Booking or talent agents handle all manner of entertainers and there are many different entertainment agents specializing in certain fields. Agents can handle just about any form of entertainment including, film directors, models, actors, athletes, writers, journalists, musicians, comedians etc. An agent is responsible for all the matters concerning their client, including promotion and support. This leaves the artist to concentrate on what they are good at which is performing and not handling the business side of things.
Theatrical agents deal with movie, television and stage actors, although some specialize fields most will handle a wide range of the industry. Interestingly these agents have two types of clients, and both are two sides of the same coin. These are the actors or the talent and those who wish to use their services, which can be casting directors or similar.
The theatrical agent will pair the most suited components together, which alleviates time and unnecessary auditions. Rather like an employment agency that works on behalf of the company and the employee. It is the theatrical agents first responsibility to get the talent client an audition with the other half of the coin. These types of agents take as standard a ten percent commission, but if it is a union related job then they will abide by the appropriate guidelines.
The critical requirement of these agents is to have the correct contacts, a network they can use to put the correct client in front of the best casting director. And their reputation is for supplying excellent actors that are fit for purpose otherwise the casting directors will not use them again. An old and well-established agent will have plenty of networks and contacts. These agents will have direct access to all manner of professional casting services, which are not available to just anybody.
A modeling agency obviously looks after fashion models that work in industry related jobs. These sorts of agents work alongside fashion designers, advertising and promotion agencies to achieve success for their models. They will also invest in their clients so that model grows in stature and can command better paid and more glamorous work. This is done by training, enhancing portfolios, test shoots and enlarging professional printed material.
A music agent looks after bands or solo performers personally, they look after the day to day needs and requirements of their clients and is responsible for promoting the act. They will interact with promotion agents, booking agents to get the job done. They are also responsible to interface with record companies and ensure contracts are beneficial to their clients.
Booking agents are responsible for booking the show for any of the clients they represent. They will interact with the show promoter and draw up some sort of contract detailing what the artist requires for the show. This could involve, accommodation, travel, lighting, sound, meals etc. That concludes our first part in the different types of entertainment agents and what their roles are. We continue in part two with sports, broadcasting and literary agents and see how their agencies differ in the way they operate.