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Prophet
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Regular user
Caledonia, NY
184 Posts

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What is everyones opinion in getting a booker to get you gigs and then cutting them in on a share? Is this the same type of thing talent agencies do?



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Yours In Magic

Mike

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If you are new to Magic check out my article
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=462185&forum=41
Duct Tape is like the Force. It has a dark and a light side and holds the universe together.
markmcdermott
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Belfast, Northern Ireland
24 Posts

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An agent is someone who thinks that you take 85% of their money. Smile



An agent can be very useful. People who are putting together large events like to pass some of the problems on. They make a call and order a couple of bands, magican, stiltwalker, bouncy castle all in one go. It is then up to the agent to do all the dealing for you. Arrange price, send off contracts etc



They also "sell" you. If a client is booking a band for a wedding they push other acts as well. "How about a magican after the meal to keep the kids from under your feet?"



Anytime I have used an agent I have had plenty more work with a lot less trouble. People are also happier to book through an agent as they believe the act must be good to have an agent.
the levitator
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Spellbound Productions
546 Posts

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Make sure you do your research before you put your career and reputation in someone's else's hands. Make sure that agent is sincerely interested in getting you work and will represent you the way you want to be represented.
"It's all in your head...."



James Anthony
www.spelz.net
Peter695
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102 Posts

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Quote:
On 2002-03-01 05:54, the levitator wrote:
Make sure you do your research before you put your career and reputation in someone's else's hands. Make sure that agent is sincerely interested in getting you work and will represent you the way you want to be represented.



Fred Allen, the former radio personality, once said: "You can take all the sincerity in Hollywood, stick it in a flea's navel and still have room for six caraway seeds and an agent's heart".

Some agents are good. The above is me taking advantage of an opportunity to insert a good line.
omnibozo
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Boulder, CO
150 Posts

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If you are considering an agent who books lots of different kinds of acts, ask what other magicians they work with... and which clowns. If you do not recognize the names of the performers, ask where their next event will be held. Go check out the clowns. If the agent hires tacky clowns, avoid that agent. There are lots of bad clowns out there. There are only a few really good clowns. Find them. Ask who books them. Get on that list. This can be called "The Good Clown Rule". If an agent is aware enough to see quality in clown work, they are worth listing with.
TheDean
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Inner circle
Reno, Nevada
2164 Posts

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As you've see by these great responses, working with representation could be good, or bad DEPENDING on the integrity of the person or organization wishing to represent you.

Agencies, have to make money and be profitable to stay in business, but there are some that take what would be "considered" above the ethical limit. I tend to agree...

10 to 25% is governed as "LEGAL" in most states though some slime their way in and out of that. In Nevada for instance, because agencies are licensed under the SAME laws that govern Licensed Employment Agencies [Temp services] and as such, because of tax's, FICA, SSI, Disability insurance costs, they allow employment agencies to take up-to 60% to cover those up-front costs associated with traditional employment. [Basically to pay all the government costs.] leaving the temp-house with a "fair" profit margin so that they can stay in business and support the job market. [By the way, Little known fact: you should list with the temp job houses as a magician... you will get a paying job ever-so-often... really!]

Well agencies in our area, EVEN THOUGH they DON'T pay al those government fees, still charge up-to 60% to the client... YES, sometimes they are making MORE than YOU for as little as a yellow-page add ad the ability to pick-up the phone! NO value added...

Keep in mind, even though it's "illegal" in other states to "dig" the client with such outrageous fees, they still DO! [Even other states] It is at that point that we, as performers get to decide [for each one of us] if we choose to support the rape of talent buyers and talent alike...

I choose not to.

Having used to be a very successful agent in the Silicone Valley [San Jose, California] I've heard EVERY argument on the subject, and the outcome is for EACH of us to come to terms with on our own...

Some say: "As log as I get what I'm asking for, who cares how much the agent profits!" Here's the rub... {and YES, I've SEEN it happen] You get paid your $250.00 birthday party fee [or what-ever] and the client is paying $2,500.00 for a high-brow company gathering, and the expectation of the client is professional [$2,5000.00's worth] entertainer. There is way too much of an incongruence here... I've seen it happen a ton of times... Really! [and that's just ONE of millions of examples...] Band members INTRODUCING THEMSELVES to EACH-OTHER in the lobby, AT THE GIG, having never met, let alone played together, and the client is paying over $6,000.00 for an "established" band... [who got 800.00 for the WHOLE band] and the list goes on!

