Agency for Actors: The 30 Best Talent Agencies and The Talent They Represent
Securing good roles is undeniably thee most critical aspect of being an actor. However, breaking into the industry can be quite challenging when you don't have an established reputation, and casting directors may not pay much attention to newcomers.
So, what's the next step? How can you create opportunities as a budding actor?
This is where acting agents play a pivotal role.
What is an acting agent, and why do you need one?
An acting agent, often referred to as a talent agent or simply an agent, is a professional who represents actors, performers, and other talent in the entertainment industry.
Their primary role is to act as a liaison between the talent they represent and casting directors, producers, directors, and other industry professionals.
Here's why having an acting agent can be crucial for actors:
Finding Auditions and Opportunities: One of the main tasks of an acting agent is to search for auditions and job opportunities that are suitable for their clients. Agents have established relationships with casting directors and production companies, which gives them access to a wide range of casting calls that may not be publicly available. This increases the chances of their clients being considered for roles that match their skills and experience.
Negotiating Contracts and Salaries: Acting agents are skilled negotiators who work to secure the best possible deals for their clients. They negotiate contracts, including compensation, working conditions, and other important terms, on behalf of the actor. This ensures that actors receive fair pay and treatment for their work.
Career Guidance and Strategy: Agents offer career advice and guidance to their clients. They help actors make informed decisions about which projects to take on, which ones to pass on, and how to strategically advance their careers in the competitive entertainment industry.
Industry Connections: Agents are well-connected within the industry and have access to valuable networking opportunities. They attend industry events, workshops, and functions, where they can promote their clients and build relationships with key players in the entertainment world.
Time Management: As an actor, managing auditions, contracts, and negotiations can be time-consuming. An agent takes care of these administrative tasks, allowing the actor to focus on their craft and other aspects of their career.
Legal and Professional Support: Acting agents have a solid understanding of the legal aspects of the entertainment industry. They can help their clients navigate legal agreements, ensure compliance with industry standards, and protect their interests.
Confidence and Support: Having an agent can boost an actor's confidence, knowing that there is a professional working to advance their career and promote their talent. Agents can also provide emotional support and encouragement during the ups and downs of a performer's journey.
It's important to note that while having an acting agent can be beneficial, it's not mandatory for every actor. Some actors may choose to represent themselves, especially when starting their careers or if they have a strong network and a good understanding of the industry. However, for many actors, having a reputable and dedicated agent can make a significant difference in their career trajectory and overall success in the entertainment business.
Acting Agents are Great, but at what COST?
While having an acting agent can be advantageous for many actors, there are also some potential downsides to consider. It's essential to be aware of these drawbacks before deciding to sign with an agent:
Commission Fees: Acting agents typically work on a commission basis, earning a percentage of the actor's earnings from their projects. This commission usually ranges from 10% to 20%. While this is a standard industry practice, it means that the actor will earn slightly less from each job they book. This can be a significant factor, especially for actors just starting or those who have not yet secured high-paying roles.
Conflict of Interest: Some agents may prioritize clients who are already established or are booking high-paying jobs more frequently. This can result in newer or lesser-known actors receiving less attention or fewer opportunities. It's crucial to have clear communication with your agent and ensure they are actively working to promote your career.
Lack of Personal Attention: If an agency has a large roster of clients, it's possible for individual actors to receive less personal attention. Agents may be juggling numerous talents, and certain actors may not get as much focus or guidance as they desire.
Limited Geographical Reach: Depending on the agency's location and reach, they may have a limited network in specific regions. This can impact an actor's ability to access opportunities in different markets or countries, especially if they want to explore international projects.
Typecasting and Opportunities: Some agents may try to steer their clients towards specific types of roles or genres that they believe are the most marketable. This can lead to typecasting and potentially limit an actor's ability to explore a diverse range of roles and showcase their versatility.
Contract Obligations: When an actor signs with an agent, they usually enter into a contract. While this can protect the actor's interests, it also means they are committed to working exclusively with that agent for a certain period. If the partnership isn't working out or the actor wants to switch representation, breaking the contract can be complicated and may result in legal or financial consequences.
