The Talent Agency
Talent agents represent performers. Talents agencies are licensed by the state and must include the words “Talent Agent” or “Talent Agency” in any print advertising. along with their address and license number. The talent agent works with advertising agencies, producers and casting directors to obtain work for the performers they represent.
A talent agent receives a commission of 10% to 25% based on the scale they negotiate for their performer and whether their performer is union or nonunion. For AFTRA/SAG work the commission is above and beyond the performers fee. In some cases, the commission may be taken out of the talent fee, especially for nonunion freelance work obtained by an agent. For talent agencies to book union talent, they must be franchised by the local AFTRA and SAG unions.
Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world, and there are many unscrupulous agents who will attempt to relieve you of your money. If anyone asks you for money up front to represent you or to get you an audition, they are operating a scam. The best thing to do is find a reputable agent and stay in touch with him or her. Even if you are freelance and must pay your agent a 25% commission, the advantages of representation may well be worth it.
Do you need a talent agent to do voice over work? No. Will a talent agent benefit you and your voice over career? In most cases, yes.
At Elite Music Studios we have a relationship with Bohemian Sound Talent Agency, whom we recommend with our eyes closed for anyone who is interested in starting or maintaining a voice over career.