Forums > Hair, Makeup & Styling > MUA's who work for agencies:

Makeup Artist

makeupbynac

Posts: 46

Los Angeles, California, US

I've only ever done freelance, so I have no clue what entails actually working for/with an agency. I came across a website for a place called The Rex Agency and they represent MUA's, hair stylists, wardrobe, etc. How do you go about getting representation like that? Do you just call and ask? Do they send you out on jobs? Sorry I'm so ignorant on this, but I seriously have no idea  tongue Please help!

Thanks,
NAC

Apr 17 09 09:35 pm Link

Makeup Artist

MelodyMoher

Posts: 1394

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, US

makeupbynac wrote:
I've only ever done freelance, so I have no clue what entails actually working for/with an agency. I came across a website for a place called The Rex Agency and they represent MUA's, hair stylists, wardrobe, etc. How do you go about getting representation like that? Do you just call and ask? Do they send you out on jobs? Sorry I'm so ignorant on this, but I seriously have no idea  tongue Please help!

Thanks,
NAC

Generally they have a rep to call to set up a go see. at least thats what i call them cuz i modeled when i was a wee babe. smile

I am signed non - exclusive to two agencies which gets me - duh - twice the work lol but signing to a wicked good exclusive agency is good too... im just not at the spot yet i live in a inbetween area (Philly) so until i move to LA I dont see the point in signing exclusive.

goodluck! on a side note - totally constructive I would say you need waaay better photos (I'm saying quality in photo not your work) in order for you to land an agency. Especially in NYC its a pretty competitive market I think. Although I work there I live in Philly so I am not completely in the know.

Apr 17 09 09:41 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Vanessa Dawn- Jhaesayte

Posts: 2567

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

And better models. I was once told that your book is judged by three things. The quality of your models. The Quality of the photographers. THEN the quality of your makeup.

Kinda sucks to look at things that way, but there you go.

Apr 17 09 10:59 pm Link

guide forum

Makeup Artist

TheMakeupMan

Posts: 3758

Los Angeles, California, US

makeupbynac wrote:
I've only ever done freelance, so I have no clue what entails actually working for/with an agency. I came across a website for a place called The Rex Agency and they represent MUA's, hair stylists, wardrobe, etc. How do you go about getting representation like that? Do you just call and ask? Do they send you out on jobs? Sorry I'm so ignorant on this, but I seriously have no idea  tongue Please help!

Thanks,
NAC

Look at the portfolios of the artist they represent and see if your portfolio is up to par

you can try to get on the assistant roster first as you build your book to "agency level quality " if not and you will have a foot in the door

First things first , set up an appointment and just talk with a booker there

I love working thru an agency

Yes .....they send you out on jobs,and  handel your calender , billing , travel , website, resume and reels

A good agent will groom you for different jobs or just for the agency

Apr 18 09 03:52 am Link

Makeup Artist

KathyAragon

Posts: 959

Washington, District of Columbia, US

First- I apologize for this loooonnng post but it's a journey that is fresh in my mind so I am hoping some of what I learned is helpful to others. Here goes!~

I think every market is different. In DC, the local agency that gets the commercial work is very strict about their application rules. You need to send in 5 or more photos by mail, to their new talent booker. It gets put in a pile then weeded through by the owner and then the ones that get picked get called back for an interview. I've had many NY friends (models, photographers, artists) go or call up the agency to see if they could "walk in" since they are in town and see them all get turned away at the door or on the phone. They don't let anyone do that, they don't care if you’re Kate Moss. They are so funny like that but I guess their rules have worked for them so they stick to them.

The other two agencies I got with were in different markets and those were as easy as calling them and asking them how to submit, and them telling me just to email all my info and samples of my work. After emailing them with a sample of my work, they both put me on their roster that day by email response back. SO DIFFERENT than the other agency. I think it helps for you to call first though because it puts more of a personal feel to your introduction and they know to look out for your work. I wouldn't go into your life story when calling, just ask them what their submission process is and if they are adding artists to their roster at this time.

My main agency now is in the NY market and was much harder to get into. I had actually tried to 8 months ago. At that time I emailed them and told them a little about what I have done and it there was enough interest that they let me come up to interview, but when I got there they did a quick flip through my port, said "Thank You" but their "roster was full", and that was that. Based on that meeting I decided to get myself more prepared for my second try and most importantly I was patient. I waited to get multiple editorials published, and even then I waited more if I had other editorials or covers coming out. I knew I needed to pad my book with paid and legit work to show them I could be valuable to their company.  In the end it paid off and between that time I got some good feedback from one of their bookers.

