Q: I’m pursuing modeling and was recently picked up by an agency. I was told it’s good to have multiple agents in different cities. Is that true? Could it hurt my career to have more than one agent? —Shiquita J.
Having multiple agents in different cities has pros and cons, which may vary depending on your career goals. The most important thing you’ll want to do before starting your search for more representation is to check with your home agency for the details of your current contract.
If you have a nonexclusive agreement, you’re allowed to sign with other agencies as well as do freelance work without having to ask their permission. However, even with nonexclusivity, some agencies won’t allow you to sign with others if they are in the same geographical region. This means you’ll have to look outside a 45- or 50-mile radius. If you’re unclear about what your agency will allow, it’s best to ask and be open with them about your interest in being signed somewhere else. You never know what recommendations they may have or sister agencies they already work with. The only way having multiple agencies could hurt your career would be if you signed elsewhere without your home agency’s permission or knowledge. This could result in you getting dropped.
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Being signed in more places ultimately translates to more exposure and more castings, which hopefully translates to more jobs! Being available in more areas gives you the opportunity to explore other markets as well as travel to places you might not have been before. Someone with an open schedule who has the ability to travel might find this situation ideal. On the other hand, someone who is modeling and going to school might not have as flexible a schedule.
Although traveling sounds fun, it has some downsides. Being signed in different cities will keep you very busy, but not necessarily booked. You’ll have to start accounting for travel time, because whether you’re driving or flying to them, you’ll still be expected at castings and auditions on time. You may not always be reimbursed for your travel expenses, either. You’ll want to make sure you know what you’re responsible for before agreeing to sign with anyone.
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This story originally appeared in the June 6 issue of Backstage Magazine. Subscribe here!
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