The Chicago Talent Center
A Small Agency With Enormous
-- 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
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
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.