Agency Reputation: The reputation and credibility of the agency can impact an actor's standing in the industry. If the agency has a negative reputation or is not well-regarded, it could potentially harm the actor's opportunities. So actors should be sure to research the standing of any agency they are considering within the industry.
Dependency on the Agent: Some actors may become overly reliant on their agents to find opportunities and handle their careers. While agents play a crucial role, it's essential for actors to take an active role in self-promotion, networking, and skill development.
It's important to thoroughly research and interview potential agents before signing with one. A good agent should be transparent, communicative, and have a track record of successfully representing their clients. Additionally, actors should consider their own career goals and needs to ensure that the agent's representation aligns with their aspirations.
Materials YOU Need Before the Agent Search
You'll need some things before you begin your big agent hunt.
These three are your credibility cards that show agencies that you have promise as an actor.
If you are looking to get a good headshot we offer professional headshot photoshoot services here at ForrestImages.com. Check us out at the link below!
How to Find Agencies for Actors?
You can read here on 11 tips on how to get an acting manager but ultimately there are a few notable ways.
Getting an acting agent can be a crucial step in advancing your acting career. Here are some of the most important ways to increase your chances of securing representation:
Training and Experience: Take acting classes, workshops, and participate in local theater productions to gain valuable experience and improve your skills. Agents are more likely to represent actors with a strong foundation and a track record of performances.
Professional Actor Headshots and Resume: Have professional headshots taken that showcase your look and personality. Create a well-organized acting resume highlighting your training, experience, and any relevant special skills.
Research and Targeting: Research reputable acting agencies that represent talent in your area or within your niche (e.g., film, theater, commercials). Look for agents who have represented actors with similar backgrounds and career goals.
Networking: Attend industry events, workshops, and networking functions to meet industry professionals, including agents. Networking can lead to connections and potential referrals to agents.
Industry Showcases: Participate in industry showcases or talent competitions where agents and casting directors may be in attendance. These events offer exposure to industry professionals.
Online Submissions: Many agencies accept submissions through their websites. Prepare a compelling cover letter, your headshot, resume, and any relevant demo reel or clips. Follow the agency's submission guidelines carefully.
Referrals and Recommendations: If you know other actors who are represented by agents, ask if they would be willing to refer you to their agent or provide recommendations.
Attend Agent Workshops: Some cities offer workshops where actors can perform scenes in front of agents. These workshops can be an opportunity to showcase your talent and make a positive impression.
Be Persistent and Patient: Getting an agent can take time and requires persistence. Keep honing your craft, attending auditions, and seeking opportunities to showcase your talent.
Stay Professional and Positive: Acting agents seek professional and positive actors who are dedicated to their craft. Be respectful, punctual, and enthusiastic during auditions and meetings.
Remember that securing an agent is not the only path to success as an actor. Many successful actors have started their careers without representation and later signed with agents as they gained experience and recognition. Stay focused on improving your skills, building your resume, and creating opportunities for yourself. The right agent will recognize your potential and be enthusiastic about representing you on your acting journey.
The Biggest Agencies for Actors
Now that we have established what an acting agent is and what you need to get one, we can move on to our list of the best acting agencies.
We'll start with the largest, most prestigious agencies and then work our way down. They are guaranteed entertainment professionals who will offer you the most out of any agency.
CAA represents top tier talent in the acting field. Around twice the size of William Morris, the Creative Artists Agency is both huge and well-renowned. It is significantly younger as well, founded in 1975. You can find offices across the western world, from Beverly Hills to New York and even London!
Sadly they do not accept cold call submissions, so good luck getting an agent from there.
