How do I apply to join The Sirius Agency?Joining the Agency is by invitation only or audition.
If the performer is a member of our theatre company and we feel would be suitable to start seeking professional work within the industry, we will approach the legal guardian or carer in the first instance and then discuss with the young person and family the realities of the industry. If we all decide to move forward, photos will be taken and the performer will be registered with Spotlight.
If the performer is not part of the theatre company, 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 models 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.
It should be noted, that as a new and growing agency, we are keeping our staff/performer ratio very close in order to provide the most bespoke and tailored service. As such, opportunities may increase as the company grows, but standards won’t change.
Should an agency charge a fee?Applicants should be aware that, despite some impressions, all the successful and reputable agencies will charge something to be on their books. It is however illegal for model agencies to charge, but not talent agencies; who are permitted to charge for website inclusion in line with BIS regulations. We however will be focusing on the talent side of the business. Modelling will be by individual and separate agreement only. Even those agencies who claim not to charge will hit you with 'you now need to pay for this to be seen by our best clients' once on their books, so beware! Agencies will usually also charge yearly or 2-yearly fees for their website inclusion. Some will accept from images alone and never meet their artists and some will invite you in to meet them and charge extortionate fees for photography. All agencies operate in their own unique way and so it can be very confusing.
What are the costs to join The Sirius Agency?There are no fees to be represented by our agency, but artists are asked to cover the expenses for website fees, standard with all the major child agencies. Our agency website is part of what clients will use to select children for work.
The fee for Theatre Company members is £40 per annum for photography, administration and website inclusion. A fee of £100 per annum payable directly to Spotlight for inclusion on their website is also required.
The fee for non Theatre Company members is £65 per annum for the above services plus £100 paid directly to Spotlight as above. No fee will be charged for the audition alone, only if both parties chose to move forward and register with Sirius Young Performers Talent Agency.
If you would prefer your child to just be submitted for photographic modelling, subject to acceptance by the agency, the agency set up fee will be taken from your child's first earnings. This is in compliance with BIS regulations, as the current legislation states that an upfront work finding service fee cannot be charged to those working as a photographic model only.
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 rates 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!
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 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.
Additional Application InformationThis 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