The question of paying a subscription fee to join any talent agency has been a bone of contention for a very long time 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 fee, cannot be overemphasized.
There are certain factors in the entertainment industry in general, that mitigate 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.
Taking into consideration, entire artists management processes, one will also have to look into development, mentoring, trainings, workshops, required image materials and much more. But most importantly, one has to recognize the reason why they are seeking the help of a talent manager and what type of management specifically, one really requires.
Below are some of the main factors we have to consider:
From the Talent Agency Perspective
Having been in the industry for a long time, and having acquired a 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 a talent manager, I can share some of my understanding with you. These are personal experiences 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 a 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 devise means of keeping afloat and that will surely include charging talents minimum recruitment or enrollment fees. Although this is not the 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 outlook. 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 shown commitments. That is talents that have paid their agency subscription fees.
From Industry Perspective
The entertainment industry has multiple disciplines and all disciplines have 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 work, mentor, and showcase them.
The industry only needs talent with a complete outlook. That is Talents that have the natural endowment and are 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 potential in 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 and image consulting 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 main 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 time just because they saw someone on TV, hear someone on the 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 to, I want you to note that the agency you are contacting, is a business. And no business survives by offering free services or goods.
TIPS FOR A PROSPEROUS CAREER | WORKING 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 the respect and relationship that you build with the agency.
- If you are a talent with lots of experience, you have clientele yourself, you are well-known in the industry, and you getting bookings, left, right, and centre, 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, just fresh out of performing arts school, or a newbie, it is advisable, that you pay your subscription or development fees. After that, ask your agency, 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 paid from, it’s a whole lot of work put in between you and your agency. To get started with Morgeez Artists Management and Talent Booking Agency, click here for full information and process. Or simply contact us.