Talent represented by CAA include:
Steven Spielberg, Bradd Pitt, Tom Cruise, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Tom Hanks, James Cameron, Meryl Streep, George Clooney, Will Smith, Zendaya, Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Kate Winslet, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lopez, Sandra Bullock, Zoe Saldana, Anne Hathaway, John Travolta, Natalie Portman, Liam Neeson, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, Helen Mirren, Salma Hayek, Megan Fox, Ryan Gosling, Gerard Butler, Christina Applegate, Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, Vin Diesel, Emma Thompson, Bella Ramsey (from "Game of Thrones", "The Last of Us", "Hilda", and Catherine Called Birdy"), Anya Taylor Joy (from "The Queen's Gambit", "The Witch", "Morgan", and "The New Mutants"), Pedro Pascal (from "The Mandolorian", "Game of Thrones", "Wonder Woman 1984", and "Kingsmen: The Golden Circle"), Lucy Boynton (from "Sling Street", "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Murder on the Orient Express", and "Miss Potter"), Riley Keough (from "Mad Max:Fury Road", "American Honey", "It Comes At Night", and "Logan Lucky"), among others.
Currently run by Phil Gersh's two sons after he founded it in 1949, the Gersh Agency is known for representing some of the biggest names in the field! They have offices based in both Beverly Hills and New York.
Some of their current clients include Freddie Stroma and Elizabeth Olsen.
While you need a referral to join, this talent agency can help new actors catch their big breaks, so this agency may be worth looking into as you go down your career path.
Talent represented by The Gersh Agency include:
Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Meg Ryan, Winona Ryder, Angela Bassett, Courtney Cox, Mandy Moore, Ray Liotta, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Andrea Anders (from "Spirited", "Ted Lasso", "Cruel Summer", and "The Conners"), Ericka Christensen (from "Traffic", "Flight Plan", "Swimfan", and "Parenthood"), Isabel May (from "1883", "I Want You Back", "Young Sheldon", and "Alexa & Kate"), India de Beufort (from "Run Fatboy Run", "Kimi", "All Hail King Julien", and "NCIS: Los Angeles"), Hailey Lu Richardson (from "Five Feet Apart", "I'm pregnant", "The White Lotus", and "Columbus"), Tyler James Williams (from "Everybody Hates Chris", "Dear White People", Unnacompanied Minors", and "Abbott Elementary"), among others.
Considered one of the top talent agencies, the William Morris Endeavor is one of the best acting agencies. Founded all the way back in 1898 and based in Los Angeles, this agency has some of the established actors among the three thousand others in its ranks!
Unfortunately, you cannot get into the William Morris Agency without a referral or piquing their interest, so if you want to get in, you'll have to scrape your way up the ladder tooth and nail first!
This holds for most, if not any, large agencies, so keep that in mind as we move down the list.
Talent represented by William Morris Endeavor include:
Denzel Washington, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Eddie Murphy, Colin Farrell, Nicolas Cage, Jim Carrey, Angelina Jolie, Kevin Costner, Christopher Nolan, Adam Sandler, Kevin Hart, Edward Norton, Matt Damon, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Idris Elba, Keanu Reeves, Matthew McConaughey, Steve Carrel, Robert Downey Jr., Rami Malek, Mark Wahlberg, Michael B. Jordan, Ben Affleck, Jonah Hill, Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal, Giancarlo Esposito, John David Washington, Hugh Jackman, Angela Bassett, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jared Leto, Thandie Newton, Janelle Monae, Jonathan Majors, Emma Stone, Lauren London, Joaquin Phoenix, Courtney Cox, Rob Lowe, Kate Hudson, Michael Keaton, Jessica Biel, Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, Tessa Thompson, Anna Torv, Nico Parker, Austin Butler, Christian Bale, Leo Suter, Melisa Rauch, Richard Gere, Hillary Swank, among others.
The UTA is also one of the best agencies in the field. It was founded by an agent, Janice Gable Smith, and her late husband, Richard Kiley, in 1961.
They don't just represent the talent, but all kinds of fields in the entertainment industry, including directors and writers!
Some big names who take the UTA as clients include Robert Downey Jr. and Wes Anderson.
