ACTOR’S TOOL-KIT #6
DO YOU NEED AN AGENT? (Or A Manager?)
By Bob Fraser
I recently got an email asking me, “which would be better to get my acting career going – an agent or a manager?”
Here’s my answer: Neither an agent or a manager can “get your acting career going” for you.
The concept that a powerful man or woman can step in and help you skip all the hard work involved in starting your acting career – is a fairy tale.
There is no short-cut to the top of show business (or even to the middle). There’s also no Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny or Great Pumpkin.
If it could be done that way, then agents and managers would simply pick out any actors – from the thousands of headshots they get every week – and turn them into stars.
These people are pros – and they’re not going to waste their valuable time, trying to accomplish what they know cannot be done.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
Now, there ARE differences between agents and managers:
An agent is a sales person for the product known as YOU.
Sales people (agents) judge how well their business is doing by how much money they make. A good sales pro likes to make lots of money. If people aren’t ready to buy your product (you) then a sales person won’t make a lot of money selling it.
Not surprisingly, agents are coldly business-like about this part. Until you’ve managed to get your career going yourself (making money as an actor) – don’t expect any professional sales people to be very interested.
Managers are just what the word implies. The manage things. Mailings, bookings, transportation, job offers, publicity – the day to day business of YOU.
Keep in mind that in most markets, they are precluded, by law, from seeking work for you.
The top managers are usually the top managers because they manage very successful careers. The big boys (and girls) in the management game, are just like agents when it comes to money. They want to manage a going concern.
Believe me, If you have what they want – if you are a going concern with a name that you’ve made for yourself – they KNOW their managing skills will take you to a whole new level (making LOTS of money) and since they get a big chunk of a LOT, believe me – they WILL find you.
IF IT IS TO BE, IT’S UP TO ME
Here’s the point I want you to keep in mind: As long as you continue to believe that your main job is looking for someone else to help you get your career going – you won’t spend nearly enough time doing the crucial things you need to do … to get your career going YOURSELF.
Looking for someone else to get your acting career going is a very bad tactic which always results in frustration, wasted years and, ultimately, failure to achieve what you want.
If you don’t concentrate on doing your part, now – it’s quite unlikely you will build your business into something big enough to be noticed by a good agent or a good manager.
In other words, by all means keep looking for a sales staff and a management team – but don’t neglect your business while you’re looking.
And remember to keep “the store” open late.
NEXT INSTALLMENT: WHAT AGENTS THINK
PERMISSION TO REPRINT: You may reprint articles from Actor’s Tool-Kit, on your website or electronic newsletter.
However, in order to comply with my copyright, you must also include the following paragraph with your reprint:
“Reprinted from ACTOR’S TOOL KIT, the email course just for subscribers of Show Biz How-To — The Free Actor’s Monthly. Get your own free subscription by going to: showbizhowto.com
Copyright Â© 2006 Bob Fraser Productions All Rights Reserved”