Written for The Networker by Terry Berland @berlandcasting.
Living in the age of on-line and self-submissions, self-taping, and massive competition, in the commercial acting world, I am finding talent is not understanding the importance of the relationship between casting, agents and managers.
Bottom line is casting director’s depend on your representatives (agents and managers) to understand industry rules and regulations and keep order to the submission and booking system. If a non-union breakdown goes out, 98% of the time there is a plus 10, 15 or 20% added on to talent payment for your agent and/or manager. I can assure you, as a casting director, when I receive the specs (details on the project), if a percentage has been left off of the payment for a rep (representative: agent or manager), I bring it to the attention of my client and they add it on to the payment.
As a casting director if I put a non-union breakdown out directly to talent and they book it without a rep, 75% of the time, at the time of the booking the talent informs me there is a rep involved. I then start communicating with the rep about the final details during client approval and bookings.
Talent should be sure when you ultimately turn the job over to your rep, after you have come to the call back and accepted the avail, that your agent knows you have accepted the job with the terms of agreement. You want to take seriously the fact that you have accepted the terms of agreement.
Casting would rather deal with an agent or manager than talent directly because there is a layer of professionalism and accountability added to the situation. We want to feel assured you understand all terms of agreement and you’ll show up on time for the wardrobe and shoot. You want a rep involved to protect you in case the terms of agreement get changed at the time of the booking or on the written agreement, or anything that you consider unfair happens on the set.
There is a mutual respect between casting directors, talent agents and managers. Casting knows your rep is a business professional, devoting their time to making things happen for you and making sure everything runs smoothly such as you getting paid, to name one important factor.
Don’t ever think because a breakdown is released directly to talent that a casting director is by-passing your representative. A direct-to-talent submission is usually only for non-union or harder to find special skill situations.
For a career with longevity you ultimately want representation and protection. You want a team who is working for and with you, whom you have a good working and loyal relationship with. You also want a career in an industry where you have protection and benefits.
If you want to sharpen up on your commercial acting technique, follow this link to Terry Berland’s Commercial Acting workshop.