Talking to your agent about commissions

Hey, there!

My client and student, Tom, wrote me recently. He was wondering about giving an agent a commission, even when you book the job himself.

Great question. Here’s the answer.

Actually, let me show you what he wrote:

Hey David,

I was hoping you can give me some advice on how to handle booking work on my own vs. through my agent.

If I book new work on my own with a client I’ve worked with before I met my agent, what’s the best way to make sure my agent gets the commission? (I’m assuming here that I am obligated to give my agent 10% for voice work I do, regardless of weather or not I book the job through them.)

Do I do the job and bring in a check to the agency after I get paid, or have the producer pay me through the agency – like what would happen if I booked a job through them? Would my agent care that they didn’t get a chance to negotiate on my behalf?

And how would this apply if I book work through ACX or Voice 123?

This is my first agent. I’ve only been with them a short time and want to maintain a good relationship with them. Likewise, I don’t want to sour any relationships I have with the clients I’ve built relationships with over the years.

Thanks for your wisdom!


Here’s what I told him: just talk with them about how they’d like to handle it. They will be very useful in closing deals you shake out – and can often get you more money.

I find a lot of my clients are somewhat gunshy to talk to their agents about…practically anything. Remember, they work for you. Keep that relationship healthy, active and open. Don’t go silent, and don’t go the other way, and overburden them with calls about how the day’s going, did they put you up for blah-blah-blah – don’t do that.

But…make sure you can have conversations about money.

That’s why they do what they do.

What’s the most difficult conversation you’ve had with your agent? (Mine was when I left to go to another agency. I didn’t expect that level of violence.) Let me know below in the comments.


10 Responses to 6 Steps to a Perfect VO Demo

  1. Kelli August 18, 2011 at 2:58 am #

    I feel really good about my demo. It is a quick and fun process, even for someone like me who gets very self concious. :)

  2. David Britz September 5, 2011 at 11:25 pm #

    The demos are great. Superb quality. Why go anywhere else?

  3. David Britz October 20, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    Can’t wait to record my Narration VO Demo!! :))

  4. Mike Brang December 31, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    Having a well-produced demo is one of the most important things in the VO business. I had a number of demos made from other producers in the past and they all had one thing in common — that manufactured, cookie cutter sound!
    What sets David apart from the rest, besides his affordable price and tremendously fast turn around time, is that all of the clips you record with him sound unique. Each spot sounds like an actual commercial you recorded for a job.
    My agent loved the quality and even asked who produced it to refer his other talent there!

    Thanks again, David for producing such a great, high quality demo for me. You made the process relaxing and enjoyable. I urge anyone reading this unsolicited reply to listen to David’s student demos to hear the difference for yourself. Anyone would be lucky to work with him

  5. Kristy Liles February 9, 2017 at 7:04 pm #

    I can not thank you enough. I worked so hard on 15 page IVR project, one day I cryed, look for answers, pull my hear (not really) but I was about until another VO send me this great tool. Thanks!

  6. Frank June 11, 2017 at 9:51 pm #


    When v123 indicates the audition is for a student/ nonprofit are we to assume it is for $0. If so, why does the audition ask for an amount to be entered?

  7. shirley jordan June 12, 2017 at 5:58 pm #

    I did get this scam through Voice 123. In our discourse, they offered me the gig and they gave me the name of a legit local place to record and the same runaround with the money. I didn’t send anything, but instead, I called the studio to make sure the booking was for the day we set up, and lo and behold, the people there had no idea what I was talking about. I then tried to call back my “contact person” who was setting this up and there was a fax machine beep on the other end. I immediately contacted Voice 123 and told them what had happened. You know what they say…if it sounds togaed to be true, it probably is. Thanks for the reminder!

  8. shirley jordan June 12, 2017 at 5:59 pm #

    …too good…not togaed.
    The one time spell check didn’t work!

  9. Bernard Prame July 1, 2017 at 9:44 pm #

    extremely helpful demo. Thank you!

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