What You Really Need to Understand is That Working With a Middle Agency Can Be a Good Choice Depending on Where You Are in Your Career
The Pros and Cons of Working With a Talent Booking Agent
A talent agent, or booking agent, is a person who finds jobs for actors, authors, broadcast journalists, film directors, musicians, models, professional athletes, screenwriters, writers, and other professionals in various entertainment or broadcast businesses. In addition, an agent defends, supports and promotes the interest of their clients. Talent agencies specialize, either by creating departments within the agency or developing entire agencies that primarily or wholly represent one specialty. For example, there are modeling agencies, commercial talent agencies, literary agencies, voice-over agencies, broadcast journalist agencies, sports agencies, music agencies and many more.
Having an agent is not required, but does help the artist in getting jobs (concerts, tours, movie scripts, appearances, signings, sport teams, etc.). In many cases, casting directors or other businesses go to talent agencies to find the artists for whom they are looking. The agent is paid a percentage of the star’s earnings (typically 10%). Therefore, agents are sometimes referred to as “10 percenters”. Various regulations govern different types of agents. The regulations are established by artist’s unions and the legal jurisdiction in which the agent operates. There are also professional associations of talent agencies.
Talent agents are considered gatekeepers to their client’s careers. They have the ability to reshape and reconstruct their client’s image. They are deal makers and assist their client by orchestrating deals within the entertainment industry, more specifically in the Hollywood entertainment industry.
Most talent agencies are working with lucrative contracts, the agencies must be licensed under special sections of the Labor Code, which defines an agent as a “person or corporation who engages in the occupation of procuring, offering, promising, or attempting to procure employment for an artist or artists.
Working with a talent booking agent is a topic the unsigned guide is often asked about by artists and bands who wonder whether they should still undertake all gig bookings themselves or acquire the services of an agent who can bag those lusted-after festival slots and tour supports.
People Also Ask: Do I need a talent agent? At what stage should we approach one? Will a talent booking agency even work with an unsigned or emerging band?
So, what does a talent booking agent do? What can you achieve that bands and artists won’t be able to do for themselves?
A booking agent seeks as many opportunities for their clients as they can to help progress their profiles and careers. Having a good working relationship with both promoters and festivals enables agents to speak directly to the powers that be, which artists find hard to do. Having a good reputation with successful acts helps get quick answers instead of bands themselves having to go through the application process to play at events and festivals.
A good agent will have the contacts that artists will not have and will be able to give insight into the best live choices for an artist. It’s essential for an agent to elevate an act through venue and promoter choice along with which cities to play and when. In short, on top of booking shows and tours, a good booking agent will guide and advise on an artist’s live career. They will also fight for their act to get the best possible slots in an ever competitive world of live music events.
In my opinion, the role of an agent is evolving into a more personal member of a musician’s team, along with the manager, lawyer, PR, etc. that it didn’t necessarily used to be. Agents’ opinions and advice is being sought after more often than ever, as the live career of the artist is now normally the largest revenue stream
It’s scout, pitch, and sign a roster of acts. Our job is then to apply a personally tailored, strategic, international touring plan based on an artist’s releases and general activity. It’s about putting the artists in the right place at the right time, in the right way. You don’t need an agent until you have stopped asking yourself this question and you know the answer! We take everything to the next level!
Written by Alyson Theriot for Cultivated Entertainment