How do I apply to join The Sirius Agency?

We are looking for all enthusiastic, confident, performers with a passion for the industry. You certainly don’t need to be the finished article, if indeed there is such a thing. Polite and articulate with an ability to learn and develop. You and your family will understand the demands and commitment of the industry. You will face highs and lows, so resilience and patience will be required. We will offer a limited number of auditions with our team. The content of which will vary with age, but we would generally like to get an idea of the ability to learn a few lines, take direction and improve with instruction. We will also want to see the areas of interest demonstrated to us be it acting, singing or dancing. That said, the most important trait will be the enthusiasm of the individual and the whole families appreciation of the demands.

Do I need an expensive portfolio?

You do NOT require an expensive portfolio to apply to any agency. Snapshots are fine so beware of companies claiming to ‘help’ or ‘prepare’ you for this industry. You do NOT need a portfolio to apply to any agency!

Some companies have been known to charge thousands of pounds for completely useless portfolios, websites, z-cards etc. Companies who provide such things are NOT agencies and parents should be aware that any ‘reputable’ agency will insist on meeting and testing their own artist before signing them, regardless of any experience gained in a studio. Any agency that does not want to meet a performer and test them should be avoided as clients insist only those ‘capable’ of the task asked be sent. An agency cannot know an artist well enough to send to a client with confidence unless they have met and assessed them.

Do Sirius accept all applicants?

No. We will unfortunately decline some applications to ensure we only have the right artists on our books. This is for the benefit of all concerned. That said, all is not lost. We have a number of experienced individuals both in house and whom we recommend externally from our choreographer and acting coach, to dialect, vocal and audition coaches. These services can be accessed in person or in some cases via video conferencing, to develop the individual. We will then take advice from these people as to how the applicant has developed and may well offer further opportunities.

Age Classifications:

4-18 You will be asked to become a member of Spotlight Young performers. If under 18, a parent or legal guardian will be required to sign contracts on behalf of the young performers.

18-25 You will now sign your own contracts and once you have a professional drama qualification or 4 qualifying credits, we will recommend you take Spotlight Professional membership. You will be able to stay on the Young Performers membership until you are 25.

Over 25 You will now need to have the requirements for Professional membership of 4 professional credits or professional drama qualifications. Of course, where a client is close, we would endeavour to negotiate with Spotlight. See links below for details of approved qualifications.

Spotlight is for professional performers, so to become a member you need to have either formal drama training to graduate level, or have had paid speaking roles in at least four professional productions (in either television, film, short films on the BAFTA short film list, theatre or character driven voice work).

As a rule of thumb these two websites will include all the courses that are accredited and therefore recognised by Spotlight and Equity – FDS and CDMT

Can I join the actors Union, Equity?

From the age of 10, you can join Equity. Criteria can be found on their website

Should an agency charge a fee?

Although it is not illegal for a talent agency to charge for website inclusion in line with BIS regulations, it is not considered the norm by reputable agencies. For modelling only, it is illegal to take up front payments.

What are the costs to join The Sirius Agency?

There are no up front fees to join Sirius. The only costs will be £106 for under 25’s and from £162 over 25’s paid directly to Spotlight for inclusion on their industry leading database.

What is our commission rate are we sole rep?

We charge 20% commission on all work. Due to confusion when clients have been booked to auditions by multiple agents, many casting directors will reject submissions from those registered with multiple agencies. As such, we are your sole representation within the period of the contract.

How often can I expect work?

The amount of work an artist is booked for would depend on many factors. It is important to understand it is the client and not the agency who chooses the models & talent for their campaigns. No agency can therefore guarantee work and any who do should be avoided. Some artists are booked regularly, some occasionally, whilst others may not be so lucky. We do however believe that by submitting artists that are suitable and match the brief rather than by volume of casting will produce the best outcome for all concerned. We also ensure professional, ethical representation at all times.

How much do child models earn?

All jobs are different and earnings will depend on the client, campaign and how much, how long and where the campaign is featured.

Average earnings for under 25’s are below:
TV Commercial – £180 day rate
Film   TV – £100 (extra) – £150 (day rate)
Photographic – £55-£95 per hour
Additional usage applies to tv commercial and photographic work £560-£28,000, depending on territory and time Commission is not applied to travel costs. Our agency commission is 30% for photographic & commercial work and 20% for stage and theatre.
The above rates are a guide; the agency will always negotiate for the best rate for a child and to secure the job. The more the child earns, then the more the agency does!
For a wider span of earnings, we recommend Equity for this and indeed recommend membership. Even children aged 10-17 can be members if they have at least one job and earnings in excess of £250 in an area of work covered by Equity.

What does “On Pencil” mean?

