Agency Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get signed with an agency?
The first step is to meet with an agency for a one-on-one interview or attend the agency's "open call day". If the agency feels you have marketability, they will offer either an exclusive or non-exclusive representation contract. Most agencies charge a 20% commission fee for their services which means the talent receives 80% of the paid amount from the client.
Will the agency guarantee work for me?
NO! In the modeling and acting industry it is the client who has the right to select the model or actor best suited for the job. Agencies, agents and managers may suggest whom they feel might be the best selection for a specific job; however, the client always makes the final hiring decision.
What will my agency need from me in order to market me to their clients?
The first thing your agency will do is to determine which division, within their agency, you should be placed in. Then your agency will assist you with developing your "marketing tools". For modeling work, you will need professional photographs in a portfolio that show a variety of looks/styles and a composite card (the mode's "business card"). For acting and on-camera TV work, you will need a professional 8X10 commercial headshot (the actor's "business card") and acting resume.
What is an online portfolio and do I need one?
Clients use to rely solely on composite cards and portfolios; however this is being replaced by online portfolios. An online portfolio allows clients to efficiently preview models and actors, up-to-date photos and biographical information. In many cases, the cost of an online portfolio is about the same as printing composite cards. One of the many advantages is when a model or actor changes his/her look, it isn't necessary for him/her to continually reprint their composite cards or headshots. Additionally, your agency can search their talent database and submit the talent in a much timelier manner to potential clients. An online presence can possibly generate more opportunities and should be discussed with your agency.
Do I need new photos if I cut my hair?
One must always arrive at an audition or job booking looking exactly like your photos. Anytime you change your look (lose/gain weight, color or cut your hair, etc.) you must update your photos. Again, that is the advantage of using an online portfolio because you can instantly update your photos.
What opportunities are available with a full-service agency?
A full-service model and talent agency books models and talent for a variety of jobs such as print, runway, commercial and specialty modeling, on-camera TV work, film, and promotional work.
If I'm signed with one agency, can I work with another agency?
In most cases, an agency offering representation will offer you an exclusive or non-exclusive contract. Most models and talent opt for a non-exclusive contract, however your market or agency division could dictate otherwise. Most agency fashion divisions are exclusive in each market. If you are a commercial or promotion's model or an actor, you are allowed to be represented by more than one agency as long as it is a non-exclusive contract with each agency.
What is the difference between an agent and a manager?
An agent represents many individuals and although they promote you, you are one of many individuals they represent. A manager works with a select few individuals and the relationship is more personal. Managers charge different fees than an agent. If you have a manager, their fee is typically in addition to your agent's fee. You can have an agent/agency without having a manager, but you would rarely have a manager without having an agent or agency.
What is the difference between a model and talent agency and a casting agency?
Model and talent agencies work WITH casting agencies or casting directors. They are not in competition with each other. Casting agencies/directors reach out to talent agencies when casting for different entertainment projects.
A photographer scouted my child at the mall; do I need to tell my agent?
You don't have to tell your agent but it is to your child's advantage to do so. The agency can help protect your child and will know what questions to ask to help decide if the photographer is legitimate. The agency will also be able to make sure your child is fairly compensated. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which clients, photographers, etc., to work with in any given situation.
Is training required to model or act?
We have all heard the Cinderella stories of the person that was "discovered" and made a star in either the modeling or acting field. Although this makes for good story book tales, it is not the reality of the modeling or acting industry. Model and actors continually work and train for years to perfect their craft. In fact, actors train throughout their entire career! Naturally, models and actors must have the desire and the aptitude for success in the industry but preparation and industry knowledge are essential to become successful. For example; models and actors must be prepared with industry know-how, industry terms and competitive industry skills to handle auditions and go-see successfully. Clients and casting directors do not have the time or the interest in "teaching" someone how to slate or explain audition procedures in order for them to get a job. There are too many individuals that are prepared and knowledgeable just waiting to get the job!
Do I have to be a certain height to model?
Depending on the geographical market and the type of modeling you want to do, your height may play a significant factor in your ability to work. High fashion runway modeling has very strict height requirements in any "major market". Those height requirements are not as stringent in the middle or smaller size markets. For "specialty" modeling such as hair, hands, feet, teeth, legs, etc., height makes no difference.
What is the "right look" for a model or actor?
There is no "right look" when it comes to modeling or acting! One agent's opinion of the "next supermodel" or "hot actor" can be vastly different than another agent's opinion. For modeling, it comes down to opinion and in the end the opinion of the client is all that matters. Acting talent is booked for all ages, sizes, heights, ethnicities and personalities. In the end, one's talent and industry knowledge are the keys to a successful acting career.
What is specialty modeling?
The most well known form of specialty modeling is modeling different "body parts". Hair, hands, feet, legs, teeth, etc., can all be considered specialty modeling. Professional hair shows use models that are willing to have their hair typically cut or colored during the show. Shoe and foot product companies use feet (typically small sized feet) for print ads and TV commercials. Hand models are booked for all types of products. You may see the face of one individual in a TV commercial but when the shot cuts to their hands it typically is a specialty model's hand that you see.
How much notice will I receive for auditions and/or job bookings?
This is a very fast paced industry and sometimes only 24 hours notice will be given. However, most auditions give 48 hours notice.
Is it okay for me to bring people with me to an audition?
If you are under 18 years old, you should bring one parent or your legal guardian. They may or may not be invited into the audition room with you. If you are over 18 years old, you can bring a support person but the person must wait outside of the audition area and room. It is never considered professional to bring siblings or friends along to an audition. Remember that when you go to an audition you have just a few seconds to make a lasting impression. Always be polite, courteous and arrive prepared.
If my child has an audition or job booking during school hours, how do I take my child out of school?
Most states require the parent to get a child labor form completed prior to a job booking. You may need to contact your child's school and have an administrator complete the form and have it notarized. However, you should contact the school administration for their specific requirements. Most schools are fine with a few absences if your child's grades are good. Agencies typically do not directly contact your child's school as this is a parental responsibility.
Is there modeling or acting work on the weekends?
There is limited work on the weekends. Promotional work, fashion shows and hair shows are often booked on the weekend. Print and on-camera TV work usually takes place Monday - Friday, 9AM-5PM.