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Posted: 11/1/2011 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]

 

These are general; common sense things that should help you tell if you are being dealt with fairly or not by a potential Employer, as well as a Few things that while legal or even normal in other parts of the USA could hurt your career here. Each of you has different career paths in front of you, and need different things to achieve your goals so you should evaluate each of these items and how they affect you and your chosen path.
Also Please Remember that State law Governs what is Legal and Illegal in your state - so something illegal in the state next to you could be legal in your state. Just because something is legal in your state does not make it RIGHT - it just means you have to hire a higher quality State Representative in the next Election.
1). This is the Dream Industry and Scam Artists are Professionals at telling you what you want to hear / Giving you answers "That Make Sense"  to steal your money. They can only STEAL your money IF YOU GIVE IT TO THEM.
2). There are "NO FEE'S" in our Industry NONE, NEVER - It does not matter what they call it or how they Explain it to you. We are a Commission Based Industry PERIOD. People earn their pay by finding you Paid work - Period
If they have not found you PAID work - There is NOTHING you have to pay them for. Find another Potential Employer
3). Websites - In the last few years a Vast majority of Agents and Casting Directors have created websites to replace filing cabinets in their offices (and there are also a few Independent websites like DragonukConnects.com)
These Websites often cost Thousands of Dollars to Develop and Thousands more to Operate over a year - so Costs are passed on to the Talent that have Joined them and Benefit from the usage of the site.
These sites should not be mandatory - that you as Talent have to pay in order to receive Auditions or Job offers. There are 2 ways to overcome the Mandatory Issue:
A). Offer a free profile and a Paid Profile with added benefits (DragonukConnects.com and Agency Pro both do this)
B). Maintain paper files in the office for those that do not pay to join the Website (Several Agents & Casting Directors do this)
 Costs for Paid Membership Profiles should be Fair and Reasonable. You the talent should choose those sites you have the best chances of getting the most value from (Paid work) and pay for those sites. You cannot be expected to pay for ALL the sites out there so get the best return for your money.
4). It is not Right for any Potential Employer to require you to pay for any classes or training from their office or any other Individual or Company.
They can tell you that you need to get training before they send you on Auditions or on Jobs.
They can require you to take training from their office or some other Individual or Company if it is at no cost to you.
They can provide you with a list with multiple options and tell you these are known High quality Training Classes but again cannot require you to use anyone from the list IF you are paying.
They can offer you optional training classes
It is your money and only you get to decide who you want to give it to. If any potential Employer tries to tell you something different - RUN - Find a different Potential Employer.
 
5). It is not Right for any Potential Employer to require you to pay for any Headshots, Modeling shots, Reprints or Comp Cards from their office or any other Individual or Company.
They can tell you that you need to get Better Headshots, Modeling shots, Reprints or Comp Cards before they send you on Auditions or on Jobs.
They can require you to get Headshots, Modeling shots, Reprints or Comp Cards from their office or some other Individual or Company if it is at no cost to you. They will probably not allow you to use those Headshots, Modeling shots, Reprints or Comp Cards outside of their office but if they pay - that is OK.
They can provide you with a list with multiple options and tell you these are known High quality Headshot Photographers, Modeling Photographers, Reprint Houses or Comp Card Printers but again cannot require you to use anyone from the list IF you are paying.
They can offer you optional Headshots or Modeling shots sessions.
It is your money and only you get to decide who you want to give it to. If any potential Employer tries to tell you something different - RUN - Find a different Potential Employer.
 
6). CONTRACTS in most of the Larger Markets it is Normal to have a Contract with your Agent - Most are Exclusive contracts. The Mid-Atlantic States operates differently from them. Here we are a Freelance Market - Most Agent/Agency's do not Contract Talent or have Non-Exclusive Contracts.
Be Very Careful of anyone with an Exclusive Contract. What happens is you have by contract agreed to pay that person/Company for NOT GETTING YOU WORK.
If you find a Job from DragonukConnects.com, WIFV MD, TIVA DC, WIFV DC, VA FILM OFFICE ETC that is Direct with the Filmmaker, Production Company, Advertising Agency, or even the Client - You still have to pay that person/ Company for NOT GETTING YOU WORK because you signed a contract saying you would.
If you find a Job from DragonukConnects.com, WIFV MD, TIVA DC, WIFV DC, VA FILM OFFICE ETC that is thru an Agent you have to pay the Agent that got you the job their commission (because they earned it) But You still have to pay that person/ Company for NOT GETTING YOU WORK because you signed a contract saying you would.
 
7). Contracts Part 2 NEVER EVER go to a meeting and sign a Contract - PERIOD.  No matter what the person you are meeting with says, you want to take a copy of the contract home to read over and show your Lawyer (even if you don't have a Lawyer to show it to - They do not know that). If anyone tries to pressure you / Force you to sign now or refuses to let you take a copy of the Contract home to read - RUN- Find a Different potential Employer.