Work. Volunteer. Sponsor.

Work. Volunteer. Sponsor.

Know The Basics Agents - Crane Creations Theatre Company

WHAT PART WOULD YOU LIKE TO PLAY? Are you an audience member looking to be a part of the team? A student looking for some volunteer hours? An emerging artist looking for some professional experience? Be a part of Crane Creations Theatre Company and find some jobs in Mississauga.

You’ve already got lots of balls to juggle (searching for auditions, working jobs on the side, attending theatre shows and networking events, managing your expenses, and trying to set career goals amongst all that). One way to share some of that responsibility is by hiring an agent. They just might be able to help you take some great strides in your career, while finding auditions for you.

What is an agent?

An agent is someone that is hired by an actor to help them find work. The agents have access to more auditions, even some that are not publicly posted. They support actors by advising them on what roles would be best suited for them, and assist with finding employment. The agent takes on the burden of time consuming emailing back and forth with producers, and ideally, takes the actors’s availability into consideration, being able to save the actor much time by not sending the actors to many auditions that would conflict with their other projects. Agents work on commission, which means they typically only get paid when the actors who they represent get hired for a paid opportunity.

Do I need a talent agent?

Short answer: yes.

As an actor your goal is to audition as many times as possible to ensure that your audition ROI is high enough to sustain you financially year round. Agents can provide you with more auditions, and do some of your outreach work to potential employers.

Having an agent for film and television acting is ESSENTIAL and it can be extremely beneficial for a theatre actor as well.  

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit dolor

How do I get a good talent agent?

  1. Set your goals: Reflect on what you want to achieve as an actor, which part of the industry you would like to dive into (film, theatre, television, children’s theatre, voice acting, etc.). Each of these industries is very specific and building a career in one might sometimes interfere with another. Be specific and set some clear initial goals. Don’t forget to be realistic and consider your look, your training, your skills and your interests (ex: I have never taken a ballet class, and so I will not be seeking roles in a professional ballet company).
  2. Research: Do your homework and see which agents work within the segment of the industry that you would want to participate in. Check out who they work with, and also, make sure they don’t have someone else with similar looks and skills as you on their roster (the roster is the group of actors that an agent represents, and they are almost always posted publicly on the website of the agent). Speak to other actors you know, or reach out to actors who are represented by an agent you are interested in, to hear their throughs and experiences about working with that agent.
  3. Prepare your submission package: Agents will require to see some of your work before agreeing to represent you. During the research phase, make sure you find out what each agent requires for consideration (some require headshots, demo reels, resumes, voice demos, other full body photos, etc.). Once you know what you need, get to work preparing materials you need, ask friends for help, or hire professionals to assist you in preparing a perfect demo reel and taking professional headshots. 
  4. Submit: Once you have all these materials ready, prepare a cover letter, and prepare your submission package. It can be beneficial to invite agents to a live performance you are in (especially if you are seeking representation in the theatre industry) so that the agent can see you at your best; live and on stage. It is common courtesy to provide the agent with a complimentary ticket for them and a guest to attend the show, as a thank you for attending.
  5. Wait (sort of): Congratulations! You have sent in your materials for consideration. I would recommend following up a few days (no more than 1 week) after sending in your submission package, just to remind the agent, and/or their assistant, that you have applied and you are a serious candidate. 
  6. Results: This part is difficult to plan for, since each agency is slightly different. If you receive a no, don’t fret! There are many reasons that could have nothing to do with you for you not receiving a positive response. It could simply be that the agent is not taking on any new actors at this time. Do however think critically about your materials and make sure they did in fact represent you adequately, and in the best light. If you receive a yes, then the process of negotiations begin! You will most likely meet with the agent in person, maybe even be asked to prepare more scenes and materials for them to assess live, and then they may offer you a contract to engage them as your representation!

