Nine9 Modeing & Acting Review: How the UnAgency Compares

Before going into the full review, I first want to answer the main question most people probably came here to have answered…

Is Nine9 a Scam or Legit?

Legit. 

No “scam” would have survived as many years as Nine9 has been around and have as many positive testimonials (complainers scream louder).

Do they have their share of complaints and negative press? Absolutely, but to call the business a scam is an outright lie.

So why do people call them a scam in the first place?

It boils down to a few things, and I’ll dive into them each individually, but the main reasons are their marketing methods, the fact that they do charge a fee for some of their services and expectations.

Marketing Methods:

They advertise casting calls in a way that some people may mistakenly think they’re walking into their office specifically to audition for that role.

For example, you might see a Nine9 ad that talks about a popular television series needing actors or extras.

However, they make it very clear that you do NOT have to sign up for their service to attend that casting call and they give the contact information where you can submit to that casting call without ever having to sigh up for Nine9… but a lot of people miss that and blame Nine9 for the misunderstanding.

Talent and modeling agencies don’t take upfront fees.

So it’s been a belief in the entertainment industry that if a company requires payment – they are a scam. 

The problem here is Nine9 does not require a payment, they post thousands of free casting calls to their blog which you can freely submit to.

Lastly, while talent and modeling agencies do not take upfront fees – read the fine print on any talent or modeling contract and you’ll see that over the course of your acting or modeling career the agency is going to take way more of the profits home than Nine9 would have ever taken up front.

It’s just a different business model.

Personally, I believe that all signs point to the entertainment industry tides turning, look at other industries like music. 

Everyone is going independent.

Many of the most successful (smart) new artists are turning down royalty rate deals and instead opting for 50/50 profit split deals where they still own their catalog.

My advice is that if you belief in your abilities and you’re actually going to work hard to become a successful actor – own your work and take home your entire pay check, at least until you

Why Don’t Agencies Charge?

Talent agencies are a business, and businesses can’t exist if they’re not making money.

So while you may have heard that “real agencies don’t charge a fee, nothing could be further from the truth.

Agencies absolutely do charge, it’s just done differently.

A traditional talent agency, if interested in you, will have you signed to a contract and take a percentage of everything you make in perpetuity.

Not only that, but most agencies will require you to pay them back the costs they took on to market you and sending you to auditions, photoshoots, etc.

All of these fees can add up to the tune of thousands and thousands of dollars and you are contractually obligated to pay back every dime.

Expectations:

Lastly, realistic expectations need to be set. You’re probably not going to sign up for a service and land a major role in a movie alongside your favorite celebrity.

If you’ve got little to no experience, most of the casting calls you attend are probably going to be for small roles, extra work and commercials.

Not that there is any problem with that in my opinion, but again expectations need to be set.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s do a full dive into the Nine9 Review…

What is Nine9 “The UnAgency”?

99 percent of models and actors don’t have representation. 

This is where Nine9 gets its name. Nine9 pairs talented actors, models, and musicians with industry opportunities. 

With offices across the U.S. including in Los Angeles and New York City, Nine9 meets with interested talent and provides a full assessment of the help they can provide.

But Nine9 is different from a talent agency. It’s a business that connects talent with the marketing and placement help they need to get started in the industry.

Potential clients aren’t rejected. Instead, Nine9 customizes its approach to each client, realizing that there’s a place for every type of talent and look in the entertainment industry.

As long as you’re at least three years old and willing to work hard, you’re eligible to partner with Nine9 and they’ve probably got opportunities for you.

If you’ve never worked with a talent services company before, you probably have some questions. 

The good news is, Nine9 is and always has been very straightforward about its process. 

You’ll pay a fee, just as a business would pay a marketing company to get the word out about what it’s doing. 

But before you take the leap, it can help to learn a little more about Nine9’s industry experience and what you can expect once you sign up for its service.

Getting Started with Nine9:

If you live near a Nine9 office, keep an eye out for one of the many open calls the company holds regularly.

