Here's where you can find an agent in Atlanta and why you need one now

Atlanta actors are an interesting group. There's the faction who consider themselves to be pedigree professionals, unwilling to stoop to the likes of background work as it will hurt their career. Then, there are the scrappy newcomers, constantly weighing the pros and cons of getting an agent, taking classes and becoming a card-carrying member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). The one thing the two can likely agree upon is an agent can certainly help an actor land the coveted speaking roles for film and TV.

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A reputable agent will not charge you to be represented. They get paid when you get paid for the jobs booked through their agency. Typically, an agent earns 10 to 15 percent of each paycheck. The percentage varies. Agents typically do not represent talent for background work, but that varies, too.

However, there is one thing that is constant: almost every agent will encourage you to take classes, learn your craft and invest in a great headshot. The thing most people do not realize is that an agent picks you; you don't necessarily pick them. This is actually best for all concerned.

Jana VanDyke is an Atlanta agent known for fiercely believing in her clients and going to the wall to get them auditions. To put forth that kind of effort, energy and passion, an agent needs to want you to make it as much as you want it for yourself. With the movie and film industry exploding across Atlanta, a number of people have put a star-shaped shingle on their door and are eager to find naive talent. Don't be cast in that role. Do your research. Find out who is reputable and keep looking until you find representation you connect with.

Here are a few of the better known agencies to begin with. However, there are many others. Look to see if they are SAG-AFTRA franchised. Do they have a niche? Some agents are great with kids. Others specialize in teens and adult talent. And finally, be ready to work at constantly improving your craft. A good agent will know how to help with that.

Houghton Talent

919 Collier Road NW, Atlanta. 404-603-9454.

Houghton Talent has been around for 25 years. They are well-known throughout Atlanta. They represent seasoned actors, models and voice-over artists and are accepting submissions for new talent.

People Store

645 Lambert Dr. NE, Atlanta. 404-874-6448.

People Store has been around since 1983. It has a complete division for child actors and models called "Hot Shot Kids." It's credits are lengthy and include: "42," "12 Years A Slave," "American Horror Story: Coven" and scores of other TV shows, series, movies and films.

J Pervis Talent Agency

949 Image Ave. NW, Atlanta. 404-688-9700.

The J Pervis Talent Agency opened its doors in 1996. In an interview for Backstage.com, Joy Pervis said the things she looks for in a new client are: "Uniqueness. Individuality. What this person brings to the table that no one else can. That's how you create a standout." Recent credits include "Containment," "Game of Silence," "For Better Or Worse" and "Mother's Day."