Firing an acting agent is often necessary when auditions and employment are not forthcoming. If, and when, you decide to terminate the representation relationship with your acting agent, this should always be done in writing so that there is a paper trail demonstrating the end of the agent-talent relationship. Termination letters should be simple and straightforward, as you only need to convey that you are firing your agent and the date on which the termination is effective, unless the representation agreement provides otherwise.
Consult the representation agreement. Some representation agreements have a provision outlining the circumstances under which the agent may be fired and how termination is to be communicated. If your contract contains a termination clause outlining how to fire your acting agent, you must follow these directions as they are binding and will be honored by a judge unless they are found to be contrary to contract law.
Write a brief letter to the agent if the representation agreement does not explain how to terminate the relationship. After addressing the letter to your acting agent, state in the first paragraph that the purpose of the letter is to end the relationship agreement. Explain why you are ending the relationship, if you prefer to, although normally it is understood that the relationship is ending because either the agent has been unable to secure employment for you, you do not feel adequately represented, or both.
State the date on which the relationship will end. If you wish representation to terminate, state so. If, however, you prefer to give your acting agent notice regarding the termination, indicate for how many days he many continue to field you auditions and explicitly state the last date of the representation relationship. For example, state: "You may continue to secure auditions on my behalf for 60 days from receipt of this letter. On December 31, 2011, this representation agreement is no longer effective."
Sign and mail the letter. When mailing the letter use a service that provides confirmation of delivery in the event that in the future you need to demonstrate proof of service to your acting agent. Keep a copy of the letter, as mailed, in your files.
Firing an agent is commonplace in the entertainment industry; actors routinely change representation. Do not stay with an agent merely out of guilt or fear of his reaction to being fired. Chances are your agent has previously been fired by a client and understands that business is business.Denoting the date on which the representation relationship ends is important because your acting agent is not entitled to a commission on any work you secure after that date unless he secured the employment or audition prior to the date on which you last employed him.
- Denoting the date on which the representation relationship ends is important because your acting agent is not entitled to a commission on any work you secure after that date unless he secured the employment or audition prior to the date on which you last employed him.
Robyn Lynne Schechter is a freelance writer currently living in Los Angeles, Calif. She has been an online contributor since 2007 on brandchannel.com, covering branding developments in the fashion, music, sports and entertainment industries. Schechter graduated from Hood College with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and is also a graduate of Albany Law School.