Looking back with Andre Madness and Jonathan Morgan
CHATSWORTH, Calif. – On a brisk winter afternoon I sat down with Andre Madness and Jonathan Morgan for a business lunch. I had known both of them for years, but they had a surprise for me. They were going to open a talent agency, they said, a new boutique agency that would service a small group of select models. They were going to call it Nexxxt Level, "with three X's," Morgan said with a grin. They opened for business on December 10, 2014, and nothing has been the same for them.
The unique new agency has been built on quality and strives to deliver unprecedented service for the clients it represents, as well as serve the needs of the directors, producers, and company owners who hire Nexxxt Level models.
"We wanted to build an agency that worked perfectly with today’s directors and producers," Morgan told me. "As veteran award winning directors ourselves, both Andre and I saw an opportunity to provide a consistent level of quality and service to both directors as well as performers. That’s why we decided to start a premier agency that knew how best to help productions connect with well informed, and prepared, models. And because of our 20-plus years each as directors and producers, we also serve as a great source of advice and guidance to the performers we represent.”
Madness added that his and Morgan’s long experience as directors gives them an advantage by knowing how to communicate a director’s wants and needs to a performer for any particular project, and because of that wealth of experience, Nexxxt Level can provide the most prepared models on every project.
One of the many ways that both Morgan and Madness make Nexxxt Level models stand out is providing "Ten Commandments" for all Nexxxt Level performers to follow on set. “It is from these simple ten steps that our performers gain a winning advantage.” Madness added, “We show our clients simple and effective ways of leaving a lasting impression that not only get them noticed but also improve their chances of getting rehired again and again."
Nexxxt Level also revolutionized communication with their talent: "We have a software system in place where we are connected to everybody we represent," Morgan explained. "When a producer or director calls me and gives me information, I put it into our software, which instantly sends it to the phone of the person they want to hire and gives the performer a wealth of information at that moment.”
"Communication is key," Madness agreed. "We're in constant communication. If there's a situation, or question about a certain booking, because of our software this can be handled instantly. Also there are no guessing games to be had, because all of our performer clients are always in the know. That's how we keep the professionalism and maintain a higher standard of communication at Nexxxt Level."
Nexxxt Level Co-owner Andre Madness
Another way Nexxxt Level serves its performer clients is helping remake or improve on their image. "We make suggestions if needed on how a new or improved make over can make a world of difference. I recall taking one of our models to meet a producer a few months back and that producer pulling up past pictures of that model and saying 'Is that the same girl?’ and it happens again and again," said Morgan, who gives full credit to this transformation to the creative eye of his partner. "I call him 'Mr. Andre.' He can give little tweaks and changes that can get them noticed instantly. He teaches them how to look on the outside, then they come to me and I help to focus on the details of making the most money, how to build up their brand, and ultimately how to build up their name."
Kleio Valentien was the first performer client to sign with Nexxxt Level and has firsthand experience of the agency's inner workings: "Jonathan and Andre make me feel like they care about me and my career, I'm not just another number or body. I know if I ever needed any advice about work or even a quick therapy session, they are available 24/7. At the beginning of 2015 I sat down with Jonathan and Andre told them how I enjoyed acting in features. With their help I was able to get some great roles that turned into a Best Supporting Actress nomination as well as the coveted Performer of the Year nomination. I love the individual attention they give me. They are down to earth, honest and respectful agents."
Madness and Morgan told me they are proud of their four-step process when interviewing a performer to join their agency.
“Because we are a boutique style agency, we will only be handling 20 clients, and it is extremely important that we select the best fit when it comes to who we represent. This is why we have the four-step process in place,” Morgan explained.
"We talk with them several times before inviting them into our world. We will meet with a girl three or four times," Madness said. "We need to make sure their goals are aligned with our goals. If they're driven, motivated and possess the right look and attitude toward building their career, we'd like to represent them. We look for people that we fit best with. Once signed, we hold them accountable for certain goals, actions, and ways of conducting business. We also hold ourselves accountable in helping them reach those goals and also in the way we conduct ourselves in doing so.
“An agent and client should be in a perfect partnership together. That’s the best recipe for success,” added Morgan.
Nexxxt Level also changed the way agents deal with producers and directors.
"We don't charge producers a booking fee," Morgan said. "If you're a producer or director and you're used to paying a girl's rate plus an extra $100 as a booking fee, we take that money and pass it along to the person who truly needs it the most…the performer."
