NO. This a common mistaken belief. An agency is not a bank and should not be expected to advance or loan money to a new model or actor starting out in the industry. Agencies do not pay start up costs for aspiring models and actors to get started.
Your agency will spend time (which is money!) guiding, developing and promoting you throughout the various stages of your career therefore you must show your agency that you are serious about a career in modelling/acting and invest in yourself by obtaining the required promotional tools that your agent will need to promote you and that the clients will expect you to have, as a professional model or actor. These promotional tools are YOUR responsibility to pay for. For example, in modelling, models must have an up to date, marketable portfolio and comp cards (also known as a model’s business card) and for actors, a talent headshot & resume is required (resume should contain any training and experience you may have in the field of acting). Once you are sought after on an international level and are ready to work for top clients, some international agencies may advance flight/airline tickets &/or accommodations and offer 2 or 3 month contracts to models to travel to their country to work although this depends on the agency, the market you may be traveling to, your training, your experience, etc. If an international agency advances funds to a model (for photos, accommodations, transportation, etc.), it is a loan. The model will have to pay back this money whether he/she works or not. Models need to be aware and responsible for their expenses.
YOU, as a professional model or actor, are the product being marketed and sold to clients therefore these promotional tools are necessary and are YOUR responsibility to pay for!
Do I have to pay for any photo shoots, training, etc.?
If you are brand new to the industry, have no national or international experience, no client base and are just getting started then you will have to invest in yourself. Certain service fees do apply when working with certain industry professionals; i.e.: photographers, hair & make-up artists, stylists, coaches, teachers. We utilize top working professionals to help guide our new models and actors so that they can make a solid start on their career. We negotiate the best rates for our talent. In addition, it is important that you realize every talent is different as it pertains to their market and what they need to get started.