Mad Fish Management

Mad Fish Management is an established and successful talent agency representing performers up to the age of 21. They accept applications throughout the year from any location.

The Mad Fish Arts Studio And Stage School

The Mad Fish Arts Studio opened in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex in 1998. The award-winning enterprise runs a wide range of performing arts courses for both adults and children. Guest industry teachers run special workshops to complement the high-level training offered by the Stage School’s professional staff. Concerts and Musicals allow students to put their training and skills into practice in a supportive environment.

Further details of the courses on offer can be found on the Mad Fish Stage School website. 

The Mad Fish Management Talent Agency

The Mad Fish Management talent agency opened for business in 2013. One of the original partners subsequently left to run a new agency independently, but Emma Burnett continues to enjoy success at the helm of Mad Fish Management. The agency boasts a roster of performers who have appeared in West End shows, national and worldwide tours, household name TV shows and films.

Mad Fish Management represents some of the talented students attending the Mad Fish Stage School. However, the agency will also consider applications from other young people who train elsewhere, even abroad.

Children and young adults from the age of three to 21 may seek representation from Mad Fish Management. The agency will consider all applications throughout the year. Moreover, applicants can live anywhere in the world as long as they are able to attend every casting that a Casting Director invites them in for. Usually, this is in London and notice of twenty-four hours is typical.

We have included Mad Fish Management in our list of 20 Reputable UK Agencies For Child Actors.

Mad Fish Management On Social Media

If you want to keep up to date with the Mad Fish Management news, you can follow them on Twitter and Facebook. It’s a good place to see the type of work their young performers secure.

How To Apply For Representation

You can apply via the Contact Form on the agency’s website, or send an email directly to them. Submit all your personal details including age, height and basic CV of training and past work. Also, a link to showreel will be very useful. Experienced applicants will normally have a link to their Spotlight page which includes everything Mad Fish Management would initially need to know.

A good, clear photograph is essential for any agency application. It must be of the child or young person only and be a true likeness of the child in reality. No hats, glasses or makeup should obscure or distort the child’s appearance. Furthermore, keep the photo file size below 2MB. Larger photos tend to crash email boxes while smaller photo files show that an applicant understands basic industry rules.

Mad Fish Management asks you to submit one photo with your application. This is not an invitation to send a portfolio of twenty shots but a clear instruction you must follow.

Represented children and their families must be very reliable and co-operative. Furthermore, casting directors often have one eye on the parental behaviour when choosing a child for a paid job. So following instructions carefully is an important signal to a potential agent.

The Agency Reviews All Applications

The agency deliberately remains small. They accept only the applicants most likely to obtain work. Therefore, most applicants do not receive a response even though every one has been considered.

If you need to hear a rejection voiced, this is not the industry for you. Times are changing, but at the moment it is rare for a casting director to inform performers that they didn’t get the job. This happens even when the child is placed on a pencil and quietly released. It takes some emotional adjustments to cope with this, especially when a pencil prevents you from applying from other jobs as they come up.

Potential candidates usually audition by invitation before acceptance onto the agency books. At the agency’s discretion a self-tape might be acceptable. There is no audition fee to pay, which is a good sign of a reputable agency. (Although once your child starts auditioning for drama school you will discover what a racket audition fees are even for household name institutions).

Younger Teenagers Are Harder To Place In Work

Teenagers aged 13 and over find it difficult to secure acting work until they have completed their GCSEs. Agencies therefore limit the number of represented performers in this age group.

Anyone who has yet to reach the last Friday of June following their 16th birthday must receive a Child Performance Licence for every paid job they do and most unpaid jobs too. This licence also requires a Licensed Chaperone or a chaperoning parent to be on set (no other relative is legally permitted) which increases the cost for the production company. Therefore, young adults over the licensing age normally win young teenage roles.

If you fall into this age bracket and aren’t accepted by Mad Fish Management, apply again when you finish your GCSE exams.

The Terms And Conditions Of Representation

Everyone represented by Mad Fish Management receives a written contract. Read the terms and conditions carefully before signing because it is a legal document. Signing a contract for a sole agency means you cannot quietly look for work elsewhere without the agency’s express permission, for example. To do so will incur a financial penalty. You must have understood this when agreeing to the contract.

Performers represented by Mad Fish Management are placed on a publicly searchable database on the agency’s website. The profile clicks straight through to the performer’s Spotlight link. Some parents might worry that information about their child is publicly accessible. However, the only contact details are those of the agency. Successful children represented by all agents often have their names and faces appear in various media forms. Sometimes a production’s publicity campaign for their film or show includes information about a child. So if privacy is important to you, the performing industry is not the place to be.

Each performer pays an annual £35 representation fee. It is preferable for agencies to make their money solely through commission rather than a set fee which is paid even if no work is obtained. Moreover, very few agencies publicly list their annual fees so parents find out about them after they apply. However, the amount Mad Fish Management charge is not extravagant. Furthermore, the low number of performers accepted is a strong signal that the agency is not chasing annual fees payments as a primary source of income.

Professional Photography

All performers across the industry pay for their own professional photographs. At a minimum, these include a headshot and full body shot. Some photographers photograph you with two or three sets of clothes to suggest a range of roles you may be suitable for.

The young performers represented by Mad Fish Management often use the photographer Peter Mould. Because Peter also works as an actor and director, he has an insight into what makes a good headshot. Examples of his work can be found on his Twitter feed. 

Spotlight Fees

Each performer joins Spotlight and pays the annual fee themselves. This is the normal industry practice. Spotlight is the casting website for UK performers which is most likely to list the premium opportunities available at any time.