Acting : Agency legitimacy question by Juli Tapken

Juli Tapken

Agency legitimacy question

I am currently in search of an agent in the midwest area and have one prospect that I have need of input, good or bad. It is called QuickBook. They brag about a mere 2 percent acceptance rate and no money upfront ever, but then I receive an acceptance letter asking for $198 "insurance" payment to cover the cost of actors not showing up to shoots, potentially. Has anyone had experience with QuickBook that can give me an idea if this is a legitimate agency? Thanks!

D Marcus

When an agency says no money upfront but charges money upfront I would say they are being dishonest. I have no personal experience with them. But if they sign 20 people a month that's almost $4,000 ($47,000 per year) without booking a single job. Try a little experiment with them: tell them you will agree, in writing, that if you don't show up for any shoot you will pay them the entire fee you were to be paid plus 10% instead of their "insurance" fee.

Juli Tapken

Thanks for that idea. I might try that, although that does bring into reality the validity of the issue I suppose

Randy Thomas

How to prepare for a meeting with an Agent

Stephen Ossias

The video was great. But the website he references for an email template doesn't work. No connection is possible. Is it out of date?

Randy Thomas

Hi Stephen, sorry for late reply. Been on a writing retreat.

Regina Lee

Hi Juli, for what it's worth, SAG has a rule against any upfront fees. If these guys were SAG-franchised, they would be in violation. So take it as a huge warning sign that the actors' union would not allow this practice. I think it's pretty awful what they're trying to do. When and how much should I pay my agent? No franchised agent may charge a rate of commission higher than 10%. In some cases, an agent must negotiate your fee above the minimum scale, or in other words, "scale plus 10%" in order to collect commission on a job. This rule may vary according to the local area in which you work, or the collective bargaining agreement you are working under. Always check with your local SAG-AFTRA office for specific rules. An agent may only receive a commission when and if you receive compensation for your employment. Agents may not charge up-front fees of any kind. They may not require you to attend a specific school or use a specific photographer as a condition of representation. If the agent does have some suggestions on these subjects, you should be supplied with a list of several schools or photographers.

Jo Weber

Regina is correct. However, if an agency is non SAG-AFTRA, which is common in smaller locales (and some "right-to-work"states and Missouri isn't one of them) their fees come out of whatever they negotiate on your behalf and how you are paid can vary. It's up to the agency to have back up talent in case of an unforeseeable event. Personally, if I had talent I couldn't rely on, they wouldn't remain with my agency. Years ago, I did know an agency who made available services, such as photography for updating your head shots and/or acting lessons, but that's negotiated separately and should be optional.

LindaAnn Loschiavo

To Juli Tapken & other good hearts on Stage32: if ANYONE asks you for a FEE --- before they have helped you earn some new $$ --- then just RUN! Learn how to spot a scam. Your life will be better.

Jane Drake Brody

Julie, Run from Quickbook, go to a legitimate agency. There are several in St Louis, look first for SAG-AFTRA, they are able to work with either union or non-union actors. Never PAY

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