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Best Modeling and Talent Agencies

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by ConsumerAffairs

Research Team

Updated on 01/26/2018

Modeling and talent agencies are companies that represent models and actors and help them obtain jobs. Modeling and talent agents are connected with professionals like producers, casting agents, and publishers in various industries.

Agencies use these connections to help place clients in the right roles and get them the best financial deals. Agents take a percentage of clients' incomes in exchange for finding jobs and negotiating contract details, help shape the career trajectory of the talent they represent.

Find a modeling and talent agency that's right for you

    Compare Reviews for Top Modeling and Talent Agencies

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    Barbizon Modeling & Acting Centers
    Read 520 Reviews

    Barbizon has been helping models and actors find work since 1939. It specializes in preteen and teen talent and provides an online quiz users can take to determine whether a career in modeling or acting is right for them.

    John Casablancas Modeling
    Read 148 Reviews

    John Casablancas has been helping young people improve self-esteem through modeling for more than 30 years. The company places models throughout South America, Europe, Asia and the U.S. and has a strict screening process.

    John Robert Powers
    Read 45 Reviews

    John Robert Powers has been offering modelings services since 1963. It operates out of the Philadelphia area and provides acting and modelings classes as well as placements in New York and L.A. for both kids and adults.

    Hollywood Auditions
    Read 10 Reviews

    Hollywood Auditions offers users the ability to search online for modeling, acting and photography opportunities. Users can search for calls to audition and apply directly for positions through this company's website.

    Marilyn Agency

    Marilyn Agency was established in Paris in 1985 and expanded in 1997by opening Marilyn Model Management in New York. Marilyn is committed to staying on the cutting edge of fashion trends and individual client attention.

    New Faces
    Read 40 Reviews

    New Faces is a talent agency that first introduced online portfolios for talent in 1995. The company represents adult, teen and kid models and actors. It also allows casting agents and potential talent to connect online.

    NEXT Model Management

    NEXT Model Management provides modeling services around the world from cities such as London, Paris, Miami and New York City. The company specializes in finding top fashion models and prospective models can apply online.

    The It Factor Productions
    Read 111 Reviews

    IT Factor Productions has placed over 7,000 models in jobs since its founding in 2007. It acts as a middleman to connect models, actors and musicians with producers and directors for specific projects and long-term relationships.

    Creative Artist Agency
    Read Expert Review

    Creative Artists Agency represents sports figures as well as models and actors throughout the world. It was founded in 1975 and places talent in projects such as video games and TV shows as well as movies and magazines.

    Storm Model Management
    Read Expert Review

    Storm offers representation to models, artists and those who work in the television broadcast industry. When it was founded in 1987, it was run out of founder Sarah Doukas' home, and today is best known for representing Kate Moss.

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    What to consider when choosing a modeling and talent agency

    Types of clients

    Talent and modeling agencies represent actors and models across a huge range of talents.

    • Actors: Agencies representing actors help them get roles in movies, television, films, commercials and more.
    • Models: Modeling agencies represent clients who want modeling jobs, including catalog photos, fashion shows and commercials.
    • Talent variety: Many agencies represent a wide variety of clients, including models, actors, athletes, chefs and comedians.

    Number of agents

    Agents are the professionals who work with clients and producers to place talent in jobs.

    • One-agent company: A one-agent company has a single agent who represents and works with a number of clients.
    • Small agency: A small agency has a couple of agents to serve clients.
    • Large agency: Large talent and modeling agencies may have more than 100 agents to help clients get jobs.

    Additional services offered

    Agencies don't only help talent find jobs, they can also provide additional services to help boost the careers of clients.

    • Industry education: Some talent and modeling agencies offer clients courses in the industry they work in to better their careers. Some examples of industry classes include audition training, acting classes, and runway walking lessons.
    • Personal guidance: There are some talent agencies that offer courses and enrichment to help shape the lives of their clients. These services include things like self-esteem and confidence boosting sessions, public speaking lessons, and more.
    • Management services: Talent agencies that have managers on-staff often help guide the trajectory of a client's career in a more hands-on fashion. Managers also provide more assistance to a client for everyday needs, like booking flights, finding hotel rooms and more.

    Access platforms

    Clients and casting agents can access the information from talent agencies in a variety of ways to match clients with open roles.

    • Online access: Many agencies offer clients and production companies access to information like head shots and resumes online.
    • Paper-only agencies: Many traditional talent agencies only use printed headshots and resumes to submit to projects.
    • Multi-platform access: Some talent and modeling agencies submit hard-copy headshots and also have a platform for digital access.

    Commission taken

    Agents take commissions from the payments actors earn for jobs the agent assisted them in getting.

    • Low commission: Low-commission agents usually charge clients around 10 percent.
    • Standard commission: A standard amount of commission for a job is usually about 15 to 20 percent of a client's pay.
    • High commission: About 25 percent is considered to be at the high end of commissions.

    Client acquisition

    There are a variety of ways that talent and modeling agents find the clients they represent.

