How to Get into Acting and Modelling: Demystifying Agencies

Learn all there is to know about working with an agency

The acting and modelling industries are thriving here in Australia and there has never been a better time to make your start as an actor or model. But that also means that there’s fierce competition out there for work. And yes, that also means that casting directors and photographers can pick and choose from the huge pool of talent available to them. So as you can imagine, the people that do all the hiring usually have one port of call when it comes to securing talent and that, of course, is the talent agency.

This is why it’s super important to find yourself a reputable acting and modelling agency as soon as possible as it’s quite literally the most important step you can take at this point in your career.

Now, you may have heard some horror stories about working with agencies and the truth is that some of those stories are quite possibly true. But trust us on this, acting and modelling agencies are a must for career success. So with this in mind, we’ve created this quick guide to acting and modelling agencies and bust a few myths along the way.

Why do I need to sign with an agency?

Okay, here’s a truth that very few other agencies will openly admit — you don’t need to sign with an agency. You can represent yourself, source your own roles and assignments and negotiate your own contracts, if that’s what you want to do.

However, life as an actor or model will be so much easier if you sign with an agency as the agent assigned to you will handle the business and marketing side of your career.

An agency will:

  • Find roles/assignments that are suited to your talents
  • Negotiate a fair rate of pay
  • Ensure that contracts are fair and transparent
  • Make certain that there are no unreasonable requests in your brief
  • Give you access to its network of industry contacts

You also get this great benefit that we call ‘reputation by association’. This means that if you sign with a reputable agency that is respected throughout the industry, this ‘rubs off’ on you. Casting directors are much more likely to hire talent that comes through an agency like this as they subconsciously assume that the talent will be reliable and work to a high standard.

Remember too that signing with an agency will free up a lot of your time so you can focus more on practising modelling and acting techniques at home or attending classes.

What do acting and modelling agencies charge?

This is a great question and one of the first things that you must ask of any agency before you sign up with them. As you can imagine, all those benefits listed above don’t come for free. It takes quite a lot of hard work on the agency’s end to promote you and ensure that your portfolio and casting profiles are seen by the right people.

For this reason, all acting and modelling agencies in Australia (and the world!) will charge you a commission for any work that you book and are paid for. The standard commission rates for acting and modelling work in Australia are from 10% to 20%. The actual rate depends on the type of work involved and this should be made clear to you before you accept the job.

Generally speaking, adult talent agencies in Australia don’t charge a fee to join them but you will be asked to cover the costs of talent portal subscriptions which allow the agency to promote you to its network.

If an agency wants to sign you up over the phone or by email and pay a membership fee before they have even met you, this is a red flag and we’d advise you to look for another agency.

What about my portfolio and headshots?

Okay, so choosing an agency is the number one priority for a good start in the industry but coming a very close second is getting your portfolio and headshots sorted as quickly as possible.

This is another area where an agency can help you a great deal. You see, an experienced talent agent will speak with you about your career goals and the type of work that you want to book. They will then be able to give you a little advice on what type of portfolio you need to put together to secure that kind of work. And if you already have a portfolio and headshots, then they can advise you on any changes or additions that you may need to make.

While the agency will rarely handle headshots or portfolio shoots in-house, you’ll certainly get a few recommendations for professional photographers in your area that have relevant industry experience.

Does an acting and modelling agency offer anything else?

Aside from all of that? Actually, yes the best agencies will offer a little more. For example, the super useful guide that you’re reading right now or the many in-depth guides that we provide are just one of the ways that Hunter Talent likes to go the extra mile for our actors and models. In fact, you don’t even need to sign with us to benefit from our decades of industry experience.

These career resources alongside the knowledge that you’re in safe hands is worth its weight in booked work! After all, if you want to succeed in this industry, it really does pay to have some support along the way.

So whether you’re new to the industry or you’re simply looking for new, professional representation, then we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with Hunter Talent today and let’s get your career off to the best possible start.



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  • The Hunter talent team are amazing! From the moment I signed with them I felt so welcomed as part of the family and community they have established. The amazing team are so supportive of your goals and helping you realise them, and there is constant and transparent communication with their models in leading us to do so. So grateful to work with them.


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    The support I’ve received from all the team at Hunter Talent is unmatched! Everyone is so friendly and welcoming it really feels like a partnership working with them! I’ve only been signed for a short time and have been apart of some really cool meaningful projects! I’m so excited to keep working together and continuing this journey! Thank you so much!

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    Working with Hunter is great! They are always applying with my profile and I’ve got a few auditions from which I got selected for an international brand.

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    Booked a TVC a couple of weeks ago and had a great experience with Hunter Talent! They were so lovely, communicative and quick to respond to my questions! Thank you HT :)

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    I am new into this entertainment industry and Hunter Talent has been super supportive in my journey. I have successfully been able to grab a few projects through them! Their communication is clear and up to date at all times. They have responded promptly to my queries. I would highly recommend this agency.

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  • Hunter Talent has always had excellent communication. Information regarding shoots and auditions are always communicated clearly and the team are very friendly, open and helpful!

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    The team at Hunter Talent have always been extremely lovely and supportive throughout my time working with them. I am grateful to have the support of a team of professionals that are fantastic at what they do and encourage me in my career path!

    Stephanie Y Avatar Stephanie Y

    Just want to thank Hunter Talent for putting me up for an Australia's Seniors Insurance TV add - my first professional add acting after being a musician for 39 years! Everything organised so well and I had a blast doing it. Fantastic film crew etc etc etc. Here's to more in this field and looking forward to seeing it on air in Feb or March 2024!

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  • Amazing experience working with the team Atmosphere was beautiful. In the way. The art was designed was amazing. The support that we got from Hunter Talent was amazing, I’m excited for more opportunities in the future

    Karan Jamboj Avatar Karan Jamboj

    The entertainment business is tough to navigate. It doesn’t end with just booking gigs. It requires having the right mix of skills, creativity, time management & patience. Having a killer team in your corner, helping sharpen your game, is the difference between feeling alone or supported. The Hunter Talent team, are the best, they’re absolute beasts, they won’t stop until it’s hunted & the kill is on the table. The team are beyond supportive of myself, my creativity & guiding me with absolute professionalism. 5 stars killers.

    MJ Wilson Avatar MJ Wilson

    I only have joined with Hunter talent for a month. I recent got a gig. Well done!Hunter talent 😍

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  • Hunter Talent is a fantastic agency, and everyone there is genuinely lovely. I hope to get more opportunities to work with you guys!

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    Nothing but positive experiences when working with Hunter Talent agency. Every process is made easy when working with the team.I look forward to continually working closely with the team!

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    I get lots of auditions and recently booked my first job in a CBA TVC. Thank you and well-done Hunter Talent.

    David Walander Avatar David Walander
  • Great agency - promote their talent widely and fairly. I have been very happy with the work so far.

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    The team at Hunter Talent communicate really well and are very efficient when it comes to auditions and jobs. Friendly team!

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    Professional and diligent and polite. Amazing people to work with. I'm looking forward to the next gig. I know I'll be looked after, again.

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  • From Audition to Shoot Date, everything was a smooth and overall a seamless process. This was my first job with a huge retail brand. Communication from the Hunter team was excellent and everyone I worked with was warm, helpful and really lovely!


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  • Such an incredible agency. Very professional, but also are the kindest group of people and communicate very effectively. Got my first job within a month of being signed!

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    Signed on excited to get started

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