Talent agents, also known as talent managers in the entertainment industry, are representatives of professional athletes, musicians, performers, artists, writers and actors. Agents work on the behalf of their clientele to promote and represent a client's interests in dealings with potential employers. Occasionally, agents may also renegotiate contractual offers with current employees, such as negotiating a professional athlete's contract extension.
Talent agents are liaisons who typically handle the majority of all interactions between a performer or artist and employers who want to sign an agent's client. In one manner of speaking, talent agents act as financial managers, but more often than not, talent agents defer the finer details of financial management to a professional accountant.
Agents work in industries other than the entertainment industry as well. For example, literary agents represent a writer's interests when a publisher seeks to sign a writer to a publishing contract. In this scenario agents seek to gain the writer as much money as possible since agents are usually paid on commission, receiving a percentage of the writer's earnings.