Acting : Representation rates by Ciara Sherry

Ciara Sherry

Representation rates

I've found myself an agent on starnow but he says he takes 20% commission. Is that too high? I don't want to drop him because I'm not yet on spotlight so I think I'd struggle, but I also don't want to be scammed!

Lindsay Bennett

20% does seem very steep to me Ciara, most agencies willtake 15% some less for theatre work. I would do some research on the agency to see if they are definately right for you. Also if you haven't got it already get a copy of the book Contacts, it lists agents in the UK and in some cases their fees. You can do some research on a good one in your area and take it from there. Don't jump in before you are sure. good luck x

Warren Watson

Not being in the UK I don't know the norms over there but in the US, 20% for non-union and 10% for union seems to be common. 20% commission is also common for print work.

Michael Mayhall

20% is usually nonunion and 10 for union. As far as TV and Film in the States.

D Marcus

How about this; Accept the 20% for any work the agents gets for you. Offer 10% for any jobs you get yourself. An agent asking 20% from new talent isn't a scam. If they get you work 80% is better than not getting the job. Many agents take on new clients and then do very little. That's quite typical because it's very difficult and takes a LOT of work to get jobs for new actors. Asking for 20% isn't unreasonable. Check the contract. Make sure this 20% stops after 18 to 24 months and drops 15%. Make sure you can renegotiate if you start booking more than 2 jobs a month. The agent works for you. If they really want to rep you and work for you they will make a better deal. If you are nothing but a number to them then you have to ask yourself it that, specific agency will help when you do all the work and book your own work.

Dave McCrea

congratulations on getting an agent Ciara! here in the States the norm is 10%. As long as he's not charging you anything, you have someone who believes in you and is out there trying to get you work, that is a good thing. Is the contract for 1 year? Give him 1 year and see what auditions he can get you

Peter Spencer

Sounds high....

Anthony Charles Maloney

20% is the top end, 15% in the UK is more common

Chanel Ashley

I have found StarNow an excellent avenue - good suggestion, Peter.

Tatom Pender

Look up your union rates there. Then assess the difference & if it's worth it to you. Just check how long the contract is for!

Tim Ross

a number of agents take 20% non-union (although mine is 15%) but they can't take more than 10% on SAG jobs. and I agree there should be no other fees

Ciara Sherry

Thanks for all the comments! Just to clarify, my agent isn't affiliated with starnow, that's just how we met.

Michael J Smyth

Hi Ciara, well done in attracting an agent. Not sure about the percentages but 15-20% sounds about right. If you're on FB then check out the British Actors Network (BAN) group. There are some really knowledgeable people on there as well who may be able to help with your question

Degnan Geraghty

Hi Ciara, Like yourself I am also on Star Now and I find this site great for doing the agents work for you, so my advise would be if you have the time to go through the jobs advertised on sites like Starnow and Here on Stage32 then make the applications for auditioning yourself in the begining and see how you get along. Best of Luck.............. Deg.........

Marco Fiorini

Frankly my dear...the %%%%%% is not the issue. VISIBILITY of SELF is KEY, and if an HONEST agent likes you enough to take you on, well then beloveds we're moving towards SUCCESS driven by our passion, not the flashing lights on dead-end streets. 10, 20, 30 PERCENT even fifty-fifty split is wonderful; one percent of something is a heck of a lot better than 100 % of NOTHING! WRITE IT RIGHT. Keep the faith/fate.

Rebecca Hoodwin

Legally in our unions the agent commission is 10%. And only 5% on contracts under $500/wk.

Marco Fiorini

Ah legal? What a concept. "Dilige et quad vis fac," wrote Augustine, "LOVE,and DO what you WILL."

Rebecca Hoodwin

Yes...I thought about that... Shall we say the fee for Fanchised Agents in legit theatre has been the aforementioned in NYC. My commercial on-camera agent also asks 10%. They are in LA and NYC.

Lisa Regina

10% ...never heard of starnow, I would check with the BBB and snope.com

Dan Kwong

Should be 10%. And a manager typically takes 15%.

