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Saturday, April 5, 2008

Freelancing with Agents (Submitted Question)

I saw this question posted on a popular forum for actors, and I wanted to repost the response I gave over there:

“What is the proper etiquette if my son is freelanced by a well known NY agency but he is not getting called, mostly gets things with open calls and does great. Actually he just writes the agency name on his resume but has gotten everything through open calls so far. (No appts). He wants another agency so do I tell the new one when being interviewed that he is with another or not? Also, how should you handle if called on the same audition by 2 different agencies? Thanks for any advice!”

Hi, there. This is a great question. As you know, if your son is only freelancing and not signed, he has the full freedom to work with additional agencies. When he starts working with an additional agency, both agencies (the new and old) should know that he has other agents working for him. And whichever agency calls you with the audition should receive the 10% commission when your son books the role.

If you haven't already, you may also want to express your concerns to the original agency and see if there is anything they can do. They need to know that the reason you are taking on an additional agent is because you are dissatisfied with the current results. A freelance relationship is not designed to be a permanent situation- it is usually a trial period for the agent and actor to get to know each other and decide if it is a good match. This means that at the end of a reasonable term, you should be able to choose to go on contract, or dissolve the partnership. Long term, having multiple agents can become problematic for exactly the reason you stated- if two agents are trying to push your son to the same casting director this can become a sticky situation.

I hope everything works out and your son gets the attention he deserves!

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