KMR Talent Clients Speak Out About Money Owed: “I’m Not Holding My Breath”

EXCLUSIVE: SAG-AFTRA is expected on April 25 to meet with former and current clients of KMR Talent who haven’t received compensation for work they already completed. The union is asking members to show “proof of loss” in the wake of KMR’s “talent payment breakdown,” as Deadline first reported in March.

“The response from aggrieved members seeking SAG-AFTRA assistance and support has been substantive and continues,” according to a SAG letter sent to KMR clients. “At this time, we are asking all aggrieved performers to ensure that all of your requested documentation is complete so that any arbitrators and/or claim specialists can be handed a finalized or “perfected” claim for you. At our aggrieved members’ meeting, we will address options that are available to you, both as individuals and/or as a group, and we will attempt to answer any questions that you may have about where we are at this point in time and the expectation of recovery against this agency.”

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One of those former KMR clients who filed a claim with SAG is Rachel Leyco, who’s still waiting for a $6,000 check after appearing in a Tubi original film called What Happens in Miami. She was excited about doing the movie in January since it was her first job after the strike, but when a month passed and she hadn’t received compensation, she tried contacting KMR’s accounting department.

It took two emails before someone finally replied, only for the person to say “the payment isn’t in yet” from the movie — even though Leyco confirmed with the payroll company that her check had, indeed, been sent to KMR. When February turned to March and she still hadn’t received anything, Leyco touched base with her fellow cast members to see if they, at least, got paid. They had.

Then, Leyco got an email from her agent saying “we wanted to address the Deadline articles that have come out about payments and we’re trying to figure it out.”

“They were saying, ‘just know at this time we’re still continuing to operate. We’re still representing you the way that we have, and nothing has changed,'” recalled Leyco, who has left KMR. “They acknowledged the serious circumstances and the stress that it’s caused and that they’re ‘working really hard to understand where they are and how to adjust to get a better future.’ It wasn’t really addressing anything.”

Actress Noelle Miller thinks she may have it easier than some other KMR clients; she’s owed $8,200 for having appeared in a national AT&T commercial. The actress who has been doing commercials for over two decades started suspecting something was fishy with KMR when payments she was expecting in late 2023 never came until she started rattling cages. She eventually received the money, but “those were just yellow flags to me,” she tells Deadline.

Miller realized she had more money coming after talking with the payroll company that distributed her pay to KMR. She fired off an email to KMR’s accounting department — making sure to cc KMR Owner and President Mark Measures — but hasn’t heard anything back.

“Inside I want to believe that he’ll have my check ready, but truly, I don’t see how there’s any way that they can have everybody’s money ready at this point,” said Miller, who has since filed a claim with the state Labor Board. After working with KMR since 2019, she has found new representation. “He should be held accountable for this. It’s not right. I hope I see the money, but at the same time, I’m not holding my breath.”

Deadline reached out to Measures, who released this statement: “KMR remains open with the focus on getting our clients paid in full. We are making progress, but still have a way to go. We are working diligently to live up to our obligation. We have tried to respond to all clients who have contacted us and remain in touch with many as we work through our payment issues.”

In a previous interview with Deadline, Measures blamed banking issues, a computer database crash and the loss of the agency’s Head of Talent Payment for their ongoing woes. Measures went on to say the company is actively “working [its] way out” of the situation. Also known by the name Kazarian/Measures/Ruskin & Associates, KMR Talent started out as The Wormser Agency, which in 1957 became the first voice-over and commercial agency in Los Angeles.

“It’s not easy as an actor,” said an actress and former KMR client named Katherine, who declined to give her last name. She said KMR owes her $5,000 for her first guest-starring role. “Booking your first guest star or your first TV role is a very big deal, and everything about it was such a great experience. And then this happens. These are pennies to a large company, but not to me. That was a down payment for a car that I need.”

Adding insult to injury, KMR clients who are waiting for their payday have been reminded that, per SAG rules, “commission is still due for any current and future residuals on jobs where the session/shoot was performed on or before March 22, 2024,” according to a KMR email obtained by Deadline.

KMR’s talent department suggests mailing those commission checks to the company’s P.O. Box in Studio City. But they also accept payments via PayPal.

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