Tearsheets- If it were their choice they'd want to see a book full of full page tearsheets (not a little pic on the top left of a page of a full page article)! They need to be cut out nicely and "tear" shouldn't be taken literal. LOL. Credits showing your name are really good of course. They want to see you have the experience of working on multiple sets, with real full crews. They don't want to send you out blindly on to set when you have only done tests as if you look like a fish out of water as that reflects badly on the agency.

Clean makeup- Of course every agency is different BUT I will say if you can't produce a majority of clean looks then they can't be confident you don't know how to edit yourself. The panel at the Makeup Show in LA had bookers from SoloArtists, Cloutier, Timothy Priano, and (dang I forgot the other ones!) but they all mentioned  to just say NO to lots of random stuff on the face. The main things they said are "no feathers- no rhinestones-no gold leaf- no no no". One agency said he didn't mind to see something like that if it was shot in a beautiful editorial beauty or fashion sort of way but all the elements had to be there, fierce model, fierce photographer etc., but that one agent also said he isn’t about single test shots with these elements in it. They also don't want overly photoshopped images from tests. The bigger agency can spot a bad PS job or maybe a good but totally overdone PS job a mile away. Simple is better.

Do your homework- On the panel the bookers said their biggest pet peeve is when people call and ask questions like "What does an agency do?" or "How much does it cost for me to join you?” lol. They aren't interested in talking to anyone who hasn't taken a vested interest in finding out anything and everything about their agency, how it works, and they also want to know you know about them specifically, that you have studied their artists, their body of work, and that it matches what you want to do. They want to see dedication.

Assisting- A good piece of advice one of the bookers gave is, if you are calling to ask about assisting, make yourself available but even go so far as telling them if there is a particular artist's style you love and would want to assist. Of course don't make it an all or nothing situation like "I want to assist her and only her!” lol. This gives them an ideal of who your inspiration is, which direction you are thinking you want for yourself, and also lets them you are willing to assist anyone they represent just to be able to prove yourself.

Of course they also talked about "setiquette" where you never overstep your boundaries on set. Don't EVER give out your business card, contact info, etc when on set with an artist you are assisting. 99% of the time the agency will get a call while the job is still going on from someone telling them what the assistant is doing. At that point the trust is gone and the assistant won’t get another chance. I know there is a huge long list on here about "settiquette" that is a great collective thread of suggestions.

After getting signed

Getting sent on jobs-

The smaller agencies I have been with have always emailed me or called to "check my availability" for certain dates, and if I was available I would be put "on hold". What needs to be known, which they don't always tell you but you figure out pretty quickly, is that they are also holding multiple other artists and the client will pick who they want in the end. You will then get "booked" or "released". When you get booked, they will most likely send you a "call sheet" which has all the details of the job. It will have all the contact info of the crew, the address, the objective, the talent or subject they will be working on, all their "peoples" information, specific directions, etc. It may include or be followed by a "shot list" detailing the shots of the day, or other reference lists.

Of course if you are released, you just take the date off your calendar.   

With my NY agency it is definitely different. I LOVINGLY joke that they "own" me.   I'm totally fine with that being it was my main goal to get with them for a long time AND it pays off because the jobs I do get are great and pay better than I had been getting before. It's different because they don't "check my availability", they assume I am available each and every waking hour of the day and if something comes up where I am not, then they need me to call to "book out". When "booking out" I am telling them days I am not available to work and I'm telling them WHY I am not available to work so they can note that reason on the charts. I assume the reason they ask you why you are booking out is they want to make sure nothing fishy is going on, but I'm also realizing they want to see how big scale your reason is in case someone like Madonna calls, they might be able to talk you out of Aunt Bea's Pretzel Cook-Off to accommodate them. lol

When the jobs are HUGE scale, they will call anyway to see if you can do it. I'm talking like 8 days in Europe doing hair and makeup for a celebrity, starting tomorrow. In fact, even if I have plans that CAN be broken "just in case" I don't even bother booking out. I want to book out as little as possible unless it's absolutely impossible for me to take a job (like I'm on an all inclusive prepaid vacation for a week on the islands- with no passport, lol).

Payment- Agencies take off their fee from the total price they are charging their client and sometimes charge the client an additional percentage before they send you your cut. You need to talk to whatever agency picks you up, actually it would be a good idea to discuss this *before* signing but not too prematurely. Like the bookers on the panel said, don't make this all about the money from the start, establish that you actually love what you are doing in makeup first.

Payment isn't automatic. Some of the agencies I have been with pay you when they get paid, one has a net 60 days meaning you will print and send my check in 60 days regardless of them having received payment or not. I know my agent has a 45 day turnaround.

