Talent Agencies: Part 2

Carly Milne
In part one we examined the increase of available adult talent and the impact of the Internet on traditional talent agencies. Today, we'll look at recruiting hardcore talent and the glut of "agents."

For Mark Spiegler, owner of Spiegler Girls, recruiting isn't something that he's interested in.

"I don't recruit girls, ever," he said. "I'm known, and girls recommend me to other girls. The big thing about being online is that it has helped the girls get work without me having to take them everywhere."

An agent since 1998, Spiegler — who represents 25 girls including Rita Faltoyano, Ashley Blue and recent Club Jenna acquisition McKenzie Lee — finds that being online is far more convenient for companies who want to have a one-stop to check out a girl's stats and looks. Aside from keeping his 2257 records up to date, Spiegler finds he doesn't have much to deal with in the way of legal issues.

"The pool of talent has increased because of porn being more acceptable," Spiegler said. "Girls will come to me and say that's their goal in life, but that's more because of porn in general rather than the Internet."

However, most newly formed agencies, like the Tera Patrick Agency, immediately make their mark in the online world because of the reach it gives them. Though not currently listing a client roster, agency Vice President Evan Seinfeld says that interest in the company, thanks to the Internet, has garnered them numerous choices in talent, which they're sifting through to determine the right models for the agency to represent.

But does the Internet foster competition between the various agencies? Though he doesn't deal in hardcore bookings, Robert Lombard of Creative Image Management LTD finds that the marketplace has definitely become crowded.

Hardcore Talent
"In hardcore, there's an agent or manager that pops up everywhere," Lombard said. "In the softcore side, there's not enough business or content to merit much competition. I'm even having a hard time because the industry has gone soft, no pun intended."

Specializing in placing girls who are comfortable with nudity and simulated sexual situations in roles for movies appearing on cable networks like Cinemax, Lombard points out that the crowding issue stems from everyone believing that he or she is an agent.

"A traditional talent agency in terms of California law has to be bonded and licensed," Lombard said. "These people popping up on the Internet calling themselves agents — and I don't mean World Modeling — are breaking the law. To become a true talent agent, you have to be bonded, put up money and have a clean past. Managers cannot solicit work for a client, but they can be in the middle — they can help or guide them where they go, help them deal through a lawyer. But in porn, a manager can be someone who works out of their bedroom."

South echoes that sentiment.

"For years and years there were two agents, and now everyone with a cellphone that can get six girls' phone numbers can be agents, and I use that term loosely — most of them are suitcase pimps," he said. "They're not licensed, they charge an agency fee and then charge the girl anywhere from 10 percent of her money up to 50 percent, and that, to me, is wrong."

Does this influx of new agents based on the Internet crowd into World Modeling's piece of the pie?

"If you went for years with two agents that were licensed and bonded, and then there are suddenly 10 to 20 other people doing what you do, of course it's going to cut into you," South noted. "But I'd have no problem with any of these other agencies if they didn't try to solicit the girls with a lot of untrue malarkey. Is it more competitive? Absolutely. If a girl emails us, we get her on the phone to explain how the industry works. And even if we've done it within two hours, there's two or three managers who have already contacted her."