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I am going to portray Mark Twain lecturing on his life "so far" at the age of 60 (the monologue/one-man, one-act play will be set in 1896).

I plan to perform in small ampitheateres, opera houses, and suchlike venues.

Although I have decades of public speaking experience, I have no "show business" experience or connections.

Would I be better off dealing with these venues (their owners/managers) myself, when it comes to negotiating appearances, or contracting with an agent? I certainly understand the advantage they would bring to the table, but am not sure if it's really necessary.

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If you have no experience in the show business you can start with a 1 year contract with an agent and see how it goes. Then when you are more experienced you decide how to go on.

An agent who is active in that business probably has many contacts, friends and collegues to obtain jobs from more than you have now alone. You can have more chances than being your own agent.

Also having an agent will make you concentrate on your work and not much on the marketing and the papers.

Finally an organization, theatre, etc, could accept more easily an artist from a trusted agent than from a unknown artist promoting himself.

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