Founded in 1984 and rebranded in 2019, A&J Artists has built a powerful reputation as an acting agency representing some of the most talented children and young performers in the UK.
Enfield-based A&J Artists have a select roster of children, young performers and adults regularly appearing on TV and cinema screens.
Do not infer from its inclusion of children and teenagers that it is an easy agency to get accepted by, especially now the client numbers have reduced. A&J Artists is one of the UK’s top agencies and often retains clients even as they gain enviable credits.
Their past clients include Ben Whishaw, Russell Brand, Victoria Beckham, Michelle Ryan, James Buckley, Joe Cole, Holly Earl, Luke Newberry, Joe Absolom, Olivia Hallinan and Florence Hoath. They often hold on to young successful clients with top TV & film credits for the long term.
A&J Artists: Website and Social Media
A&J Artists rebranded from A&J Management in November 2019 and launched a new website.
They do not appear to have a Facebook account or Instagram account, or any pages explaining their recruitment procedure. However, they do have a busy Twitter account which reports on the success of their clients. It’s an impressive read.
What Do A&J Artists Charge?
Back in 2013, the forum for “Not A Pushy Mum” discussed A & J Management. Several parents contributed to the discussion to say they were happy with the agency. Therefore, we included them on our list of 20 Reputable UK Agencies For Child Actors.
Each year clients pay an annual fee to the agency. This covers the cost of the headshots and the database inclusion charge. This fee can prove a bit controversial, especially as it’s not on the website.
Everyone is told never to sign up with an agency which makes money from fees rather than just commission. But A&J Artists is genuinely finding work for its clients and is NOT a scam or fake agency.
A fee is also due each year for Spotlight membership. This is entirely normal in the industry. Spotlight is a key requirement for access to film and TV production castings. The annual membership fee is always paid by the performer.
Should you gain work, A&J charges a commission rate of 20%, which is a respectable rate.
A&J Artists does not offer workshops for their clients. However, as is normal in the industry, clients should be constantly training and improving their craft in their own time and at their own cost.
Applying To A&J Artists For Representation
A&J Artists consider applicants from anywhere in the UK. However, clients must attend all auditions when they are offered. These can occur with very little notice. Auditions for commercials, film and TV productions nearly always take place in London and, less commonly, in Manchester.
A&J Artists do not set out their recruitment process publicly. If you are thinking of applying, you have to follow normal industry practices. Apply by sending a photo, covering letter and CV, either through the post or by email.
Joanne McLintock is the main contact for adult castings; Honor Colt works on child castings. The telephone numbers and email addresses are on the website, but if you are seeking representation with A&J Artists think and plan carefully before you get in touch. First impressions count.
Use the covering letter to set out why you want to join the agency, and what you can offer. You are trying to join an elite roster, consequently you must have experience, looks or proven talent that sets you apart from the crowd.
Make sure you address the letter properly, to a named recipient. A parent should send one on behalf of their child.
The CV must list name, age, date of birth and key measurements. Include any credits for paid and unpaid work. If you don’t have any, include shows you have done at school or as part of your drama classes.
The photo, covering letter and CV must not be large files; photos cannot be larger than 2MB and you should aim for less. Many recipients in the industry delete large emails without reading them. If you don’t know how to reduce file sizes, ask someone for help.
Choosing The Right Photo To Submit
Your photo does not have to be a professional headshot. However, it must be a clear picture that clearly shows your face. An outside shot on a cloudy day gives perfect lighting for a clear picture. You must look straight into the camera and keep your hands out of the way. Also, no one else can be in the picture and the background should be neutral.
Try to liven up your eyes by pretending you are looking at someone on the other side of the lens. In addition, imagine you are going to give them an important and exciting piece of news.
The most important thing is for the photo to show what you look like in real life. If you walked into the room with a group of other people, the photo should be good enough for a stranger to pick you from the crowd.
A&J Clients In The News
There have been a couple of controversies involving A&J Management clients, which show the high calibre performers they represent.
When open auditions were held for the part of Lavender Brown in Harry Potter film “The Half-Blood Prince”, seven thousand girls aged between 15 and 18 years of age auditioned. The director’s comments at the time suggested they were looking for someone other than an experienced known performer. The part was eventually awarded to established A&J Management client Jessie Cave, who was at 20 years old already the star of CBBC drama “Summerhill” and the feature film “Inkheart”.
In 2015 A&J Management client Katie Redford received a lot of press interest. An important Coronation Street role she won was withdrawn because of her age. An alumnus of the National Youth Theatre, Katie was 27 when she landed the role of 14-year-old Bethany Platt. Producers had thought she was 19. Her A&J Management agent Joanne McLintock stepped forward to explain that lack of clarity wasn’t the actress’s decision. Her playing age was 16-20; she also accepted advice and downplayed her real age. Katie’s talent and supportive agent mean she now plays 18-year-old Lily Partigitter in BBC Radio 4’s “The Archers”. She has also filmed several episodes of BBC One’s “Doctors” as Bethany Morris. Katie also appeared in the BBC series “Young Hyacinth” as younger sister Rose.