Hiring an acting manager to further your career, is a smart move if you have hit a plateau and are ready to take it further. However, go into the process educated and understanding how it works and what warning signs to look for.
Keep in mind, that an agent is focused primarily on getting you cast and hired. A manager's main focus is to guide the actor's career and make connections for them but also to help them develop their skills and persona further. This means a closer relationship and more trust needed to proceed.
- A successful manager (worth your time) should be well connected in the casting community as well as the rest of the entertainment industry, including music, commercial and film.
- Find out who they know and who knows them. Don’t be afraid to ask around for recommendations. If they come recommended, that’s a good sign.
- Management companies usually offer their services in exchange for anywhere between a 10% - 20% commission from your talent related income and profit, though it can sometimes be a little more. A legitimate manager will never ask for money up front. So if they ask for it upfront, run!
- A manager may recommend that you get more training or new photos, but should not require you to take a particular class or use a particular photographer as part of the terms for working with you. Until you're sure a place is legitimate, don't pay for services you may not even need.
- It’s never appropriate for your manager (or agent) to ask you or expect your to remove your clothing or engage in sexually explicit "scenes" or acts.
- Sure, it might feel good to be ‘discovered’, but the truth is, those days are over. These days, most legitimate managers don’t approach an unknown actor. A successful manager is already busy with experienced clients, and you'll have to work pretty hard to get their attention.
Those are the basics you need to know when it comes to dealing with managers. Of course, there’s always more to learn about the industry in general!
At the New York Acting School for Film and Television, we have walked many talented people in to their success. One of the key ingredients is being educated. Of course, be mentored and take classes, but also know who to trust! For more information, contact us today!