Talent represented by United Talent Agency include:
Harrison Ford, Will Ferrel, Kevin Hart, Arnold Schwarzenneger, Catherine Zeta Jones, Wes Anderson, Owen Wilson, Ben Stiller, Seth Rogen, Michael J Fox, Dakota Fanning, James Franco, John Leguizamo, Giancarlo Esposito, Timothee Chalamet, Wilmer Valderrama, Kirsten Dunst, Michael Douglas, Katie Holmes, Vincent D'Onofrio, Indya Moore, Susan Sarandon, Sam Richardson, Alexandra Daddario, Brienne Howey, Jennifer Coolidge, Gabriel Luna, Laura Prepon, Theo James, among others.
A leading literary and talent agency that's been around for over 40 years. They have offices in L.A. and NYX and have a reputation across the entire industry for working with many major players. Their current approach since 2018 is to maximize the career path of their clients.
Talent represented by A3 Artists include:
Denise Richards, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Vivica Fox, Chet Hanks, Dove Cameron, Jen Landon, Fred Hechinger, Jodie Sweetin, Anthony Michael Hall, among others.
Originally founded in 1982 as Harris & Goldberg, named after the two founders Scott Harris and Howard Goldberg, they rebranded in 1992 following the addition of the literary and production departments and a New York office. They are famous for emphasizing the relationship between them and their clients above all else.
They represent talent across the industry, including actors, writers, directors, and production designers.
Talent represented by Innovative Artists include:
Stacey Dash, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Rosie Perez, Ashley Johnson, Ke Huy Quan, Mace Coronel, Brandon Sklenar, Julie Ann Emery, Tatyana Ali, Anika Noni Rose, Salli Richardson Whitfield, among others.
Paradigm is another huge talent agency. Valuing and supporting art and artists for over 30 years since 1992, they offer various services in the industry, from representing actors to book publishing!
They have offices all over Los Angeles, New York, London, and Toronto. Some of their more established actors and writers include Zoe Kravitz, Lawrence Fishburne, and Stephen King!
Talent represented by Paradigm Talent Agency include:
Harry Melling, Callie Haverda, Willa Fitzgerald, Sydney Sweeney, Meghan Fahy, Emily Hampshire, Paz Vega, Molly C. Quinn, Sam Morelos, Aldis Hodge, Wendel Pierce, Jamie Hector, among others.
Agency for the Performing Arts is one of the largest talent agencies valuing industry diversity, creativity, collaboration, and innovation.
Founded all the way back in 1962 and with offices in L.A., New York, London, Nashville, Atlanta, and Toronto, they value assisting their clients with opportunities, tools, and career guidance to flourish their careers.
Talent represented by APA Agency include:
James Earl Jones, Martin Lawrence, 50 Cent, Mel Gibson, Pamela Anderson, Regina Hall, Lucy Liu, Pam Grier, Jeremy Piven, Tyrese Gibson, Cole Hauser, Alan Cumming, Mike Epps, Sonja Sohn, Tichina Arnold, Gary Oldman, Aaron Ashmore, Delroy Lindo, Nicole Peltz Beckham, Hayden Panettiere, Nathalie Emmanuel, Tamala Jones, Russel Hornsby, La La Anthony, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Holly Robinson Pete, among others.
Bill Cunningham started CESD in Hollywood as Cunningham & Associates over 50 years ago. Still, it became today's talent agency after the partnership between CED executives Ken Slevin and Paul Doherty. They are known for thriving Film/Media and Commercial opportunities for young performers and influencers.
Talent represented by CESD Talent Agency include:
Paris Hilton, Audrey Plaza, Ashley Aufderheide, Jessy Schram, Todd Field, Ruby Cruz, Gideon Adlon, Aldis Hodge, Michael Jai White, Ron Cephas Jones, Peter Mensah, Deborah Ayorinde, among others.
You may have heard of ICM Partners, as they were once one of the top 5 talent agencies in the business. However, in 2021 Creative Artists Agency acquired them for 750 million dollars, so most of their staff has moved over.
Moving on, we have medium-sized agencies, which also rank among the top agencies but with a slightly smaller talent roster.
A younger agency founded in 2017 by Tina Randolph Contogenis, they are both a talent and literary agency that sets to promote actors and writers across the media landscape. They named themselves after the Greek goddess of discord, Eris, for the message her golden apple symbolizes.
