I have worked in the Entertainment Industry as long as I can remember. I have been a member of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists since 1985. I decided to create and maintain this blog on my spare time to help people who are seeking representation with a talent agency.
The Actors Resource Guide eBooks - A must have for both professional and aspiring actors alike!
Comprehensive actors resource guides that include listings of talent agents and casting directors, sample actors resumes, acting classes, headshot photographers, extras casting agencies, work permits, child talent information, and many valuable tips and advice.
Each eBook contains a minimum of the following:
• Casting Directors List • Extras Casting Directors List • Talent Agents List • Acting Schools List • Headshot Photographers List • Actors Unions • Sample Actors Resume • Sample Beginning Actors Resume • Sample Cover Letters • Audition Tips • How To Make an Audition Video • General Talent Agent Information • Entertainment Industry Terminology • Child Work Permit Information • Immigration Work Permit Information • Non-Immigrant Visa Application • Miscellaneous Resources • PDF Users Guides
The Actors Resource Guide eBooks are now available for Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh, Baltimore/Richmond/Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Austin, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Orlando, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Michigan, Vancouver, New Zealand, Australia, and London.
More locations coming soon.
If you are serious about becoming a working professional film and television actor, then these eBooks are an absolute must-have. Take a giant step towards making your dreams come true and obtain one of the most valuable tools available for all actors - The Actors Resource Guide eBooks.
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What is a "Franchised Agent" ?
A "franchised agent" is a person, firm or corporation that has entered into an agreement with SAG-AFTRA under which they agree to abide by certain rules and conditions when dealing with performers who work within SAG-AFTRA's jurisdiction.
How does an agent become franchised?
In order to receive and maintain a franchise from the unions, the applicant must demonstrate that the agency is a legitimate business, registered with the state or city when required, that, among other things, maintains proper office space, surety bonds, and client trust accounts. The agent must also demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the entertainment/agency business.
How Much Do Talent Agents Make?
Agents get 10% commission from your income after you work. Now figure if Bruce Willis' agent books him on a job, and Bruce makes $25,000,000 per film, then the agent gets TEN PERCENT after taxes. That would be roughly $1,700,000 for booking Bruce Willis on that job.
But of the hundreds and hundreds of Agents and Sub-Agents in the business, only a tiny fraction of agents make over a million bucks a year. Most agents make less than $30,000 a year, and many don't even make a living off of it, they have other means of finances that allow them to be agents.
There is a HUGE turnover of agents who are starting out within the first two years of becoming an agent because it is extremely hard to become a successful professional Theatrical and/or Commercial Talent Agent. The "average" annual income of a Talent Agent (including these sub-agents, associate-agents, etc.) is roughly $25,000 per year.
What is Commissionable by Your Agent?
Salary for time worked is commissionable – penalties and reimbursable expenses are not.
Hand Model Scale Rate
Third Call Back
Late Payment Penalty
If your agents are Independent (i.e., not affiliated with either ATA and/or NATR), and therefore still franchised by SAG, then these agents (as well as the SAG members they represent) continue to be protected by and bound to the terms and conditions of Rule 16(g). Hundreds of SAG franchised agents across the country have maintained their on-going relationship with SAG, and continue to loyally serve SAG’s members pursuant to the requirements of Rule 16(g). Any standard SAG agency contract you sign with an Independent Agency may be filed with, and processed by, the Guild.
Background Actors (extras) Agents
Unlike actors, extras do NOT have agents who take a 10 percent commission. You simply register with extras casting companies and call in each day on their casting lines to get work.
You can hire a "booking Service" for about $30 -$50 a month to "call-in" and get you the work. Of course these "calling or booking services" really do not "call-in" to get you the work, they simply know people at the extras casting companies and get lists of what they need, and act as "sub-casting agents".
Think about it, why would the extras casting company individually call each and every person, when they can just call a "booking service" and say, "we need 120 people for a party scene". Then the "booking service" does all the work and calls each of their clients themselves!
SAG-AFTRA is trying to regulate these companies at some point, but the fact remains that these services can get you much more work than you can on your own just calling in on the casting lines all day trying to get through the busy signals.
How Film and Television Shows Are Cast
The Film and Television Studios give the "green light" for movies and TV shows to be produced.
Then the production companies hire casting directors, who in turn send out "breakdowns" of the characters being cast.
These "breakdowns" actually are sent out by a service called "Breakdown Services" and are only available to licensed Talent Agencies.
Then the agents at these agencies submit photos, resumes, and sometimes "demo-reels" to the casting directors.
Then the casting directors call in the actors that fit the roles they are casting, usually many many actors are called in.
Then they narrow it down to the best actors who came in and "call back" these actors to read again for the director, sometimes the writer, producer, etc.. Then they narrow it down further, and sometimes there are 3 - 4 "call backs" before an actor is finally hired.
Do I Need An Agent To Be Cast?
Although it is possible to be cast on a show or film with out having an agent, it is very difficult. This usually only happens with smaller roles, and of course with extras. The studios usually only deal with reputable licensed talent agencies when casting acting roles.
In addition, agents are the only ones who receive the "breakdowns" of what roles are being cast at a given time. And in most instances, a studio or production company will not negotiate a contract directly with talent.
I have personally landed several acting roles by randomly sending in my photo and resume to casting directors when I did not have an agent, but it is not common to land roles in this manner.
However, I do recommend sending in to casting directors randomly because you never know if they will be looking for your exact type when they receive your photo and resume.
Important Safety Information
Do NOT incude a home address when sending out your photo and resume. I always recommend using a PO BOX.
Also, NEVER meet someone outside of a professional environment such as a studio, agents, or casting office. Do NOT meet someone at a restaurant, private residence, etc. You should ALWAYS let someone else know EXACTLY where you are going, WHO you are meeting, and WHEN you are going there.
And a parent or guardian must ALWAYS accompany minors. A parent or guardian should NEVER be out of eyesight of the minor, whether it be at auditions or on set.
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