When you are looking for a talent agency to work for or to hire to work for you, you want only the best. You cannot afford to risk the success of your project due to sub-par or ill-matched talent, excessive delays and re-tries, or snags over legal technicalities. Making the right choice is crucial since agents often represent their clients for years and may well supply the casting needs for entire productions.
Four key factors to look for in top talent agencies are as follows:
1. Fully Licensed
To legally negotiate with you, a talent agent must have a state-issued license and post a bond. Anyone who lacks these credentials is illegitimate, and you should not be shy about checking up on them.
2. Reasonable Rates
While rates are negotiable, 10% to 15% is customary, and anything more is over-charging. Never pay an agent upfront in return for "guaranteed" employment–such deals are normally not legit. Also, never pay extra for an agent's travel/personal expenses–that is included in the fee!
3. Flexible Contracts
Agencies will offer standard general-service contracts that include all the artistic services of their talent and last from 1 to 5 years. Actors should be able, however, to customize contracts with "carve-outs" for specific types of work they are interested in.
4. A Large, Diverse Talent Pool
When seeking to fill a very specialized role or to fill a large number of roles, it is imperative you have a wide selection of talent that is highly diverse. This will greatly increase the odds of quickly finding that perfect match.