Agency for Actors: The 30 Best Talent Agencies and The Talent They Represent
The most important art about being an actor is getting roles. Starting out can be hard as you do not have anything to your name, so no casting directors will pay you much heed.
So, now what? How are you going to get opportunities as a newcomer?
That is where acting agents come in.
What is an Acting Agent, and Why Do You NEED one?
An agent is someone whose job is to get you a job, which, in the case of an acting agent, is to get you acting jobs. They represent talent in the entertainment industry.
When you go up to a casting director with no experience unless the job is for background actors, they will look the other way, if they even give you their time.
On top of that, it is time-consuming to look for new acting jobs. Reading this, you likely have other responsibilities like school, work, and maybe some acting classes, all taking up your time. Even if you spend time searching, there are some opportunities you won't have access to as lone actors.
It is an agent's job to help you with those problems. An acting agent not only represents actors but also helps with tasks from finding jobs to negotiating contracts.
Remember how there are some acting jobs you do not have access to? Agents also have industry referrals, so they can get you better jobs than what you find by yourself.
You're probably thinking about how great having an acting agent would be. Unfortunately, there is one thing you must know before we continue.
Acting Agents are Great, but what COST?
Nothing in this world is free. If it were, we'd all have mansions with ten Tesla's and unlimited cellular bandwidth, and acting agents are no different.
Agents charge by cutting your salary in each role, usually around 10-15%.
That doesn't sound so bad until you break down how much you get paid per role after all expenses are paid, and then you cry as you walk away with a fraction of the massive paycheck you thought you earned.
Here's the thing, though, a small paycheck is better than no paycheck.
If you want to get acting jobs easier, especially big ones, get an acting agent. If you're too busy worrying about prices, you'll be disappointed when you will only be doing small roles for a while.
Materials YOU Need Before the Agent Search
You'll need some things before you begin your big agent hunt.
Demo Reel (Optional but helps)
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, as those are important for finding great acting agents, we offer professional headshot photoshoot services here at ForrestImages.com. Check us out at the link below!
How to Find Agencies for Actors?
The best way to find agents is to find the agencies they work for and submit everything according to the submission guidelines. Do it exactly as they tell you; this is a test to tell whether you can follow instructions.
Before you go in for an interview or apply, do some background work on the agency or agent in question. Putting a little time into getting to know who they are and what they value will increase your chances of forming great relationships with them.
Before you do apply, consider doing some small work locally. The more you have to your name, the more likely an agent will buy your career hype train.
Alternatively, you can try going to conventions and meeting people there.
If you don't feel like raw, google search your way to victory, find your favorite actors, and look at their agents. See what agencies they belong to and apply to them.
It's all about networking. You will initially face much rejection from many agents, but if you keep at it, you will eventually succeed!
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.
Next, we have medium-sized agencies. For those with an agent or a decent amount of experience, these can help you get a leg up in the industry.
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. While they will not be the best for your career path, they are great for getting a potential agent.
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.
Do not stop applying and trying out because, eventually, you will get something valuable to your career as a new actor.