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CostHelper > Personal Finance  > Employment > Talent Agent

Talent Agent Cost


How Much Does a Talent Agent Cost?

 
average costTalent Agent: 10%-20% of Artist's Earningshigh costTalent Manager: 15%-20% of Artist's Earnings

Also called a booking agent, a talent agent specializes in finding jobs for as artists including actors, models, musicians, writers, directors and entertainers. A talent agent may book auditions for actors, schedule "go sees" for models, or line up auditions and meetings with potential employers.

Typical costs:

  • A talent agent receives 10-20% of an artist's earnings on all jobs while the talent is signed with that agent. This percentage is regulated to protect clients, according to the Association of Talent Agents[1] . Instead of paying an upfront signing fee, an artist exchanges a percentage of his or her earnings in exchange for being represented by a talent agent or agency. The primary duty of a talent agent is to find auditions or opportunities for the artist and find them work.
  • A talent manager differs from a talent agent in that their main responsibility is not scheduling auditions, but managing an artist's public relations and business matters. A talent manager generally earns 15-20% of the artist's earnings in exchange for managing their career, scheduling interviews, and so forth. The artist pays no upfront fees to be represented by a manager and typically only established artists work with a manager. A talent manager's earnings are capped at 25%, according to the Association of Talent Agents[2] .
Related articles: Acting Portfolio, Modeling Portfolio

What should be included:
  • An agent should have working relationships with casting directors, managers, other talent agencies, producers, and production companies. They should also have a good business sense and be knowledgeable about legal matters and contracts as it relates to the performer.
  • A talent agent should be licensed, which is a safeguard to protect clients. Operating as a talent agent without a license is illegal. Acting agencies should be licensed with the Screen Actors Guild.
  • A talent agent should never request money in order to sign a client. This is generally recognized as a sign of a scam.
  • Clients typically sign a talent agency contract from one to three years. The contract may be exclusive (artist is banned from working with other agencies during his or her contract) or non-exclusive. Some non-exclusive agents operate as "mother agencies" and try to sign the talent with a larger agency in order to increase their exposure and number of gigs.
Shopping for a talent agent:
  • The Screen Actors Guild has a searchable directory of talent agents who are franchised with SAG and follow guild-approved practices and ethics. The Association of Talent Agents has a searchable directory[3] for agents working with actors, writers, and directors.
  • Taltopia[4] gives a more in-depth explanation of the duties split between talent agents and talent managers.
  • A talent scout should not be confused with a talent agent. A talent scout either works independently or is hired by an employer to seek out up-and-comers in a particular field, such as modeling or acting. While a talent scout may eventually serve as a sort of agent for the artist by arranging auditions, this is not the scout's main role.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.agentassociation.com/frontdoor/news_detail.cfm?id=306
  2.  www.agentassociation.com/frontdoor/news_detail.cfm?id=306
  3.  www.agentassociation.com/frontdoor/actors_agent_search.cfm
  4.  www.taltopia.com/articles/27/Talent-Agent-or-Talent-Manager-Whats-the-difference
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