Tough Times For Talent Agents?
Seymore Butts aka Lighthouse Talent
In honor of our countryís independence, Lighthouse is offering 50%
off all agency fees on all jobs completed in the month of July. Our
agents are waiting to help fill your casting needs and can be reached
at 818-907-9752. Please visit our website, www.LHTalent.com to view
our ever-expanding roster of talented performers.
Is it truly America's independence that Seymore is honoring here or is
this a pragmatic business decision?
Seymore emails me: "Actually, the "special" we are running has nothing
to do with a "slowdown". It is more of a "thank you" to the companies
that have been supportive to us during our first seven months of business.
If you think that's good, wait until you see what i do for our one year
anniversary in january! It is hard for me to recognize a "slowdown" with
only seven months of perspective on the agent side...we have grown each
and every month to date!"
Mr. Ambulance writes:
Luke: It looks like its a little deeper than just cutting fees at Lighthouse.
He's been reduced to putting up a banner to the competition.
Visit the Lighthouse Talent website < http://www.lhtalent.com/casting/casting/
> and down at the bottom is a banner for Playa's Entertainment/producemyownporn.com,
which has a collection of links to OTHER competing talent agencies.
< http://www.producemyownporn.com/our_models.htm >
Can the money from his click-throughs to the competition be more than
a lost sale/fee? Go figure.
Seymore responds: "I'll take it one step further...i don't even
make money on the click -throughs! it's a banner exchange set up by one
of our agents. as for competing agencies...how can i be worried about
them when i'm still trying to figure out who they are? maybe you can help
by listing my competition for me and by "competition" i mean BONDED, LICENSED,
I believe that only World Modeling, Tera Patrick's Agency and Lighthouse
Talent are licensed, bonded agents (according to this
state of California database).
Seymore responds: "hmmm...considering the recent lack of public
presence for tera's agency that means we have only one legitimate competitor.
i like those odds! as for the other companies that are operating illegally
as "agents", i have a feeling the industry will see things "shake out"
in the not-too-distant future!"
I email Derek Hay at LADirectModels. I couldn't find him on the California
database. "I was looking at that. I don't see LA Direct Models
listed. What does that mean? That you are a management company?"
[Later, I search just "Direct Models" and found Derek's site
No, - licensed talent agent, business license, and bonded.
Attached is scan of license. Please do not post on site, but you can
verify it exists. [Luke: I verified it.]
Licensing is a stringent process that prohibits convicted felons and
those without strong business and credit history from becoming licensed.
It also requires strict adherence to laws of city and state in employment,
both of employees of the company or agency and for those on the talent
roster, agency represents. It also requires employees insurance coverage
through State Compensation Insurance Fund. It offers talent a recourse
system in cases of disputes, which should offer a much better 'peace
of mind' to the talent, about selecting a licensed agent over an unlicensed
manager. The law is quite clear actually regarding managers. Whilst
a manager can offer career advice, for example in terms of choosing
which movie to make, or how to launch a promotional campaign, or which
producer to choose for a recording artist, a manager is specifically
prohibited from booking anything at all, unless in conjunction with
a licensed talent agent. This would extend to an actress making movies,
a recording artist playing concerts, or any other profession that required
the employment of a licensed agent.
My licenses are all current. Like Seymour I think some government oversight
in this area is inevitable sooner rather than later. There are now simply
too many unlicensed managers operating for there not to be.
Ric Williams writes:
Hey Luke, What Seymour and Derek are saying is spot on. I have owned
a mainstream talent management company, and have now started up Black
Widow Talent Agency. As
you can see from the attached, there is a $50,000 bond required along
with a criminal and credit investigation. I donít think that there
are many in this industry that would qualify. I am not listed on the
database yet but all of my submittals have been reviewed and I have
a provisional license until the review is complete. The lady at the
DLSE (Department of Labor Standards Enforcement) told me that the adult
industry was on their target list.