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Old 10-26-02, 10:55 AM   #1
Chance
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Post Agent ethics

Looking for constructive feedback on the following situation...

Earlier this summer a local agent shows interest in my work, and a few days later we meet for coffee and bragging time, and it seems a professional relationship has begun.

During this talk, which lasted maybe 2 hours and covered many topics, he mentioned that he had some shows coming up that he would like to include me in, but had no dates firmed in. Also during this time he borrowed my photo CD's so that he could copy some pics for upcoming promos, and which I insisted on having back within a few days.

The "few days" became about 15, and he rushed into the cafe where I was waiting, dropped the package in my lap, said he had to run, and then over his shoulder said the nearest date was October 31st.

I was so grateful to get my CD's back that the date was lost on me until about an hour later, when it dawned on me that he had said Halloween.

This guy specializes in producing wierd shows, so Halloween is about as big as Christmas or New Years would be to other agents, and on special dates my fee triple. But he was so sneaky about it that I have begun to debate whether or not I should bail the night, or even bail the agent.

Any takers?...
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Old 10-26-02, 12:51 PM   #2
Peter G
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Chance -
Don't get mad, just make your case with him and if he balks, you may learn how this guy works.

It sounds like you already don't trust the guy, based on your experience with the promo CD, although it sounds like you need to make a couple of copies (how hard/expensive can that be?).

So call him, right away, and tell him that the prices you quoted just that: "quotes" based on no particular date, time, venue or audience size. Now that you have a specific date you would be happy to firm up the details of the event, including your price. Then make your case for more money. If he won't comply than tell him you have a better offer.

If it's a go, get it in writing, including clauses about when you will get paid, and what will happen if one or the others of you cancel (the terms don't have to be the same).

Contracts are always a good idea. They don't have to be restrictive, litigious documents - at their hearts, a contract is a document of an agreement, a chance to get the details straight, so that bad misunderstandings don't occur. Check the library for samples.

Best of luck.

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Old 10-26-02, 02:26 PM   #3
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Chance,

From what you describe, it's hard for me to see what your problem is.

People are busy, so "a few days" easily become more than just that, if they ever remember to get in touch with you at all. It can be a hint to "untrustworthyness", but it can be anything else as well. I wasn't there when you talked about the subject, so I cannot judge...

And about the trouble of getting your promo stuff back: when I was just starting, I lost some video footage that I still regret. I never, ever will give out originals again.
And apart from that, once you produce cd's or videos in larger volumes at once, they are not really that expensive anymore. That makes it a lot easier to send them out without having to go through the trouble of asking them back. I think it's good to have many promo stuff floating around everywhere...

And for prices. Well, everybody has their own policies. Mine is that I don't want to be underpaid. I have a set price for gigs. I think doubling or tripling prices is only an option when you have at least two or three options to choose from.

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Old 12-15-02, 07:06 AM   #4
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Thanks for the support guys. As it turned out I applied a mixture of your various advices.

First, Pyro, I made duplicates of my photo CD's. You were right, and I should have done it long ago.

Peter. From reading the guys overall body language, and as you gathered from my original post, I was sceptical of this man from the start. I ended up deciding to leave things as they were, not make any extra waves by demanding a higher fee, etc., and let him prove himself.

He did. He failed to make any further contact, the gig died, he no longer operates from the same phone number, and no one has heard from him for weeks by now.

And agents wonder why performers feel the way we sometimes do...
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