What is a Talent Agent and why do I need one?
If you’re currently working in the industry as an independent or if you’re looking to start, you may find your self wondering if you need a agent. Lets start with the basics.
What is a Talent Agent?
To put it simply, a Talent Agent is the go-between for the Casting Director and the actor’s the Agent represents. Your Agents job is to make contacts and submit you for casting calls that the Casting Director is looking to fill. It’s important to have constant communication
with your agent so they know your skills and can sell your ability’s to get you working. For your Agent to get you working you need to keep your information up to date, such as schedule, your skills and photos if you have changed your appearance in any significant way.
How does and Agent get paid?
An Agent is only paid if you work. When you are booked by an Agent for a job the Agents fees are added on top of your pay, 10% is added for the agent on minimum wage jobs. Your Agent will also charge 5% gst on their fee. An Agent can also charge an annual “Photo Fee” of $25 and this can only be deducted from earning from work the Agent booked for you. In other words there will NEVER be upfront cost to join an Agency. If you are booked for a job that is Union or SAE we will charge 15% , which is the max allowable by BC employment standards.
How much will I get paid?
Most jobs pay minimum wage ($10.85) plus 4% vacation, if you have an Agent 10% will be added to pay your Agent fee. If you get booked at Union rate or SAE (Special Action Extra), the pay can be upwards of $32 an hour and guarantee 4 hours pay. All the same rules apply to overtime for union rates.
A Talent Agents job is to work for you and to help navigate the TV and Film industry, to support you in your career. However, much is expected of, you the Talent, being on set on time confirming jobs and keeping open contact. No-shows cost us and you money, and can get Agents and Actors blacklisted by Casting Directors. If there is a reason you cannot get to a job you have confirmed you need to let your agent know as soon as you do there is no excuse for just not showing up.
For more of your questions answered see our FAQ page.