The acting and modelling industries are thriving here in Australia and there has never been a better time to make your start as an actor or model. But that also means that there’s fierce competition out there for work. And yes, that also means that casting directors and photographers can pick and choose from the huge pool of talent available to them. So as you can imagine, the people that do all the hiring usually have one port of call when it comes to securing talent and that, of course, is the talent agency.
This is why it’s super important to find yourself a reputable acting and modelling agency as soon as possible as it’s quite literally the most important step you can take at this point in your career.
Now, you may have heard some horror stories about working with agencies and the truth is that some of those stories are quite possibly true. But trust us on this, acting and modelling agencies are a must for career success. So with this in mind, we’ve created this quick guide to acting and modelling agencies and bust a few myths along the way.
Why do I need to sign with an agency?
Okay, here’s a truth that very few other agencies will openly admit — you don’t need to sign with an agency. You can represent yourself, source your own roles and assignments and negotiate your own contracts, if that’s what you want to do.
However, life as an actor or model will be so much easier if you sign with an agency as the agent assigned to you will handle the business and marketing side of your career.
An agency will:
- Find roles/assignments that are suited to your talents
- Negotiate a fair rate of pay
- Ensure that contracts are fair and transparent
- Make certain that there are no unreasonable requests in your brief
- Give you access to its network of industry contacts
You also get this great benefit that we call ‘reputation by association’. This means that if you sign with a reputable agency that is respected throughout the industry, this ‘rubs off’ on you. Casting directors are much more likely to hire talent that comes through an agency like this as they subconsciously assume that the talent will be reliable and work to a high standard.
What do acting and modelling agencies charge?
This is a great question and one of the first things that you must ask of any agency before you sign up with them. As you can imagine, all those benefits listed above don’t come for free. It takes quite a lot of hard work on the agency’s end to promote you and ensure that your portfolio and casting profiles are seen by the right people.
For this reason, all acting and modelling agencies in Australia (and the world!) will charge you a commission for any work that you book and are paid for. The standard commission rates for acting and modelling work in Australia are from 10% to 20%. The actual rate depends on the type of work involved and this should be made clear to you before you accept the job.
Generally speaking, adult talent agencies in Australia don’t charge a fee to join them but you will be asked to cover the costs of talent portal subscriptions which allow the agency to promote you to its network.
If an agency wants to sign you up over the phone or by email and pay a membership fee before they have even met you, this is a red flag and we’d advise you to look for another agency.
What about my portfolio and headshots?
Okay, so choosing an agency is the number one priority for a good start in the industry but coming a very close second is getting your portfolio and headshots sorted as quickly as possible.
This is another area where an agency can help you a great deal. You see, an experienced talent agent will speak with you about your career goals and the type of work that you want to book. They will then be able to give you a little advice on what type of portfolio you need to put together to secure that kind of work. And if you already have a portfolio and headshots, then they can advise you on any changes or additions that you may need to make.
While the agency will rarely handle headshots or portfolio shoots in-house, you’ll certainly get a few recommendations for professional photographers in your area that have relevant industry experience.
Does an acting and modelling agency offer anything else?
Aside from all of that? Actually, yes the best agencies will offer a little more. For example, the super useful guide that you’re reading right now or the many in-depth guides that we provide are just one of the ways that Hunter Talent likes to go the extra mile for our actors and models. In fact, you don’t even need to sign with us to benefit from our decades of industry experience.
These career resources alongside the knowledge that you’re in safe hands is worth its weight in booked work! After all, if you want to succeed in this industry, it really does pay to have some support along the way.
So whether you’re new to the industry or you’re simply looking for new, professional representation, then we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with Hunter Talent today and let’s get your career off to the best possible start.
Want to break into the world of modelling and acting?
Our agency is dedicated to helping aspiring models and actors achieve their dreams. We have a team of experienced industry professionals who will guide you every step of the way, from helping you create a portfolio to finding the right auditions and casting opportunities. With us, you’ll have access to a wide network of industry contacts, and we’ll provide the support and guidance you need to succeed. Don’t miss this opportunity to kickstart your career.