Nexxxt Level provides extra services that are often paid out-of-pocket by performers.
"We write and put up press releases on our website concerning our clients to help promote them, the companies they work for and improve their chances of getting noticed for future work as well. We also shoot our own modeling shots of our clients for our website and for the performers personal use. We don't charge the girls for that," Morgan continued. "We do this because we are all part of a team trying to keep our models working." Also the Nexxxt Level team teaches performer clients about handling themselves as a business and even helps them get incorporated, when they’re ready.
Nexxxt Level performers told me they are happy with both Madness and Morgan's representation.
A panorama of Nexxxt Level clients
"People always ask me how long I have been in the business. My response never wavers: I say 'I have been actively working for two and a half years, but technically just started this summer,'" Bianca Breeze said. "This summer is when the forces of Jonathan Morgan, Andre Madness and Bianca Breeze united and created Bianca 2.0. Anyone I have worked with since joining forces says 'It's like someone took Bianca to the next level' and I laugh every time, because it's true. Jonathan and Andre together make up this force to be reckoned with. The work these men did in my case was astonishing. In just my first month with Nexxxt Level I worked more in that one month then what I had worked the prior two years almost combined. They set you up with this "care package," so that I have the tools to succeed every single day, on camera and off. They taught me everything from set etiquette, future investments, exit plan, profitable exit plan, all the way to daily vitamins porn gals should take. Andre and Jonathan set you up with the tools to foresee every roadblock and nail in the road before you find yourself calling AAA. These men are 100 percent responsible for my growth and continuance in this industry, and I am looking forward to where they take me nexxxt year."
"I remember the first time sitting across from Jonathan Morgan and Andre Madness," Keira Nicole said. "There was an strong and confident presence I was drawn to. I knew if they took me into their agency, they'd help me do all the great things I wanted to do next, and they have succeeded. This year I am nominated for five major awards, and we were able to accomplish so much because we are a solid team: They help strengthen who I am, and what I can do. The fact that they spend so much time helping my career to get me on top, as well as the other girls in the agency doing fantastic, makes me feel good to be a part of this Nexxxt Level family. It's been a great part of my life, and I truly can't wait for what these guys are going to do for this agency in 2016."
Nexxxt Level also has fans among the directors who hire the company's performers.
"I've known both Jonathan and Andre for almost 20 years. When they started Nexxxt Level, I admittedly only gave them a few token bookings because I was of the belief that there were already too many agencies out there and we certainly didn't need another one. I was proven wrong," award winning director Mike Quasar said. "They continued to add A-list talent and demonstrated that they were willing to go well above and beyond most other agencies in terms of their professionalism and customer service. They are also both veteran directors who are all too familiar with the frustrations of dealing with last minute cancellations and agents who are non-responsive. They always get back to me in a nano-second if I have an issue or an unforeseen crisis. I am very happy for their success. They have earned it and they deserve it."
"Jonathan and Andre come from the production side of the business, so it's great having agents that know the trials and tribulations directors might face when booking talent," said award-winning writer-director Jacky St. James. "They understand how imperative that their talent arrives prepared, on time, and eager to work. When I book from Nexxxt Level I never have those nagging fears, 'Will this person show up, be on time, know their lines?' It's great to have an entire agency that instills that level of faith."
Parody king Axel Braun gave Morgan and Madness one of the best compliments a director can give to an adult agency: “It’s refreshing to see an industry agent do what mainstream agents do. Nexxxt Level is setting the bar very high."
And now that the first year is in the history book, I asked them: Whet's next for Nexxxt Level?
"We went in with a business plan and a mission statement, we wrote down what we wished as directors that agents would do, and we accomplished them all," Morgan said.
"We hope we have established a standard that our clients and the people that hire them will appreciate. The most important thing for us these days is to keep setting new goals and continue to help our models be the best they can be, and keep providing them the opportunities to show the world how amazing they are,” Madness stated. "We strive to always maintain the highest level of business excellence, because that's what got us here. Both Jonathan and I are excited to find the remainder of our roster and meet more extraordinary talent."
Nexxxt Level adult talent and management agency can be found at nexxxtleveltalentagency.com, where producers are invited to please contact Jonathan or Andre for bookings, and performers are welcome to apply to be part of the Nexxxt Level team.
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