Ciara Sherry

Thank you very much everyone! I'm gonna stick with him for now because,as a few of you have said, 80 percent is better than nothing! Once I'm on spotlight I'll look for someone with a better rate :)

Kathryn Leeman

Hmmm my takes 20% too. Rags to Riches is fairly new but seems very reputable. I tried to talk her down, but due to their costs these days and the time they spend submitting, she wasn't willing to budge. I think my contract is for two years.

Michael Bott

Clara, the question is: how hard do they work for that 20%? Finding an agent with a lesser rate does not necessarily equate to more money in your pocket. My agent charges a 20% rate on all film/tv work and I'm happy about that because they are a well respected outfit and I know they work damn hard on my behalf. That rate is not uncommon now - the judgement is about whether value for money is being delivered.

Cheyn Cole

Agents are not allowed, by law, to take more then 10% of your earnings. If it is a manager, then can take whatever they want, but they should not be taking over 15%. If you find a good agency that follows the law, they should be taking 10% only.

Cheyn Cole

Unless its print or non union work. Then they can take 20%

Michael Bott

Cheyn, I'm not sure there are those kinds of restrictions in law in the UK. It also begs the question: what is the distinction between an agent and a personal manager. Here in the UK, most reputable agents are members of the agent's professional body, the P.M.A. - the 'Personal Manager's Association', and a good proportion of those charge rates of up to 20%. My point is: charging a higher rate is not a flag for being disreputable - at least here in the UK.

Cheyn Cole

Ooh - I didn't realize you were in the UK:) Whoops. I was talking about in the US.

Michael Bott

Had to double check myself!

Rebecca Hoodwin

Well put. Alxander.

Rebecca Hoodwin

Er...Alexander!

Dan LaRoy

My agent takes 10 percent and didn't charge anything to sign with them. If it's sag all they can take is 10 percent but a lot of agents take a higher rate if it's non Union or modeling. Just make sure you do your homework and research them before signing.

Marcia Bell

If the agent is a SAG/AFTRA franchise, it can only take 10% for SAG projects and max 15% for non union Fi Core jobs. For general non union work, an agent can take 20%. Managers and charge whatever they want as they are not regulated by the State or SAG. Best to avoid them unless you are a big star and can afford to pay a retainer. As you gain experience in the biz, you'll learn the ropes.

Clive Dancey

20 percent is a bit high , but standard espec if you get commercials , in the uk my agent charged 20 on commercials , 15 on everything else..shop around but if they are a good agent may be worth it

Wanda Nobles Colon

I am not SAG and my agent only takes 10%...we love him.He is also supportive and motivating.

Mark Bastarache

That's too high! No agent should be taking more than 10% and manager's maybe 15%. But that's the limit. Be careful.

Michael Bott

No it's not Mark. Read the thread. We're in the UK. 20% is common and accepted here.

Warren Watson

Mark - 10% is the most allowed for union jobs. For non-union and print work, it's typically 20%, sometimes 15%.

Mark Bastarache

20% in the UK? Oy! It's always been 10% here in California when I was non-union and also now that i'm union...at least for me anyway. Maybe it varies by state in the US, but 20% for an agent here in the US for non-union is too high in my opinion.

Clive Dancey

You can get smaller agencies that do 10 or 15 but most go for 15 or 20. Some have started using 17percent as their baseline. if you get work from him I woukd rathe have 20% taken off something than 10% taken off nothing".

Clive Dancey

I am in the Uk

Cliff Garstka Sr

In the US, SAG regulations limit an agent to 10% acting fee. This means they are not able to take a "cut" off your travel, wardrobe, or misc. pay. If the agent isn't a SAG Signatory, they can't sign a SAG contract. Also, beware, some so called agents require you to purchase other "items" from them, like Head Shots, Classes, Web Sites, etc... THIS IS NOT LEGIT!

Ernest Romeo

Sag will not allow that. The most any agent can take is 10%.

Michael Bott

Ernest, Ciara is in the UK. 20% is perfectly acceptable for a good agent and here agent = personal manager.