You’ll only need to spend an hour or so at the call, and it’s a great way to meet their talent specialists in person and decide if it’s the right move for your career.

During the open call, specialists will take photos of you at no charge. These images are used to evaluate you and determine how they can best help you.

If there are currently no open calls, you can also simply fill out a Nine9 Talent application.

Once you’ve decided to move forward, Nine9 will work with you to make sure you have the photos and vital details necessary to land a job in your chosen industry.

This includes a digital comp card that will help casting directors find you online. 

Talent specialists will put together a package and submit it on your behalf whenever an opportunity arises that fits.

Setting Expectations:

It’s important to note that no one can turn you into an overnight celebrity.

As with an agency, talent services companies provide paying opportunities to those who want to work in the entertainment industry. 

That said, Nine9 has a long history of pairing actors and models with film and TV productions, commercials, and print work.

You may find yourself working in a small role in a local production or serving as a background actor in a major film.

They also help models find paying promotional modeling assignments, which can lead to steady work.

Free Services

If you don’t want to pay, you can still benefit from Nine9’s services. You’ll find plenty of opportunities on their blog.

When you find an opportunity you’re interested in, simply follow the instructions in the ad to apply directly to casting directors. 

tl;dr

  • Yes, there is a paid fee.
  • No, there are no contracts.
  • Yes, you can cancel any time.
  • The fee covers marketing and education.

If you decide to join Nine9 you will pay a monthly subscription fee, with the ability to cancel the service at any time. There are no contracts.

That fee is designed to cover the services Nine9 provides which includes talent marketing and education.

Marketing:

What does this really mean?

Nine9 serves as your personally marketing team helping you to develop an effective digital comp card designed to pull in casting directors and get you more calls.

They also have an entire team scouring their database for talent opportunity matches. Their team knows your look, style, strengths, weakness and goals and they personally email you every time there is project that perfectly aligns.

Education:

An area where Nine9 truly shines, and has and has a huge advantage over “online only” alternatives is in educating their members.

Nine9 holds regular workshops held by industry experts which you are encouraged to attend to hone your craft and increase your chances of success.

These workshops are put on by actual experts who can spot your weaknesses and bad habits and correct them.

Not only are they a great chance to improve your skills, but they also serve as a fantastic networking opportunities, giving you a chance to meet peers and industry professionals.

This training and support is similar to what you’d get if you enrolled in college or took a paid acting course.

Guarantees:

None.

Nine9 will do everything in their power to help you succeed, but just as a college can’t guarantee you a job once you graduate, Nine9 can’t guarantee you’ll land a role.

Nine9’s History & Background

Since 2003, Nine9 has represented talented individuals as they work to break into the entertainment industry. 

This longevity has allowed Nine9 to make connections that help you. Casting agents and production companies often reach out to Nine9 to fill their talent needs, knowing that the company has a roster of talent ready to work. 

Nine9 has connections in a wide variety of media, including TV shows, movies, music videos, musical gigs, runway shows, and print and promotional modeling.

Why Use a Talent Services Company?

Of course, you probably already know you don’t need representation to attend an open call.

But as with agents, talent services companies can give you an edge over the competition. You’ll have someone constantly looking out for great opportunities, then formatting your information and sending it over on your behalf.

With Nine9, you also get access to networking and learning opportunities, which will give you a strong foundation that will pay off for many years to come. You’ll meet others in the early stages of building a career and have the benefit of expert advice on topics like what to wear to an audition and how to know if a gig pays fairly.

Conclusion, Is it Nine9 Worth it?

tl;dr

If you’re a beginner with little to no experience and you’re to get started then Nine9 is a fantastic way to do just that – get started.

If you’re a working actor and you already have a lot of experience, you know the ins and outs of the industry, then it might not be for you.

Nine9 is a full-service talent company providing a wide range of services to those breaking into the entertainment industry.

Whether you’re an aspiring model or a budding actor, you’ll find that Nine9 can help you build the skills you need to land your first few jobs.

Over time, you can move away from the service, but you may find that the support and education are invaluable as you progress in your career.

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