Not only do you need an agent, you need a franchised, licensed agent. Searching for agents online is a waste of time, or worse – there are many unscrupulous people claiming to be agents, and you may wind up getting cheated out of your money as well as your time. Genuine talent agents are licensed and regulated by the state: as a rule, they get 10% of what actors make – franchised, licensed agents are not permitted to ask for any fees or payment other than their commission on your work.
So where do you find the real agents? A great source for agent listings is the Call Sheet, (which used to be called the Ross Report.) You can get the Call Sheet online, or at any drama bookshop as well as at some commercial newsstands – there’s a new issue each month. The Call Sheet website lists franchised, licensed talent agencies by by region, medium (television, film, theater), and genre (commercials, musicals, etc.). SAG and AFTRA websites also have lists of franchised agents.