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Acting agents are a specialized type of agent that focuses on clients who act on the stage or screen. Sometimes referred to as acting managers, the job of acting agents is to locate potential roles for their clients and arrange for the client to audition with casting directors and others who will make the decision on who to hire for an upcoming entertainment production. The acting agent is one of several different types of entertainment agents and is generally considered unique from model agents and talent agents that represent vocal performers, voice over performers and other members of the entertainment community.
In many instances, it is impossible for a budding actor or actress to secure work without representation by an acting agent. Agents of this type often function as advocates for their clients, using a variety of strategies to get the name, credits, and image of the performer in front of the right people. This puts acting agents in direct contact with casting directors and other key people who have some say in who is hired for a given project and who is not.
Acting agents tend to agree to represent clients on the basis of receiving a commission for their efforts. The commission is based on the gross pay earned by the client after being hired as a result of the agent’s efforts. In some circumstances, acting agents may be entitled to some type of commission on other entertainment related jobs that the actor may land without the direct intervention of the agent. The exact terms and conditions surrounding the commission structure are defined in a formal contract that is agreed upon and signed by the agent and the actor.
Because acting agents earn their living from commissions, they have a vested interest in placing as many of their clients into well paying acting jobs as possible. However, there have been instances where an agent would focus primarily on one or a few highly sought after clients while paying very little attention to less known clients. When this happens, the client may be relegated to another agent associated with the talent agency or even be traded to other talent agencies if there is a sense that the agents can do noting for a give actor.
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