Do Hollywood Agents Sign Kids From Out of Town? | Hometown to Hollywood (2022)

Do you have to move to Los Angeles for your kid to get a Hollywood agent? How can you get an agent if you don’t live in LA?

A parent reached out to me recently after listening to one of my podcasts. The story of featured a young actor who lived far from Los Angeles, yet somehow signed with an agent here.

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The parent was upset because they had been told that they would have to move to LA to get representation.

“So explain why so many managers and agents state ‘you have to live in LA for you to get any work and or for representation. We can’t do anything for you if you don’t!’ Why do I continuously read stories on young successful actors that DO NOT LIVE IN LA… It’s so discouraging…”

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I sympathize with the frustration.

In fact different agents say different things, and sometimes they say different things at different times to different people.

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No wonder parents of young actors get frustrated and discouraged! The messages are mixed at best. But why isn’t there a clear answer to this?

The answer is that whether an agent is willing to sign and represent an actor who lives outside of LA depends on a number of factors. Let’s take a look.

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Nine factors that affect whether a Hollywood agent signs a young actor who lives out of town:

  • If the actor wants to audition for commercials, they really do need to live in or near LA. This is because commercials are cast and shot very quickly and unlike film and TV, they generally do not use a self-tape in auditions. The notice is typically 24 hours or less for a commercial audition. So it makes no real sense to fly in, or drive many long hours, just to audition for a commercial.
  • If the actor is just starting out, it makes little sense for them to sign with an LA agent unless they live in the LA area because the TV opportunities that are available for developing actors are typically co-star and guest star roles. Most of these are cast and shot very quickly—generally within days, which means they also generally do not use a self-tape. These also typically have only about 24 hours notice for an audition. Co-star and guest star roles are the gateway for bigger roles. But you pretty much have to be where they are cast to get them.
  • Young actors in development may not be ready for film or TV yet and some agents may prefer to start them in the commercial department while they continue to take classes and develop their skills. Which takes us back to the first bullet point. It is in fact much easier to get commercial representation than theatrical (TV or film) representation. But if you can’t be available to audition for even commercials, this can be a sticking point.
  • Big film roles—and important, series regular roles in pilots—often do begin with a self-tape, which can be done from anywhere. But after the first round or so of taped auditions, those auditions can go through a number of rounds of callbacks. An agent will want complete confidence that an actor will be able to attend those rounds of auditions. And that should they book the role, their family will be able to manage relocating if necessary. Most of these bigger roles are not available to beginning actors. Smaller film roles are frequently cast locally—outside of Hollywood. Keep reading to see how this can help you!
  • Finally– since LA has no shortage of trained, talented, hardworking actors, of every age and type—agents don’t have much incentive to sign someone that they can expect will have difficulty in keeping audition appointments. They already have plenty of talent to choose from. In fact if an agent gets an audition for an actor who does not show up, it can make the agent look bad and damage their relationship with the casting director. So they actually have an incentive to NOT sign actors from out of town.

Even the biggest agents have to work hard to get their actors a chance at the very limited audition slots for a given project. Few things are more upsetting to an agent than working really hard to get their actor one of those coveted spots only to hear that they can’t show up.

Of course there will always be exceptions to these factors, and a few young actors will manage to get signed by LA agents even if they live far outside the area. How does this happen?

  • Sometimes an agent is so overwhelmingly impressed by a young actor that they make an exception to their own policy and sign them anyway, with a promise from the parents that they will absolutely fly in for big opportunities. This is rare.
  • Sometimes a young actor gets their start outside of LA as a “local hire” in a film and this performance gets the attention of an LA agent who is willing to represent them based on the quality of their work. Again, the promises of a parent that they can and will fly in whenever necessary for auditions and work are key to this. This can be a great reason to look for local film opportunities in your area. State film commissions are a great resource for this! Download my free list of state film commissions HERE.
  • Sometimes a young actor can sign with a big agency nearer to where they live, and if that agency has a branch in LA, the LA office may be willing to represent them as well. This is most likely with New York. A few of the bigger Atlanta agencies have relationships with LA agencies as well.
  • Finally, sometimes less choosy talent agencies (read: less successful) may sign anyone they think has a remote chance of success. But this doesn’t necessarily translate into real opportunity for these young actors. Getting signed feels great, but if the agent doesn’t believe in you, fight for you, and submit you for auditions, having “representation” doesn’t mean very much. In fact it can be worse than having no agent. Now you may be locked into an exclusive contract with someone who is doing nothing for you. Exclusive contracts are standard in Los Angeles.

