Clients, agents and being in the middle

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Like most voice artists, I have a number of agents. My agent here in Charlotte however generally only represents me for on camera work. Last week I had the opportunity to audition for an industrial video. I didn’t get the part, but my agent was kind enough to mention to the clients after I left that I also do voiceover. This resulted in me having the opportunity to audition for and win the narration job for the video. Good news!

As I waited for the script, I got a call directly from the client asking about my rate. This confused me, as though I do offer rates directly to clients, I felt that since my agency found this gig, it was not my place to set the rate, especially since there was a rate previously mentioned (if not agreed to in total) in emails that had moved back and forth. I did hem and haw well enough to make sure I was still getting the gig, but deferred to my agent for pricing. It has since been cleared up, and will be done soon.

This situation does bring this point up: how do you handle this kind of situation? I say honor your agreement with your agent. Don’t undercut them, don’t take things away from them, ESPECIALLY in the instance where you would not have gotten the gig without them. In general, your agent has your best interests in mind: in this case, they were able to get a gig for me even beyond the on camera aspect of the original audition. I am not so naive to think there is not self interest involved. Indeed, they were able to book an additional talent for the job they weren’t even planning on having available, and that is direct revenue to them. But the truth is, that revenue is also coming to me through their efforts. That is good enough to earn my loyalty when dealing directly with the client, and in the end, strengthens my relationship with the agency.

I would love to hear from others how they have dealt with similar situations. I’m sure this isn’t a rare situation, and I think that people new to the field and dealing with agents would find additional input valuable.

Have a great weekend….and thanks, Mary Kay!

2 Responses

  1. Great perspective, George. I can’t help but think of the following:

    * “Honesty is the best policy.”

    * “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

    * And lastly, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.”

    Enough said. ; )

  2. I agree with you completely, George. It’s so important to respect the work that your agent does for you! Great article!

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