When models are first getting into the industry, many don’t realize you can actually have multiple agencies representing you at once. Unless you want to stay strictly local, it’s actually better to have multiple agencies! The more agencies you have representing you, the more exposure you will get, which means more auditions and more booking opportunities.
Most agencies only operate within a certain region (i.e.: your city), so they may not have the contacts or resources to get you bookings outside your local city. This can be very limiting, especially if your local market is small. If you’re wanting to make modeling more of a full-time job, this is where another agent in another city, state, or even country can be beneficial.
It is very important, however, to make sure that before you go out and start agent shopping in other cities that your current modeling contract even allows for multiple agencies, and if there are any rules you must follow when it comes to getting additional representation. Some agencies are “Mother Agencies” and have very strict stipulations you must follow. Other contracts have large regions that extend far outside your local city that restrict you from having additional agencies within that region. Even if your agency has no restrictions (this is highly unlikely), you certainly don’t want more than one agent within the same city as this will cause a lot of conflicts and confusion when it comes to bookings and which agent gets paid.
As long as your current agency contract is non-exclusive or allows you to sign with other agencies outside a certain geographical area or region, then you do not have to ask permission to sign with other agencies. However, it’s always a good idea to have a chat with your agent and let them know you’re interested in expanding to other markets. They may have contacts in places you’re interested in going to, or have good advice on what you need to work on to help your chances of getting signed.
It's also a good time to take the opportunity to review your contract and look over the exclusivity part. Always ask your agent to clarify the details before signing with someone else if you have any questions. If you go against your current contract and sign with another agency anyway, you run a high risk of being dropped from your current agency and possibly face legal consequences.
You should always be open and honest with your current agency when you're looking into signing with others, especially if you want to continue having a positive working relationship with them. If you keep them in the loop about your career goals or any big moves you want to make, they can be one of your biggest assets when it comes to making that happen!
While there are many great things about having multiple agencies, it can get a little complicated managing them. More agencies usually means more jobs, and it can become tricky juggling casting, go-sees, and bookings, especially if you have a long distance to travel or have school/a job outside of modeling. Communication is key, and keeping your agents looped in with each other will help prevent double-booking in different locations.
While having multiple agencies helps with a model’s success, it’s not mandatory to have more than one. It’s hard enough getting one agency contract, and if you’re happy with the amount of work you’re getting in your local market, there’s really no need to sign with additional agencies. Especially if you only model part-time and don't have the ability to spontaneously travel for bookings, sticking to one agency may be the best option for you!