In the big, fabulous world of the entertainment industry, there are many traps that can limit a talent’s growth and experience by deceitful practices all around. Who can you trust? Who shouldn’t you trust? Let’s chat today about the following topics:
- Agents that Double Dip
- Pay to Play site
A talent agent runs a business submitting their talent for jobs typically in their local area, unless said agent has a national talent base. Said agent will advise talent on what is required to be listed on their roster. No agent should charge any fees to be on a talent agency roster, or require said talent to pay any additional fees including any payment to be visible on the agency’s website. With this, the agent should not require national exclusivity for any talent to only and ever do work for that agency. The agency can, though, state what is expected from each talent. If you do not follow each agent’s specific rules, you could be booted off of their roster.
Agents that Double dip
Unfortunately there are many agents in the world that double dip on commissions. Frequently these agents hide the agent fee that may be paid for a project. Example: A job comes in paying $3000.00 + 20% Agent Fee. An honest agent would take the agent fee as their payment (commission) and pay their talent $3000.00. There are many agents that not only take their 20% agent fee that’s already paid and still pull out an amount ranging from 10-25% out of the $3000.00 that is rightfully the talent’s money they earned. This is double dipping and not an acceptable way to run a business. If the talent agency is a good agency, they should have repeat clients and an established base to keep them in business.
What is a manager? A manager is a person or small group that seeks out one of a kind opportunities for talent. The manager’s job is to promote each of their talent on their roster for their individual strengths. A manager does not, or should not, send out opportunities that mainstream talent agents send out. Why? Because that is not promoting their talent. A good manager researches and focuses in on an industry where a talent is a match and they they promote said talent and provide examples to why this talent is the perfect fit for the opportunity. No manager should receive payments on work you book on your own without anyone’s assistance. If you have a manager and you already have a regular stream of clients, the pay you receive from your existing clients has nothing to do with this manager. Watch out for this area as a manager needs to work to earn their payment.
Pay to Play sites
Across the board there are site where a variety of opportunities are available for talent. No matter which site you go to there will be lower paying jobs and higher paying jobs. Unfortunately there may be some “no paying” jobs, like student films or thesis films at times. Each site has different parameters but if you don’t pay for a profile it’s unlikely you’ll be abie to submit for projects unless a casting agent reaches out to you directly. If you do have a paid profile you should be able to submit for opportunities. Remember, if the pay rate is low, you may want to hold off submitting for said job. If talent keep accepting lower rate jobs, the rates will never increase.
Good luck out there, which ever direction you go. Be safe.