Talent Agency Industry Terms

What is a Talent agent?
A talent agent, or booking agent, is a person who finds jobs for actors, authors, film directors, musicians, models, producers, professional athletes, writers and other people in variousentertainment businesses. An agent also defends, supports and promotes the interest ofhis/her clients. Agents cannot produce their own shows due to conflict of interest. A talent agent must be familiar with their clients. An agent has to know what kind of work the client can and cannot do in order to match them with various jobs.

Are we currently expanding your roster?
Merritt Artist Management is always selectively expanding our roster. If you are interested feel free to send an e-mail with your specs, list your experience and attach a current photo.

Does Merritt Artist Management represent background talent?
Merritt Artist Management is a principal agency. We do not actively seek or submit on background work.

Are their fees to join an agency?
Being a business we are able to charge an ADMIN fee which generally is around (allowed by the EIC CODE OF ETHICS that agents follow given by ACTRA) to be $10.00/Month that helps with any courier costs, long distance calls, admin, and break down services that they agency is part of to get you auditions.

Does it cost to go for an evaluation/consultation at an Agency?
ABSOLUTELY NOT, these appointments are only there to see if we are the right fit for you and vice versa.

How often does an actor work?
It all depends on the season that we are in, such as the summer season being the busiest in the city. It also depends on your look, your resume, and your personality. There is no way of figuring this question out because you the ACTOR are responsible for landing the job, we the agent can only get you the audition.

How often can I get an audition?
Depends on your look and what our clients/casting directors asking for in their breakdowns.

Can I have more than one principle agency representing me?
It’s usually a big NO because, if both agencies submit you for the same job and you land it then both agencies will fight for the commission.

What does an agent do?
An agent can only submit you for work within the entertainment industry; they cannot guarantee an audition or a job. Their job is simply to submit to the client, and go over all the contracts and regulations and make sure YOU the model /talent are getting the best deal and contract.

Are agents allowed to guarantee work?
ABSOLUETLY NOT, we are the middle men, all we can do is submit you for work if you hear anything else it is false. NO SUGAR coating is allowed either such as :
- “I really feel you can get work I just know it!”
- “You are gorgeous and can get work”

If you are under 18 years of age are you able to go to an interview and or sign with an agency?
ABSOLUTELY NOT, this is highly unethical and illegal, a parent or guardian has to always accompany a minor.

How much commission does an agent make?
Generally the Agency commission should be, this is what Merritt Artist Management receives:
10% for Theatre
15% for Film / T.V. / Commercial / Corporate Videos
20% for Print

Are acting courses needed?
Depends on how far you would like to get into acting, generally seeing that Toronto is HOLLYWOOD NORTH, we tend to have a lot of talent wanting to work in the Film/T.V. industry. Though acting comes from within brushing up on these skills is essential, but NOT mandatory
Always research your instructor make sure that they are currently working either if they are CASTING DIRECTOR or ACTOR.

How much does a Photo shoot cost?
This question has been the most controversial question in the business, although the horror stories in the business do not make sense. What you need to use is “COMMON SENSE” generally photo shoots are $300 – $600 now also depending on the photographer the work and what they are offering with the shoot, such as Hair Stylist / Make-up Artist / Wardrobe etc… ALWAYS RESEARCH

What does it take to be successful as a Model or Actor?
Personality! Professionalism!! Patience!!! Perseverance!!!! “Success happens when perseverance meets opportunity!”
In the competitive industries of modelling & acting, success DOES NOT happen overnight! An overnight success story in this industry is years in the making leading up to that model or actor’s big break!
You have to go after it, work hard and put yourself in a place where an opportunity will be presented to you!
You need to project self-confidence, develop the necessary skills required through training, listen, be able to take direction & constructive criticism and be a pleasure to work with! You also must have a positive energy & be motivated!!

Why is training important?
As in any career, sport or artistic endeavor, the first step is training. Just as you would not put on hockey skates for the first time and try out for the NHL, potential models/talent must be trained in modelling & acting in order to be competitive in the industry.
If you are just getting started in modelling or acting, taking a course and training are very beneficial to provide a strong foundation on which to build skills and self-confidence, poise, character, professionalism as well as an understanding of the business work.
When you are first starting out, you are competing against working & established models/talent that have experience and clients will expect you to know what you are doing! If you do not have experience or only local experience, how can you expect to be competitive on a national &/or international level?

What is ACTRA?
ACTRA is our guild that helps actors in making sure they are being treated fairly on set along with trying to get more work to come to our city.

Are their fees to join ACTRA?
Yes like any other business you have to pay for permits if you are a non-union actor who has been chosen for a union commercial or film. After the Apprentice Program you are then asked to give union dues every year along with dues taken out of every job.

Talent Agency Niagara

Greater Toronto Area, Southern Ontario
Located @ 182 Lake st. St. Catharines, Ontario

Being a small boutique-sized agency, this allows us the luxury of developing long-term relationships with our clients, particularly focusing on professional, creative and personal development by catering to individual needs.

Our goal is simple, “If you succeed, we succeed”

Merritt Artist Management is based on honesty and integrity. We strictly adhere to the EIC (Entertainment Industry Coalition) code of Ethical Conduct and guidelines set by TAMAC (Talent Agents and Managers Association of Canada).