Commercial Actor: Non-Union/Non-Franchised Talent Agencies
WARNING & ALERT:
Research Talent Agents Well Before you Pay or Sign a Contract!
On one side is the camera, stage, or corporate event, and on the other is eager performers and models looking for their big break. In between is the agent who works to match artists' talents with paid commercial work. Sadly, in that in-between zone too many agencies run scams: collecting money from wannabee models or actors and failing to find them gigs. Typically these shady agencies ask for up-front payments for “classes” or “training.” Or they may charge two or three times the going rate for professional photographs and pocket the different.
To search for a reputable agent, start with the SAG-AFTRA list of union franchised agents and managers. These agencies have the best ethics in the business because the SAG-AFTRA union and its members monitor their services. Finding ethical and reputable representation for your talents among the non-franchised agencies is where the biggest challenges lie. Northwest-based Casting Director Lana Veenker in an article in Backstage offered these tips for avoiding scams:
1. There’s no harm in someone teaching acting classes or selling headshots, as long as that’s what they are advertising. If you thought you were going to an audition or a meeting to discuss representation, but the conversation is all about you buying something, that is a bait-and-switch! [Editor's note: Bait and switch is an illegal business practice in most states.]
2. Some casting calls may be “no experience necessary,” but they should be exactly that: a casting call. You come in, fill out some paperwork, get your photo taken, and are perhaps recorded on video. They’ll call if they decide to hire you. No one tries to sell you anything, and there’s no fee to audition.
3. Reputable model and talent agencies are highly selective. If you show up and they are immediately willing to sign you regardless of your experience or suitability, question their motives—especially if they ask for money.
4. Bona fide agencies don’t require you to take their classes or use their photographer. They may provide a list of recommended coaches or photographers in your area, but they should not pressure you to use a specific one, or try to sell you something in their agency agreement.
5. Legitimate agents make a commission off the gigs they find for you. If they engage in hard-sell techniques for classes, photos, contests or representation, beware. That’s how they’re making their money, not by finding you work.
Before you sign any contracts, you can also check with your local Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the state’s Attorney General’s office to see if any complaints are outstanding about the agency.
The Actors Handbook provides information as a public service. The Actors Handbook makes no claims about the legitimacy or reputation of agencies included in the Handbook.
all about You!
Contacts: Tami Wakasugi and Marind Amano.
all about You! was founded in 2010 and represents babies, children, and adults of all ages, diversity and abilities primarily in Washington and Oregon. We are a full service agency representing both union and non-union talent. all about You! talent can be seen in a wide range of projects from television; feature films; local, regional and national commercials; training/industrial videos; music videos; modeling as well as non-profit projects, etc.
Submit via email: brief bio, current headshot, current full body photo, resume related to your acting or modeling work, plus link to demo reel and IMDb page, if you have them. No follow-up calls, please.
Emerald City Model & Talent
120 W Dayton, Suite B-4
Edmonds, WA 98020
Contact: John Harb.
Emerald City Model and Talent is a full service agency for actors and models representing a wide diversification of models, actors and talent of all ages. Specializing in real people, Emerald City promotes talent for film, TV, commercials, corporate videos, fashion and commercial print, trade and fashion shows, promotional events, and voiceovers.
This agency accepts submissions from all ages and types. Use their online application form to submit. This agency sells photo packages for around $200-$400.
80 Vine St Suite 203
Seattle, WA 98121
Heffner Management prefers potential talent to contact them by email. Heffner's primary focus is modeling, but they are also interested in models who can act. This agency is currently accepting submissions from all types of models ages 15-70. Click Here for submission information. No follow-up calls please.
The Kim Brooke Group Models-n-Actors
10015 Lake City Way NE
Seattle WA 98125
Contact: Kimberly Brooke.
The Kim Brooke Group is a full service agency for actors and models. This agency is currently looking for talent of all ages and types. Click Here for submission information. They promote talent for high fashion modeling in commercials, TV, and commercial and fashion print, as well as acting in film, TV and commercials.
There is a one-time investment of $100.00 to post your photos on their website if you sign a contract. Agency did not provide information about classes. No follow-up calls please.
300 Bennett Street, Suite 200
Seattle, WA 98108
Contact: Tanya Tiffany.
Tiffany Talent represents actors, models, and voice over artists, from age 6 to seniors, for work in the Pacific NW, including Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, BC, and Spokane markets. Tiffany Talent Agency is focused on booking our represented talent for Film, Television, and commercial work, in the PNW, and represents both Non-Union and Union (SAG-AFTRA) talent.
Tiffany Talent is currently accepting submissions from age 6 and up, and always interested in talent of diverse ethnicity. Talent submissions will be followed up with an invitation to meet with an agent to determine eligibility, based on look, training, industry experience, and availabilty. Highly experienced actors can be onboarded as quickly as 48 hours. Visit our website for more information or to apply. TT is not accepting “voiceover only” submissions at this time, or any talent that do not have a permanent residence in the Pacific NW. Please, no follow-up calls.
In Both Ears
1224 SE Malden St
Portland, OR 97202
PDX: (503) 892-8833
SEA: (206) 375-8371
SFO: (415) 689-8537
LAX: (310) 279-0713
Contact: Sam Roberts, Agent and Ashley Mason, Talent Liaison.
In Both Ears represents over 200 world-class voice talent in the US and abroad, plus more than 300 ethnic, foreign language, and youth talent. In Both Ears promotes their talent for voiceovers world-wide, including foreign language, and children's work. Please visit www.inbothears.com/representment and submit your demo plus the two audition reads. Please allow two weeks before following-up.
Q6 Models & Artists Management
1028 S.E. Water Avenue, Suite 280
Portland, Oregon 97214
Contact: Justin Habel.
Q6 Models and Artist Management is a full service agency representing models, actors, fashion stylists and hair and makeup artists. Click Here for submission information. Q6 promotes talent for film, TV, commercials, fashion and commercial print and more.