Exclusivity- Some agencies will just want you on their roster and don't necessarily care if you are signed with other agencies. They look at themselves as a supplementary form of income for you, not a main source of income (agency wise) and understand you need to take whatever job comes your way, even if it's not through them. "Exclusive" agents expect you to be with them, only them, and this usually applies to the bigger agencies (although there are some exceptions). Those exceptions are discussed during getting signed with an agent and any exceptions NEED to be communicated before hand or it can look really bad if you get "caught" doing things out of the exclusivity agreement.

The obvious good thing about not being exclusive is that you can have multiple agents feeding you work at the same time. The good thing about exclusivity is that you won't be your own competition. If a client gets word that you are with multiple agencies (non exclusive) it is highly possible they will go and call the cheaper local agency to get you instead of your bigger agency. They will shop around and you end up short changing yourself in the end.

Remember when I told you about payment and how long it takes? Let’s just say my “non exclusive” agents would pay me "whenever they got payment” and my "exclusive" agents have paid me at a specific time and I know what to expect, so there are perks.

Anyways I know this turned out into this huge long thing and I was just going to PM you but I know a lot of people were confused by this topic so I figured it might help. I can't stress enough how differently every market, even down to every agency, does things differently.

If I think of anything else I'll chime back in but that's what I have at the top of my head. Of course I know many great signed artists on here with invaluable opinions that might be slightly different than mine. Again every market/even agency can work differently.

One other random piece of advice- have an updated passport on you at all types, especially when working with an agency with an international presence! *groan*

Apr 18 09 06:50 am Link

Makeup Artist

Vanessa Dawn- Jhaesayte

Posts: 2567

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

That was great! I'm going to be applying to agencies this year, and this info really helps!

Apr 18 09 09:09 am Link

Makeup Artist

DeAnn C

Posts: 544

Tulsa, Oklahoma, US

All amazing advice, thank you!!!!

DeAnn


K M A wrote:
First- I apologize for this loooonnng post but it's a journey that is fresh in my mind so I am hoping some of what I learned is helpful to others. Here goes!~


I think every market is different. In DC, the local agency that gets the commercial work is very strict about their application rules. You need to send in 5 or more photos by mail, to their new talent booker. It gets put in a pile then weeded through by the owner and then the ones that get picked get called back for an interview. I've had many NY friends (models, photographers, artists) go or call up the agency to see if they could "walk in" since they are in town. They don't let anyone do that, they don't care if you’re Kate Moss. They are so funny like that!

The other two agencies I got with were in different markets and those were as easy as calling them and asking them how to submit, and them telling me just to email all my info and samples of my work. After emailing them with a sample of my work, they both put me on their roster that day by email response back. SO DIFFERENT than the other agency. I think it helps for you to call first though because it puts more of a personal feel to your introduction and they know to look out for you. I wouldn't go into your life story when calling, just ask them what their submission process is and if they are adding artists to their roster at this time.

My main agency now is in the NY market and was much harder to get into. I had actually tried to 8 months ago. At that time I emailed them and told them a little about what I have done and it there was enough interest that they let me come up to interview, but when I got there they did a quick flip through my port, said "Thank You" but their "roster was full", and that was that.

I got some good feedback from one of their bookers.

Tearsheets- If it were their choice they'd want to see a book full of full page (not a little pic on the top left of a page of a full page article) photo tearsheets! They need to be cut out nicely and "tear" shouldn't be taken literal. LOL. Credits showing your name are really good of course. They want to see you have the experience of working on multiple sets, with real full crews. They don't want to send you out blindly on to set when you have only done tests as if you look like a fish out of water that reflects badly on the agency.

Clean makeup- Of course every agency is different BUT I will say if you can't produce a majority of clean looks then they can't be confident you don't know how to edit yourself. The panel at the Makeup Show in LA had bookers from SoloArtists, Cloutier, Timothy Priano, and (dang I forgot the other ones!) but they all mentioned  just say NO to lots of random stuff on the face. The main things they said are "no feathers- no rhinestones-no gold leaf- no no no". One agency said he didn't mind to see something like that if it was shot in a beautiful editorial beauty or fashion sort of way, but isn’t about single test shots with this in it. They also don't want overly photoshopped images from tests. The bigger agency can spot a bad PS job or maybe a good but totally overdone PS job a mile away. Simple is better.

Do your homework- On the panel the bookers said their biggest pet peeve is when people call and ask questions like "What does an agency do?" or "How much does it cost for me to join you?” lol. They aren't interested in talking to anyone who hasn't taken a vested interest in finding out anything and everything about their agency, how it works, and they also want to know you know about them specifically, that you have studied their artists, their body of work, and that it matches what you want to do. They want to see dedication.