Characteristics of a good talent agent

  1. They pick up your calls
  2. They are interested in your work
  3. They are straightforward with you
  4. A good agent is exclusive
  5. A good agent is successful

They pick up your calls

A good agent is responsive, they are aware that you are a human being depending on them so they treat you with respect and kindness. This includes answering your calls and emails. If an agent if frequently unavailable to talk with you, consider changing to another agency. 

They are interested in your work

A good agent doesn’t just take on anyone on their roster, they believe in and care about the talent they represent. They want you to get hired, and to see you succeed. In order to achieve that, they are interested in your growth as an artist. A good agent will attend your performances and watch your work, comment on it and suggest what to do next to advance your career.

They are straightforward with you

A good agent doesn’t shy away from telling their client “the bad news”. This may include what “hit” they are or not, meaning what role they are appropriate for or not. For example: someone might want to play a love interest but they keep getting cast as a nerd. A good agent will have an honest discussion with their actors about how do they currently “read” that is how the producers see them and how they might be able to change that.

A good agent is exclusive

Good agents don’t have a large roster because they care about the artists they represent and don’t want to spread themselves too thin. Some exclusive talent agents will only accept new talent on invitation only.

A good agent is successful

Study the talent the agent represents. Read the rosters’s resumes and see where they work. If these are leading artists you see on film, commercials and in theatres, it speaks of the agents success.

Blog - Crane Creations Theatre Company

Some things to remember:

There is not one right way to plan your career, and not one right agent or agency that will unlock your success, in the end it always comes back to you, your drive, your talent and your dedication.

  1. The agent works for you. It might seem exciting to just simply ‘get an agent’, and you might want to jump on the first agent who shows interest in you. Remember that they represent you, so take time to make a calm and well through out decision about whether they are really the best fit for you, your skills and your goals, and that they have your best interest at heart.
  2. Agents should not require an up front fee to sign with them. There is very little regulation as to how agents work, but the current industry standard is that an agent is never paid unless you are making money. If you feel like an agent is a good fit, and they have a signing fee, or some other fee that is separate from the amount of income you earn, please ask them about it to understand if they truly have your best interest at heart. That being said, it is not necessarily a deal breaker if they do, simply something to note, and to take into consideration when deciding which agent to sign with. 
  3. You do not NEED to have an agent to work in theatre. Yes, they bring lots of value to your career and can definitely help you reach new career goals that might be harder to achieve on your own, however, especially when you are starting out, it might be difficult to get interest from agents if your professional experience is limited. While you build your resume, and start working on smaller projects to gain experience, remember that an agent would be taking a portion of your earnings, no matter how small they are.
  4. I believe that an agent is best suited when you have some professional experience, and you are earning income as an actor. This also means that you have more leverage and confidence when approaching agents, since you know that you can get work as a professional, and can bring value to them as well.

 

Your agent will only be setting you up with opportunities, you will still be the one who has to book them.

Work. Volunteer. Sponsor.

You’re almost done or just done your program. You are feeling the impending doom of being launched out of the comfort of the academic world in to reality; bills, loans, responsibilities, and finding a job. We’ve all been there.

Taking the first steps into your career is daunting, and if you are reading this, it means you are hoping to build a career in the arts. Take it from me, that is not an easy path, but, as I sit here writing this, let me tell you it’s possible, just extremely difficult. 

Before we get into the job hunt itself, let me just remind you of a few things you should probably get in order before the hunt begins.

  1. Resume: you’ll need to show potential employers what you’ve done before (I know it can be frightening to look at a short list of accomplishments and wonder “who will hire this recent graduate who has no professional experience?”, but someone will, and if not, there are things you can do to keep improving your resume, even without a job.
  2. Online presence: Let’s be real, these days EVERYTHING is online. One quick google search and employers can see your whole life. Take a minute to refine your privacy settings on social media, or scan through to see what might pop up if you were to google yourself. Be aware of that image when your name falls into an employer’s inbox or onto their desk.
  3. Patience: This one is tricky, because you have to eat, and pay your bills, and it can be frightening, frustrating and downright unrealistic to take time on the job hunt. Keep in mind this will take time, and lots of luck is involved for people who have big opportunities quickly.

