A talent agent acts as a representative and go-between for a creative individual or group and prospective employers. The talent agent helps secure paying jobs for clients and usually helps negotiate the amount of pay and other incidentals that clients will receive. Talent agents are perhaps most commonly associated with representing actors and actresses, but they also work with musicians, singers, writers, directors, and other creative professionals. The agent and clients are typically bound by a mutual contract in which the agent pledges to find satisfying work for clients, and the client promises to pay a percentage of money earned (usually around 10%) to the agent.
Finding available, suitable work for their clients can be time-consuming and requires a great deal of networking and a clear understanding of the industry involved. Once possible work is discovered, the agent is responsible for negotiating the best possible deal for the client. He or she must not only secure proper financial remuneration, but must also ensure that any necessary incidental expenses or needs are covered.
At lower levels of talent representation, talent agent positions may not have many requirements beyond aptitude, attitude, and a knowledge of the field involved. However, at higher levels involving large contracts with studios or record labels, these positions often require some sort of education and/or experience in contracts and management, and many agents begin their careers as lawyers who specialize in aspects of contract negotiation. Talent agents typically work for larger talent agencies, but may also be self-employed. They typically work during regular business hours, but also should expect to be in communication with clients and employers outside of business hours; extensive travel is often required as well.
Talent Agent Tasks
Work with talent to identify skills and appropriate bookings.
Defend clients and handle problems with performance, payment or other matters.
Negotiate with clients and talent for appropriate pricing and scheduling.
Work with venues and hiring managers to make bookings and develop long-term relationships.