I have some basic guidelines and notes which you should be aware of and to which you need to agree in order to work with me. In over 30 years as an agent and manager, I have seen too many artists come into our industry with high hopes, loads of talent and even more enthusiasm and, simply because they didn’t understand how the industry works, they became confused, disappointed or even in some cases, demoralized. The following guidelines are to ensure that we are on the same page from the beginning.
The Village will build on this, if you choose to join.
A profile on at least one online casting service is imperative in this day of internet driven casting. The casting directors rely on them, so we must embrace them, albeit, I admit at times, reluctantly.
I choose to use TalentHQ as my client management tool to manage my clients, casting decisions, submissions and pitches on your behalf.
TalentHQ is where my full international roster is housed. It means I can easily access your profile which has your personal information and your performance resume; which I refer to when submitting you for work. Your THQ profile also enables me to pitch you on roles to casting directors - anywhere in the world. I can track your submissions, audition & booking statistics and future projects you may be right for, it is in effect the tool I use to build your history, so we can create your future.
Depending on your country and the regions you want to be submitted for work in you may require a profile on other casting services as well. The absolute minimum is:
Australia -TalentHQ + Casting Networks for all clients plus a Showcast profile for actors
U.S - TalentHQ +Actors Access
UK - TalentHQ + Spotlight
New Zealand - TalentHQ + Showcast for actors
Many actors see these services as a “money grab”. They are not. They are managed by independent companies (not agents or casting directors) providing a service to the casting industry to enable them to fairly access all talent, not just a chosen few. They are your marketing tool, they replace your website and they can, if treated well by you, be your secret weapon.
Most (not all) casting services allow a free "basic:" profile free. One photo, a resume and skills listing. This is absolutely fine to get started if you are just wanting commercial work.
Also, some but not all, require that we, the agent, pay to use their service. TalentHQ is one and it costs me several thousand a year as does Breakdown Express in the U.S. So the load is spread between you and I.
My service is exclusive. Even at commercial level, having more than one representative in Australia or NZ is considered amateur and is, in fact, unnecessary. Choose your representatives well and trust them to work hard for you. If you have other representation or want more than one agent, then discuss it with me. I do make exceptions based on the other reps and the agreement we can reach with them to avoid you being double submitted (which annoys the casting directors and does you no favors)
In the U.S it is accepted that a “team” is worthwhile – if you can get one. A manager, a theatrical agent and a commercial agent are the start. In other countries there is not enough work to warrant multiple reps and it is expensive as you pay at least 2 commissions on every job. More on that in The Village.
Accepting amateur work via sites like StarNow is fine but please check in with me before auditioning. I do not recommend you audition for, or accept commercials through any sources except through me. I won’t stop you doing work but please discuss with me first as I do not want you taking on work that could hinder your career. You are a brand and my role is to protect that brand.
See my blog for posts on this.
I am very particular about my client’s material. The quality of your photos and footage will impact the level of work I can submit you for.
If you want to be considered for commercial work then great photos showing a variety of facets of your type is enough.
If you are an actor wanting to be submitted for roles in TV and film then as well as the photos you need scenes or a reel which is well shot and showcases your ability NOW. If the material is more than a year old it should be showcasing what you used to be like. If you are in regular coaching and working on your craft you must be getting better. Show me.
“As an agent I can only work with the material you give me.
If your material – photos, scenes reels - are out of date, of poor quality
or non-existent, then your results will mirror that.
No matter how talented you are, if I don’t have the tools to prove it
then I can not do my job effectively”
Good training is great and essential. If you are thinking of attending a workshop, run it past me first. I love when actors want to do courses and workshops, but I have seen some truly talented natural actors ruined by too much "generic" training and in the process waste a great deal of money. Be aware of what you are signing up for. Have you done the same work before? If you have, do you need to do it again? My clients are, for the most part in one on one coaching where the focus is them and their individual needs. Courses and workshops are great if they are small and focused with participants at the same level or better than you in knowledge, experience and ability.
Please make sure you are always punctual for auditions and bookings. Be prepared and behave in a professional manner at all times.
All information on auditions and bookings is confidential and must be treated as such. At the audition you may sign a declaration on your availability for the shoot period and generally this includes a confidentiality clause.
If we book you for an audition or role the contract stays with me in perpetuity including extensions, rollovers, residuals etc. You cannot take an existing contract to another agency. This is industry standard for all agents and managers, and we all respect it.
Some extra notes
I cannot convince a casting director to audition you for a role they don’t think you are right for. That is akin to me telling them how to do their job. My relationship with the casting industry is based on mutual respect and I abuse that at my peril. If I feel very strongly that you are right for a role I will call the casting director.
I am rarely given feedback by the casting directors. Generally, I am told if you are truly amazing or truly terrible. Anything in between I class as a good audition and if you don’t book you were just not right for the role. I have known talent to miss out on a role due to eye or hair color – it is that subjective. Also, if you do not book the job or short-list, I may not be advised. My advice is to simply forget an audition once done. If you book or short-list, I will be in contact.
Why your location is important
Please ensure we are reasonably aware of your location (town or city) at all times – I need to know where your home base is and if you travel, where you are going and when. If you are going away, please advise me.
If a production is searching nation-wide or worldwide, then they have the budget to relocate you (and your guardian for under 18's). These roles are becoming more common. In these cases, producers or directors will request a self-taped audition. This is covered in more detail in The Village.
“You will hear from me what you need to hear.
This may not be what you want to hear.”
I work hard behind the scenes, and often you will not see all of that work, but please understand that even if you are not seeing immediate benefits (e.g. audition bookings), this does not mean you are being neglected. I am invested in every single one of my clients. If you are not working, as a commission agent, I am not being paid.
Communication is a two-way street. You must ensure you are communicating with me and when offered advice by me at least consider it.
I will work hard for you. I trust you will work hard for me.