So what is a ‘co-op’ agency?
An actors’ co-operative agency operates much in the same way as a conventional agency. They submit their actors for jobs; negotiate contracts; invite industry professionals to see their clients perform; and offer them tailored career advice – as well as going to see their work and show their support.
The main reason that an actors’ co-op is different is that it is managed by the actors themselves, as opposed to a lead agent. And as such, each member will dedicate a certain amount of time to working as an agent for all other members of the co-op.
Why a co-op?
Many actors secretly want to be in control of their own career. They want to be able to choose the type of work they would like to do and not feel pressured to say yes to jobs they don’t want in order to keep their agent happy. They also want to see which jobs they are being submitted for so that they can monitor their progress at every stage of the submission process; not just at the times when they are invited into an audition room.
Being part of an actors’ co-op means that you can do just that. From day one you will have a number of dedicated agents working with you to find you work,AA as well as the support of a fellow group of actors; each with their own wealth of knowledge and contacts within in the industry.
Here at The Actors Group (TAG) in Manchester, we make sure our members are kept in the loop about all decisions relating to their career by giving frequent updates on submissions and a newsletter summarising all activity at the end of each week.
Being part of a co-op also gives you an invaluable insight into the structure of the industry as a whole, and your place within that industry.
Is a co-op right for me?
To be a member of a co-op you must be dedicated, self-motivated and keen to support other actors. Your duty is not just to yourself and your own career but to the careers of all the other actors within the co-op. You will be fully trained in the skills required to work as an agent and upon completion of your training, you will be expected to dedicate a certain number of days to volunteering in the office and finding work for your fellow actors. Here at TAG this often equates to 3-4 days in a 6 week period.
If you are still nodding your head enthusiastically at the prospect then I can assure you that the rewards are well worth the commitment. I have 22 agents, and I trust them all completely.
For more information please visit TAG at: www.theactorsgroup.co.uk
Follow them on Twitter: @TheActorsGroup1
Like them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theactorsgroupmcr
Or check out http://cpma.coop/ for further guidance on co-ops in the UK.
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