When a suitable artists is matched with a brief, or have successfully progressed through a casting process, they may be sent enquiries to see if they are available for the job or asked for instance to begin child licensing . As soon as you respond to such an enquiry to say that you are available for the given shoot day/s, you are on a PENCIL. Usually this will be confirmed by us. You must then stay available for the given shoot date/s. If something else comes up that you would like to do on a day you are pencilled for, you must first check with us to see if you can be released BEFORE taking the other opportunity. At that point we will either try to confirm you for the job or release you. Artists should always make every effort to be sure to honour pencils. To be very clear though, On Pencil does NOT mean that you have secured the job. Frustratingly, this can often be very last minute and is only fully secured once paperwork has been signed.

Are Travel Costs Reimbursed?

You are not normally able to claim travel back from castings or shoots. If you do a shoot outside reasonable travel distance to your area then we can claim travel. For any television work the chaperone would get a day rate of between £70-£100. Work secured abroad is always covered for travel and accommodation, rest days and work days.

What about school?

Most auditions are between 4-7pm for school age children and during the day for those younger. Assignments will mostly be during the day so time out of school may be necessary. It is a professional working industry and our clients shoot times reflect that.

Most of these bookings come in with very short notice, usually the next day. Being available to attend will obviously increase an artist’s chances of success with us.

We would love it if you can make every audition but do realise that parents and guardians have work and other commitments of their own. As such, we will always need to know all times where castings would be impossible.

If you cannot make it after you have confirmed, you must let us know. This will allow us to replace your child with another and give someone else the opportunity whilst not letting our client down.

The agency and client needs to get school permission for shoots held during school hours. Most schools are aware of how the industry is and a performers licence is obtained from your local education department which works with your school. Unless you land a permanent role in a feature film, TV show, or stage production, it will just be the odd day here and there. For permanent roles and touring, private education is always provided. Our bookers handle all licensing on your behalf with the client when the occasion arises.

Once education has been completed to GCSE level, licensing is no longer mandatory, but if only out of courtesy, educational establishments should be informed.

Additional Application Information

This industry can be hugely fun and rewarding in multiple ways including in some cases, financially. That said, it can also be frustrating, hard work and frankly sometimes unfathomable.

We want all of our artists and their family to understand this.

What to consider:

1. Is the young performer prepared for and understanding of “rejection”? Just remember, the key thing is, that for all the efforts of an agency, sometimes, the client has someone very particular in mind. It is never ever a reflection of the performers ability. We will try and get feedback where possible to improve future chances. Please note, we ask politely that you don’t contact us for that. Rest assured, if we have it, we will provide it to you.

2. Last minute is so often the order of the day. We will often get requests with 24hrs notice to casting. This will mean communications at all hours and days. It will also mean picking your child up from school after a long day with a script on the seat for them to learn for the next day. Then it’s an email to the school to ask for approved absence. Further to the school section above, it is crucial the school is onboard. They will probably have experience of this, but be honest. There may be a run of requirements then nothing. Assure the school that the industry protects children, but you must also assure the school that you will take mitigating steps to catch up on missed work. You must then make sure it’s done!

3. Remember there will be quiet periods and busy runs. You haven’t been forgotten.

4. Castings are often in city centres. We focus on London castings, but occasionally we will ask if you are prepared to travel. That said, for some, particularly theatre opportunities in London, you may be expected to have or be prepared to accommodate at least within the M25.
Thankfully, more and more castings are being done by self tape. This we can advise you on when required.

5. Have at least 6 months on all your passports.

6. Think about chaperoning. Often, chaperones are provided by production companies when required. Indeed, in some cases such as theatre tours, parents are not allowed at certain times. That said, have you considered a long overseas offer. Will you want or be able to travel with your child?

7. Plan your travel well and leave plenty of time. I always leave at least an extra hour if travelling in to London. Your child will pick up on the tension if you are running late and will not perform as well. On the other hand, arriving early, finding the venue, then popping off to a coffee shop for a treat and run through of any script will work wonders. Remember to relax them. They can only do their best!

8. If they are consistently not enjoying it STOP! We can just stop putting them forward for a little while. At a young age they should be enjoying it not treating it as a job or pass/fail.

9. Remember in a lot of cases it’s about the individual not just the performing. Remember, if they are on our books, we not only believe that they have a performing ability, but we believe in and like them as a person. Encourage them to be themselves and remember the audition starts when they walk in the door and check in at reception to the moment they politely say thank you, goodbye and leave the venue.

10. Finally, in the last few paragraphs, I’ve tried to give honest considerations, but overall as a family, we have enjoyed our experiences. We have experienced both good and bad experiences of agencies and the industry, but it is definitely worth it if you go in with open eyes. Our son has developed as an individual by performing in general, undertaking professional work has also taught him to handle rejection, improved his communication skills and boosted his confidence. I wholeheartedly recommend the industry to the right people.

I hope this has been useful, please feel free to get in touch and we look forward to welcoming you to the Sirius Family.

Kind regards, Nick Harvey