What type of job are you looking for?

Arts jobs is a blanket term for many different types of jobs ranging from administrative positions to actual artistic jobs. A good place to start is The National Occupational Classification (NOC) which is Canada’s national system for describing occupations. Here you can find different types of jobs recognized in Canada, learn about their main duties, what education is required to work in those jobs and other useful information. You can also check out Cultural Human Resources Council’s website which has a lot of useful resources for different industries arts jobs. Here are some different types of arts jobs:

Administrative jobs

For example: Project Coordinator, Project Manager, Artistic Producer, Managing Director

These jobs offer the most pay and stability in the industry and there are a lot of them constantly looking for candidates.

Artistic jobs

For example: Actor, Dancer, Musician, Singer, Director, Writer, Painter, Sculptor

These jobs are very competitive to get and usually don’t pay that well. The better paying ones depend on building your resume so make sure to continue to take classes and participate in the industry in any way you can to stay on top of your skills and to add entries to your resume.

Technical - Production jobs

For example: Stage Manager, Sound or Lighting technician, Rigger, Prop Maker, Stage carpenter, costume maker

These jobs require specialized knowledge and experience in handling specialized equipment. Training is almost mandatory as well as experience. Train with a reputable University program or volunteer with a local theatre. 

Design Jobs

For example: Set Designer, Costume Designer, Lighting Designer, Sound Designer, Video Designer

These jobs are usually tied to a project, so make sure to hang around with directors and Artistic Directors and become a part of their team. When a Director books a project they will take you on with them. Another path is to build your career by volunteering, shadowing, interning with senior colleagues or theatre companies to prove your skills and deception which will increase your chances of getting hired next time they have an opening.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit dolor

Where to look?

Now that you’ve got these things ready, let’s look at where to find arts jobs (in Ontario, Canada).

  1. Work in Culture: Work in Culture is a database of resources and job postings for jobs in culture (not only in Ontario, but across Canada). It includes creative and administrative jobs from all industries.
  2. TAPA: The Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (dance, theatre and opera) is an organization that supports and rallies these creative industries in the city of Toronto. Their industry listings page includes paid employment, workshops, internships, auditions, and more. 
  3. CAEA: The Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (dance, theatre and opera) is an organization that supports and rallies these creative industries in the city of Toronto. Their industry listings page includes paid employment, workshops, internships, auditions, and more. 
  4. PACT Arts Board: The Canadian Actors Equity Association is the union for theatre artists in Canada provides audition listings for theatre projects across the country, you can sign up for their e-mail blasts for free.
  5. Casting Workbook: This platform is an international (Canada/USA) listing for film, television and theatre jobs, and occasionally includes calls for administrative assistants and other entry level positions. It does, however, cost money to see these listings.
  6. Unions and Member organizations: Unions such as Actors Association, or Playwrights Guild or Associated Designers of Canada are a great place to learn about opportunities that might be available before they are even published.
  7. Industry dedicated newspapers and websites: Have you checked out Now Magazine or Intermission Magazine? For administrative positions also check Charity Village and Work in Non Profits.
  8. Agents: Agents receive arts job postings from various employers. Having an agent is super useful because someone else
  9. General Job listing websites: Usual job listing sites usually don’t have that many arts jobs but they’re still worth checking. Mostly, the arts jobs posted here are in administration or broadcasting.
  10. Government job portals (Young Canada Works): You can upload your resume to some of Government Canada programs such as Young Canada Works. The jobs offered here are Intrenships dedicated to building your career in Arts Administration, some are bilingual and some even cover jobs abroad, paying you for travelling and working. How cool is that

Do you know about another great way to find a job, that we are to aware of yet? Please share it with us!

Tips to Apply?

Now that you have some resources to find some jobs, here are some useful details to help you make sure you have a good first impression on the people you are applying to!

