Mark Stolzenberg, director of the Acting School for Film and TV in New York, explains the difference between an agent and a manager.
Many of my acting students have inquired about the difference between an agent and manager so I will try to address this issue.
Traditionally, there is a definite distinction between the two.
First, it's important to note that you need a good head shot, a strong acting resume, and a thorough knowledge of your craft before you seek an agent or a manager. There are several acting schools in NYC who can help you prepare. In part one of this post, we outlined the basics of an agent's role. Today we will talk managers.
- A manager traditionally is a more loosely defined term, but managers take more of an interest in promoting, cultivating and marketing their actors, functioning as an advisor and guide. A manager may advise you on your headshot, your resume, and your career choices. Your manager may help you get an agent.
- A manager also does many of the things that an agent does. While a manager does not have a union affiliation, he may still submit an actor to Union projects and also to agents. A certified manager will have direct access to the same casting breakdowns that agents use.
- Managers usually take 15% commission, which may be in addition to and agent’s 10% if an agent is involved.
In recent years, the distinctions between an agent and manager have blurred a bit, and there is a lot of overlap. Ultimately, you want to work with someone who cares about you, gets you auditions, and can negotiate deals.
See part one of this post for more info on the role of agents.