First, being rejected by a talent agent is part of the business. It happens to all of us. Even pros who have been in the industry for thirty years! I have three agents but sometimes get turned away from others. It's never a reason to quit or feel like you're not good enough. Now, let's get to the main reasons you could have been turned away...
Reason #1: It could be your sloppy demo. Did you do it yourself? Did a demo mill produce it? Perhaps your scripts are the same demo scripts on 2000 other demos? This is what demo mills do with their talents. Everyone is reading from the same scripts and most of their talents are nowhere near ready to do a demo. It's imperative to have a professionally produced demo with original content on it if you want to be considered for a talent agency roster. Reason #2: You may have been turned away because you didn't follow a talent agency's protocols on submitting your demo. If you ignore the form on their "New Talent Inquiries" page, they're just going to come to the determination that you're not a good listener. How will you listen to instructions in a directed voiceover session if you can't follow simple instructions on a website page? It's easy to email the agent with an mp3 attachment of your demo. Please do not do this unless they have no protocols for new talents on their website.
Sometimes, the agency isn't accepting new talent and has instructed you to wait six months before submitting. Don't submit anyway and start calling them. This is another potential red flag. Respect the protocols.
Reason #3: You may have bugged the agent too much! Submitting your demo and making frequent follow-ups every week can be a turn-off for a talent agent. You will be the first to know if they're interested in representing you. Agents have a ton on their plate and patience will be required here.
This is in play for auditioning as well! If you submit the audition, there is no need to follow up with the agent to see if they received it and never ask them if they heard back from the client. I know we can all get a little overzealous at times but this is another process that will require some patience. If you book the gig, they will contact you.
Reason #4: They may already represent a talent with a similar voice. Agents don't typically like to carry talents who have identical voices. Every agent's objective is to give all of their talents a fair shot at booking a voiceover gig. If your voice sounds too much like others on the roster, they may not accept you.
Recap: In this day and age in the voiceover business, following protocols has never been more critical. And make sure your demo is rock solid and you're not hiring an amateur to produce it. And never do it yourself! Talent agents can sniff out DIY demos in five seconds flat.
As I mentioned at the start of this blog, there will be times when the agency doesn't have any protocol listed. If this is the case, it's okay to send an email to the email address listed on the website but ONLY if there are no strict protocols listed.
Another thing to remember is that your career is never over if you never get listed with a talent agent. There is plenty of work out there you can get on your own with intelligent, direct marketing strategies. Not only is it essential to work with a coach before you record your demos but work with a coach with plenty of marketing experience. Trish Basanyi, one of the UVT coaches, is a marketing mastermind! If you're interested in coaching with her or other coaches on our team, write us through this website. Good luck!