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Finding and getting an agent is usually somewhere on a voice actor's To-Do List after making a voice over demo and before joining the union (if joining the union is an objective for them, that is). Having an agent does simplify some aspects of a voice acting career, however, being contracted by one is not an easy process and many people who are very talented do not have representation for a variety of reasons. Voice talent agents and agencies who represent voice talents are usually situated in cities known as hotbeds for voice over work like Los Angeles and New York among other high profile cities. While New York City and L.A. may be loaded with opportunities and perceived as well-connected to lucrative voice work, there are other markets to consider where representation by an agent is concerned. Some agents as noted above prefer to work in major markets. Others may represent talent by state, regionally or even locally, depending on their preference and business goals. There are agents who specifically represent voice actors and some who have voice actors on their roster of talent which may include actors, models, singers, and other performers. Now, cracking the nut on how to get a voice over agent. Many agents prefer to be contacted by mail (yes, mail routed through a post office) and are generally inaccessible by email or phone due to the volume of applications they receive on a daily basis. Research how agents prefer to be contacted before doing so. Some appreciate receiving a brief letter asking if you can submit something to them before you send your package. If they are interested in taking on new talent for their roster, they will give you instructions or a go ahead to send your package. Showing courtesy to the agent and their staff makes a big difference when you are trying to establish a relationship. If you have the go ahead, you can send a package promoting your voice over talent. Most agents expect to receive a package from you that contains a brief cover letter, resume with references, an updated head shot (head shots are required by some agents and specifically not requested by others) and a CD copy of your voice over demo. Some agents like receiving packages that stand out while others are not terribly concerned with the packaging. Make sure that your packaging is professional looking though and properly addressed. The person receiving the package may or may not be the agent, so be sure that what you send is a package a secretary or other staff member feels comfortable passing on to the agent. If the package looks tattered, poorly labeled or addressed incorrectly, they may see it as non-professional and throw it out to save their boss some time; at least this is how some may see it. Assuming that your package makes it to the agent, chances are that a busy agent will only have time to listen to about 5 to 10 seconds of the demo, so it had better be your best material as you won't be in the room to tell them to "skip to track 2". Some are more generous with their time, but these agents are few and far between. Something to remember is that just because your voice is not what a particular agent or agency may be looking for doesn't mean that no one wants to hire you on. It's all about selection, not rejection. If the result is a positive reaction from the agent, you might just receive a call and potentially an offer or contractual agreement to be signed with the agency for a period of time. Now, this is where things become as clear as mud. Contracts from agents are usually a mixture of legal terminology and a bunch of places to leave your signature. They can be very confusing as the contracts aren't necessarily scribed in layman terms or self-explanatory. It's critical that you understand what is being required of you when signing with an agent otherwise you could literally be "signing away" some of the freedoms you currently enjoy as a freelance voice actor so if you get an interview with an agent be sure to read your contract thoroughly and ask lots of questions.
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