These big-time mistakes may cost you your contract…
Being part of an agency is a privilege–an honor, really. An agency has decided that you possess marketable traits and qualities that will bring strength to their team of professionals. While no agency expects you to be perfect, there are a few hard rules that are non-negotiable. Failing to abide by agency standards may cost you your representation.
Here are 5 of the biggest blunders to steer clear from:
1. No Shows
Okay, hopefully this one is obvious. But sometimes bookings are so much fun and it is easy to forget that it’s work. So let me say that again:
THIS. IS. A. JOB.
And a competitive one at that…
There are far more talent in this industry than there are jobs, and everyone is replaceable.
Think about it. Your agent could have submitted someone else in your place, so be sure to value the small opportunities and the large opportunities just the same. Many times, agents will cast you in smaller spots first to see how well you perform. If you successfully prove you are up for the challenge, you will be considered for bigger opportunities when they arise…
Being an agency talent can be a lot of fun, but at the end of the day, it is still a business. As an agency talent, you are responsible to uphold your end of the job to the highest degree. Everything you do is a reflection of not only yourself, but your agency as well! Have integrity, and always do the best you can to prepare and perform your best at every opportunity given to you.
2. Posting illegal activity on social media
Your agent is representing you. Make us proud to be your agent online and offline! We live in an era where our clients can quickly look up your content on social media whether your agency knows it or not. While we can do everything within our capability to showcase your talents and abilities in the best light, your value and self projection on social media can impact whether or not you are booked for a particular job or assignment. It should go without saying that anything from under age drinking to displaying illegal substances on social media can result in immediate contract termination.
Keep in mind that there are other things you should avoid posting on social media even if they are not specifically illegal:
Avoid negative or self deprecating captions or bio headlines.
Examples I’ve seen:
“I’m ugly but whatever.”
“My hair is disgusting.”
Or… my favorite for all the wrong reasons:
“My bio is trash just like me.”
Making rude comments on other’s accounts, or producing content that is otherwise distasteful or abusive to others.
Before posting to social media, ask yourself:
“Will this post reflect me in a positive way?”
“Will this post reflect my agency in a positive way?”
“Does this content inspire or contain value?”
“Will this post inspire others to want to follow my story?”
Want to learn more about social media for agency talent? Read, “Social Media for Agency Talent”, available soon. 🤓
3. Forwarding out or re posting confidential agency casting emails to non-agency friends/family
Yeah…so this one is definitely a big deal for many reasons:
Castings can contain scripts, sides, storyboards, and clientele information that is strictly confidential. Your agent is responsible for maintaining the confidentiality agreement between that casting director and client. As an agent, it is not uncommon for me to have PDFs of Hollywood scripts to forward to talent for self tape submissions.
This can also become a liability for an agency: if outside talent show up to a closed audition. (Or worse–a fashion show audition that they were not selected for.) If the client asks the uninvited talent how they heard about the casting, and that person says the name of their friend who is a part of the agency, (or their social media) this reflects poorly on the agency and someone’s contract is definitely on the line…
You should assume all agency contact information is confidential, and it is your responsibility as an agency talent to adhere to agency agreement and confidentiality policies. On occasion, your agency may inform you of “Open opportunities” that may be open to your friends or family, and the email will state that. (A great example would be a local volunteer fashion show.) When in doubt, it is always best to ask your agent if you are not sure. Ignorance is never an excuse.
4. Disrespecting Clients or demonstrating less than professional behavior at auditions & bookings
There is a reason why clients contact an agency to hire talent for various projects. Clients will happily pay for that added “polish” they get from refined agency talent. From arriving to the booking on time, prepared and ready, to understanding the importance of project confidentiality, clients prefer working with agency talent because they can rest assured knowing they are hiring pleasant, experienced and trained professionals for the job.
Always uphold the agency standard of professionalism. If you have any emergencies or concerns while on a booking, contact your agent ASAP. We are here to help you!
NEVER conduct yourself in a disrespectful way on set. This includes engaging in any form of gossiping or verbal slandering on social media. Walk away from people or situations that are not exuding professionalism, and notify your agent of anything you believe they should be aware of.
Your agency strives to make each booking experience as pleasant and rewarding as possible. Prompt communication is necessary in maintaining awesome collaborations with clients.
5. Talent Poaching
This one definitely sounds bad even if you don’t know what it is. Simply put, talent poaching occurs when a talent or client seeks to go around the talent’s agency to avoid paying an agency commission.
Working directly with one of the agency’s clients without their knowledge is a quick way to get an agency contract terminated. Ask yourself if it is really worth it to attempt to get out of paying an agency commission of 15-20% from ONE booking to lose ALL future casting and booking opportunities provided from your agency? Not to mention…tarnish your reputation in the process? If a client asks to “hire you directly”, meaning, without utilizing your agent, you subject yourself to being payed unfairly (or not even at all, if nobody is holding the individual accountable for payment.) As a talent, you will risk being taken advantage of, risk not being paid, and even more importantly, you risk having your agency contract terminated.
Okay, that last one isn’t even a risk. You can guarantee with certainty that you will loose your contract it your agency finds out. And, social media makes that a very likely outcome.
If you feel that you are being poached by a client, kindly but firmly tell them to contact your agent for booking inquiries, and that you honor your talent agreement with your agency.
Agency work is a team effort. It takes a lot of moving parts and clear, quick communication to make an agency run smoothly and effectively. Do your part to maintain agency level professionalism, and always contact your agent if you have any questions or concerns. Help us help you succeed!
Find this article helpful? Thinking of applying to an agency? I’d love to hear your questions and comments in the comments section below!