1. Do I need to pay an Agent to represent me or to submit me for auditions?
No. Legitimate agencies work on a commission basis. You should not be charged an up-front fee to be represented - or a surcharge to be submitted for auditions. Legitimate agents should only get paid a percentage of what you earn.
2. My Agent is also my Acting Coach. Is this commonplace?
No. This type of scenario is usually considered a conflict of interest. The State of Texas generally frowns upon agents who are also acting coaches, because their primary motivation may not be to work on your behalf, to get you auditions. A legitimate agent focuses first upon getting you work and will encourage you to obtain your training from coaches outside of their agency.
3. I hear ads on the Radio telling me to come to a local hotel for an acting and model search. Is this legitimate?
Probably not. Legitimate agents in Texas - or Hollywood - are generally not looking for lots of unknown, untrained talent, right off the street. To successfully act on-camera requires a specific set of skills, which you'll need to develop. So while there are occasionally naturals who succeed as unknowns, they are the very rare exception. In fact, only one in three people calling themselves actors in Los Angeles currently have an Agent or Manager. So when you hear statements to the effect that Hollywood agents are aggressively seeking lots of complete unknowns in San Antonio and South/ Central Texas, it's possible you're being set up to purchase an expensive photography and training package. These often lead nowhere, primarily due to poor training that fails to provide you with the skills sought by established agents in the talent industry - and due to a lack of professional connections by the proprietors of these events to the agents and managers necessary to get you the auditions you need to build a career.
For more information on Talent Agents in Texas:
All Texas Talent Agents must be licensed and adhere to provisions of the Texas Talent Agency Law: www.license.state.tx.us/talent/talent.htm
4. Is the agent your dealing with licensed?
You can find out from the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation's License Search: www.license.state.tx.us/LicenseSearch?