Assisting- A good piece of advice one of the bookers gave is, if you are calling to ask about assisting, make yourself available but even go so far as telling them if there is a particular artist's style you love and would want to assist. Of course don't make it an all or nothing situation like "I want to assist her and only her!” lol. This gives them an ideal of who your inspiration is, which direction you are thinking you want for yourself, and also lets you know if they can't make it happen that you are totally dedicated and up to assisting anyone they represent just to be able to prove yourself.
Of course they also talked about "etiquette" where you never overstep your boundaries on set. Don't EVER give out your business card, contact info, etc when on set with an artist you are assisting. 99% of the time the agency will get a call while the job is still going on from someone telling them what the assistant is doing. At that point the trust is gone and the assistant won’t get another chance. I know there is a huge long list on here about "settiquette" that is a great collective thread  of suggestions.

*After getting signed- getting sent on jobs.

The smaller agencies I have been with have always email me to "check my availability" for certain dates, and if I was I would be put "on hold". What needs to be known which they don't tell you, but you figure out pretty quickly, is that they are also holding multiple other artists and the client will pick who they want in the end. You will then get "booked" or "released". When you get booked, they will most likely send you a "call sheet" which has all the details of the job. It will have all the contact info of the crew, the address, the objective, the talent or subject they will be working on, all their "peoples" information, specific directions, etc. It may include or be followed by a "shot list" detailing the shots of the day, or other reference lists.

Of course if you are released, you just take the date off your calendar.   

With my NY agency it is definitely different. I joke that they "own" me.   Which I'm totally fine with being it was my main goal to get with them for a long time AND it pays off because the jobs I do get are great and pay better than I had been getting before. It's different because they don't "check my availability", they assume I am available each and every waking hour of the day and if something comes up where I am not, then they need me to call to "book out". When "booking out" I am telling them days I am not available to work and I'm telling them WHY I am not available to work so they can note that reason on the charts. Reason being is they want to make sure nothing fishy is going on, but I'm also realizing they want to see how big scale your reason is in case Madonna calls, they might be able to talk you out of Aunt Bea's pretzel cook-off to accommodate them. lol When the jobs are HUGE scale, they will call anyway to see if you can do it. I'm talking like 8 days in Europe doing hair and makeup for a celebrity, starting tomorrow. In fact, even if I have plans that "can" be broken "just in case" I don't even bother booking out. I want to book out as little as possible unless it's absolutely impossible for me to take a job (like I'm on an all inclusive prepaid vacation for a week on the islands).

Payment- Agencies take off their fee from the total price they are charging their client and sometimes charge the client an additional percentage. You need to talk to whatever agency picks you up, actually it would be a good idea to discuss this *before* signing but not too prematurely. Like the bookers on the panel said, don't make this all about the money from the start, establish that you actually love what you are doing in makeup first.

Payment isn't automatic. Some of the agencies I have been with pay you when they get paid, one has a net 60 days meaning  you will print and send my check in 60 days regardless of them having received payment or not. I know my agent has a 45 day turnaround.

Exclusivity- Some agencies will just want you on their roster and don't necessarily care if you are signed with other agencies. They look at themselves as a supplementary form of income for you, not a main source of income (agency wise) and understand you need to take whatever job comes your way, even if it's not through them. "Exclusive" agents expect you to be with them, only them, and this usually applies to the bigger agencies (although there are some exceptions). Those exceptions are discussed during getting signed with an agent and any exceptions NEED to be communicated before hand or it can look really bad if you get "caught" doing things out of the exclusivity agreement.

The obv. good thing about not being exclusive is that you can have multiple agents feeding you work at the same time. The good thing about exclusivity is that you won't be your own competition. If a client gets word that you are with multiple agencies (non exclusive) it is highly possible they will go and call the cheaper local agency to get you instead of your bigger agency. They will shop around and you end up short changing yourself in the end.

Remember when I told you about payment and how long it takes? Let’s just say my non exclusive agents would pay me "whenever they got payment' and my "exclusive" agents have paid me at a specific time and I know what to expect, so there are perks.

Anyways I know this turned out into this huge long thing and I was just going to PM you but I know a lot of people were confused of this thing so I figured it might help. I can't stress enough how differently every market, even down to every agency, does things differently.

If I think of anything else I'll chime back in but that's what I have at the top of my head. Of course I know many great signed artists on here with invaluable opinions that might be slightly different than mine. Again every market/even agency can work differently.

