Update of question asked by performer on 14.10.08
Hi , My name is Stuart. I am trying to find out if there are any guidelines about payment times from Booking agents as I am
currently waiting up to 2 months for payment of gig money and having to ring and chase it up all the time, there has also been at least one case and I suspect more of the agent taking more than their share of the money. The agent is not a member of your association so you may not be able to help me but any info would be appreciated.
Thank you for your enquiry.
An agent’s role is often to collect your money from the client. If the client has not paid the agent it is hardly the agents fault, unless they have not done a professional job on your behalf in trying to collect your money.
Members on our association are bound by our Code of Ethics and Guidelines to forward on any money they collect on your behalf, immediately to you. They are also bound to disclose to you, prior to you performing the gig, what the break-up of commissions/fees payable are. Could I suggest you encourage this agent to apply to be a member of our association or only deal with agents who are.
My guess is that your “Agent ” isn’t really an agent but a “promoter” who phones you up and offers you a fee for a gig. He or she then on sells your services to a client for what every he can get in the same way a retailer sells a lounge suite. This is still a valid model to run an entertainment business but the entity is not acting as a agency. An agent must by acting primarily on your behalf and by law you need to know what the fee the client is paying for your services.
Re an agent possibly taking “more than their share of the money”. An agent needs to be honest and up from about their percentage commission prior to you accepting the gig. Our association has a recommended guideline of 15% commission. When an agent offers you a future gig you may in like to ask what percentage of your fee goes to him, then decide if you want the gig or not. He or she maybe well prepared to negotiate their cut to secure your services. Don’t under estimate a performers power. If an agency has no performers they have no agency.
I hope this is of help.
Australian Entertainment Agents Association Inc.
Ph +61 3 9441 0661