ArticleHow to Submit Without an Agent

Here is something so many actors get wrong. They think you need an agent to get great roles.

How to Submit Without an Agent
Written September 20, 2021 by Weekly Audition

Here is something so many actors get wrong. They think you need an agent to get great roles.

Does it help? Of course. But agents aren’t necessary to find work. In fact, we are living in a golden age for actors. There has never been so much content being created, with so many resources to submit on your own.

Think about it: there are more roles available than ever before, and you have better access to those roles than actors in any other generation.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you through the process.

Why You Need to Submit Without an Agent

Here’s the cycle: you don’t have an agent to get roles, and you don’t have roles to get an agent.

There’s only one part of that cycle you can control. You have to roll up your sleeves and land the roles yourself, not an easy task but not impossible, either.

    It comes down to two main skills:
  • Knowing what you need to submit
  • Knowing where to submit

We’ll help you with both.

There is an added bonus to submitting yourself. When an actor submits without an agent, they train themselves in skills that will serve them for the rest of the career. You will be forced to understand the casting process like never before. You will get a feel for what an agent does. These insights will be invaluable, helping you navigate the waters intelligently, even when you get an agent.

What Materials You Need

The search for work without an agent begins with creating and collecting all the materials you need to start submitting. Before you begin scrolling through casting calls, make sure that you have these basics ready.


Your resume is essential. This little piece of paper gives a quick overview of your experience, and you’ll need this to be as polished and updated as possible.

    The key elements are:
  • Name and contact information
  • Film credits first
  • Television credits next
  • Theater credits third
  • Training and education information
  • Special skills
  • Mention if you are a union member

Like any resume, it’s best to keep things clean and clear, and fit everything on a single page. Oh, and avoid typos.


Your demo reel is an incredibly powerful tool at your disposal. It shows you in action and in context, something that no headshot or resume will ever do.

Oddly, many actors using platforms like Actors Access (more on these platforms below) have no media associated with their profile. These submissions are effectively useless.


Ah, the headshot. It’s the coin of the realm in acting, so make sure to have good ones ready to go.

Most online platforms for submission will allow you to keep these on file, and it’s a good idea to update them when you can.

Having It All Ready

All of this work actually has a dual purpose. By getting all of this information together and nailing each element, you’re finding work and helping yourself get an agent in the future.

See, agents need all of this information already. The effort you put into submitting is almost the same that you need for an agent. Two birds, one stone.

Where to Find Acting Gigs

Being prepared to make a submission is a great first step, but without an agent, you need to track down roles yourself.

Of course, things are much easier today than they’ve ever been. There are a ton of online resources that connect you with available roles, no matter your representation.

It’s important to remember that the platforms available are not all the same, nor are they created equal. But if you can, you should be on all of them.

Actors Access

This is probably the single best resource for actors trying to submit without an agent. And actors with agents will often keep the Actors Access resume up for easy viewing.

You need to remember that Actors Access will privilege your submissions if you have a reel uploaded to the site (rather than linked to from off-site) and all of your information is in order.

Casting Networks

This is another one that can come in handy, although it isn’t quite as ubiquitous as Actors Access. Still, many auditions will actually ask you to sign in using your Casting Networks profile.

Casting Networks has a lot of background work and commercial opportunities, making it easy to get paid but hard to land substantial acting roles.


Backstage has a fantastic set-up, though the opportunities are not as robust as with Actors Access. Still, it’s important when finding work to be able to see everything that is available.

Which should you use?

The general consensus is that if you are looking for work, you should be on every platform you can. While they all have paid features, you can see casting calls and work for free.

There’s no reason to commit to one over the other. And while Actors Access is generally regarded as having the most opportunities, the other platforms have work that you can’t find anywhere else.

Committing to Submitting

All of this information can help you submit by yourself and get work without an agent. But to actually land roles, you have to actually submit.

No matter how great your reel or how perfect a role is for you, submitting yourself means submitting a lot. You can’t expect to send out a few packets a week and earn a living.

Instead, you need to look at submitting as your new job. Yes, there will be rejection, and yes, the process can get quite dull. But at the end of the tunnel are roles. And once you get great experience, you’ll land an agent. And they’ll do all the submitting for you!