One other random piece of advice- have an updated passport on you at all types, especially when working with an agency with an international presence! *groan*

Apr 18 09 09:17 am Link

Makeup Artist

LindseyR

Posts: 20

Los Angeles, California, US

Fabulous post!!
This should be added to the FAQs

Apr 18 09 09:23 am Link

Makeup Artist

CMMakeup

Posts: 1727

New York, New York, US

KAt that was brilliant!! thank you!!! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

Apr 18 09 10:13 am Link

Makeup Artist

ROSHAR

Posts: 3791

New York, New York, US

Lindsey Rivera wrote:
Fabulous post!!
This should be added to the FAQs

Agreed!

Apr 18 09 10:20 am Link

Makeup Artist

Aziza Walker

Posts: 865

New York, New York, US

Thank you for typing out a small novel for us Kat! This information is so helpful smile

Apr 18 09 10:41 am Link

Makeup Artist

Pixi_Sam

Posts: 219

London, England, United Kingdom

Kat you said it. I swear that is exactly how it works for almost everyone.

Apr 18 09 11:05 am Link

Makeup Artist

alex collins mua

Posts: 712

London, England, United Kingdom

Roshar wrote:

Agreed!

Yep I agree too!! What do we need to do to get this added to the FAQ?

Apr 18 09 11:47 am Link

Makeup Artist

KathyAragon

Posts: 959

Washington, District of Columbia, US

Thanks guys. Glad it was helpful! If it's going in FAQs I'll be sure to clean up the original post a little better. I was just spouting off at the mouth and looking back I'm cringing over some of my mistakes. Lol

Apr 18 09 12:08 pm Link

Hair Stylist

Angel Graves

Posts: 2358

Fort Collins, Colorado, US

alex collins mua wrote:

Yep I agree too!! What do we need to do to get this added to the FAQ?

I've got it bookmarked so that we can add it in wink  This is the sort of thing I could see being a guest blog on What The Pros Do. . .

Apr 18 09 12:28 pm Link

Hair Stylist

Treasa Manigault

Posts: 146

New York, New York, US

K M A wrote:
First- I apologize for this loooonnng post but it's a journey that is fresh in my mind so I am hoping some of what I learned is helpful to others. Here goes!~

I think every market is different. In DC, the local agency that gets the commercial work is very strict about their application rules. You need to send in 5 or more photos by mail, to their new talent booker. It gets put in a pile then weeded through by the owner and then the ones that get picked get called back for an interview. I've had many NY friends (models, photographers, artists) go or call up the agency to see if they could "walk in" since they are in town. They don't let anyone do that, they don't care if you’re Kate Moss. They are so funny like that!

The other two agencies I got with were in different markets and those were as easy as calling them and asking them how to submit, and them telling me just to email all my info and samples of my work. After emailing them with a sample of my work, they both put me on their roster that day by email response back. SO DIFFERENT than the other agency. I think it helps for you to call first though because it puts more of a personal feel to your introduction and they know to look out for you. I wouldn't go into your life story when calling, just ask them what their submission process is and if they are adding artists to their roster at this time.

My main agency now is in the NY market and was much harder to get into. I had actually tried to 8 months ago. At that time I emailed them and told them a little about what I have done and it there was enough interest that they let me come up to interview, but when I got there they did a quick flip through my port, said "Thank You" but their "roster was full", and that was that.

I got some good feedback from one of their bookers.

Tearsheets- If it were their choice they'd want to see a book full of full page (not a little pic on the top left of a page of a full page article) tearsheets! They need to be cut out nicely and "tear" shouldn't be taken literal. LOL. Credits showing your name are really good of course. They want to see you have the experience of working on multiple sets, with real full crews. They don't want to send you out blindly on to set when you have only done tests as if you look like a fish out of water that reflects badly on the agency.

Clean makeup- Of course every agency is different BUT I will say if you can't produce a majority of clean looks then they can't be confident you don't know how to edit yourself. The panel at the Makeup Show in LA had bookers from SoloArtists, Cloutier, Timothy Priano, and (dang I forgot the other ones!) but they all mentioned  just say NO to lots of random stuff on the face. The main things they said are "no feathers- no rhinestones-no gold leaf- no no no". One agency said he didn't mind to see something like that if it was shot in a beautiful editorial beauty or fashion sort of way, but isn’t about single test shots with this in it. They also don't want overly photoshopped images from tests. The bigger agency can spot a bad PS job or maybe a good but totally overdone PS job a mile away. Simple is better.

Do your homework- On the panel the bookers said their biggest pet peeve is when people call and ask questions like "What does an agency do?" or "How much does it cost for me to join you?” lol. They aren't interested in talking to anyone who hasn't taken a vested interest in finding out anything and everything about their agency, how it works, and they also want to know you know about them specifically, that you have studied their artists, their body of work, and that it matches what you want to do. They want to see dedication.