I know young actors who lived outside of LA when they first started and who represent each of those exceptions listed above.

But they really are exceptions. Most agents, most of the time, do not want to sign actors who live outside the area and have little incentive to do so. And their reasons are very practical.

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Some young actors who manage to sign with LA agents and still live out of town go back and forth for years before finally moving permanently to LA. Your young actor may be one of them. But if it doesn’t happen, know that you are in good company. Most actors really do have to be in LA to build a career. Movies and TV shows may film all over, but most are still cast in Los Angeles.

Do you feel stuck trying to help your kid achieve their dream of being a professional actor? A single consulting session with me can make a huge difference. Let me save you months of time, and thousands of dollars. Sign up for a Skype session today! Or if you’re in LA, we can meet in person. Sometimes a couple of tweaks in your approach can make all the difference, giving you real progress, and peace of mind. Sign up here:

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How long does it take for an agent to sign you? ›

​Once the meeting and audition is finished, it might take 3-4 days to hear back. If you haven't heard from them in that time, a brief followup email is recommended (note the word brief). Don't be discouraged if you don't sign with the first agent you meet with. It can take numerous attempts before you find a good fit.

How do I get my child into commercials? ›

How to find work. There are many tools you can use to get your child on TV. Casting Directors may send you a message, call you directly, or you can look through our job posts. You can find what roles we're casting for minors by going to the job posts section of your location's Kids page.

Do you have to live in the same city as your acting agent? ›

Those actors who live in areas far from any acting markets should not sign up with an online agent. Agents need to be in the city they serve. They work hard to network and have a familiarity with their regional contacts. You'll need to be willing to drive to the nearest city with an acting market for auditions.

How do I get my child into Hollywood? ›

The best place to find auditions and casting calls for kids is through an online casting platform like Backstage, at least at first. Once a child actor has secured representation, their agent will have direct connections to casting directors and can submit them for bigger roles with major networks and studios.

How do you tell an agent wasn't accepted? ›

The right way to reject an offer
  1. Promptly call, write or send a text message to the agent thanking him or her for the offer.
  2. Politely and graciously explain that the homesellers have accepted an offer that they like better. ...
  3. Do not explain the market.
12 Apr 2018

What are the odds of getting an agent? ›

So, as a rough rule of thumb, and allowing for plenty of variation, the chance of getting an agent are about 1 in 1000. That sounds frightening, but you can and should apply to more than one agent, so the 1 in 1000 is perhaps more like 1 in 100. And, in any case, it's not about the odds.

How much do kids get paid to be in commercials? ›

The starting rate for a day's work on a national commercial is $592.20, and with these types of commercials, which are usually union jobs, actors earn residuals every time they air. However with non-union commercials, the child actor usually earns one flat fee, with no commissions paid each time the ad airs.

Does Kids Casting actually work? ›

While Kids Casting never guarantees they'll land a job, it does give them a good chance of finding one. Most importantly for parents and kids alike is the quality of the jobs posted. It's easy to get taken advantage of in the acting industry, especially if you're a newcomer and have no previous experience.

How much do kids get paid to model? ›

While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $192,500 and as low as $16,500, the majority of Child Modeling salaries currently range between $29,000 (25th percentile) to $100,500 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $145,500 annually across the United States.

What is the best location for acting? ›

8 Best Cities for New Actors to Call Home
  • Los Angeles, CA. LA is another city synonymous with acting. ...
  • Las Vegas, NV. Viva las actors! ...
  • Atlanta, GA. Another unsurprising option, the TV and film industry has been booming in Atlanta thanks to tax incentives. ...
  • San Francisco, CA. ...
  • Chicago, IL. ...
  • Stamford, CT. ...
  • Austin, TX.
18 Jan 2022

What state is best for an acting career? ›

As you might expect, California and New York continue to be the best states for media, movies, and the people who work in that industry— which, given the glitz and glam of those locations, should not come as a great surprise! Chicago, Illinois, and Atlanta, Georgia, are also on the list.

