Ready to become an actor or become an actress? Here are some great tips to get you started.

You know you need an acting agency to be a professional actor, but how do you go about getting one? Contacting an acting agent for representation is actually very simple. All you need are a few photographs, a resume, an envelope, some stamps, and a list of prospective acting agents.

Contacting Acting Agency: Step 1
The first thing you need to do is get a few good photographs of yourself. You do not necessarily need an expensive portfolio of photographs to send to your prospective agency. Send a good, clear, simple photograph that looks exactly like you. Keep the background, wardrobe, hairstyle, and make-up simple. Do not wear jewelry or hats in your photograph. Simple and plain is best. Make sure your personality shines through in the picture.

Contacting Acting Agencies: Step 2
Once you have a good photograph, you need to prepare a resume. When drafting a resume to send to an agent, simple also works best. Do not send a page full of hard to read paragraphs of text. Your resume should include your contact information, personal statistics (height, weight, hair color, eye color, age range, clothing size, shoe size), special skills (singing, impressions, accents, etc.), and a bullet breakdown on past acting experience including production name, production company, and part played.

Contacting Acting Agencies: Step 3
When you have your photographs and resume, it is time to look for an agency. No matter where you live, contact a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) franchised agent first. Go to the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) website at http://www.sag.org. Under the “Agent Relations” page click on the “Find a SAG Franchised Agent” link. This will give you a list of the union franchised agents in your area.

The best way to contact a acting agent is via regular mail. Most acting agencies do not respond to e-mails. Never send an agency an e-mail with attachments. Call your prospective talent agency. Tell the person who answers the phone you are seeking agent representation and would like to know to whose attention you should send your picture and resume. Typically, they will direct you to send your package to a specific person or just to the new talent division.

Contacting Acting Agencies: Step 4
Prepare a letter stating that you are seeking agent representation and request an audition with the agency. Enclose your photographs, resume with contact information, and a self-addressed, stamped envelope with the letter. Mail the package, then sit and wait. You may hear something immediately. It may take two months to get a response if at all. Most agencies are good about getting back to people quickly, especially if a self-addressed, stamped envelope is enclosed.

Do not call and pester an acting agency about your submission. They will never represent you if you become a regular caller. Just wait it out by working on your acting skills and preparing for an audition.

If an agency is interested in representing you, they will call or send you a letter in the self-addressed, stamped envelope you provided asking you to come in for an audition. If an agency is not interested in representing you, do not give up. There are many reasons an agency may pass - they already have too many actors of your “type,” their client roster is full, they do not handle actors with your “look,” etc. Keep trying and continue to pursue acting work on your own. It may take a while or it may happen fast, either way, perseverance will eventually bring about success.