  1. Research the company and the team
  2. Write a cover letter
  3. Double check your e-mail before hitting send
  4. Track your applications

Research the company and the team

One important, and often forgotten in the constant job search of the arts world, is to take some time to ensure that you understand the values and mission of a company or organization that you are applying to work at. Take some time to see who is working for that company, or who is part of the creative team of the project. Find them on LinkedIn and connect with them, so that when they see your resume crossing their screens, they might have seen your name at least once before then.

Write a cover letter

Hundreds of people apply for each of these positions, how do you stand out? One easy way is a cover letter that expresses your interest, and shows your personality. This will help the people hiring get a sense of who you are.

Double check your e-mail before hitting send

Always ALWAYS just take one minute before you hit send to step back, and re-read your e-mail, ensure it is addressed to the right person/people, and double check the appropriate attachments are indeed attached to the message. As artists we are always looking for jobs, and applying to many different positions, and sending the application one minute later will not affect your chances, but sending your e-mail addressed to the wrong person will not make a great first impression.

Track your applications

Start a calendar, journal or log of all your applications. Not only will this allow you to follow up in an appropriate timeline, but it will also allow you to improve on your applications over time. It also will help you have context and evidence of how much you have worked and applied over time.

The ROI of job applications

For of all, I am sure many of your are wondering, what is ROI? The term means Return on Investment and comes from financial world, but artists can use it’s very easy to understand principle too. Basically, this simple calculation allows you to track how successful are the efforts of applying for jobs and how many applications needs to be sent out in order to earn a desired sum of money. For calculating your ROI, divide the number of jobs with the number of applications and this will give you your success rate.

Blog - Crane Creations Theatre Company

How do I choose which jobs to apply for?

I learned about the rule of three when I was finishing my education; each job has three aspects that you must evaluate when selecting whether to apply or take the job offer;

  1. Money: This position can actually pay your bills, you will be getting paid to make or to support arts!
  2. Dream Team: The people working on this project are people you look up to, people who can have a big impact on your career, and people who you can learn a lot from.
  3. Juicy Project: This project is extremely rewarding for you to work on, by the impact it has on audience/participants, or by the topic, or content, you are artistically, and personally fulfilled by the project.

Each of the projects that you work on in your career will have only 2 of these. If you are lucky, one or two throughout your career will have all three, but those will be rare.

It’s up to each person to determine which jobs they can take, financially, and which projects they want to work on, for the non-financial benefits.

Our Take

There is not one single way of building a career in the arts. Finding arts jobs in Canada is tricky. It’s a competitive industry into which lots of eager people join each year as each graduating class finishes their education. This post reflects our opinion, our experience, and tricks we used to find an arts job.  It’s important to be realistic, and understand which companies or organizations hire people in the same stage of career as you are, and understand you will probably have to work your way up to your dream position.

We wish you the best of luck in your careers, and hope this is helpful when it comes to finding arts jobs!

Work. Volunteer. Sponsor.

WHAT PART WOULD YOU LIKE TO PLAY? Are you an audience member looking to be a part of the team? A student looking for some volunteer hours? An emerging artist looking for some professional experience? Be a part of Crane Creations Theatre Company and find some jobs in Mississauga.

Share with your firends:

Know The Basics Agents - Crane Creations Theatre Company

You’re almost done or just done your program. You are feeling the impending doom of being launched out of the comfort of the academic world in to reality; bills, loans, responsibilities, and finding a job. We’ve all been there.

Taking the first steps into your career is daunting, and if you are reading this, it means you are hoping to build a career in the arts. Take it from me, that is not an easy path, but, as I sit here writing this, let me tell you it’s possible, just extremely difficult. 

Before we get into the job hunt itself, let me just remind you of a few things you should probably get in order before the hunt begins.

