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How can I tell if a talent agent or manager is legitimate?

Acting Tips for Aspiring Actors

It's important to do your research and due diligence when evaluating the legitimacy of a talent agent or manager. Here are some tips to help you determine whether a representative is legitimate:

1. Verify their credentials: Ensure the agent is licensed and registered with SAG-AFTRA and bonded by a State insurer. Since managers aren't mandated to be licensed, seek referrals or consult with fellow actors or industry experts who have collaborated with the manager. Additionally, you can confirm their membership in any professional organizations they may have chosen to join.

2. Seek success stories: Inquire with the agent or manager about recent successes achieved by their clients, and inquire about a memorable moment they've had while representing talent. Request information on clients and casting directors they collaborate with who have successfully booked their actors. Additionally, some agencies or management companies may have a website or social media profile where you can further explore their track record.

3. Look for red flags: Be wary of agents or managers who ask for upfront fees or who make promises that seem too good to be true. Legitimate representatives do not charge upfront fees and cannot guarantee work or success.

4. Do your research: Take the time to search for the representative online and peruse reviews and testimonials from other clients. Use search engines like Google with combinations of the company name, agent or manager's name, and keywords like "scam" or "reviews" to gather insights. Additionally, check their social media presence and see if they maintain a professional website for further credibility assessment.

5. Trust your instincts and review all documents: If something doesn't sit right or if the representative is pressuring you to sign hastily, it's perfectly acceptable to step back. Your choice of representation should leave you feeling comfortable and self-assured. Take the time to carefully examine all paperwork and don't hesitate to seek clarification on any contractual terms that may be unclear. Feel empowered to ask questions about any paperwork or standard expectations, whether it pertains to commission rates, contract duration, or the types of roles you'll be considered for, including any specific criteria like language, nudity, ability to travel, etc.

Remember, it's important to take your time and do your research when evaluating potential talent agents or managers. The right representation can help you achieve your career goals, but it's important to choose someone who is legitimate and has your best interests at heart.

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