What does an agent actually do?
The role of a theatrical agency such as Centrestage is to find professional work for our performers appropriate to each individual performer’s skill-level and profile.We are the first point of contact for casting agents and producers who are looking to cast a particular role and it is our job to know where each of our performer’s abilities lie so that we can put forward the right person for the right role.
It is our job to arrange auditions for the artist and to ensure that they have all the necessary information to audition well. Once the performer has been offered the role, then it is our responsibility to ensure that the terms of employment and fees are satisfactory and abide by industry standards.
A good agent will also take the time to build a relationship with their actors so that they are in a position to guide each performer along their chosen career path.
What’s the difference between a theatrical agent and a casting agent?
A casting agent does not represent actors. They are employed by the producers of a particular project to organize and carry out the casting process.
How do I know Centrestage is a reputable agency?
Centrestage is a member of the Australian Drama Agents Association – an industry body that exists to regulate and promote proper practice amongst drama agents and which aims to promote a minimum professional standard of operation for theatrical agencies and to ensure that it’s members comply with certain ethical guidelines.
Do some research. Talk to people that are already members of our agency or ask casting agents such as Chameleon Casting, Nick Hamon Casting or 2 Divas about us.
Does my child have to take classes at Centrestage School to be considered for the agency?
No. While we encourage all of our actors to continue training throughout their careers, we do not place any restrictions on where they are able to train. It is advisable if possible to take classes at Centrestage as then teachers and agency staff can have a first-hand knowledge of each actor’s development and can talk to casting agents with up to date knowledge. See Industry Links for suggestions of reputable schools.
Is my child guaranteed work?
Unfortunately no. When we select new performers for our agency, we do try and choose children who are not only talented but who we think will be in demand for various kinds of work. However, the industry is very changeable and goes through slumps and highs and we cannot predict with full accuracy which children will find work over the course of a single year. We are honest with parents about their child’s prospects and we ask parents to keep in mind that a career in the performing arts is usually not created overnight and that it may take several years of hard work on your part and ours before we are able to see significant results. We suggest parents contact the agency from time to time to check in on their child’s progress. We are always happy, with time permitting to give you feedback.
What sort of work will my child be put forward for?
For younger children, television commercials constitute the majority of work. These can be a great learning experience and lots of fun. Older children will find themselves auditioning for film and television roles, theatre and musical theatre roles, training films and documentaries.
What about modelling work?
Centrestage is a Drama Agency and not a modelling agency. While we do receive briefs for all television commercials, we are very rarely approached with catalogue or catwalk work.
Are there fees to join Centrestage Children’s Agency?
Yes. See Joining Centrestage Agency for more information.
What commission do you charge?
Centrestage Agency charges the industry standard – 11% (inc GST) for all film, television and stage work and 16.5% (inc GST) for all TV commercials. We also charge a $2 booking fee for all extra roles.
Do I have to sign a contract?
Yes. All performers will be asked to sign a contract under the terms of which they agree to be represented by Centrestage for the period of one year.
Why does my child have to be on SHOWCAST?
In this age of technology, almost all our briefs from casting agents come via email and 90% of those come through the showcast website.
If your child is not on the site, we cannot put them forward for that particular job.
Also, casting agents use SHOWCAST as a searchable database so it is important that your child’s details are always up to date. For instance, they may be looking for a 12 year old girl who plays soccer and speaks French. If your child plays soccer and speaks French but these details aren’t listed on the site, they won’t be able to find her.
How much will my child earn?
Fees are dependent upon the kind of work.
Television commercials can pay well with a child in a speaking role (LEAD) expecting to earn between $1500 and $3000 depending on the size of the role and how long the commercial is aired. For featured or smaller roles fees can start from around $500 – $800 per commercial.
Film and TV pay less well and under MEAA rulings children in Victoria are only guaranteed 50% of the adult rate. However, as a proactive and reputable agency, Centrestage is usually able to insist that children represented by us are paid at 75% of the adult rate. Also, as performers gain experience and profile, Centrestage is able to negotiate higher fees on their behalf.
How many actors does Centrestage represent?
Centrestage Agency currently represents 180.
As an existing member of Centrestage Children’s Agency, am I guaranteed entry into Ian White Management when I turn 20?
No. Entry into the adult agency will depend upon your skill level, training undertaken and our assessment of your professionalism. Some concessions are made for young performers – both by us in the agency and by industry professionals – but those concessions necessarily cease to be extended to adult performers. We therefore have to be sure that you are ready to follow through your commitment to performing as a career and that you will represent the adult agency in a positive and professional light. Decisions are made on an individual basis.