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The Chicago Talent Center

A Small Agency With Enormous Experience
-- Booking Shows Both Large and Small

The large Hollywood agencies spend most of their time and energy developing TV and movie deals. Where’s the advantage to a client who just wants to book a live performance? Instead of addressing your actual needs, the super-agencies have to keep overpriced acts busy until the next lucky strike comes along. That may be the nature of the business, but it doesn't help someone who is trying to book a show in Omaha.

At the Chicago Talent Center we specialize in booking live performances; one client at a time. We'll work within your budget, we'll address your genuine desires and we'll provide you with the top-quality, professional entertainer who is the right match for your show. Think small -- sometimes it's the smarter move.

What We Do
The Chicago Talent Center focuses on connecting clients with performers for live appearances. While we do partner with other vendors to handle event management on a regular basis, and will do the same for you if you like, we're perfectly happy to stay in the background, too. We started out as booking agents, and it's still our core business. If the only thing you're missing is the entertainment, drop us a line.

We've developed decades' worth of connections in the entertainment business. Whether you're looking for torch singer or a comedian, a magician or a folksinger, chances are we know someone who will be just right.

Acts come with a wide range of prices. For example, a smooth and seasoned comedian who can do a clean -- but very funny -- show is going to cost quite a bit more than an ordinary nightclub act. The old pros learned their chops in the nightclubs; and now, with experience, they've learned to handle more sophisticated venues. They don't need potty humor or sexual innuendo to get big laughs.

But what if you're just planning a comedy night in a local bar? Chances are your audience will be just as tolerant as a comedy nightclub crowd, and there's no reason not to hire a nightclub comedian. Why spring for the more polished and more expensive act when your audience would be equally delighted with a show that's a little bit naughty? Pleasing the audience is the thing that matters, and if the show doesn't have to be all that clean, then a nightclub comedian is just the ticket. We'd advise you to save yourself a few bucks.
On the other end, if you were planning a corporate Christmas party, we'd turn around and advise you not to lowball it. The audience at a company party has rather more tender sensibilities than a bar crowd does, and a raunchy nightclub act wouldn't be the way to go.

And that's the name of the game. Tell us what your needs are, what the situation will be, who will be in the audience and what your budget is. We'll come back to you with a proposal, and we'll get it right. We've been doing this a long time.

Who We Are
You could say that the Chicago Talent Center didn't get its start in Chicago, although we all grew up there. Back in the early 1980's two of our entertainment professionals lived on the campus of the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and were involved in the its lively music scene. Although they were both performers themselves, they were -- and we say this with nothing but love and affection for our fellow artists -- perhaps somewhat better organized than your typical musician. Between one thing and another they found themselves taking care of the business end of things, first for themselves and then for their fellow performers. Somebody had to do it or it didn't get done. By the time they'd both moved back to Chicago they were booking everything from magicians to public speakers.
It won't be the last time someone starts a business without quite meaning to, but no one here has any regrets. Putting together live shows is just as much fun as it ever was, and there's great satisfaction to be had in connecting the right act with the right audience.

Advantage to the Client
As we said on the home page, there are distinct advantages in working with specialists. For one thing, we don't spend millions speculating with development deals and sitcom pilots the way the monster agencies do. And that means you don't have to pay for it. That's a nice thing. As in any business, lower overhead means lower prices.

And we don't represent or manage particular acts, hoping to ride their coat-tails to fabulous Hollywood payoffs. When we recommend an act it's not because we have a cozy business arrangement. It's because we happen to think he or she is exactly what you're looking for. The booking may not get us a movie deal, but it will give us a very happy customer and plenty of repeat business. You win, we win.
We don't deal with prima donnas. There are many wonderful acts out there -- it's a big country -- and life is too short to spend it dealing with neurotics. The acts we send you will be reliable, courteous, professional and highly skilled. Anyone who annoyed you would surely annoy us, too, and who needs the aggravation? Our entertainers won't insist that you pick the red M&Ms out of the candy dish, because rational adults don't care whether there is a candy dish.

So whether your show and your budget are large or small, and whether you're setting up a polite garden party or a raucous event in a beer garden, we expect to be able to provide you with exactly what you hoped for. We book strong shows, and we're proud to say so.



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