Talent represented by Eris Talent Agency include:
Big Daddy Kane, Musetta Vander, Yuuki Luna, Yuri Lowenthall, Todd Bridges, among others,
Buchwald Agency is a marketing and acting agency launched in 1977 by Don Buchwald. They specialize in several areas across the entertainment industry, such as film and television, theatrical, and even social media and voiceover talent. They have offices in L.A. and New York, with people like Howard Stern using their services.
This is another agency that will require referrals to get in, unfortunately.
Talent represented by Buchwald include:
Rachel Nichols, Mario Van Peebles, Jeffrey Pierce, Jennifer Robertson, Judith Light, Emily Swallow, Kirstie Alley, Keith David, Orlando Jones, Debbie Allen, Sarita Choudhury, Eliana Jones, Andre Royo, John Amos,
Since they were founded 35 years ago by Jane Stewart, Stewart Talent has supported many members of the entertainment field in the four main US markets. They represent actors as well as other talent in the industry, such as film, television, print, commercial, and directors.
Talent represented by Stewart Talent include:
Carol Kane, Eddie Griffin, Sean Austin, LisaRaye McCoy, Joshua Malina, Paul Reubens, Gaten Matarrazo, Jessica Pimentel, Adeola Role, among others.
Starting as the Wormser Agency in 1957, Jack Wormser grew the agency as one of the first voice overs and commercial television agencies during the Golden Age. The organization later expanded to add Sandy Joseph and Roger Hedfund as partners and continued growth over the next few decades.
Now they are one of the top 15 agencies overall and one of the top bicoastal agencies. They offer jobs in various acting fields, film, and stunts. The company values passion in the field and hands-on attention to its employees.
They accept unsolicited submissions.
Talent represented by Kazarian/Measures/Ruskin/ & Associates include:
Merle Dandridge, J.K. Simmons, Jenna Davis, Elizabeth Perkins, Simone Missick, Vernee Watson, Tamara Tunie, among others.
With over 100 years of experience and with a staff comprised of industry professionals, Take 3 Talent gives prides itself of providing career guidance for new talent of all ages. Some of their clients include major studios such as HBO, Disney, Lego, PBS, Nickelodeon, and their actors have starred in many network original shows.
Talent represented by Take 3 Talent include:
Bailey Bass, Jamie Donnelly, Melissa Navia, among others.
Between film, TV, musical theater, commercials, influencer, and many other areas, the Daniel Hoff agency wants to help new talent foster and grow. Expanding and adapting for over thirty years across their three offices in New York, Atlanta, and Los Angeles, they value their commitment to growing a family of newly-emerging artists.
Talent represented by Daniel Hoff Agency include:
Leon, Charisma Carpenter, Robin Lively, Brianna Brown, and Kareem J. Grimes,
Dorothy Day Otis founded her agency in 1969 to provide performers representation for adults and children across the country.
Within their New York and Los Angeles offices and across the commercial, film, TV, theater, hosting, voice-over, and sports & specialty areas, DDO prides itself on having staff consisting of industry professionals passionate about assisting new actors with their careers.
Talent represented by DDO Agency include:
James Hong, Stephanie Czajkowski, Alex Rosę Wiesel, among others.
With over 20 years of L.A. and New York activity, Clear Talent Group is a great choice for talent across media. They represent actors, directors, models, theater, and dancers.
Talent represented by Clear Talent Group include:
Kerry Knuppe, Richard Brooks, Daphne Reid, Brandee Evans, among others.
An agency specializing in youth or child actors, but also other actors, including film, stuntmen, and even comedians and public speakers! They were founded in 2005 with the goal of providing clients with a specialized, hands-on approach as if they were their only clients.
Avalon accepts unsolicited manuscripts, so that you can get an acting agent from here.
Talent represented by Avalon Artists include:
Anna Stadler, Noelle Sheldon, Boone Platt, among others.
Based in L.A. and NYC, Atlas primarily promotes voice over talent for animation, commercials, and narration.