Edward E. Kramer

What Michael noted is a key. The SAG limitation is for agents -- not managers. There is a trend toward personal managers. A good article is on the Actors' Lounge: http://theactorsloungela.com/node/4

Clive Dancey

Ciara , I am also in the UK and have contacts with agents , who is it that has offered you a spot ( as there are some on Starnow that advertise regularly that you should avoid )

Ciara Sherry

its a new agency called PDP management

Clive Dancey

Obviously your choice but you might want to read thishttp://www.notapushymum.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=20988. Also it's tough getting an agent and maybe what they are offering is a start but keep looking as there are better around and as the ad says it is best that they ask to meet you and not take you on spec ;)

Michael Bott

Yes Ciara - have they offered to represent you without seeing your work? If so, walk away. That is no kind of agent - how can they work on your behalf unless they understand you and your talents? Hold your own values high, get yourself seen - do short/student films and make a showreel. Then you've got a calling card to go on the hunt ...

Michael J Smyth

just read that Clive, while I'm no longer surprised at some of the things these people get up to, PDP actions do seem rather strange.

Wonder Russell

20% is standard for non-union gigs in a lot of cases.

Floyd Marshall Jr.

Don't do it. Wayyy to high. Managers usually charge 15%. Agents 10%.

Clive Dancey

Are you in the Uk Floyd ?? as this is the 'going' rate for us over here

Chanel Ashley

Am I missing something, or is the same information recycled dozens of time? May I suggest you read the previous 55 comments before making a comment, geez.

Clive Dancey

Yes Chanel , and if you read the comments previous you will see my input and that I stated what the rates are in the UK , so was just responding to Floyds comments , as you know the rates will differ from country to country and so the going rate in the US seems to be 10- 15 % whereas in the UK it can go up to 20% , we are all just trying to be helpful as this profession is difficult to negotiate at the best of times and there are a lot of people trying to 'stitch us up'

Floyd Marshall Jr.

No Clive Usa.

Chanel Ashley

I don't disagree with your comments, Clive, and I don't mean to be disrespectful, we are all trying to be helpful which is as it should be, but again, go through the 58 comments and the same 'advise' is repeated over and over - this suggests to me that most people that have responded have not bothered to read the said comments on this thread - rightly or wrongly, it left me incredulous - rates either are, or are not 20% in either the US or the UK, this is not rocket science, it can only be told so many times, disputed so many times - let's not forget that we are meant to be writers - "economy of words" - "less is more" - this is only an observation, don't want people to take it personal.

Ciara Sherry

regardless of any repetition I really appreciate people taking the time to respond to my query. Currently still w/ PDP as I've been unable to find another agent (I'm not yet on spotlight so most people don't want to know!)

Bill Blackwood

Hi Ciara, just read your post and responses. What is stopping you getting on Spotlight? PM me or what ever the Stage 32 equivilant is.

Ciara Sherry

I'm not yet eligible Mike! I've had paid work in short films but Spotlight doesn't accept that.

Bill Blackwood

Hi Ciara please email me I have a further discussion for you outside of this forum mslater at talentedtoad dot net

Gameela Wright

As far as I know - agents can take 10% and Managers can take 15-20%. I've never met a legitimate agent that took more than 10%, even when I was non-union.

Lisa Regina

Yes, for an agent too high

Mark Burger

20% is excessive at best and gouging at worst. You can do better Ciara. Good luck !

Carlo Alvarez

10% is the normal cut for an agent. Managers usually 15%

Michael Bott

Sort of Groundhog Day thing going on here ...

Ciara Sherry

at least everyone is being helpful though! :)

Romane Robb

Michael Bott what do you mean?

Joe Santiago

Check with your local SAG for a list of certified agents and fee schedule. Also ask for references, your agent must provide you with sources he or she works with.

Shanghai Jack Neal

Invest in your social media brand & build it up with amazing insights - I know a few Youtubers that have new acting films out because of their subscriber base... This is key in today's world... You can do this by filming yourself by filming modeling sessions & short interviews how the acting world is in a fun way... I do not know the industry standard but Carlo Alvarez's answer sound about what I've heard... 20% is too steep ... How about we start off at 10% & work our way up from there... NO ?? ... Thank you... What are you going to get for double the standard??? At that rate you can open your own doors with a solid branding that you can build yourself ...

Shannon Tharp

I'd check with the sag as well but I would also check to see who this person or organization is networked with. Once you find out ask yourself is it worth 20%. if it is then go for it.

Other topics in Acting:

register for stage 32 Register / Log In