"Personal Manager Looking For Actors"
- "Personal Manager Looking For Actors"
Acting Career FAQ by Bob Fraser
If you've ever seen a headline like that, I'm
sure you're curious. Is it for real? Are there
really managers out there - LOOKING for actors?
I get a lot of email about personal managers ...
"How can I tell whether a manager is legitimate ?
"What's the difference between managers and
"Can you recommend a good manager?"
"Do I really NEED a manager?"
Okay ... here's the 411 on personal managers:
A personal manager is meant to be a "partner" in
your career - your acting business. In legendary
show biz success stories - a critical turning point
is often signing a manager who believes in the
actor. There are scores of stories about managers
who have been critical to an actor's success.
But, it's just a fact of life that anyone can CALL
themselves a "personal manager."
I advise all actors to first check the credentials
of any potential "partner" - by doing their homework.
1. Find out what trade organizations the manager
belongs to (the professionals almost all belong to
a manager's association).
2. Find out everything you can about his or her
reputation in the 'business.'
3. Ask good questions, like:
"What made you decide to be a personal manager?"
"How many actors do you represent?
"What agents do you work with?
"How do you see my career progressing?"
4. Most importantly - how do you "feel" around this
person? Since this is a relationship that can have
a big impact on your results - and could last a long
time - it's important that you're comfortable.
In the world of show business, every relationship
you form has the potential to help - or hurt - you.
Even though checking people out is one of those
'unpleasant' parts of handling your acting career,
you must handle it - or prepare yourself to look into
the thrilling possibilities of "wait-staffing."
A personal manager can help you move your career
forward by constantly working on your business. As
the name implies, they manage things. Contracts,
schedules, projects, agent relations - in other
words, the every day business of 'you.'
Your manager will guide you to the good agencies,
keep your name in front of producers, and interact
with your agent, publicist, and business manager.
In most cases a manager does not solicit work for
you. In fact, in some states - like California, New
York, Texas and Florida - it's not even legal.
Your agent, on the other hand, is a SALES person.
An agent solicits work for you. A good agent is out
there, every day, drumming up business. Most of the
time your agent is probably on the phone with
potential employers (producers) trying to convince
them to use you in their next project.
Your agent is also your principal negotiator, once
a producer is ready to make you an offer.
Keep in mind that you will be required to win the
role all by yourself.
In other words, YOU will have to "close the sale" -
in an audition or call-back.
Therefore, it's a good idea to think of your agent
as your salesman who does the 'cold calling' - in an
effort to secure an appointment for you. So you can
"get in there and sell, sell, sell."
Once you've started up the ladder in show business,
you ARE going to need an agent to continue climbing.
DO YOU NEED A MANAGER?
That really depends on what kind of actor you are.
If you're the ambitious, type-A, upwardly mobile,
"sky's the limit" sort, who is looking for superstar
status ... YES.
There are many actors who continue to hustle like a
magazine salesman even after they've 'made it.'
An actor aiming for the stars - almost surely needs
a manager. There are just too many details - on the
road to stardom - for an actor to handle alone.
On the other hand, you may be the type of work-a-day
craftsman who feels comfortable working on a regular
basis, doing the same sort of character every time
out - and stardom is just not something you want, or
would be comfortable trying to accomplish.
If that describes you, then you probably don't need
a manager. Managing that sort of career is not really
Of course, you may still want a manager - because a
good manager can help to keep you in that comfortable
niche ... for a long time.
Here are my recommendations when looking for a manager:
Look for someone who is:
ALWAYS CHECK CREDENTIALS.
Make sure that your manager is thoroughly convinced
that you are going to make a lot of money. Because if
they don't believe that, then there is no basis for
a good business relationship. Believe me, the top
people won't even consider you unless they think
you're going to 'bring home the big bucks.'
By the way, if you're just getting started - don't
waste a lot of time trying to get an agent or manager
interested in you.
Start by doing the 'sales' and 'management' yourself.
When you are making money, agents and managers will be
knocking on YOUR door.
Because if you're making money - agents and managers
will become truly interested in you. THAT'S when you
have the best chance of forming a lasting, valuable,
business relationship - and you'll have the luxury of
choosing the best fit for you.
And ... I'm sure THAT'S what you really want.
Bob Fraser is an actor, writer, director, producer &
show runner of TV classics such as The Love Boat, Full
House, Benson, and others. He is also the author of :
You Must Act! The Computer Based Acting Career Course
Headshot Secrets Revealed - How To Get A Headshot
That Gets You Called In
Acting Career FAQ - The e-Book with Answers
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