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There is more to the modeling world than the media lets on. If you want to find out what it really takes and how to manage your modeling career, then you've come to the right place! This blog is dedicated to the aspiring and already established models who live to defy the standards and stereotypes in order to make a place for themselves in this crazy industry.
Friday, November 2, 2007
Having More Than One Agent
Did you know that a model can have more than once agency? It's true but there is a way to go about it without getting yourself in trouble. When you have more than one agency representing you as a model, the chances for getting booked, paid work increases. The only way a model can get more than one modeling agency is if they are only dealing with non-exclusive contracts.
To refresh your memory, a non-exclusive contract means that the model is allowed to sign with another agency, as well as get their own freelance work. The catch is to read the fine print. Even though an agency with a non-exclusive contract allows you multiple representation, it also lists where you can or cannot obtain representation.
For example, if you have an agent out of San Francisco with a non-exclusive contract, you are free to sign with another agency in Los Angeles, New York, or Miami (or all three in addition to San Francisco!), who also operate with non-exclusive contracts.
However, you may not be allowed to sign with another modeling agency located within 45-50 miles of San Francisco so if there is another agency interested in you that is in San Jose (which is less than 50 miles from San Francisco), you more than likely will not be able to have one agency in both cities since they are so close to each other. To have two agencies located so close together is bad for the model because they will more than likely book you for your same gigs...who would get the commission? There lies the problem.
If you go behind your agency's back and sign with another agent within the same competing market and your original agency finds out, you could be dropped from your contract. So play it smart and make sure to read the fine print of your non-exclusive contract to find out just where you can obtain additional representation.
For models signed to exclusive modeling contracts, the opportunity to have more than one agent is eliminated. Many exclusive contracts maintain control over their models within the United States, as well as other countries. This means you cannot sign with any other agency no matter if the contract would be non-exclusive or exclusive or if they are located 100 miles away from your original agent.
For example, FORD's exclusive contract states that their models cannot sign with any competing agency in the entire United States, Canada, France, and Brazil. That basically means you belong to the agency completely until your contract is up. If you decide you don't want to be under an exclusive contract anymore and would rather have multiple representation dealing with non-exclusive contracts, simply give your agent written notification and read your contract to see how the process works.
As one photographer once told me, "Don't let them [the agency] bully you. They are there to make you money. Just because they are exclusive doesn't mean they will guarantee you more work than a non-exclusive contract. If they don't get you work, you aren't getting paid and you are within your right to break your contract and move on."
While having more than one agency can be great, it can also be a lot of work. Be prepared to fly or drive often since you'll more than likely have to go to wherever the audition is. So if you have an agent in San Francisco and Los Angeles, expect to rack up some frequent flier miles. If you have the time and the money, traveling for these opportunities can definitely work in your favor.
But if your funds are limited and you're in school or have a full-time job, then sticking to one agency that is local to you may be your best bet. It's your choice just make sure that whatever decision you make, you'll be able to follow through.