What is the best place to move to become an actor? ›

Los Angeles is a primary hub for actors who want to work in film, TV, or commercials. This area is one of the ultimate places in the U.S. to find work and make connections as an actor. It is the home for a large number of key production studios and is known as the place to be.

Do parents need set with child actors? ›

There are some exceptions for children under 12 months where the parents have given consent and are present. Furthermore, in NSW and Victoria, a permit or authority is required to work with children in entertainment, while in Queensland a parent's consent form or special circumstances certificate is necessary.

What do casting directors look for in child actors? ›

5 Things Casting Directors Look for in Young Performers
  • Naturalness. Acting may be pretend and make-believe, but that does not mean your child should seem fake. ...
  • Personality. Acting natural does not mean your child should tone down their personality. ...
  • Professionalism. ...
  • Training.
4 Sept 2019

Do actors bring their children to set? ›

If the filming happens during the day, the kids could be at daycare or school. If it's at night, they're probably at home with a sitter, another parent, or at a friends' house. Some actors hire nannies or au pairs. Sometimes the other parent may bring the child to the set depending on the situation.

What to do if letting agent ignores you? ›

If your letting agent doesn't respond to your written complaint within 8 weeks or they don't solve your problem, you can complain to their independent complaints body. The complaints body is a service that helps you fix problems you have with your letting agent. It's also called a 'redress scheme'.

Why do most agents fail? ›

Three common mistakes that agents make is inadequate prospecting, failing to market properties in ways that lead to fast sales, and not following up with clients. Real estate agents must be motivated because generating leads and marketing listings takes creativity and hard work.

Why are my offers not getting accepted? ›

Your offer price may have been too low or too high, or they may have simply received a better offer. Other reasons could include the listing agreement commission structure, specific contract requirements, or personal reasons.

What is the easiest way to get an agent? ›

How to Get an Acting Agent
  1. Get headshots. A headshot is a professional photo of you, taken from the shoulders up. ...
  2. Create an acting resume. ...
  3. Consider making a demo reel. ...
  4. Make a list of acting agencies. ...
  5. Start submitting your materials. ...
  6. Interview and audition for prospective agents. ...
  7. Foster a good relationship.
24 May 2022

How do you get noticed by an agent? ›

Reaching Out To An Agent Or Casting Director: Get Noticed in a...
  1. For the Love of God, Check the Writing First. ...
  2. Don't Ask Them For Something, Offer Them Something. ...
  3. Keep It Positive. ...
  4. Do Include a Headshot. ...
  5. Let Them Know Where You Are. ...
  6. Let Them Know Who You Are.
12 Dec 2018

Who is the richest child actor? ›

Daniel was declared the richest kid in 2005 after signing for the fifth Harry Potter film. In addition, he was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for his role in the Broadway revival of Equus. He has also published poetry under the pen name Jacob Gershon. The total net worth of Daniel Radcliffe is $120 million.

Do actors get paid every time a commercial airs? ›

If you appear in a local commercial and aren't in a union, you can likely expect to earn only your hourly or daily payment for the acting work. Whether you receive residuals may also depend on your role in the commercial.

How much do child models get paid for print ads? ›

Experts say $25 to $75 an hour is a typical range for a child model. However, keep in mind that rates can vary tremendously depending on the project and a brand's budget.

What is the best color to wear to an audition? ›

Stick with colors that look good on you

Bright white will “burn” the camera, and black also isn't a great color on camera (plus it ages you). Stick to colors that look good with your skin tones and hair! Jewel tones look great on camera. Blue is the color that gets cast most often.

What happens at a casting call for kids? ›

A kids casting call is when a company selects the talent it would like to hire for an event from a pool of individuals who are auditioning. During my sons casting call experience we provided information regarding our availability, personal sizes and height and the company we casted for took a couple photos.

How do I prepare my child for an audition? ›

To prepare your child for their audition, make sure to have a professional headshot available and, if possible, a resume for your young actor. On a resume, you should include contact information and any relevant experiences such as commercials, community theatre, even school plays or performances.

How tall do you have to be to be a model kids? ›

The High Fashion World

Girls aged 14-15 are expected to be between 5'7″ – 6'0″. Those aged between 16-22 need to be around 5'9″ – 6'0″. Height is favoured by the high fashion modelling world; the above are typical measurements expected of teens wishing to make it in this type of modelling.

