"None of us suddenly becomes something overnight. The preparations have been in the making for a lifetime.- Gail Goodwin

Day 233: Emailed manager who offered me rep to move forward but would like to amend or remove some items in her contract before signing. This is what I wrote...

Hi xxxx,

I would love for us to move forward! I did look over the contract and there were a few items that I'd like to amend or remove before doing so.

Would you be willing to start off with a 1 year term with the option to renew for 3 upon completion? I know that agents have a 90 day clause where either party can walk away if they feel it's not a good fit. I also know that as a manager you may need longer than that to see the results of your hard work so are you willing to have a trial term for less than 3 years?

Section V.a-  I have a pretty good commercial & print agent who are sending me out on a regular basis and have a good rapport with commercial cd's so I think they have this area covered. That said, I'd like to change the commission section to reflect 15% for theatrical work only and remove anything regarding commercials, print or publishing since I'm a writer as well. 

Section XVII-    I'd like to remove the automatic renewal clause at the end of the contract. I definitely think the amount of income I generate is a great way to help us both evaluate whether we'll continue our partnership in the future but I don't want that to be the sole reason. 

Those were the only changes I'd like to make. Let me know what you think when you have a moment. Feel free to call or email at your convenience.

All the best,

The purpose for me posting this email is to hopefully help anyone out there who may be uncomfortable with a contract you've been asked to sign. You don't have to accept it as is! Obviously I wasn't okay with some of her terms- which by the way were all a part of the standard Talent Managers Association contract so it's not like she's only manager out there asking for this. The important thing to remember is that you can negotiate whatever terms you'd like until you can come to an agreement that you're both happy with. Many times managers & agents will work with you but unfortunately in this case she was unwilling to do so which meant I had the choice to accept her terms or walk away... I chose to walk.

No representation is better than being stuck for 3 years in a contract that makes me feel uneasy. No hard feelings though. We wished each other the best of luck and kept it moving.
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2 Responses
  1. Thanks for posting this! I remember when I signed my first contract with a talent agency, I had no idea that I could negotiate. I think sometimes young actors are so eager to just be offered a contract that they rush into things, without thinking of the options.

  2. Brandi Ford Says:

    Years ago I did the same thing when I moved out here for a brief stint of 9 months. I was much younger so I signed with the first commercial agent that wanted me without giving the contract a second look. But when you know better, you do better.

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