What do acting managers do? How are they different from agents? Do you need a personal manager if you have an agent? Where do you find a list of managers to contact? Here you'll find answers to these questions as well as tips on how to pick good talent management companies.
What's a talent manager?
A good personal manager manages your entire acting career:
What's the difference between managers and agents?
Unlike agents, acting management companies are not supposed to procure work or negotiate for actors, although many talent managers will send actors who don't have an agent on auditions.
Talent managers take a 15% commission on all your performer earnings, while an agent will take 10% in the area they represent you in (so if you only have a commercial agent and book a theater role, you would not pay a commission to your agent, but you would pay 15% to your manager whether you book a commercial, a film or a play).
Acting agencies are usually regulated by the state. Many states require an acting agent to have a license and post a bond. Some states also require that the agent pay the actor within a certain amount of days and limits the commission an agent can take. ATA and NATR member talent agencies also have agreements with actors' unions. Unlike agents, acting management companies in most states do not need to have a special license. There are many more talent management companies then talent agencies and an actor should do research to make sure a personal manager is legit before signing a contract.
...so do you NEED a manager?
The answer to that question really depends on your situation and the kind of managing you will get.
If you are further along in your career, a manager will organize your busy schedule and help you achieve your long-term goals. If you are just starting out and unable to get an agent, an acting manager can give you access to more auditions and help you get an agent.
Acting is a very competitive career and the more people you have on your side the better. If you find a good personal manager who is well-respected in the industry and will work hard for you, don't hesitate because of the 15% commission. 85% of something is better then 100% of nothing. That being said, if you already have an agent and you find a manager who doesn't do much more then submit actors on auditions, think hard before signing a contract. Having 2 representatives has disadvantages: information can get lost and double submissions often exasperate casting directors.
Bottom line? You may not need an acting manager, but you'll want to sign with a good one.
Where do you find a manager?
The best places to start your search are talent manager organisations. For example, you can visit www.talentmanagers.org and get a list of all their members with information on each management company. Make a note of the ones you are right for and who the contact person is. Avoid buying labels for acting managers. They can be outdated and not represent your type. Do your research, write your own targeted list and make your own labels. You'll end up saving time and money when you mail your headshot and resume.
How to pick a good manager
Here are a few tips to help you pick a good personal manager:
Hope all this information helps you pick the perfect manager for you.
If you want to know how to get an acting manager, click here and follow the same steps you would to get an agent.May your phone ring off the hook with calls for auditions from talent management companies!
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