses and beginning actors is SAG-AFTRA, specially when a beginning actress is asked for the very first time if she is a member of the union or a member of SAG-AFTRA (a beginning actress will generally be asked this question during her first acting role either as a principal actress, a supporting actress, or a background actress which is known as an extra). Her first response is usually a blank stare followed by “what union” or “SAG-AFTRA what?” followed by a very confused look which even an actress can generally not fake. The union that most actresses and actors generally refer to in the United States is called SAG-AFTRA. Better known by the general public as the Screen Actors Guild or SAG for short it was an American labor union representing over 105,000 film and television actresses, actors, principals, and background performers (known as extras) worldwide. On March 30, 2012 the SAG union leadership announced that the SAG membership voted to merge with the American Federation Of Television And Radio Artists known as AFTRA to create SAG-AFTRA.
SAG-AFTRA For Actresses And Actors – Should I Join SAG-AFTRA? Is SAG-AFTRA Right For Me As A Beginning Actress?
Today SAG-AFTRA represents more than 165,000 actresses, actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists, and other media professionals. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the world. With national offices in Los Angeles and New York, and local offices nationwide, SAG-AFTRA members work together to secure the strongest protections for media artists into the 21st century and beyond.
SAG-AFTRA brings together two great American labor unions: the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation Of Television And Radio Artists. Both were formed in the turmoil of the 1930’s with rich histories of fighting for and securing the strongest protections for actresses, actors, and other media artists. Its members united to form the successor union known as SAG-AFTRA in order to preserve those hard-won rights and to continue the struggle to extend and expand those protections for actresses, actors, and other members of the entertainment industry. If you do decide to join SAG-AFTRA it is important to remember that you will have to pay membership fees every single year (this will be covered in detail in other ZARZAR MODELS articles for actresses) and you will not be allowed to work on non-union movies, non-union television shows, non-union television commercials, etc.
Above: The Highest Paid Television Actresses In The World – The Highest Paid Television Actresses In Hollywood.
By this point fashion models and runway models that are interested in expanding into acting and developing an acting career might be wondering if there is an equivalent union for fashion models and runway models. The answer is that there is no comparable union for models, fashion models, and runway models in the modeling industry which is why you want to make sure that you are represented by a world class modeling agency if possible (for example, many of our models from around the world have appeared on magazine covers and/or fashion editorials from prestigious fashion magazines and publications as well as appeared in national and international fashion advertising campaigns).
“If there are no acting agents, acting agencies, or talent agencies within several hundred miles of where you live, there probably is no paying work where you live.”
Remember that the focus of this article on how to become an actress is to also discuss the business of acting: earning money, making a living thanks to your acting jobs, and building a professional acting career. You are probably going to spend a lot of time, energy, and money developing your acting career so it is extremely important for you to take a lot of time thinking about which acting agency (talent agency) is right for you. What might be the perfect acting agency (talent agency) for your best friend might not be the best acting agency (talent agency) for you. Also, if you live far away from Los Angeles or New York in a very small town in the middle of nowhere you might be doing yourself a favor by eventually moving to Los Angeles or New York where the agents (and the money) are located. Try driving several hundred miles for a five minute acting audition and then driving back home, then do the same thing the next day for the call back (a second audition to see if you can get the acting job). You will be exhausted from acting in no time, and your travel expenses will definitely diminish your earnings from acting.
Above: Beautiful Brunette Actress Kristen Stewart Modeling For Vogue Italia Magazine Modeling As The Highest Paid Actress In The World Earning Approximately $34.5 Million United States Dollars For The Year.
If there are no acting agents and acting agencies (talent agencies) in your small town, it is probably because there is no acting work in your small town (if that is the case try to find the nearest town with an acting agency and ask if they work with the larger acting agencies in Los Angeles Southern California or New York). Local libraries, colleges, and universities with acting programs and acting degrees are also great starting points for starting your research and your search for your perfect acting agency and acting agent. Some beginning actresses go as far as contacting local production companies and local television stations and asking them for recommendations on reputable and prestigious acting agencies (talent agencies) which is what we meant by saying that you will probably spend a lot of time, money, and energy in developing your acting career.
Above: Beautiful Blonde ZARZAR MODEL Jessica Paterson Modeling In Southern California Modeling In Beautiful Red Classic Cars For Watches And Accessories Fashion Ads. ZARZAR MODELING AGENCY Model And Actress.
ZARZAR MODELS is one of the top modeling agencies for women in the United States representing models in print editorials, high fashion runway, film, television commercials, and promotions. The agency represents female models in major fashion cities and counties including Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Orange County Southern California, San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Miami, New York, Toronto, London, Paris, Milan, Sao Paulo, and Tokyo and recruits and represents models throughout the world through its global fashion and modeling network.