    • Scouting agents: Some talent and modeling agencies scout for potential clients in the general population and sign people with no experience in the industry.
    • Agents who accept mail-in resumes: Some agents accept resumes and head shots by mail, and they meet with and sign people who are looking for an agent.
    • Agents who sign experienced clients: Some high-level talent and modeling agents only sign actors and models who have lots of professional experience, and they often poach these clients from lower-level agents.

    Types of talent and modeling agencies

    Modeling agencies

    Modeling agencies have agents who represent models. They work with casting directors and fashion houses to place models in advertisements, runway shows and ad campaigns.

    Full-service agencies

    Full-service agencies represent a wide variety of clients, from television actors to film actors to singers.

    Entertainment agencies

    Entertainment agencies focus on placing actors in roles in television and film, in addition to helping musical acts arrange gigs and set up bookings.

    Sports agencies

    Sports agencies represent professional athletes. They can help negotiate contracts with teams and place athletes in advertisements and endorsement deals.

    Who needs modeling and talent agencies?

    Aspiring actors

    Aspiring actors can take advantage of talent and modeling agencies to get their careers started. Talent agents can help place them in their first jobs and guide their reputation and image in the industry.

    Child talent

    Children who are models and actors often need agents to manage their careers. Talent and modeling agents can protect children in the industry and ensure they continue to build a career as they grow.

    Experienced entertainers

    Experienced entertainers, like models and musicians, still need talent and modeling agents to help with their careers. Talent agents can help entertainers negotiate contracts and get the best deal for their work.

    Fashion models

    Fashion models need agents to get them modeling jobs. Agents can place models in print ads, fashion shows, commercials and more.

    Expert reviews for modeling and talent agencies

    The It Factor Productions

    The It Factor Productions is an agency that represents models, actors and musicians. The company was founded in 2007, and it has placed clients in more than 7,000 projects and jobs.

    Read More
    Barbizon Modeling & Acting Centers

    Barbizon is a modeling agency that has been representing young fashion and print models for more than 75 years. The company, which was founded in 1939, has offices in more than 200 locations around the world.

    Read More
    John Casablancas Modeling

    John Casablancas founded his self-named modeling agency more than 25 years ago. The company currently has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Milan, Tokyo and is present in other various cities. The company focuses solely on representing models and actors, and it provides training and instruction.

    Read More
    John Robert Powers

    John Robert Powers started his agency in New York City in 1923. Considered to be the first modeling agency, John Robert Powers both educates and helps aspiring and working models book jobs.

    Read More
    Hollywood Auditions

    Hollywood Auditions specializes in helping actors prepare for and land auditions and roles in productions. The company provides a database of available jobs and auditions for working talent to browse through.

    Read More
    Marilyn Agency

    Marilyn Agency is a modeling agency with locations in New York and Paris. The company represents a roster of superstar models, and it was founded by Marilyn Gauthier in 1985.

    Read More
    Storm Model Management

    Storm Model Management was founded by Sarah Doukas, business partner of Richard Branson, in 1987. Based in the United Kingdom, the Storm Agency finds and develops new modeling talent, and the agency also represents established models.

    • Artists division: Storm Model Management has a unique division called Storm Artists to help creative people and artists book jobs and build a career. The division can help them land sponsorships, ad campaigns and more.
    • Full management service: The company not only helps clients land jobs, it also offers full management services to help guide and shape clients' careers.
    • Past success: Sarah Doukas, founder of the agency, is known for spotting talent and launching great careers, and her success has been proven by discoveries and clients like Kate Moss, who she discovered at a New York airport.
    • New faces commitment: The company is dedicated to discovering new faces, so it's a good place to start for people looking to begin their career or break into the business.
    • Digital work: The company is forward-thinking and works to represent talent and cast artists in digital jobs, computer and Internet-based work, in addition to traditional print and television modeling.
    • Best for: Aspiring actors, experienced entertainers and fashion models.
    NEXT Model Management

    NEXT Model Management is one of the world's leading modeling agencies, with offices in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles and Miami. The company was founded in 1989, and it has worked with a roster of some of the world's most successful fashion models.

    Read More
    Creative Artist Agency

    Creative Artist Agency is often considered the most elite of all talent and modeling agencies. With offices around the world, the company represents many successful artists, models and personalities.

    • Strategic locations: Creative Artists Agency has offices in the most important entertainment and fashion cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Munich and Chicago. The company is plugged into the most thriving communities in the entertainment industry.
    • Reputation: The company has an excellent reputation for signing high-level clients and placing them in high-level jobs, and it works with the world's most famous movie stars, proving its reputation as a successful agency.
    • Talent range: The company represents a huge range of talent types, from book authors to television writers to singers.
    • Agent experience: Many of Creative Artists Agency's agents have been in the business for many decades, so they have experience handling a wide range of situations in the often challenging and changing industry.
    • Personal relationships: The clients of Creative Artists Agency build close relationships with their agents, helping them foster a strong sense of self and successful career path.
    • Best for: Experienced entertainers.
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