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In the ballet school - do you need an agent?


mola
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Do you need an agent at an early age, say 14?

Many say they can recommend you the most suitable teachers and schools.

Do you know how one may get in touch with them, except for when enting big international contests such as YAGP?

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Interesting question - I don't think I've heard of people using agents in this way. I expect that agents can recommend good teachers and schools, but since the schools hold their own auditions I'm not sure that having an agent would make any difference.

 

With regard to entering competitions, I believe it is usually the teacher or school who applies.

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Agents are only needed for children who want to get professional film, tv or theatre work (and even then most theatre is open call) just a few smaller productions agents only.

 

Specifically for ballet companies tend to either use a certain school or schools or post open auditions.

 

I thought about getting dd an agent as she is interested in acting & musical theatre but decided against as she wasn't at all interested in tv or commercials

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Many say they can recommend you the most suitable teachers and schools.

 

I wonder what they mean by that? Naturally, agents earn their living by charging fees, so do they ask for money from the dancer in exchange for the recommendations or would schools/teachers be happy to pay for this service?

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I understand that agents are professionally qualified and highly connected. So they can see a dancer's problem and may recommend the school which may accept her and get an extra audition if necessary. Also he/she may arrange for training with the most suitable teacher for her 'problem'. I say problem since the human body is not designed for ballet and each dancer comes with her born features. And some dancers get some "schooling" problems.

It is true that each school have its own auditions but... It's always good to get an extra auditon or to get a teacher tell you more about what you need to improve, or else

 

Anyone knows more?

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No molarescu - you have been given incorrect information there. Agents exist purely to get actors, dancers, models & musicians paid, professional work for which they deduct a commission.

 

The only connection agents have with schooling and education us that some schools (musical theatre ones rather than pure ballet) have their own agents for pupils already at their school to get them work eh Sylvia Young Theatre School

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I've just come back from a SS in Europe where a group of Japanese came with an agent. She selected the children in international competitions based on their potential and did several things for them...

The Russian group also had an agent.

Both agents were cleary very well known and in extremely good relationships with by all teachers, etc

Maybe not a common practice in UK

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It's defiantly not common practice in the UK.

 

I wonder who is paying the agent? Agents take on clients who they think can get paid work and as most vocational schools don't allow their children to take on paid work it would be pointless.

 

One difference may be that UK laws state that a contract entered into by a minor can not be enforced in that they are legally able to cancel up until the age if majority (think its used in football more than in performing as clubs used to try and tie in young players)

 

Therefore it isn't to an agents advantage in the UK to try and cream off the best talent until they are actually free to work.

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I guess it depends upon what the agent is used for. Some young people have agents due to castings and musical theatre work. Sylvia Young to name one school seems to have a good system of acting for their dancers but this seems to be due to the nature of the work that the young people do. If a young person is looking more to go a tv, musical theatre or advertising route then I can see why this might be important. Post training this may also be something if looking to go a musical theatre, acting, modelling route but my sense is that if it becomes apparent that one is needed it will be available.

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It depends what career path you want go down. My dd was in Billy Elliott for 2 yrs and a lot of the girls in the show had agents because either they wanted careers in musical theatre or were from stage schools such as Italia Conti & Sylvia Youngs. I ended up getting my dd an agent & it proved useful for a couple of yrs (had auditions & castngs for tv work & commercials etc), but then dd decided only wanted classical ballet career & began to dislike/resent going for the castings & obligatory workshops. So we terminated contract some time back. Although it didn't cost anything to continue, you still had to pay each year for new publicity photos & entry into Spotlight. Plus as said above, you were obliged to attend the castings etc. For a dance career, I believe it depends on what genre of dancing as to whether you require an agent.

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My understanding is that Molarescu is meaning some students have agents to find them suitable ballet schools or teachers.