Assisting- A good piece of advice one of the bookers gave is, if you are calling to ask about assisting, make yourself available but even go so far as telling them if there is a particular artist's style you love and would want to assist. Of course don't make it an all or nothing situation like "I want to assist her and only her!” lol. This gives them an ideal of who your inspiration is, which direction you are thinking you want for yourself, and also lets you know if they can't make it happen that you are totally dedicated and up to assisting anyone they represent just to be able to prove yourself.
Of course they also talked about "etiquette" where you never overstep your boundaries on set. Don't EVER give out your business card, contact info, etc when on set with an artist you are assisting. 99% of the time the agency will get a call while the job is still going on from someone telling them what the assistant is doing. At that point the trust is gone and the assistant won’t get another chance. I know there is a huge long list on here about "settiquette" that is a great collective thread  of suggestions.

*After getting signed- getting sent on jobs.

The smaller agencies I have been with have always email me to "check my availability" for certain dates, and if I was I would be put "on hold". What needs to be known which they don't tell you, but you figure out pretty quickly, is that they are also holding multiple other artists and the client will pick who they want in the end. You will then get "booked" or "released". When you get booked, they will most likely send you a "call sheet" which has all the details of the job. It will have all the contact info of the crew, the address, the objective, the talent or subject they will be working on, all their "peoples" information, specific directions, etc. It may include or be followed by a "shot list" detailing the shots of the day, or other reference lists.

Of course if you are released, you just take the date off your calendar.   

With my NY agency it is definitely different. I joke that they "own" me.   Which I'm totally fine with being it was my main goal to get with them for a long time AND it pays off because the jobs I do get are great and pay better than I had been getting before. It's different because they don't "check my availability", they assume I am available each and every waking hour of the day and if something comes up where I am not, then they need me to call to "book out". When "booking out" I am telling them days I am not available to work and I'm telling them WHY I am not available to work so they can note that reason on the charts. Reason being is they want to make sure nothing fishy is going on, but I'm also realizing they want to see how big scale your reason is in case Madonna calls, they might be able to talk you out of Aunt Bea's pretzel cook-off to accommodate them. lol When the jobs are HUGE scale, they will call anyway to see if you can do it. I'm talking like 8 days in Europe doing hair and makeup for a celebrity, starting tomorrow. In fact, even if I have plans that "can" be broken "just in case" I don't even bother booking out. I want to book out as little as possible unless it's absolutely impossible for me to take a job (like I'm on an all inclusive prepaid vacation for a week on the islands).

Payment- Agencies take off their fee from the total price they are charging their client and sometimes charge the client an additional percentage. You need to talk to whatever agency picks you up, actually it would be a good idea to discuss this *before* signing but not too prematurely. Like the bookers on the panel said, don't make this all about the money from the start, establish that you actually love what you are doing in makeup first.

Payment isn't automatic. Some of the agencies I have been with pay you when they get paid, one has a net 60 days meaning  you will print and send my check in 60 days regardless of them having received payment or not. I know my agent has a 45 day turnaround.

Exclusivity- Some agencies will just want you on their roster and don't necessarily care if you are signed with other agencies. They look at themselves as a supplementary form of income for you, not a main source of income (agency wise) and understand you need to take whatever job comes your way, even if it's not through them. "Exclusive" agents expect you to be with them, only them, and this usually applies to the bigger agencies (although there are some exceptions). Those exceptions are discussed during getting signed with an agent and any exceptions NEED to be communicated before hand or it can look really bad if you get "caught" doing things out of the exclusivity agreement.

The obv. good thing about not being exclusive is that you can have multiple agents feeding you work at the same time. The good thing about exclusivity is that you won't be your own competition. If a client gets word that you are with multiple agencies (non exclusive) it is highly possible they will go and call the cheaper local agency to get you instead of your bigger agency. They will shop around and you end up short changing yourself in the end.

Remember when I told you about payment and how long it takes? Let’s just say my non exclusive agents would pay me "whenever they got payment' and my "exclusive" agents have paid me at a specific time and I know what to expect, so there are perks.

Anyways I know this turned out into this huge long thing and I was just going to PM you but I know a lot of people were confused of this thing so I figured it might help. I can't stress enough how differently every market, even down to every agency, does things differently.

If I think of anything else I'll chime back in but that's what I have at the top of my head. Of course I know many great signed artists on here with invaluable opinions that might be slightly different than mine. Again every market/even agency can work differently.

One other random piece of advice- have an updated passport on you at all types, especially when working with an agency with an international presence! *groan*

Your info was great thanks for putting it out there!