How do beginner models get paid? ›

Beginners and more experienced models alike can receive $125–$175 per hour, with a two-hour minimum for all jobs. In smaller markets, commercial models can earn anywhere from $25–$75 per hour. Plus-size and catalogs models will generally be paid the same hourly, half-day, and full-day booking rates.

What age can a child become a model? ›

A child model is a model who is under the age of 18. Brands like John Lewis, Disney and Toys R Us are always using child models because that is their target audience.

Is LA or NYC better for acting? ›

NYC vs. LA: Which is Better for Actors? While Los Angeles is the center of the country's film and TV industry, New York City offers more opportunities for stage actors. That's why, for many actors, there are fewer decisions more agonizing than figuring out which coast will better suit their pursuit of an acting career.

Where do most auditions happen in LA? ›

Where in L.A. should I live as an actor? As an actor in L.A., you may want to live near where you'll be working. Your auditions will likely be concentrated around Hollywood, the Valley (mostly Burbank and Studio City), and Westside locations like Santa Monica and Culver City.

What is the number 1 acting school in America? ›

Juilliard School (New York, NY)

Possibly the most well-known acting school on the list (and for good reason), Juilliard offers an intense four-year conservatory program in actor training.

What is the hardest acting school to get into? ›

The Juilliard School (New York, NY)

Offering degree programs in drama, music, and dance, Juilliard is highly selective in its admission process, including an in-person audition for all students.

What acting school do most actors go to? ›

Many actors had formal acting training from either schools, such as the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Yale University, HB Studio, The Pasadena Playhouse, and The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, or from teachers such as Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler, and Michael Chekhov.

What is the hardest part of being an actor? ›

For me, the hardest part of being a working actor is the uncertainty. Very early on, it was uncertainty about whether I had any chance of making it, because I just had no idea what was involved.

Where should a beginner actor start? ›

Where to start acting
  • Take acting classes. Acting classes and workshops are a great way to exercise your artistic muscles. ...
  • Enroll in a formal acting program. ...
  • Join a local theater group. ...
  • Research and practice acting techniques. ...
  • Watch performances and take what resonates. ...
  • Consider taking on special skills. ...
  • Learn how to audition.
7 Oct 2022

Is it hard to make a living off of acting? ›

It's hard. There are many, many, many more actors than there are jobs for them to do. Add to that the fact that all of the better paid jobs are reserved for members of the actors' unions. Add to that the fact that, for the most part, you need an agent to even be aware of those jobs.

How long can child actors be on set? ›

Child actor labor laws allow a seventeen-year-old to work between six and eight hours on set, but they also prohibit a six-month-old from working more than twenty minutes under any circumstances.

What age do kids start acting better? ›

Age 8 – 11

This is one of the best ages for getting started in acting as kids this age tend to be that little bit better at reading their lines and more disciplined with practice. Kids in this age group will sometimes play roles younger than their actual age as the group is generally easier to work with.

How many hours can child actors work per day? ›

Here are some of the most common labor laws for child actors: The child actor's working hours must not exceed 8 hours each day. There is no maximum limit on the number of hours a minor may work in one week, but his or her working time cannot exceed 40 hours every week.

What should you not do at a casting? ›

What not to do at an audition
  • Never pressure your child to audition.
  • Don't suffer through the audition.
  • Don't avoid eye contact.
  • Avoid asking too many questions.
  • Don't scold your child in front of the casting team.
  • Don't make excuses for your child.
  • Don't just focus on your child.

What are 5 important rules to follow during an audition? ›

5 Basic Acting Rules You Must Always Remember
  • Where are you? Remember to take a moment before you begin the audition to establish in your imagination exactly where you are. ...
  • What is your relationship? ...
  • What is happening? ...
  • Where are you coming from? ...
  • What are you doing? ...
  • Want more audition tips?
7 Jan 2016

How do you know if you did well in an audition? ›

How do you know if an audition went well? You can usually tell that an audition went well if the casting team spends a lot of time interacting with you in the room. They might ask you to try a scene a different way (see #2 below) or sing another song.

