Gilla Roos Begs, Threatens Its Clients
EDITOR'S NOTE: Much the same way Law & Order and Homicide: Life on the Street hooked up for a few episodes back in the '90s, Strike Watch and Espresso are cross-posting today to inform as many actors as possible that the New York-based agency Gilla Roos is having trouble paying its creditors and that actors and others in the talent community should be aware of this.
Gilla Roos, the New York-based talent agency that apparently went bust Feb. 20, is telling its clients who are models that if they want any of the money that is owed them, they have to let the agency continue to represent them, according to an email obtained by Back Stage.
The email was sent Friday, a day after the Screen Actors Guild notified its members that the agency's franchise agreement with the union had been terminated. The guild also demanded that members cease all business with the company and notify any producers, advertisers, or third-party payment processors that the agency no longer represented them; that way, actors stand a better chance of getting money that is owed them.
Despite its financial difficulties and admission that its having trouble paying creditors, Gilla Roos sent the email to models that seemed part-plea, part-threat:
Whether Gilla Roos can survive depends on you. Only you enable us to generate revenues to pay our creditors. Our talent is finding you work. We can't do your work. Only your willingness to continue working through Gilla Roos will power our recovery and pay our creditors.
You comprise a substantial portion of our creditors. Therefore, Gilla Roos' ability to pay you what you're owed depends on your permitting us to continue finding you work. We cannot decide how to proceed and encourage new investors to fund Gilla Roos, unless we can gauge Gilla Roos' ability to generate income.
Therefore, we must ask, if Gilla Roos committed itself to paying you a significant portion of what you're owed, [if it] created means to protect your payments, and [if it] made its commissions more competitive in favor of our artists who are owed money, would you accept work from us in the future?
If most of you answer yes, Gilla Roos envisions its ability to regain viability and pay you and its other creditors. Otherwise, Gilla Roos has no future and will be prevented from paying you any portion of what you're owed.
Typically, when actors or models are hired, the producer or advertiser sends a check to the talent agent, who takes a commission, then forwards the balance to the client. At least one actor, New York-based Michael Cuddire, is out $538 for a non-union industrial he did recently. He said the producers of the video told him his check was cashed by Gilla Roos Feb. 20, the day the agency went out of business.
Cuddire remains, at present, a non-union actor.
There is no answer at the Gilla Roos agency in New York and its voicemail system is not working. An email sent by Back Stage to David Roos, the agency's president, has gone unreturned.
Apparently, Cuddire is not the only actor out money. A group of actors responded to yesterday's Espresso post, urging actors who are missing money to email them at "GillaRoosAction.com." However, that is not an email address, and there does not seem to be a website with that name, either, or with the suffixes ".org" or ".net." Neither do their seem to be any websites with that name or those suffixes if you put a hyphen between "Gilla" and "Roos." Any other suggestions, boys and girls?
If you or someone you love, or just simply know, is represented by Gilla Roos and is owed money, please contact Back Stage news editor Andrew Salomon at email@example.com.