Managers & Agents 101
Taking a look at the ForTalent.com poll, I notice that 42% of the 77 members that have taken the poll are curious about 'How to get an agent or manager'. I'm almost 99.9% positive that the overall census and thought on most of your minds is how to get representation. Well, I thought to hit on this topic for my first blog posting here on FT. All I can offer you is real-time advice and more information on the 'game' that is known as the entertainment industry. And yes, it's all a game.
Are you ready?
I went for 10 years without working with an agent. Insert gasp here: . Key phrase: working with. The agent works for you, you don't work for the agent. And when it came to a manager, I was my best manager-- still am! But don't tell that to my manager. I notice this is a hangup for most young actors and even seasoned members in the whole acting profession. You crave a manager, but do you even know what a manager does for you? And an agent; granted it's nice to have that sense of "stability", but who knows you the best? You do. You're your best selling tool. Don't even concern yourself about getting a manager, just concentrate on getting yourself out there. And honestly, when you do land yourself with agency representation- NEVER wait for that agent to call you with work. Continuously make your own work, continuously keep yourself fresh. Most likely if you do that you'll be the direct source for your success in this business. After all, it's your dream. The 'law of attraction'; for those that might value that frame-of-thinking; is pointless if you aren't actually physically out there attracting it to yourself.
I recently had dinner with famed Broadway actress, Ms. Rita Gardner. We were talking about the business, people we've met and lastly the food we were putting into our stomachs. Those are the best conversations-- when your stuck on conversation, talk about food. Everyone can relate. Any-who, someone across the table then uttered the commonly forbidden question, "Ms. Gardner, how do I go about getting an agent?" Now I would never advise that you ask that question flat out to someone directly. It's almost as if all the clocks and watches slowed down and you could hear the ticking of them in the chaotic dinner setting, and then the world sped up again fast and Gardner looked at the actress. Ms. Gardner then went on to give the following small bit of advice to this young, up-and-coming actress...
"If you're good, they will come." Gardner said. She then went on to explain to the actress that getting up and performing wherever and whenever possible is the best thing she could do for herself. Sing, dance somewhere-- and most importantly: let people know about it! Regardless of whether it's in the basement of the crudiest Off-Off Broadway theatre, or a spot in the Algonquin lounge uptown. If you're good at what you do, people will pay attention; someone will see you and that brings me to my next point. Luck.
Luck is the other side of the coin. We all have friends. Those friends have friends. And the luck part comes into play if you have a friend who knows someone. They bring him to your little set and boom... you've made a connection. Or the lucky break comes when an agency caught wind of your work and they sent a representative to see your set.
You as actors, dancers and performers all have a unique talent. If your in this line of work, you all have a genuine love and zero bit of fear of getting up infront of people-- so go out and do it! Exposure to the world is the best way to land yourself some representation. It goes hand-in-hand with following up with connections and friends. Always seize that opportunity to let yourself shine. Exposure to the world = more exposure in some form.
Some key points to keep in mind:
- You know yourself the best.
- You're the only one that's going to scream, kick & shout the loudest, pushing for whatever it is that you want in life. An agent or a manager can only take you if they see a product. Remember, this is a business. (This goes for anything in life, but it's extremely true in the entertainment scene.)
- Noone else is going to share your enthusiasm and zest for what you do, better than you! The luck of finding a good manager comes into play when you find someone who believes in what you do, supports what you do, and lastly; is equally excited about pushing you to gaining more exposure.
Till the next post on the topic, there's a lot more!
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Film / Theater / TV
- Q&A with Emmy-award winner Ted Greenberg from David Letterman
- CharityBuzz.com auction / Win a luncheon with me & Richard Pryor Jr.