Talent represented by Atlas Talent Agency include:
Andrea Anders, India de Beaufort, Giancarlo Esposito, Dichen Lachman, Sonequa Martin-Green, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Jesse L Martin, Isiah Whitlock, among others.
The following are the smaller agencies. These agencies are still highly reputable, but have an even smaller roster size.
Founded all the way back in 1933 and housed in Beverly Hills, is an agency that specializes in actors, directors, producers, writers, and comedians.
Talent represented by Media Artists Group include:
Mya, Sean Young, Kevin Nash, Raymond Cruz, among others.
A primarily New York-based talent agency for film, TV, and commercial actors run by a theatrical agent, Harry Gold.
Talent represented by TalentWorks include:
William Shatner, Julian Sands, Dawn Olivieri, April Bowlby, Billy Dee Williams, Chad L. Coleman, Joe Morton, Jesse Plemons, Judd Hirsch, among others.
They are among the talent agencies based in New York and Los Angeles, representing anyone aged 13 and older for theater, film, and TV.
Talent represented by Artists & Representatives include:
Debra Jo Rupp, Milly Shapiro, Keith David, Rachel Titcoin, Richard RoundrDawnn Lewis, Ron Canada, among others.
Based in Toronto and New York, Talent House works closely with New York's top casting directors and producers. With over 35 years of experience, they have supported talent in film, theater, TV, commercial, voice overs, and creative endeavors in Canada, Europe, Asia, and, of course, the United States.
Talent represented by The Talent House include:
Melissa O'Niel, Natasha Mumba, Angel Theory, among others.
A merger of two agencies, BRS/Gage, helps working actors in New York and L.A.
Talent represented by BRS/CAge Talent Agency include:
Sherilyn Fenn, Rebecca Wisocky, Dale Dickey, Leslie Jordan, Vernee Watson, Stan Shaw, Leslie Uggams, Barry Shabaka Henley, among others.
Founded and owned by a Philadelphia agent, actor, director, and producer, Myreon Arslan, MJB represent talent in film and television. They pride themselves on their elite staff and care for their client's careers.
Talent represented by MJB Talent include:
Oksana Lada, Phillip-Charlie Daniell, among others.
Supporting L.A. actors in film and TV since 1996, this boutique talent agency prides itself on maintaining a good relationship with its talent.
Talent represented by SMS Talent Inc. include:
Eric Stoltz, Helen Slater, Richard Masur, Tara Strong, Billy Boyd, Kapil Talwalkar, Zeljko Ivanek, Barkhad Abdi, Paula Jai Parker, Dann Florek, Christine Horn, James McDaniel, among others.
A small L.A. and Texas-based agency, they represent actors across all ethnicities, children, and adults.
Talent represented by Linda McAlister include:
Yasmine Al-Bustami, Barry Corbin, Janine Turner, Lane Garrison, Yakira Chambers, among others.
Having served the NYC entertainment community since 1996, Mary Harden and Nancy Kurtis maintain one of the top agencies in the city.
Talent represented by Harden-Curtis Associates include:
Borin McGiver, Lisa Emery, James Madio, Erik Laray Harvey, Curtiss Cook, among others.
Owned and operated by Barry Kolker since its founding in 1992, this New York-based talent agency supports actors of all ages in film, TV, and theater.
Talent represented by The Carson Kolker Organization include:
Ja'Siah Young, Luke David Blumm, among others.
An acting agent is your gateway into the extremely competitive entertainment industry and will give you more opportunities than you currently have.
The above list is only a sample of the various acting agencies out there, so do your research and see what you can find that works for you!
Even once you hit the same level as professional actors, you will still find them incredibly helpful as you pursue bigger and better roles.
large agency * casting calls * creative artists agency caa * broadway talent * full service agency * talent agents * gersh talent agency * full service talent agency * many talent agencies * talent agent * talent agent * talent agent * talent agent * talent agent * talent agent * talent agent * creative artists agency caa * talent agent * talent agent * talent agent * talent agent *up and coming talent * gersh talent agency * emerging talent * theatrical talent * working actor * creative artists agency caa * casting calls * regional theatre