Saturday, September 28, 2013

Thou Shalt Not pay agents anything but commission

From Zino Macaluso, Senior Counsel of Agency Relations, Screen Actors' Guild was a guest on KCRW's The Business this afternoon. 

Listen carefully to what he says and please be aware of the details of what he says.

Agencies should not ask for money from any talent, including referral to services that pay them in any way. They make their money off of commissions when they get you work. That should be the only way they make money, directly or indirectly, from actors.

No special video deals, no specific photographer, no must use on-line service, no fundraising, no school owned or paying rent to the agent...

No suggested busienss with those who rent space from the agent, no referral kickbacks to the agent, no single name referral by an agent....

I have raised these issues with Las Vegas actors, resulting in being told I do not know what I am talking about and at risk of the "b" word, blacklisting.

Listen to the report.

He says  trust only agents or mangagers who practice what they preach: "We do not make money until you do." That is what agents and managers should always say.

Paying outside vendors for services is acceptable and needed in this industry. SAG Franchised agents may even feel they have an obligation to provide you with list of photographers they like, a list of acting services, a list of video companies. A list, not a single referral. And they should accept work, if professional in quality, from vendors who are not on their list.

There should be NO DIRECT OR INDIRECT FINANCIAL RELATIONSHIP with those who represent you. 

Make sure you get what you pay for, that you pay for something worth paying for, and that others in the industry would also spend that money.

The show also dealt with California AB 1319, designed to help crack down on scammers who imply casting, acting roles or fast track career advancement.

See also how to get an agent. 

First posted 11 / 2 / 2009

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