Voice Acting

How Much Does a Talent Agent Cost?

Keaton Robbins | January 20, 2023

Mature businesswoman in headset speaking by conference call while looking at computer. Home office.

Talent agents play a crucial role in the entertainment industry, representing actors, musicians, models, and other performing artists in the negotiations with different employers. Talent agents help their clients secure auditions, negotiate contracts, and generally manage their careers. 

But with all the value that talent agents bring to the table, it’s natural to wonder: How much do they cost? 

In this article

The short answer is that talent agents typically charge a commission on the work they secure for their clients. 

This commission is usually a percentage of the client’s earnings, ranging from 10% to 20%. For example, if an actor secures a role that pays $10,000, and their talent agent charges a 15% commission, the agent would receive $1,500. It’s worth noting that talent agents are not allowed to charge upfront fees to their clients. So keep that in mind when negotiating and reading over contracts.

This is because the talent agency business model is based on the idea that the agent only gets paid if they are able to secure work for their client. In other words, the agent is taking on some risk by representing a client, and they expect to be compensated if their efforts are successful. 

Similarly, on Voices, you can post your job and listen to all auditions, without any upfront cost. You only pay Voices once you’re ready to hire.

There are some exceptions to this rule. For example, some talent agencies may charge a small “marketing fee” to cover the cost of creating and distributing promotional materials for their clients. This fee is typically a one-time charge, and it is typically much lower than the commission that the agency will charge for securing work. Once again, make sure you read the terms and conditions of that marketing fee, what it entails and think about if those fees have the value you’re expecting.

It’s also worth noting talent agents are not the only professionals in the entertainment industry who charge a commission. Managers, lawyers, and other industry professionals may also charge a percentage of their clients’ earnings. However, talent agents are typically the ones who charge the highest commissions, as they are responsible for finding work for their clients. 

So to recap: 

Talent agents typically charge a commission on the work they secure for their clients. This commission is usually a percentage of the client’s earnings, ranging from 10% to 20%. While there may be exceptions to this rule, such as small marketing fees, the vast majority of a talent agent’s income comes from the commissions they charge on their clients’ earnings.

As with signing any agreement and paperwork, we encourage you to read the contracts your signing and ask follow up questions to the agency or agent before signing. 

Wondering what a talent agent is? Read our previous blogs, which explains what talent agents do and whether you should engage with one.

Voices is a great alternative to using a talent agent, sign up today for free!

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  • Avatar for Debrah mcadam
    Debrah mcadam
    April 28, 2023, 11:44 pm

    Where can I find jobs where I don’t have to pay upfront fees to the agent.

  • Avatar for Sandra Sedgwick Williams
    Sandra Sedgwick Williams
    September 30, 2023, 3:17 am

    I am a writer with a screen play idea. I need an agent. How would I go about finding one for something like this? I would also like an agent who could represent my other books. Would we pay your company to find someone like this?