Chicago boasts some of the world’s best artist, models, and actors nationwide. Likewise, Chicago also has some of the best talent agencies. To begin a career in film, television, theater, or commercial modeling, getting with a legitimate and reputable talent agency is a must.
Talent agencies are necessary for aspiring actors and models because they help give you access into the industry’s top studios and entertainment networks. In other words, they help get your work. Below are a few things to consider when seeking out Chicago talent agencies that are right for you.
Always use your first mind with some common sense. Just as there are many reputable agencies, there are also ones out there just to get your money. If you are under 18 years of age and seeking representation, always take a parent or trusted adult with you to any talent castings, no matter how good they sound.
During an interview or casting, agents should never ask for any money up front to place you within the agency. If they really want you, they will cover the cost of necessary photoshoots for you. The only time an agency receives money from you is when they get you work! This is taken out in the form of a percentage rate. Many Chicago talent agencies require that you invest in headshots and composite cards. Investing in these items are okay and necessary (they range anywhere between $100-$355). However, be very wary about covering any other cost. That should be your clue to jump ship.
Many agencies pick up on desperate and impressionable aspiring models and actors. Be cautious of any agency wanting to drastically change your looks in the effort to get you “marketable.” Moderate hair changes and minor appearance alterations are to be expected, but overall drastic changesthat involve expensive surgery is a no no.
Next step is to Google “talent agencies in Chicago” or look in the online yellow pages for talent agencies in Chicago. Several of the main Chicago talent agencies are provided below, but don’t overlook the more smaller agencies as well.
Take a look around their website to make sure that they have headsheets of current talent/models. If their site looks unprofessional and scarce, nine times out of ten, this agency is not reputable. Agencies want to make an impression on prospective talents, so they will display that by organizing their site professionally and by highlighting their current casting success stories.
Compile a list of the agencies that best suit the representation that you are looking for. Make sure the agency standards and requirements fit you or are close to who you are. While you may have a favorite, never omit the other likely ones from your list. Have different options just in case one doesn’t work out. Everything happens for a reason, and the one that you may have been rejected from could be a blessing in disguise. Ask Tyra Banks.