  1. Resume: you’ll need to show potential employers what you’ve done before (I know it can be frightening to look at a short list of accomplishments and wonder “who will hire this recent graduate who has no professional experience?”, but someone will, and if not, there are things you can do to keep improving your resume, even without a job.
  2. Online presence: Let’s be real, these days EVERYTHING is online. One quick google search and employers can see your whole life. Take a minute to refine your privacy settings on social media, or scan through to see what might pop up if you were to google yourself. Be aware of that image when your name falls into an employer’s inbox or onto their desk.
  3. Patience: This one is tricky, because you have to eat, and pay your bills, and it can be frightening, frustrating and downright unrealistic to take time on the job hunt. Keep in mind this will take time, and lots of luck is involved for people who have big opportunities quickly.

What type of job are you looking for?

Arts jobs is a blanket term for many different types of jobs ranging from administrative positions to actual artistic jobs. A good place to start is The National Occupational Classification (NOC) which is Canada’s national system for describing occupations. Here you can find different types of jobs recognized in Canada, learn about their main duties, what education is required to work in those jobs and other useful information. You can also check out Cultural Human Resources Council’s website which has a lot of useful resources for different industries arts jobs. Here are some different types of arts jobs:

Administrative jobs

For example: Project Coordinator, Project Manager, Artistic Producer, Managing Director

These jobs offer the most pay and stability in the industry and there are a lot of them constantly looking for candidates.

Artistic jobs

For example: Actor, Dancer, Musician, Singer, Director, Writer, Painter, Sculptor

These jobs are very competitive to get and usually don’t pay that well. The better paying ones depend on building your resume so make sure to continue to take classes and participate in the industry in any way you can to stay on top of your skills and to add entries to your resume.

Technical - Production jobs

For example: Stage Manager, Sound or Lighting technician, Rigger, Prop Maker, Stage carpenter, costume maker

These jobs require specialized knowledge and experience in handling specialized equipment. Training is almost mandatory as well as experience. Train with a reputable University program or volunteer with a local theatre. 

Design Jobs

For example: Set Designer, Costume Designer, Lighting Designer, Sound Designer, Video Designer

These jobs are usually tied to a project, so make sure to hang around with directors and Artistic Directors and become a part of their team. When a Director books a project they will take you on with them. Another path is to build your career by volunteering, shadowing, interning with senior colleagues or theatre companies to prove your skills and deception which will increase your chances of getting hired next time they have an opening.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit dolor

Where to look?

Now that you’ve got these things ready, let’s look at where to find arts jobs (in Ontario, Canada).

Work in Culture is a database of resources and job postings for jobs in culture (not only in Ontario, but across Canada). It includes creative and administrative jobs from all industries.

The Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (dance, theatre and opera) is an organization that supports and rallies these creative industries in the city of Toronto. Their industry listings page includes paid employment, workshops, internships, auditions, and more. 

The Canadian Actors Equity Association is the union for theatre artists in Canada provides audition listings for theatre projects across the country, you can sign up for their e-mail blasts for free.

The Canadian Actors Equity Association is the union for theatre artists in Canada provides audition listings for theatre projects across the country, you can sign up for their e-mail blasts for free.

This platform is an international (Canada/USA) listing for film, television and theatre jobs, and occasionally includes calls for administrative assistants and other entry level positions. It does, however, cost money to see these listings.

Unions such as Actors Association, or Playwrights Guild or Associated Designers of Canada are a great place to learn about opportunities that might be available before they are even published. 

7. Industry dedicated newspapers and websites

Have you checked out Now Magazine or Intermission Magazine? For administrative positions also check Charity Village and Work in Non Profits. 

8. Agents

Agents receive arts job postings from various employers. Having an agent is super useful because someone else 

Agents receive arts job postings from various employers. Having an agent is super useful because someone else 

You can upload your resume to some of Government Canada programs such as Young Canada Works. The jobs offered here are Intrenships dedicated to building your career in Arts Administration, some are bilingual and some even cover jobs abroad, paying you for travelling and working. How cool is that!

