I get calls from a lot of actors and people that want to be actors, asking will I
manage them or would I be their agent. When I get these types of questions, I can tell that most times the person is not really sure what the job(s) they are asking me to do entails. This is the premise of todays post, having an agent, a manager or needing both.
I am going to try to keep it as simple as possible, but first let me define the roles so you can gauge your growth.
Let's talk about the types of roles and how agents and managers fit:
If you are NEW to the industry and an actor just getting started, you do NOT need an agent or a manager. Your first priority is to train and work. Study your craft and then get started. I cannot stress enough how important it is to take acting classes.
It’s possible that you are naturally talented, but you still need to work on perfecting your craft. I have seen some Newbies audition and amaze the director and I, but it is rare. Get yourself on set and do a few background or extra roles, although the are non-speaking roles, you are now on a set and you get to see if this is really what you want to do. No Manager / No agent are needed at this level you can use Google to find these type of roles, most times they are not paid, but there are often some exceptions.
Ok, so now you are doing a “bit” part, this is when you directly interact with principal actors, but you don’t have more than five lines. This is good, because you are able to show a snippet of what you have been learning in your acting classes. Now you have something to put on your resume, but guess what... You still do not need a manager or an agent!
Now when it comes to being a “day player” the term is true to what it is, you are hired on a daily basis. Day players don’t get long-term contracts, but you are moving on up the “acting chain” but you have to be careful. If you have 1-day player gig, this is good and easy to manage on your own.
However, if you see that you are auditioning and booking multiple projects and the days player role turns into more, such as a day player on multiple major projects and leads in indies, you may want to start looking for a manager. They help get you in the door and keeping you moving while you are “in the door” and some follow up to get feedback on how you did on your audition, etc. It’s NOT the manager’s job to find you work, although some do. Ask yourself, can I build this up or do I really need help to manage my schedule and projects. Now remember, a manager gets 10 - 15% of what you make, but they are in place to help you “MANAGE” your schedule and your career.
At the point when you have been training and working more consistently and you are booking supporting actor roles, were you are speaking more than 5 lines (bit part) it’s time to really consider obtaining management. At this stage, I would still think seriously about adding an agent into the mix. If you are still working hard to build your acting career, adding a good agent who can start championing for you to get you lead roles is great to have. The agent is actually the person whose job it is to get you into the audition room.
At the point you are getting more leads roles then you are supporting roles, THEN is when I believe you should be able to sustain having both an agent and a manager.
Now I can go deeper, but I feel you get the point.
I will be doing a FaceBook Live this Saturday 7:00 am EST morning, so you can ask me your questions on the subject. Here's the link https://www.facebook.com/RtSECasting/
Much Success to You!
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"Your time is limited; so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition." ~ Steve Jobs