Acting Agents – Exclusive and non-exclusive contracts

You may be looking for a talent agent and going over various contracts. Lets take a look at the difference between exclusive and non-exclusive agreements.

An Exclusive contract with a talent agent means that your agent represents you for pretty much everything regardless of where the gig is. He represents you in New York, Los Angeles, Wichita…. where ever you go and whatever you do. Most exclusive agreements entitle the agent to their commissions even if they did not get you the gig or have anything to do with it.

This is the more popular type of contract and it is less restricting than the Exclusive contract. A Non-Exclusive agreement basically states that you can have more than one agent and is a popular choice for actors that work out of different cities. You can have one agent for New York and another for Los Angeles. The agent that gets paid is the one who sent you to the audition.

Contract terms

Contracts are normally signed for period of a year even though sometimes longer terms are used. Many people are afraid of contracts and beginning actors sometimes get the misconception that they are now in someway “owned” by the agent. With most contracts that is not the case and the contract is a way to make sure that you pay the agency if you got the gig they sent you on.

A contract is nothing to fear. It spells out the agreement between both sides and what each side provides the other.  If you believe your agency is not doing its job you can request to end the agreement in writing. If an agency is unhappy with your performance, they will simply not send you to auditions and you may never get anything in writing from them.