In the entertainment industry, there’s many ways to find acting, modeling and voice over opportunities. Some talent like to have professionals assist them to find the “bigger jobs”. Some talent never want to share a penny of their income and find all of their work on their own, some find the right agent who doesn’t take their money but only a commission of booked jobs, and some hire managers who typically require a payment for any job a talent books, whether said manager is involved in the actual booking or not.
What is a manager?
A manager is supposed to be a person or company who promotes talent to one of a kind situations for work opportunities and typically has a small group on their roster to find opportunities. In return, the manager has the talent pay them a percentage of every booking the talent get whether or not they helped the talent find the job.
There are a few managers who operate where they only get paid if the book the job, but at times these managers have an exclusive territory, which limits work for the talent.
Some companies “claim” to be managers but they send out the same opportunities as talent agencies and the opportunities are not “once in a lifetime” opportunities but more typical agent type jobs that a talent may see from multiple agencies and a manager.
What is the difference between a manager and a talent agent?
A manager promotes individual talent which helps provide the reasoning that they get a percentage of all paid work from their talent. A talent agent has a larger roster of talent and talent are promoted as a whole entity from the agency and not individually.
Example: A manager should work to find opportunities that are not mainstream on acting databases, that’s agent territory. A manager should seek out individual companies to promote specific talent.
An agent submits talent for a variety of opportunities for all genres of the entertainment industry. For each role 3 – 49 talent could be submitted depending on the age, genre, skills and other criteria for the role.
Which job is a more secure job, a talent agent or a manager?
Answer: A talent agent, if they set up things properly. Why? Because a talent agent should be the one who is invoicing, balancing the accounting and managing the payments to their talent for booked work. An agent should receive payment for all jobs and then pay their talent their pay, less any commission if no agent fee was paid in the transaction. A manager has way to force their roster to pay them for booked jobs. There are some managers that track a talent’s movements and schedule to ensure payment, but that doesn’t guarantee the talent will pay their manager.
Is it true that having a manager will allow talent to move up the ladder of success faster?
Nothing is a guarantee in the entertainment industry. This industry is full of risks and nothing is a guarantee of steady work, even contracts can have stipulations in them. If you are working with an agent or manager you should be receiving different opportunities, but the presumption that paying a manager means you’ve unlocked better opportunities is not necessarily true. In the end, how you present yourself to the industry whether it’s head shots, demos, your social media profile, your resume and your website all factors into how well you as a talent will do. Coaching is a key to success and should be a constant part of your schedule.
If I send my agent or manager a gift they will send me for more opportunities?
No. Bribery never works on individuals or should not work on individuals when your opportunities are based on your skills, coaching and abilities. I’ve seen social media posts in large cities where talent actually pay their agents and managers and send gifts “because of all of the hard work they do”. This is not required, not expected and not beneficial to the talent on the roster.
A manager told an agent they should be a manager because talent will pay for anything
Yes it’s true. We had a manager conversation a while back and they clearly stated that no one should be an agent and all agents should be managers because so many talent want to be represented that they will pay for anything. Additionally they said the talent would pay for anything, and this particular manager has a multi-level marketing scheme set up so all partners benefit and the talent do not. Never ever pay a manager a monthly fee, a weekly fee, or even an annual fee or administrative fee. The same goes for agents. Unfortunately there’s dishonest business practices all around, so check out the company you are considering and make sure you benefit, not the company.
My manager and agent are forcing me to have a paid profile on acting databases and pay to have a profile on their website
This is an old fashioned practice and not appropriate for any talent to be required to participate in. Why? Paid databases are beneficial for some talent if they choose to do frequent self-submissions and have a large amount of content to put on the site i.e…many head shots, many audio and video clips and many demos. This is a talent’s choice and not their representative’s choice because their agent or manager submits talent and the paid profile is not required for submissions.
No talent should be required to pay to have a profile on a website if they are represented by the said company. In today’s world there are web developers working constantly creating new websites. These websites can be created in an unlimited amount of ways but none of which should require you to pay to be on the site. There’s some suspicious places that claim each profile load is payment for the developers to pay to add the talent to the site. I fully feel that is incorrect and it’s a way to pocket money. The website of your representative is an expense of the business, not your expense. Your profile on the site only benefits the company as you were chosen to be part of this roster. If the company owner has little knowledge of websites and clearly depends on their developer for simple profile creations then this should be a warning to talent because in today’s age every person who represents talent needs to have a good amount of computer knowledge.
At Impressive Talent, no talent ever pay for representation. We are very transparent with our goals and communications. Our agency is successful based on our amazing talent and fair business set up.