Do you know about another great way to find a job, that we are to aware of yet? Please share it with us!

Tips to Apply?

Now that you have some resources to find some jobs, here are some useful details to help you make sure you have a good first impression on the people you are applying to!

1. Research the company and the team

One important, and often forgotten in the constant job search of the arts world, is to take some time to ensure that you understand the values and mission of a company or organization that you are applying to work at. Take some time to see who is working for that company, or who is part of the creative team of the project. Find them on LinkedIn and connect with them, so that when they see your resume crossing their screens, they might have seen your name at least once before then.

2. Write a cover letter

Hundreds of people apply for each of these positions, how do you stand out? One easy way is a cover letter that expresses your interest, and shows your personality. This will help the people hiring get a sense of who you are.

3. Double check your e-mail before hitting send

Always ALWAYS just take one minute before you hit send to step back, and re-read your e-mail, ensure it is addressed to the right person/people, and double check the appropriate attachments are indeed attached to the message. As artists we are always looking for jobs, and applying to many different positions, and sending the application one minute later will not affect your chances, but sending your e-mail addressed to the wrong person will not make a great first impression.

4. Track your applications

Start a calendar, journal or log of all your applications. Not only will this allow you to follow up in an appropriate timeline, but it will also allow you to improve on your applications over time. It also will help you have context and evidence of how much you have worked and applied over time.

4. Track your applications

Start a calendar, journal or log of all your applications. Not only will this allow you to follow up in an appropriate timeline, but it will also allow you to improve on your applications over time. It also will help you have context and evidence of how much you have worked and applied over time.

The ROI of job applications

For of all, I am sure many of your are wondering, what is ROI? The term means Return on Investment and comes from financial world, but artists can use it’s very easy to understand principle too. Basically, this simple calculation allows you to track how successful are the efforts of applying for jobs and how many applications needs to be sent out in order to earn a desired sum of money. For calculating your ROI, divide the number of jobs with the number of applications and this will give you your success rate.

Blog - Crane Creations Theatre Company

How do I choose which jobs to apply for?

I learned about the rule of three when I was finishing my education; each job has three aspects that you must evaluate when selecting whether to apply or take the job offer;

1. Money

This position can actually pay your bills, you will be getting paid to make or to support arts!

2. Dream Team

The people working on this project are people you look up to, people who can have a big impact on your career, and people who you can learn a lot from. 

3. Juicy project

This project is extremely rewarding for you to work on, by the impact it has on audience/participants, or by the topic, or content, you are artistically, and personally fulfilled by the project.

Each of the projects that you work on in your career will have only 2 of these. If you are lucky, one or two throughout your career will have all three, but those will be rare.

It’s up to each person to determine which jobs they can take, financially, and which projects they want to work on, for the non-financial benefits.

Our Take

There is not one single way of building a career in the arts. Finding arts jobs in Canada is tricky. It’s a competitive industry into which lots of eager people join each year as each graduating class finishes their education. This post reflects our opinion, our experience, and tricks we used to find an arts job.  It’s important to be realistic, and understand which companies or organizations hire people in the same stage of career as you are, and understand you will probably have to work your way up to your dream position.

We wish you the best of luck in your careers, and hope this is helpful when it comes to finding arts jobs!

If you liked reading this, then you may also like:

Play Date

Familiar by Danai Gurira

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT Danai Gurira is an award-winning actress and playwright. Some other works include the Continuum which won her the OBIE Award, Outer Critics

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Land Acknowledgement

Crane Creations Acknowledges The Land Which We Operate On Is Part Of The Treaty Lands And Territory Of The Michi Saagiig, Commonly Referred To As The Mississauga First Nations. We Acknowledge The Territory Of The Anishinabek, Wendat, Haudenosaunee, Ojibwe Peoples, As Well As All Caretakers Of This Land Acknowledged And Unacknowledged, Recorded And Unrecorded, And Past, Present, And Future.

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