Agents? Do we need them? We spoke mostly about theatrical acting agents but did discuss literary and design agents as well.I called this session mostly just to hear people’s opinions and experiences with agents and from my experience as a producer/director working with unrepresented actors and trying to get representation as an actor who didn’t attend drama school.Within the group there were people from all different backgrounds and experiences and it added to a really great discussion. The conversation came back round to the pressure felt in drama schools for your agent showcase and the mentality that came with that. As a group we spoke about what the agent actually does and how you as your own business model can do some of these things and that sometimes there are skills that you put aside, i.e. knowing you own worth, building relationships, business mindset that perhaps you loose out on by relying on an agent. The answer to question it seemed that ‘No’ we don’t an agent until a certain point and the talk of glass ceilings came up repeatedly. There were a lot of pro’s and con’s.A lot of agents have great relationships with their clients and really want the best for them. They help deal with legalities, contracts and fees, as well as getting you in the room. A key point made that we all know and seems obvious but is so easy to overlook is that:You have to take responsibility for your own workFor myself as the leader of this discussion I would really like to understand still, why actors are expected to pay the same fee for Spotlight when a huge amounts of jobs (the money makers) and opportunities are withheld from certain actors who are not represented by certain agents. It is a large sum of money to pay each year for very few opportunities. Lots of agents are doing great work and admire them but I am not sure the door is open enough for the arts industry as a whole to grow into an accepting actors from all walks of life with different experiences.