Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Things To Know When You’re Finally Ready To Get An Acting Manager

Things To Know When You’re Finally Ready To Get An Acting ManagerThere are certain milestones actors look forward to in there performance career. They usually include getting an Oscar, but long before they get that, there’s the question of when to sign on with a manager. When is the right moment? How accomplished do you need to be? How do you know if your manager-to-be is the right one for you?  Of course there are many other questions to ask and we’d like to give some peace to your hungry mind with some simple answers and words of advice. It’s a topic we’ve covered before, so we’ll go ahead a recap a few of those things as well as share some new advice from our friends over at backstage.com. Sound good? 

A manager's main focus is to guide the actor's career and make connections for them; and although most of the best managers out there are former agents, the two have very different roles. It's sad to say, but most common scams in the entertainment industry involve people who call themselves managers, as this is not an occupation regulated by any of the actors unions. These greedy people will often promise the newcomer fame and fortune, but only for an up front fee, or will require you to get new headshots and update your portfolio (which can very expensive, totally useless... or both). Of course this is not true of all managers. But you should always be cautious and do your research before signing with a management company. Find out the names of other actors they represent and ask those actors about their experiences with the manager or company in question.

Another thing you should know, is that If an acting manager is legitimate, they likely won't approach an unknown actor. Of course that's the dream - to be discovered, but it's just not likely. A successful manager is already busy with experienced clients, and you'll have to work pretty hard to get their attention.

A manager should be well connected in the casting community and entertainment industry in general. Once again... do your research. See who they know and who knows them.  This alone, will do a lot for you. 

And now, a few points from Todd Etelson’s article on Backstage.com: 

Which managers are credible? There are good and bad ones out there. Do your research. It’s a case by case; there’s no union to regulate manager practice. The National Conference of Personal Managers (NCOPM) and Talent Managers Association (TMA) are great organizations that set guidelines of conduct for their respective members. Some managers are part of these organizations and some are not. In the end, it’s about the manager themselves, their experience, relationships, and ability to manage your career.

Is an agent better than a manager? This shouldn’t even be a question as they each do entirely different things. Managers help manage your career. Agents send you out on auditions. The bigger you get, the more you’ll need a manager. Agents don’t have a lot of time to hold your hand—to an extent, it’s a manager’s job. They will help you set up the proper bank account, get your headshot/resume up on submission sites and, well, manage you! If you get agent interest first, it’s up to your agent as to whether they’d like you to have the additional guidance of a manager.

Should I sign or freelance? You don’t get a choice, they’ll let you know. If your manager is in NCOPM, they have to sign you. They may send you out for a bit to see how you do before they sign doing so, but know that a contract is the end goal. In terms of contract lengths, they vary. I’ve seen everything from one to five years—it will depend on the agent. If you do have a contract and you get to a point where you’re unhappy with your manager, have a respectful conversation. Just because you’re not getting auditions doesn’t mean they’re not working for you.

As you can see, there’s a lot to be aware of as you move forward on this journey and we haven’t even covered all of it! However, if you’d like to learn more about building your career or skills in acting, please reach out to us at the New York Acting School for Film and Television and we’ll help you decide what the best next move for you is!

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