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How do I know if an agency is reputable?

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  • How do I know if an agency is reputable?

    How do I know if an agency is reputable?
    • Check how long the agency has been established.
    • Look on the MEAA website www.alliance.org.au as they have a list of recommended agents.
    • Ask what rates of commission are charged, as there are industry standards.
    • Ask how many people the agency represents? The less they rep, the more personalised level of service they will be able to offer.
    • Ask who they currently represent that you might know from film, theatre or television?
    • Ask if the agency is affiliated with any organisations. Eg; the ADAA (Australian Dramatic Agents Association).
    • Ask industry professionals, such as Casting or Production Houses, who they deal with regularly and trust. The bigger Casting Houses in Melbourne include Mullinars, Maura Fay, Nick Hamon and Chameleon
    Be prepared
    • for an audition with only 24 hours notice
    • to hear no response if you are unsuccessful after auditioning
    • to get 24 hours notice of a call back
    • to hear nothing if you are still unsuccessful
    • to go to 20 auditions and get nothing
    • to be at filming for 6 hours and sit around doing nothing for 5 3/4 hours
    • to travel to the boon-docks or the other side of the city for filming
    • to not be told when your ad. or episode is going to air
    • for your agent to take b/w 15% and 30% commission
    • to do tax returns for a successful child actor/model
    • to pay b/w $300 and $400 for a photo shoot for your portfolio
    • if you do an audition do not cut your child's hair b/w the audition and filming date even if they haven't notified you that you do/do not have the role
    • do not lose a tooth or get a black eye et cb/w audition and filiming date
    • auditions are held at wierd times at the beck n call of the casting agent like at 1.20pm or 9.40 am and are generally not negotiable

  • #2
    Thanks for taking the type to type that out WCM.. All stickied for you

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    • #3
      Lol did you write this wcm I've read this before im certain of it.

      I'm sure I read it on a review forum for models..

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      • #4
        Originally posted by girly View Post
        Lol did you write this wcm I've read this before im certain of it.

        I'm sure I read it on a review forum for models..

        The first part is cobbled together from FAQ's on a few sites i frequent, the 'Be prepared' is straight from my own frustrations...

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        • #5
          is it worth getting your child into modelling?

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          • #6
            Wow thanks for the info Mrs. WorkingClassMum... Thanks a lot..

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            • #7
              Yes there are good and bad agents and I'm sure there are already posts about what to look for in an agent. The problem that many of you are going to find is that a "good"agent is not going to take a chance on someone who has little or no experience or who has not completed three years training at an accredited institution. Some actors do manage to create a career out of sheer determination and undertaking lots of short courses - but it is not easy.
              What many performers don't seem to understand is that an agent wants to make money out of the performers on their books. They don't want people sitting there not working - nor do they want to waste time promoting performers who are not going to get work or who are going to require a huge investment of time and energy before they are employable. Of course, this is why the dodgy agencies charge fees - that is how they make their money.
              Let me say this once and for all: If you are an ADULT actor and an agency wants to charge you upfront fees - including expensive photo shoots or 'promotional tools' - don't do it. You are better off, if you can’t find a “good” agent to take you on, going freelance. If your agent asks you to join sites such as AT2 or Showcast - they are legitimate casting sites used by most casting agents and you subscribe directly to them - that is not the same thing.


              If however you are a child performer, the situation is very different. ALL child agencies charge fees and here is why:
              1. They organize photo-shoots for the kids - adult actors are expected to do this themselves.
              2. They organize other promotional materials including head-sheet books, website databases etc
              3. They undertake all promotion of their artists to casting agents - adult actors are expected to send out their own head-shots and CVs and do a lot of leg-work themselves.
              4. Child performers are paid between 50% and 75% of what adult performers are paid - and often much less because they are not seen as "professional" performers.
              5. Most child performers are untried and it may take a few years before they gain enough experience and confidence to work reasonably consistently - or to discover that they are really not cut out for the industry at all. Some adult agencies do take on child performers but usually only those who have already proved themselves. Children's agents could not survive without charging up-front fees because there is no way to tell which children will mature into performers and which will fall by the wayside.
              Here is how you tell the dodgy children's agents from the good ones:
              First, does your child want to be an actor or a model? If they want to be an actor take them to a drama agency. Drama agencies don't do catalogue or catwalk work - they do do television commercials, TV drama and film. Modelling agencies often won't get briefs for film and TV roles, just commercials and photographic work.


              Second, if the agency has more than say 200 kids on its books - it is making money out of the up-front fees rather than the commission it receives on work it finds for the kids. Don't go there. There is no incentive for them to find your child work as they have already made their money out of you. If they charge more than a few hundred dollars a year - including your photo-shoot, website listings, head-sheet book etc - don't go there.
              I hope that this will help clarify this question for everyone.


              Theatre Australia Link



              If however you are a child performer, the situation is very different. ALL child agencies charge fees and here is why:
              Bolding mine

              Please note, this is a copy of a 2009 post - so the fees have gone up accordingly

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              • #8
                If they are looking for kids in shopping centres, prob dodgy...

                The lovely ladies at a reputable agency told me to beware agencies the constantly look for new kids. It's understandable that they'll sometimes put out a call for kids in a certain age bracket, but if they have a permanent stall in your local shopping centre, don't go there. Reputable agents get HUNDREDS of applications a week and have no need to trawl for kids.

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                • #9
                  Might be a good time to bump this up

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                  • #10
                    Thanks, Mods, for removing the recent and very obvious advertising in this thread!

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                    • #11
                      is it possible to go direct to the company/client or casting agent to find out about upcoming auditions or possible work? Is there somewhere/someone I can contact to find out about freelancing, or representing my child myself without an agent? Is that even possible ?

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                      • #12
                        My Cousin has got an opportunity in modelling. She is just 9.

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                        • #13
                          We are very happy with our agency - Munchkins Management. . They recently got my toddler his first audition and he got the gig - a tv commercial. He had heaps of fun playing on set.

                          Munchkins have started sending emails to parents each time their child is submitted for a job. This means that whether or not your child gets an audition, you still know they are working on your behalf. It keeps us engaged with the process and confident they are still 'fighting in our corner'. I wish all agencies would do this as it shows some transparency. Before these emails began, I requested a list of jobs for which he had been submitted and received a prompt reply with a dozen or so job submissions spanning some months. It seems he is submitted for a job roughly once a fortnight.

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                          • #14
                            thnx for such information

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