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N Cal Atty
N Cal Atty, Attorney
Category: Entertainment
Satisfied Customers: 9033
Experience:  Attorney in California since 1983
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My son as been offered a personal management contract for entertainment.

Resolved Question:

My son as been offered a personal management contract for entertainment. His area is comedy. Our concern is the following paragraph:

All gross compensation shall be calculated on the gross amounts, without any deducation of any kind whatsoever, including without limitation, amounts withheld for payroll taxes, social security and/or other liabilities. In addition to the amounts required to be paid to Manager pursuant to the preceding section, Artist shall reimburse Manager for any and all of Manager's vona fide out of pocket expenditures including but not limited to travel, incurred by Manager on Artistis behalf or in connection with Artist's career or in the performance of Manager's services.

We understand that the amount is taken off the gross amount for the Manager's fee, our concern is the portion regarding expenses and how much that could end up being. Our son has no cash flow and the concern is that this could be a large amount. Is this a standard clause?

Also is there a benefit to having a first right of refusal in the contract?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Entertainment
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 5 years ago.
What State is this in?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 5 years ago.
Is the "manager" licensed as a Talent Agent?

Please clarify the right of first refusal you mentioned.

Does the manager propose to act as a booking agent?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Yes he is licensed. I may be using the wrong term for right of refusal, but is the artist always obligated to perform in a venue that perhaps he or she does not feel is beneficial? I believe the biggest concern is the amount of debt that could occur as expenses that the artist will be responsible for. Is this a usual clause in entertainment contracts? Is there anything we need to be aware of?

Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 5 years ago.
I think it is a bad clause that is so vague it gives the manager apparently unlimited power to make the artist pay whatever the manager deems are costs without prior consultation with the artist. Also the artist has to retain the right to decline any gig for any reason. This agreement seems too one sided from what you have told me.

There is no standard contract in the industry.

This contract lets the manager stay at a Holiday Inn or the Waldorf Astoria and make the artist pay for whatever hotel the manager wants, plus room service. It does not look like a good deal as written. If there were changes to give the artist more control, and the ability to approve or disapprove in advance and proposed expenses, that would be better.

May I ask what percentage the manager wants?
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
He gets 15% of gross. That seems pretty standard from everything I have read.
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for accepting my answer.

I agree 15% is standard these days (used to be 10%).