The Society of Talent and Entertainment Professionals was formed in 1989 by booking professionals who sell live entertainment in Texas. The group came together in response to the Texas Talent Agency Act that had just been passed by the Texas Legislature. The law was passed in response to unscrupulous modeling firms promising the unsophisticated public an easy path to stardom -- but only if their "mark" spent lots of money to have head shots and promotional packages made by the "agent." Although the legislative intent was to stop the defrauding of the public, the act would have forced band leaders, music agencies, speakers' bureaus, and novelty variety agencies to submit to expensive bonding procedures, open their books annually to governmental inspection, and give agencies from out of state an unfair advantage in pricing, selling or marketing live entertainment.
Word of the new law spread like wildfire through the state. Dallas, Houston and Austin became the scenes of Texas Department of Labor and Standards meetings that drew hundreds who felt like their businesses were being threatened by state government. In self defense, agencies began to work together to raise a war chest to prevent the intrusion. Four-time Speaker of The House, Billy Clayton's legislative lobbying firm was retained to see what alteration could be made in the law. The resulting rules changes forced the scam artists out of business, while protecting the rights of musicians, artists, speakers, comics, and agencies to solicit work without restriction.
As a by-product of these meetings something unusual happened -- agencies who were fierce competitors, old friends, and colleagues sat down together and shared their successes and war stories. Although they had all attended hundreds of conventions, showcases, and professional associations, this was the first time that they had met with so many peers and a common, non-sales agenda. Since there is strength in numbers, they decided to form an association that furthered the goals of networking, continuing educaton, political activism, and marketing of and for the profession. At last, there was a voice for professionals who made their livings selling live entertainment in Texas
Today, the organization's membership rolls include some of the most effective, efficient, and professional agencies and producers in the state. We have chapters in Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin-San Antonio, and Houston. We gather three times annually for chapter meetings and once a year for a state wide showcase, confab, and party
New members will join a society made up of their peers -- professionals who make a living booking live entertainment in Texas. The Society of Talent and Entertainment Professionals is a unique group. We share business solutions, industry problems, showcasing, networking opportunities, and a really good time. Consider applying for membership today. The society scrutinizes new members and requires nominations be signed by two current members of the society, plus the endorsement of the executive committee.