Giant Red Flag: Talent Agent Scams
How to know if a talent agent or manager is legit
(By AM Staff)
(Photo: Nataliya Vaitkevich | Pexels)
Talent agents are great…until they’re not!
There are many wonderful talent agents out there. And finding a good agent is critical to an actor’s ability to secure major television and film roles.
But not all agents have your best interest at heart. Many of them conduct unethical business practices. And some are downright scam artists who rob their clients of their hard-earned cash.
There are many red flags to watch out for, when it comes to unscrupulous talent agents. Below are a few quick tips to keep in mind:
* Giant red flag #1: A talent agent asking for money up front. This is one of the oldest scams in the entertainment industry. It involves shady talent agents preying on actors who are not very knowledgeable about how the business works. Using the actor’s ignorance and their desire for stardom, they ask for money up front with no intentions of doing anything except lining their pockets. This is a scam. Reputable agents should only get paid when you do.
* Giant red flag #2: A talent agent soliciting submissions for representation from actors on Craigslist or in newspapers; a talent agent seeking talent at a shopping mall or at a “talent search.” Reputable agents would not do this, as they have more than enough submissions coming to them already. If you see this, it is definitely a red flag, and most likely a scam.
* Giant red flag #3: An agent demands that you take classes with a particular acting teacher. This could be a scam. The agent is, quite possibly, receiving a financial kickback or other compensation from the person they are demanding that you go to.
* Giant red flag #4: An agent demands that you take headshots with a particular photographer. Like #3, this could be a scam. The agent could be receiving a kickback. It’s one thing for an agent to suggest that you take headshots with a particular photographer, it’s quite another thing for them to require, as a condition of representation, that you do so.
* Giant red flag #5: An agent demanding more than a 10% commission. The percentage could vary, depending on where you live. But, as a general rule, you should question any agent who takes more than a 10% commission.
(Photo: Gustavo Fring | Pexels)
Don’t be afraid to ask for references from the agent you’re planning to sign with. Ask acting teachers and your fellow actors about the reputation of the agent you’re planning to sign with.
Also, go online to do some research. Always remember, a simple Google search could save you the trouble of signing with a talent agent who is more interested in taking money from your pocket, than helping you put money into your pocket.
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