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What Is an Agency Looking for When Interviewing an Actor?

February 07, 2018

It actually depends on your age group!

We can never know for certain what an agent or manager is looking for when he or she interviews your child.  There are some basics - a great personality, a look that will sell, and the ability to focus and to listen.  However, just like every child, every agent is different and looking for something unique.

But did you know that there are some specifics that agents and managers generally look for that are age-dependent?  For babies and toddlers it is pretty simple.  Generally the agent or manager wants a child with a great look and one that can maintain a certain amount of engaging contact with the camera.  But the older your child gets, the more "requirements" there tend to be.

"When looking for new talent personality and charisma are what counts," explained Jeremy Apody of Abrams Artists Agency.
"You can have all the looks in the world but its you're drive enthusiasm and ability to carry on conversations that will ultimately stand out."
Children Ages 5-9

Motivation - whether you realize it or not, the agent or manager is watching you, the parent, too.  They want to know who wants this more - the child or the adult?  Your child's personal desire at this age is more important than his ability and agents/managers can smell this from a mile away.

Imagination - Acting is imagining.  Adult actors even talk about how they become the character they are playing.  Because of this aspect of the craft, your child's ability to be creative and to fantasize is very important.

Photos - Good photos make great impact.  Unfortunately bad photos have the opposite effect.  For tips on taking great headshots check out our KidStart Program

Pre-Teens age 10-12

Good Character/Personality - many agents and managers will say that pre-teens must have a sense of strong values and character.  They must be in tune with their motions and their behavior.  They must also be able to deal with directions and rejection without taking it personally.

"Following direction and having a positive outlook are all characteristics that I look for in someone I would want to possibly work with and represent, Apody explained"

Ability to Listen - the ability to listen and take direction at this age is key.  Agents and managers as well as casting directors expect that a young actor at this age will be able to take direction without having to be instructed multiple times.

Teens/Young Adults age 13-17

Good Credits - once your child reaches his/her teenage years, credits have more of an impact.  Because so many older teens and even those over 18 can play young adults, it is much more competitive.  Agents and managers like seeing a bit of experience under the belt.

Good Reputation - Hollywood is a small place and word travels fast.  Your family's reputation is important.  Not only will word of your child's behavior spread, but so will word of yours.  Agents and managers will not want to work with a child or a parent that is difficult.  As the parent, you must convey a willingness to support your child and the acting process as a whole.  Showing you are flexible, on time, prepared and interested all help.