 

As we've said, it's not something done in the UK, bit it's interesting to hear that some students from other countries do it. I can see how it could be useful for people looking outside their own country for training, but they could save their money and ask questions on this forum instead ;-)

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Yes

 

This year DD was offered accommodation in New York to do a Tap course; but I was too scared of paying for the flights and everything and then ending up at a 'saturday morning class' tap summer school. I wanted something professional but had no idea how to find it.

 

I can see how an 'agent' might have helped

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The one and only time I ever used an agent was when I decided to take advantage of the fact I was still an Equity member.This agent only ever got me one job [it was an agency for professional actors in Manchester.] I was cast as an extra for a beer commercial. Filmed with them most of the day, and towards the end, me and another girl were told that they had decided they would use less extras and we wouldn`t be needed. Was disappointed ,but I still got paid £50 for the day`s "hanging around",plus there was the Theatrical Outside Caterers, where all the food and drink was free all day long. So all in all  not a bad day, and good experience, even if my face wasn`t  ultimately shown on the ad for  " Bombardier Bitter". !!!!

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Is this not what our dedicated ballet teachers do? Who would know our childrens capabilities physically, mentally and artistically better than the person who teaches them daily ? Most teachers have experience of former pupils attending schools and can guage which would be most suitable for our DD/S. With no extra charge and a lot of TLC.

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I remember a girl who used to attend one of my ballet classes many moons ago used to do extra work for films I can't remember whether she actually had an agent or just found work advertised in certain acting/dance publications.

Anyway she is very briefly in the film Alfie!! Very briefly!! She got paid about £80 for a whole days filming (which I thought then was amazing) but in the hospital scene she is one of the women in the other beds and Michael Caine just flashes by of course. I think she thought she would be much more visible after all that filming!! This tends to be a common experience I think! She was happy with the money though.

My partner is a Location Manager in the film industry and he had an agent for years but didn't always get work via them. For his last job and others he was phoned by people he had worked with some years before so more word of mouth so to speak.

In the ballet world probably more this way too......do freelance dancers have agents? Unless you are working all over the world wouldn't have thought you would need one....the UK ballet scene is fairly small.

Perhaps these young foreign students have agents because they are seeking schools worldwide not just in own country when it might be beneficial to have professional agencies help where they exist!

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I think it comes in handy to have someone really interested in you, someone who understand your situation and is extremely well connected who may call a school Director anytime for a private audition.

This doesn't describe the teachers I know, at least not the ones in my country. Most of them have their own agenda and really not interested my DD development.

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I think it comes in handy to have someone really interested in you, someone who understand your situation and is extremely well connected who may call a school Director anytime for a private audition.

This doesn't describe the teachers I know, at least not the ones in my country. Most of them have their own agenda and really not interested my DD development.

 

This is always sad to hear.   What you are describing is someone who may have some knowledge - but is not a teacher. 

 

Have you talked to your daughter's teachers and expressed your concerns? 

 

What do you think the "agenda" is?

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But that just doesn't happen in the UK molarescu. An agent will not get anyone a private audition. If a school has a place. & you apply for an audition you generally get one.

 

No UK agent will take on a child for the purpose of getting them training. They will inlybtsjecthem in if they think they can procure them paid work in the immediate future hence why they are more common for young actors. & musical theatre performers.

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Just to many to know them all...some websites are not translated in English. Staff doesn't speak English. How do you get to know them? And I don't mean Russian schools, some Belgium, Danish, German,etc

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I think for the majority of us (not all obviously) on here this isn't an issue as our children are either staying to train in the UK or are looking at well known schools abroad.

 

I don't know where you live, but perhaps in your case, for your daughter, an agent would be a good idea but as you've found from the replies, it's not something anyone's had any experience of for this purpose.

 

Good luck with your search for a school.

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I suppose a good adviser would be handy for looking for schools abroad.Maybe a DVD could be made and the adviser could apply to lots of schools abroad that suited the student and the school.I would love to know about more training abroad and then have someone to do all the paper work for me.Not for the English schools though, I think I could manage that!

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