Formed in 1982, Stage Centre Management is a thriving co-operative actors agency that represents actors from all over the UK.
We maintain a select client list of actors across all areas of the industry, from recent graduates to experienced professionals. Through the dedication, commitment and diversity of its members, Stage Centre Management has remained one of the strongest communities within the acting industry for more than 40 years.
Stage Centre Management is a Member of the CPMA [Co-operative Personal Management Association]
What is an actors’ co-op agency?
An actors’ co-op is a dedicated group of actors who also work as agents for the agency. Unlike a ‘conventional’ agent, a co-operative agency is a not-for-profit enterprise but as both are the same business – an employment agency for actors – there are many similarities.
An actor represented by a co-op is submitted for Spotlight breakdowns in exactly the same way as a conventional agency. Some of our members were represented by conventional agents before deciding to apply to Stage Centre so we have first-hand experience with both types of representation. Others came straight from drama school. We currently range in age from 23 to 70.
How do co-op agencies work?
The ‘co-op ethos’ is democratic – everyone has an equal say in how things are run.
A co-op's work includes:
Submitting actors for jobs
Negotiating contracts and fees
Advising members on their careers
Seeing members (and prospective members) in shows
Building and maintaining relationships across the industry.
Just as you would expect from any well-established agent, all of Stage Centres actors are on Spotlight.
Working as actors
As actors, we are submitted for roles by those who fully understand our skill sets. Because we all know each other well, we are represented by people who really ‘get’ us, who know our skills and who submit us for exactly the right roles. This can’t be over-estimated as a strength. Every actor is submitted for roles that match their strengths, with specifically targeted use of the comments box facility on Spotlight. We never find ourselves at an audition that we don’t want to be at (the classic is a vegan being submitted for a meat commercial).
Working as agents
As agents, we are trained in how to represent our actors professionally. This can be a worry when applying for representation by a co-op. How can an actor represent other actors professionally? At Stage Centre the answer is simple – everyone starts with a period of intensive agent training, with plenty of on-going support thereafter.
Our training includes:
How to use industry-standard software
How to assess Spotlight breakdowns in relation to the actors currently on our books
Understanding and negotiating contracts
Looking at ways to continue key relationship-building.
We all work 3 days a month in the office, with a rota based on everyone’s availability (accommodating, of course, performance commitments). We have a monthly meeting, where all aspects of running the agency are reviewed.
How much commission do co-ops charge?
An actors’ co-op is a not-for-profit organisation, so every penny goes back into the business and there are no salaries. An exception is that some co-ops have Lead Agents – as they spend many more hours than the rest of the team on agent work, they are usually paid a fee to cover their time.
Running the business requires money for industry-related software, telephony services, internet services, subscriptions and memberships.
Our income comes entirely from the commission we earn. Unlike some co-op agencies we do not charge a subscription.
Our commission rates vary depending on your weekly earnings from film, TV, stage, commercials etc. If you earn less than £350 per week from acting you will pay no commission.
The legal bit
We are all shareholders in the agency which is a public limited company by guarantee that means we are each liable for any company debts up to the princely sum of £1.
Benefits of being part of a co-op agency
Every member gets attentive and careful representation. This includes regular marketing advice, discussing career goals and going through headshots, showreels and all the other elements on a Spotlight profile. We are a very supportive community.