Apr 18 09 01:50 pm Link

Makeup Artist

alex collins mua

Posts: 712

London, England, United Kingdom

Angel Graves wrote:

I've got it bookmarked so that we can add it in wink  This is the sort of thing I could see being a guest blog on What The Pros Do. . .

you know that had crossed my mind Angel! ;D

Apr 18 09 01:55 pm Link

Hair Stylist

Angel Graves

Posts: 2358

Fort Collins, Colorado, US

alex collins mua wrote:

you know that had crossed my mind Angel! ;D

Kat's out for the day enjoying it with the family but has agreed to put something together for us to add as a guest blog ^^ yay!

Apr 18 09 02:57 pm Link

Makeup Artist

makeupbynac

Posts: 46

Los Angeles, California, US

Thanks for all your info, guys! I greatly appreciate it.  smile

Apr 18 09 03:36 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Vanessa Dawn- Jhaesayte

Posts: 2567

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Putting in another experience to this thread, even though it's old. Plus, the info above was so good that I felt it should be bumped anyway!

If your portfolio isn't good enough to get into an agency, but it IS good enough to start working with agency girls, here is what you can do.

Organize a shoot with a full team if possible. If you can do hair, all the better, but you will need a GOOD photographer, MUA/hair, and a wardrobe stylist at the bare minimum.

Once you have your team in place, make up a call sheet. This should have info on the date, time, location and theme of the shoot. It should also include your team's contact info and portfolio links (best not to use model mayhem port if possible, but if it's all they have, just include sample images and contact info), as well as some samples of their work. Lastly, I like to include some inspiration or reference images so that everyone is on the same page.

Agencies will like to see this! All the info they need is in one file, and it makes it easier for them to see if the project is worth it. Many agencies have new faces that need more images in their portfolio, and are willing to send you some girls for trade or TF work.

Call up the agencies that you are interested in and ask to speak to someone responsible for bookings. Tell them your project and ask them if there is an email you can send the call sheet to. They will go through it and let you know if they are interested. Once that's complete, you can start specifying what kind of girl/guy you are looking for.

Jul 13 09 11:04 am Link

Makeup Artist

Brandie Hopstein

Posts: 737

New Orleans, Louisiana, US

This has been truly helpful. Great thread.

Jul 13 09 11:31 am Link

Makeup Artist

Patricia Le

Posts: 100

West Hollywood, California, US

Awesome advice & post Kat!!!  Now get me an agent :-D

Jul 13 09 07:51 pm Link

Makeup Artist

KathyAragon

Posts: 959

Washington, District of Columbia, US

lmao Patricia, don't make me hit you. :p

Jul 13 09 07:57 pm Link

Makeup Artist

KathyAragon

Posts: 959

Washington, District of Columbia, US

Jul 13 09 07:59 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Faces by SAM

Posts: 270

Woodbridge, Virginia, US

K M A wrote:
First- I apologize for this loooonnng post but it's a journey that is fresh in my mind so I am hoping some of what I learned is helpful to others. Here goes!~ ...

Awesome information and advice.  Thanks so much!

Jul 14 09 10:15 am Link

guide forum

Makeup Artist

TheMakeupMan

Posts: 3758

Los Angeles, California, US

Awesome post KMA
The only thing I will say is IF you can walk in and speak personally to someone
It's 1,000 times better becouse I have seen people hired on personality alone!

Whatever you can do to get them to meet with you personally , so they know who you are , is better

I do understand that alot of agencies make it hard to even do that or all day they would be spending with a bunch of people who dont "get it "



But whatever you can do to get a face to face , do it , even if it means taking them out to lunch ,or just a 5 minute meeting to say hi and let them know your serious

I think a big problem is People in general think an agency will be the anwser to all their work problems , and they are not

If you dont have anything to bring to the table , repeat clients you need help with bookings , calender and invoicing, pricing ....., IT's Alot Harder

My first agent hired me based on the fact the same people kept hiring me back , I didnt even have a book , but you see thats where personality helps alot !

A good idea too is to start with a boutique agency

Jul 14 09 10:28 am Link

Makeup Artist

KathyAragon

Posts: 959

Washington, District of Columbia, US

TheMakeupman wrote:
Awesome post KMA
The only thing I will say is IF you can walk in and speak personally to someone
It's 1,000 times better becouse I have seen people hired on personality alone!

Whatever you can do to get them to meet with you personally , so they know who you are , is better

I do understand that alot of agencies make it hard to even do that or all day they would be spending with a bunch of people who dont "get it "



But whatever you can do to get a face to face , do it , even if it means taking them out to lunch ,or just a 5 minute meeting to say hi and let them know your serious

I think a big problem is People in general think an agency will be the anwser to all their work problems , and they are not

If you dont have anything to bring to the table , repeat clients you need help with bookings , calender and invoicing, pricing ....., IT's Alot Harder

My first agent hired me based on the fact the same people kept hiring me back , I didnt even have a book , but you see thats where personality helps alot !