YES, there are agents that aren't slimy and THOSE are the ones you really should make every effort to work with and promote in your communities...

It's a long and entangled subject... about a novel's worth. Not today though... HeHeHe!

I am at your service,
Deano
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Dean Hankey, *M.D. - The Dean of Success Solutions!
Serving & Supporting YOU and Your Success!
"Book More Shows... Make More Money... SERVE MORE PEOPLE! - Not Necessarily In That Order…"

(*Marketing Doctor) Smile
Robert LAMAR
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Lakeside, Nova Scotia (Canada)
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Agents can be very useful...as long as you don't completely rely on them.

Generally speaking, it is not a good idea - especially when you are just starting out - to have exclusive representation with one agent; unless, of course, through the agent you are performing 200+ shows a year. Now, this is an arbitrary number. The bottom line is: how many shows do you want to be performing in the run of a year? 100? 200? 300? Is the agent willing and able to do this for you? Keep in mind, most agents cannot afford the time nor the money to represent just one act, regardless of what they may tell you.

Therefore, utilize the services of a number of agents. Get your name out in the marketplace, and not just in your vicinity. Deal with agents out of town - after, of course, you have looked into their credibility and business practices.

As Peter Reveen once told me, "The only helping hands you can truly rely on are the ones to be found at the end of your wrists."
With YOU in mind...Robert LAMAR



The power of thought is the MAGIC of the MIND." - Byron



Web Site: www.RobertLAMAR.ca
Robert LAMAR
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New user
Lakeside, Nova Scotia (Canada)
75 Posts

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Agents can be very useful...as long as you don't completely rely on them.

Generally speaking, it is not a good idea - especially when you are just starting out - to have exclusive representation with one agent; unless, of course, through the agent you are performing 200+ shows a year. Now, this is an arbitrary number. The bottom line is: how many shows do you want to be performing in the run of a year? 100? 200? 300? Is the agent willing and able to do this for you? Keep in mind, most agents cannot afford the time nor the money to represent just one act, regardless of what they may tell you.

Therefore, utilize the services of a number of agents. Get your name out in the marketplace, and not just in your vicinity. Deal with agents out of town - after, of course, you have looked into their credibility and business practices.

As Peter Reveen once told me, "The only helping hands you can truly rely on are the ones to be found at the end of your wrists."
With YOU in mind...Robert LAMAR



The power of thought is the MAGIC of the MIND." - Byron



Web Site: www.RobertLAMAR.ca
p.b.jones
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Inner circle
Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
2642 Posts

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HI,
I do not need work from agents but I get them ringing me up asking me to do jobs anway. I also have one agent that I did a fair bit of work for when I first went full time many years ago that rings me about every couple of months trying to get me on his books. The trouble is I he tends to let clients down with the cabaret being different than they ordered or whatever. As I am mostly performing close up before the cabaret through this agent I felt it reflected on me so I stopped working for him.
Anyway,I work agents as follows but you can only do this if you are not relying on them for lots of work. DOUBLE your fees for agents
If an agent asks me I will give him my Double fee, If he brings me the jobs I do them if he dosn't I am not really bothered.
phillip
Prophet
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Regular user
Caledonia, NY
184 Posts

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WOW Guys thanks allot for the help!!
Yours In Magic

Mike

Smile
If you are new to Magic check out my article
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=462185&forum=41
Duct Tape is like the Force. It has a dark and a light side and holds the universe together.
MagicCoach
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82 Posts

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If you really want to understand how a talent agency works you should get hold of
Randy Charachs new resource book "Your Own Talent Agency".

Randy started , built and then sold off an agency and the book spills the beans on how to do it.

Even if you never intend to develop
a second income stream that could be sold off
an understanding of how they work is very important.

Full details here.

http://hop.clickbank.net/hop.cgi?mc111/syntal

~~~
Once you understand the relationship Agents can be very useful. And very frustrating.
But don't just sit back and expect that they will do all the marketing work for you.
They don't.

I personally find I go in cycles with them. Some years a lot of my work is through them, at other times hardly any. As the average commision I pay per job is around $750,
you can understand I'm very keen to develop my own bookings.

This extra money is then donated to a very needy family of which I am the head.

Note. Consistancy of fee is very important.
All agents should be quoting the same fee
to clients. And this should be the same fee that you quote if they approach you directly.

You end up getting different amounts of money but evry one is happy. You, Agent, Client.

There are some other discussions of Agents in the MagicCoach archives

cheers

Timothy Hyde
http://www.magiccoach.com
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