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Up-Front Fee Scams ALERT!!!

Home Forums Casting Up-Front Fee Scams ALERT!!!

This topic contains 1 reply, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Profile photo of IMAGE MANAGEMENT IMAGE MANAGEMENT 13 years, 11 months ago.

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    Profile photo of Anonimous

    My thanks for the ‘The Stage’ article “Bectu resumes assault on book fees for artists” page 3, 16th September.
    In July last year I was told by the DTI Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate; that new regulations would mean [in their view] that “charges made to a work seeker by an employment agency, whether it is for registration, interviews, photographs, entry into a book/directory or commission for being found work, could only be charged to the worker after they have been found work by the agent.”
    Again in November, the DTI announced in a press release, “The measures also include: agencies placing actors, models and extras no longer being allowed to charge upfront fees before they find them work.” DTI Minister Gerry Sutcliffe said “They’ll also mean that unscrupulous entertainment and model agencies can’t charge young hopefuls a fee where they have no work to offer.”
    But, when the regulations became law in April; upfront registration/book fees had not been banned! I have now been told by a DTI Inspector, that they were having great difficulty dealing with the backlog [2 months] of complaints; since agencies were not licensed. The DTI do not know who these agents are; or even how many there are. Therefore, the DTI are incapable of controlling these agencies, within the new regulations. These rogue agencies set up one day; and after taking their bogus fees; disappear the next day!
    I believe that: (1) Agencies must [pay a fee] be licensed, in order for the DTI to have some control over agencies; and therefore keep agencies informed on relevant regulations. (2) Agents should not be allowed to take 25 or more in commission; there must be a maximum commission rate, which can be charged by agencies; as in the USA. (3) An agency must not be allowed to take the actor’s whole day’s earnings in fees; actors should have the right to the National Minimum Wage, after any deductions by the agency. (4) There must be a complete ban; on all agency upfront fees.
    No other workers are charged an up-front fee; so why are we in this industry; still open to such abuse? My demonstration on the 5th November at the DTI offices will I hope, have some effect – on achieving these 4 goals. It is my greatest wish to have Equity on board; we should all be working together.
    Clive Hurst


    Could not agree more Clive. There are some real rip off merchants out there (you know who you are guys ) I have even been caught out myself in the past when I started out in the business.
    A real agent is in business to make money and pay the mortgage and as such will be very selective about who they take on, ie those with the right skills and that undefinable factor X (most of this is self belief + skill ). So before you approach an agent do :
    Take classes in the area of perfomance you are interested in
    Work on lo/no budget movies acting is a musvcle that need exercising
    Get your face out there.
    If you get knocked back …..come back fighting
    Image Management

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