Hypothetically, if I sign with this good agent, how would I get put forward for a role in a production (any production)? would I say "i know XYZ theatre is casting for ABC play, would you submit to them for me" to the agent?
This is a difficult subject. Your agent is going to know of a great many films and plays that are casting that they are not going to put you forward for. Why? Because they do not think you are the right type or have the fully developed skills needed. I think it is something that you should discuss openly with them at signing and find out what their attitude is. Hopefully, they will be open to hearing about the casting, but I think their answer would be "Thank you, I will get in touch with them and if there is anything in it for you, I most certainly will put you forward for it." Some agents feel that it their job and only their job to find openings that they can put you forward for. My agent did not like her actors going to auditions without her knowing about it in advance. and her casting director (the woman in the office that put people forward for roles, was not really open to the actors suggesting that she should put them up for this role or that). The thing is that directors, agents and casting people see us quite differently from how we see ourselves. Thus, I also think it is a really good idea to work with your agent on your selection of monologues.....hopefully he 0r she will be willing to put in a bit of time with you on such matters. Anyway it would not hurt to ask about that in your interview with them as well. The agent may have his own idea about the number and kind of monologues you should have a the ready. Another thing your agent will probably feel strongly about is your head shot. My agent picked all the photos for my comp card even before I had seen them. As I often advise, I had not had expensive photos taken until I was signed. I used one of the photographers she advised. He was also an actor with the agency and I knew him. These are a few hints on working with your agent. There will be more as they come up.