Keep in mind that the “top” handful of agencies are not necessarily where you should start with your submissions, unless you are already well-accomplished or highly unusual. What do these mean?
An accomplished actor has strong, recognizable credits. Some may be local and have built careers in the SE, but many are talent moving here from other big markets with stacked guest star and recurring roles. These actors are appealing because they can be submitted for larger roles. Their experience provides significant pitching power, and this marketing tool is crucial for agents, managers, and casting to do their jobs. Experience equals reliability. If another network, director or studio has hired you, it’s almost like insurance. There is much greater likelihood that you will do your job and perform well for them. Ultimately, less risk makes everyone sleep better.
Highly unusual can translate to a lot of different things. It may be that you are ethnically ambiguous, can speak several languages, or any number of things that make you really stand out. In the research you do on agencies, look for the agents who do not have whatever it is that is special and unique about you. It may be your best selling feature.
Stay tuned. More on agents next week...