So you are thinking of going into talent land.



Who can be successful?

You do not need to be young, gorgeous, thin, and like Barbie to be successful in talent land. In fact curvy models, humans with a unique look, cultural ambiguous folks, and mature talent are owning the market currently. 


What you do need is to have a nice, bright, clean smile. Generally being on the taller side behooves you, having attractive limbs, clear skin and having “good hair” are also helpful.


In addition to those physical qualities, being able to attend metro area casting and bookings during business hours on weekdays are essential. Success in talent land will not happen if you do not have time-schedule freedom to attend two to three 20 minutes casting weekly. Generally your agent will give you a one to two day heads-up of an upcoming casting with a small window for you to choose when you can attend. 

You need to prepare for castings. Before attending the casting you must review all the information your agent has sent you. Sometimes it is a lot of information and other times there is very little. Nearly all the time, the agent will let you know what you need to wear and it is implied that you show up “Camera Ready.” This means that you come dressed in the appropriate clothing with your hair and make-up the way you want to appear on camera. Often you will have a script to practice and if possible, it should be mostly memorized. 


Be prepared to be rejected. A big part of navigating talent land is being able to take continuous disappointment of not getting castings and continuing to show up for whatever your agent sends you to with a great all-in attitude. 


If you think this is a journey for you, you need an awesome headshot to jump in.

There are many, many, many photographers in the TwinCities that do headshots. If you are serious about your career, I suggest going to a photographer who already has a reputation with a bonafide talent agency. These photographers do not work for the agencies. However, the agency has somewhere along the way created a partnership with the photographer because they believe their headshots have a certain look that gets jobs and getting jobs makes agents money. Be warned having headshots taken by a photographer who has a relationship with an agent does not ensure you will be represented, but it may help your chances.



Getting two headshots.

Bring at least five shirts/tops and wear dark blue jeans, kakis or yoga pants on the bottom {Just make sure the pants are smooth on your middle so that you can tuck in your shirt or so that your shirt will lay flat}. Solids colored shirts always look best: blues, greens, purples are ideal. White and black do not read well for headshots. Bring shirts with different collars, but nothing too low cut, no turtlenecks, no spaghetti straps. Denim looks good, layering is fun, blazers that fit well look nice. And a good old fashioned well fitting solid color t-shirt is great. Your headshot should look as natural as possible. Wear the least amount of make-up as possible to still look good. Your headshot should look like the best most natural version of you. 

Try to take a guess what you will get cast for. The mom/dad in a commercial? The teenager is a Target Christmas mailer? The Best Buy tech worker? Bring simple shirts that will show your versatility. I know we all want to look our best. No matter your age, headshots are not supposed to be sexy. Especially in the midwest, this is not a high fashion mecca. You may get booked for fashion here, but it will be for everyday looks and “girl-next-store spots”. To get in the door, think big smiles and real looking people sell products. Look happy, approachable, and your age in photos. This applies to both teenagers trying to look grown-up and to older humans trying to look too hip. The goal is to look like the healthiest, happiest, likable version of someone your actual age. 


You will look through the pictures and help pick out the final winners. Most photographers will give you two headshots of finished images from the shoot to send to agents. Choose images that look like you, feel like you, and will sell you to the biggest variety of clients. Perhaps choose too different looks; one that looks like a weekend look and one that looks more weekday.




Choose an agent.

Now you have your headshot and are ready to email agencys and see if they will represent you. Visit their website and submit via the new talent page. 


There are different strains of talent; print model, runway model, actor, voice talent. 

Do not tell the agent you are voice talent if you have never met with a voice coach. DO meet with a voice coach and do take acting classes and sell yourself as a commercial actor. 

I recommend School of Voice in the Twin Cities. 


Although more and more humans of all ages are doing runway, it is most often 15 to 21 year olds that are 5-9 or taller (Women) 5-11 or taller (Men).


Print Models include everybody. It means any printed photo for advertisement, billboards, internet, etc. 

Commercial Actors are very different from feature film actors and totally different from theatre actors. Most talent jump into commercial acting, but require lots more training for film acting and theatre acting. That type of talent is often managed by a different type of agent. 


Voice Actors are booked for a variety of things that require their voice to sound a certain way to sell a certain product or concept. It is harder than it seems and requires schooling. 



Agents

There are numerous agencies in the TwinCities. Each Agent offers something a little different. All of the following agencies can be trusted. They will charge you roughly $150 to cover the cost of intake paperwork and putting your profile on their website. That charge may be a yearly fee. After that, they will take 15% to 20% of everything you make through their agency. There should be no other charges unless they offer a class that you voluntarily take. 


Moore Creative - 

Wehmann Agency

Meredith Models and Talent

Caryn Models

Agency Models and Talent

Nuts Agency 

Ruggiero Models and Talent