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Switching Representation?

April 26, 2017

"Deciding to leave your agent or manager is never an easy task"

Here are some possible reasons that you may be considering leaving your current representation, and some things you should evaluate before you do.

You're at the end of your contract and unhappy with current results. Before leaving, be careful of management contracts as they are not the same as a licensed talent agent's contracts and some have self-renewing provisions. Review your contract to see what the termination clause states.

You are considering switching because you are having difficulty being paid. Keep in mind that sometimes the agent is having the same difficulty from production not paying them. The agency should be advising you on why there is a hold up on the payment. Remember for union jobs, you only have six months to file claims against employers at SAG and AFTRA.

If you are thinking of leaving because your agent doesn't take your calls, be fair. Do they never take your calls or is this a special circumstance with a possible legitimate explanation?

When you've done your part in providing the agent with great photos, an excellent resume and demo tapes and knowledge of your vibrant participation, but there are no results and/or no response, or worse, you've had many years of declining results/income, it may be time to switch. But consider this: Every situation is different and every career has its own peaks and valleys. Try to test your own marketability: is there a demand for your "type" or is the fashion leaning against your type at the moment? The market comes in waves. For the past two years the demand was for brown hair and brown eyes - no blondes. Now the trend is turning back. Be aware of trends before considering your switch.

Consider the type of agent you are with. If you leave your great commercial agent because what you really want is to be a movie star, and the theatrical agent doesn't want you unless they can have you across the board, you are likely taking a huge risk.

You have been offered a deal from another agency. Be careful of being wooed by another agency. Let's say you are starring in a stage show that opens to great acclaim. The big agents who attend may offer representation which can be very flattering and tempting, but remember who brought you to the job. It's not so much an issue of loyalty, but rather the fact that your current representation understands you and your type. If you sign with an agency that doesn't specialize in "your type" but rather flatters you with the idea that you're "one of a type" the reality is that they may be lacking experience in your area.