How do I know if my child will be a good actor? ›

7 Early Signs Your Kid Belongs On Stage
  • They Observe Others Emotions. ...
  • They Channel Experiences For Emotion. ...
  • They Pay Attention To More Than Words. ...
  • They Use Their Imaginations. ...
  • They Play Off Of Others Emotions. ...
  • They Ask Why. ...
  • They Live For Rehearsing.
1 Sept 2016

Do actors wear their own clothes on set? ›

No, actors do not get to keep the clothes they wear on set. The clothing is either rented or borrowed from a costume department and must be returned after filming.

Do actors get to keep their clothes? ›

As a general rule we do not get to keep the wardrobe items (or props for that matter) that are worn on either set or stage. They belong to the production company and will go back to wardrobe for use in later episodes/movies/plays. Many theatres have costume hire departments and that is where they end up.

How long does it take to hear back from an estate agent? ›

In theory, sellers can take as long as they want before responding to an offer, but most listing agents get back to buyers within a few days. For the most part, 24 to 48 hours seems to be the standard observed by most sellers and their agents, but there are some exceptions.

How long does it take for an agent to write up an offer? ›

It can take a literary agent a few months to a few years to make an offer. But this can vary dramatically and is one of the most drawn-out processes in the publishing journey. The waiting time causes many to give up.

How do you get an acting agent to sign you? ›

How to Get an Acting Agent
  1. Get headshots. A headshot is a professional photo of you, taken from the shoulders up. ...
  2. Create an acting resume. ...
  3. Consider making a demo reel. ...
  4. Make a list of acting agencies. ...
  5. Start submitting your materials. ...
  6. Interview and audition for prospective agents. ...
  7. Foster a good relationship.
24 May 2022

Is getting an agent difficult? ›

In short, yes. In fact, if you're aiming high, and are sitting at home with no professional credits, no formal training, and limited acting experience, it's nearly impossible. But, though it's nearly impossible to sign with a great agent, if you follow the path set out below, there might just be hope.

How much over the asking price should you offer? ›

How much over asking price is too much? In a hot market, experts recommended offering at least 1% to 3% above the asking price in a bidding war. But today's home buyers may face less competition. In June 2022, the average home actually sold for about 1% below its list price, according to Redfin.

How do you win a final and best offer? ›

The key to winning a best and final offer is to present yourself in the best position to match the future plans of the seller, meaning that buyers should try to establish a seller's motivations for selling.

How often should you chase your estate agent? ›

Don't delay as your buyer's solicitor can't progress anything until you have done this. Top Tip: Chase your solicitor at least once a week every week until you get your keys! Your solicitor is the gate keeper to your sale/purchase taking either 6 weeks or 16 weeks!

How do you tell an agent you have an offer? ›

Contact these agents via email. In your email, use a very clear subject line: OFFER OF REPRESENTATION—Title of Project. Then draft a very brief email, letting these agents know that you have received an offer of representation.

Does an agent have to respond to an offer? ›

Legally speaking, there isn't a time frame sellers must respond to your offer. However, it's an unspoken rule in the industry that sellers and/or the listing agents should respond within a few days, with 48 hours the norm.

How long is offer stage? ›

On average, the job offer process takes five to seven days. In rare cases, an employer could leave you waiting for multiple weeks before you get a job offer. What is this? There's almost always more than one person involved in hiring decisions for an employer, which can lead to additional delays.

What do acting agents look for? ›

You learn camera etiquette, audition techniques and how to cold-read during auditions. These are all skills that talent agency's desire in their actors. The best acting agencies will look at your resume to see if you have training. The agency also takes notice of who taught the class.

How do child actors get agents? ›

An acting coach or a director who has worked with your child and who can vouch for their talent and readiness can reach out to an agent and suggest they take a meeting. This can be double-edged, as the agent may simply take the meeting as a reluctant favor.

What should I wear to an agent meeting? ›

You want to wear form fitting clothing so the agent gets a good sense of body type. Your clothing could also give some clues as to the types of roles you might be considered for. If you are a successful business person, then maybe wear more upscale wardrobe.

When should I leave my agent? ›

If you have done everything in your power to improve your relationship and get on the right page with your agent but it hasn't worked out, then it is definitely worth leaving your agent and finding new representation.

Can you get an agent without acting experience? ›

Many people come to Hollywood and feel that they can approach agents even though they're not in an acting class and have had no prior training whatsoever. Most agents are willing to take a chance on somebody who has little or few credits, provided that they have something else going for them.


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