The question of paying a subscription fees to join any talent agency has been a bone of contention for a very longtime now. So in this article, I want to deal with it for what it is. The reality surrounding a talent paying a minimum amount as subscription fees or as a once-off membership fees, cannot be overemphasized.
Now, having mentioned the above, there are certain factors in the entertainment industry in general, that mitigates on this very topic. So, before we get selfish with our money, that is, if we are the talent seeking an agency, we need to consider many factors on the side of the agency and the overall industry that we are seeking opportunities in. Below are some of the main factors we have to consider:
From the Talent Agency Perspective
Having been in the industry for a longtime, and having acquired certain amount of industry experience both as a talent who started from the ground up to where I am now as a talent scout, talent developer and as a talent a manager, I am proud to say that i can share some of my understanding with you. These are personal experience and personal views.
So for the side of the Agency, the following thinking may apply:
- Talent Scouting: As a business, the agency is out to make profit and survive in the first place otherwise, it won’t be existing for any talent to even discover. So, as a business involved in the scouting and management of talents, the agency has to device means of keeping afloat and that will surely includes charging talents minimum recruitment or enrollment fees. Although this is not main source of income, but is a legitimate source.
- The Business of Talent representation: This is the core business of the agency, representing the talents and doing its best to present the talents in a positive manner to attract clientele. In doing this, the talent has to have some minimum acceptable outlooks. And it is the job of the agency to help the talent bring out that type of outlooks. And for this to happen, the agency has to make sure that the so-called talent is registered in their books. And to gain the trust that the talents are the serious ones, this will mean that the agency has officially listed talents that had showed commitments. That is, talents that has paid their agency subscription fees.
From Industry Perspective
The entertainment industry has multiple disciplines and all disciplines has one common approach when it comes to the relationship between the talent and the agency. That is, the agency has to show talents how things really works, mentor, and showcase them.
The industry only needs talent with a complete outlook. That is, Talents that have the natural endowment and well packaged enough to make it. Talent that is now ready for elite or semi elite performance without compromise.
Only the agency has the industry knowledge to harness this kind of potentials in a talent. Not even the school of art.
And for the agency to be able to do this properly, talents are required to pop out certain required fees. including subscription fees etc.
Note that most agencies, will not be able to share their industry knowledge with anyone who refuses to subscribe to their services.
From the Talent Perspective
There are 3 min categories of talents or simply put, people contacting agencies for enrollment.:-
- Some talents are well vested in taking their careers to the height of success.
- Others just wanna give it a try, and
- Others are a joke who only wanna waste agencies precious business times just because they saw someone on tv, hear someone on radio or on the internet, they wanna be like.
It is advisable that before you contact a talent agency, no matter which of the categories you belong, I want you to note that the agency you are contacting, is a business. And no business survives offering free services or goods.
TIPS FOR A PROSPEROUS CAREER WOKING WITH YOUR AGENT
- Talents seeking to join agencies should take the industry seriously and the only way you get vital technical knowledge of how the industry really works, would be through your agency. And this can only happen with your respect and relationship that you build with the agency.
- If you are a talent with lots of experience, and you have clientele yourself, well-known in the industry, and you getting bookings, left, right and center, then you should be looking for a manager who can help you handle your bookings of which you still have to pay such manager between 20 to 30% of your earnings.
- If you are an average talent in the industry, or just fresh out of performing arts school, or a newbie, it is advisable, you pay your subscription fees. After that, ask your agency, of what better ways for you to get right and how you can build from the ground up.
- Then, work with your agency by following their recommendations on how your career can kick off smoothly and grow to become a reasonably sustainable career.
Finally, if you are a talent, know fully well that your payment to subscribe to the services of a talent agency, is mandatory nowadays. Because the agency is a business. Before you can find the jobs that the agency will even get pad from, its a whole lot of works put in between you are your agency.
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