Acting agencies for beginners in South Africa

Acting agencies are not chosen based on acting hierarchy, they are instead based on reputation; below are three of the leading acting agencies for actors in South Africa.


Acting is one of the popular entertainment career interests for many South Africans. While some might be introduced to the industry through open calls that invite the general public to take a chance and audition, most accomplished actors have an agency.

An agency functions as the actor’s middleman who looks for auditions for them and assists with the negotiations of the actor’s contract for a given project.

Therefore, whether you are a beginner or otherwise, having a reputable agency representing you is imperative. Below are three of the leading acting agencies in South Africa.

Be aware of illegal or unethical acting agencies

While there is a plethora of reputable acting agencies, there are also many unreputable acting agencies looking to capitalise on the naivete of unknowing aspiring actors. Signs that an acting agency is unreputable may include but are not limited to:

  • They ask for money
  • They do not have a physical address or office
  • They guarantee the actor work upon signing
  • There are monthly or annual fees to pay
  • They require that you take their specific acting classes at a cost to you
  • The person soliciting you to sign with their agency does not have a digital footprint

Acting agencies for beginners in South Africa

It is important that aspiring actors know what will be required of them when they reach out to acting agencies seeking representation. With reputable agencies, there will be a thorough and valid process undertaken in order for someone to be part of the agency.

Firstly, you will have to reach out to the agency to secure an interview with them. This is a chance to see if the agency is compatible with your goals as an aspiring actor.

Secondly, you will need to have headshots, which are images of you that the agency uses to showcase you to potential casting directors. The headshots should be accompanied by a resume detailing your acting experience.

Lastly, you will need patience, since any acting agency and actor relationship is based on mutual compatibility. Therefore, as much as the agency interviews you, you should do the same. Sometimes an agency will decline to represent you, which just means that you should continue looking for your perfect match.

Below are three of the leading acting agencies in South Africa.

1. MLA

MLA is home to the biggest names in acting in South Africa. The agency is also responsible for the South African actors that were a part of the 2018 film, Black Panther, including Connie Chiume, Dr John Kani, and his son, Atandwa Kani. The agency was founded by the late and legendary Moonyeenn Lee in 1974.

The agency’s description reads:

“Partnership and personal relationships are at the heart of all that we do. At MLA, we believe in exclusive representation. We believe in partnering with our talent to help facilitate their growth and to guide and support their personal and professional vision. We pride ourselves in the relationships we have built over decades with industry specialists such as casting directors, producers, writers and directors, to ensure that we find the right actor for the right role.”

2. Legends

Legends acting agency is the agency of current leading talents like Zola Nombona and recently named in the role of Naledi in the series The Wife, Gaisang Noge.

The agency is described as:

“After over a decade in the industry, Legends Actors and Performers’ Management is renowned as one of the leading Professional Acting Agencies in South Africa. Whilst Legends represents a plethora of Professional Performers; one of our fortes is developing fruitful Careers for first-timers in the Industry. Ships are the nearest things to dreams that hands have ever made, and Legends is managed and maintained like a well-oiled Vessel. Keeping their hands on the helm of the tight Ship is the dynamic duo Lisa Modisane and Petro Magos, who contribute a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Legends Team and are supported by a Crew of capable Team members.”

3. Thespians

Thespians is the third leading acting agency on our list. It represents actors like The River’s Beauty, whose real name is Galaletsang Koffman; The Queen’s Vuyiswa, whose real name is Zandile Msutwana, and Isidingo’s Ashish G.

The agency’s description in part reads as follows:

“Thespians has established itself as one of the leading talent agencies in Johannesburg, South Africa since 1994 and this year we celebrate twenty-four years within the entertainment industry. We selectively represent professional actors in Film, Television, Stage, Industrial Theatre, Corporate Events, Commercials and Voice-Overs. With over 60 years combined experience, the Thespians team pride themselves on providing personalised and professional services to their clients.”

Final thoughts

Finding an acting agency requires hard work to be put in by the aspiring actor in order to find one that is both reputable and the perfect fit for you. Therefore, it will require that you take time to thoroughly research all your possible options.

Moreover, it is most important to remember that an acting agency is meant to function as your middleman, and as such, you should sign with an agency that has more than just a good reputation, but that you believe understands and supports your specific acting aspirations and goals.