A good idea too is to start with a boutique agency

Totally agree on all points!

Jul 14 09 10:33 am Link

Makeup Artist

Vanessa Dawn- Jhaesayte

Posts: 2567

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Eh? What's a boutique agency?

Jul 14 09 11:01 am Link

Makeup Artist

KathyAragon

Posts: 959

Washington, District of Columbia, US

Boutique agencies are the smaller scale agencies.

Jul 14 09 11:06 am Link

guide forum

Makeup Artist

TheMakeupMan

Posts: 3758

Los Angeles, California, US

Yup !
Boutique agencies are a good launching point , becouse it is WAY easier to get signed with a bigger and better agency once you are signed, and you never know what contacts, magazines , photographers they can hook you up with
Even if they are considered a "crappy agency" agents will probably be more willing to speak with you just based on the fact you already have representation.

Jul 14 09 05:36 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Faces by SAM

Posts: 270

Woodbridge, Virginia, US

So what's the difference between agencies and agents then?  I'm confused.  I thought they were the same thing?

Jul 14 09 08:01 pm Link

guide forum

Makeup Artist

TheMakeupMan

Posts: 3758

Los Angeles, California, US

Faces by SAM wrote:
So what's the difference between agencies and agents then?  I'm confused.  I thought they were the same thing?

agents work at agencies

but you can have a great agent at a bad agency
and a bad agent at a good agency

And an Agency is only as good as the agent or "booker" you have , and the relationship you have with him/her

Jul 14 09 08:06 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Katie Scanlan

Posts: 977

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

TheMakeupman wrote:
And an Agency is only as good as the agent or "booker" you have , and the relationship you have with him/her

This is soooo true. Too many people get caught up in trying to be with a particular agency without realizing the agency's name in and of itself isn't necessarily the determining factor of your success.

Jul 14 09 08:36 pm Link

Hair Stylist

TheDevonWilliams

Posts: 202

Dallas, Texas, US

i love when the vets rally for us beh beh's * sighs in admiration*

Jul 15 09 08:57 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Faces by SAM

Posts: 270

Woodbridge, Virginia, US

Got it now.  Thanks for the clarification.  So, if I really like someone's work (another MUA) and look up what agency they work for, it would really be more about getting the same agent, or quality thereof, rather than the same agency representation?  Do agents represent multiple people at the same time?  Do you get to select your agent or do they assign someone to you once you sign with the agency?

Jul 16 09 09:04 am Link

Makeup Artist

Vanessa Dawn- Jhaesayte

Posts: 2567

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Faces by SAM wrote:
Got it now.  Thanks for the clarification.  So, if I really like someone's work (another MUA) and look up what agency they work for, it would really be more about getting the same agent, or quality thereof, rather than the same agency representation?  Do agents represent multiple people at the same time?  Do you get to select your agent or do they assign someone to you once you sign with the agency?

I would think that an agency has a few agents working there, so yes, one agent probably represents a few artists. Even though you are repped, there is still a lot of competition involved, so it's best to be on top of your game.

Not sure if you get to pick your agent. I would like to know this too. I would sorta assume... no maybe?

Jul 16 09 09:19 am Link

Makeup Artist

Faces by SAM

Posts: 270

Woodbridge, Virginia, US

was re-reading this thread linked from another thread currently up for discussion, and I thought it could use a bump.  Some great information!

Nov 29 09 01:19 pm Link

Makeup Artist

jdm

Posts: 1221

Chicago, Illinois, US

Kat + Anthony, thanks a lot for that.   Please folks, if you can avoid it, don't quote her entire post though!

edit: Just noticed how old this thread was, nevertheless, my gratitude remains.

Nov 29 09 02:12 pm Link

Makeup Artist

alexandra sorgi

Posts: 119

Jersey City, New Jersey, US

Faces by SAM wrote:
was re-reading this thread linked from another thread currently up for discussion, and I thought it could use a bump.  Some great information!

I'm so glad you did!

Nov 29 09 04:17 pm Link

Makeup Artist

SN Makeup

Posts: 540

Corona, California, US

So, does anyone have anything to add regarding assisting for an agency - is that easier, harder, the same. Is the procedure the same? Is that unpaid or paid? Just curious. I am definitely not ready to even think about agency representation, but I'm always ready to learn from established MUA.

Nov 30 09 10:58 pm Link