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Representation? (part 2)

May 23, 2011

Last week I wrote about my meeting with a talent agency (Read it here). The week after I met with the talent manager.

I, of course, didn’t allow enough time to get to my meeting. As I drive 80 mph and rush to find a parking spot, I arrive about a minute late, only to find the manager still in the meeting before mine, and (thankfully) unaware that I didn’t arrive as early as I should have.

I sat a table away from the manager and his other interview-ee. They continued talking. and talking and talking. Is there something about managers or agents that makes them feel they can abuse other people’s schedules? (again, read my first post on this subject) Is it a test to see how patient and flexible I can be? I think if its rude for me to be late, it is just as rude for them! After about 15 more minutes (which I swear felt like 30), she excused herself and left.

It was finally my turn! In a lot of ways it felt like a typical job interview. He asked me about my goals, my training, my strengths and weaknesses. I tried to be assertive and ask him as many questions as popped in my head! I realized from my last representation meeting that I am in control of this meeting just as much as they  are – while they may only see me as a way to make money, I am looking for someone who can help me in all the ways I need. If this isn’t going to be a nearly perfect fit, then why should I waste my energy and time?

I asked him why someone like me would need a manager. He wasn’t super thorough on the subject, but thankfully I’d done my research. If you aren’t familiar with a manager’s job, here is the low-down! A manager works with you to propel your career where he thinks it should go. He prepares material that best represents you, and sends that material to agencies in hopes that they will sign you. He watches casting notices, to make sure your agent is submitting you for the right kinds of projects. He arranges meetings with important people and arranges your scheduled parties and events in the industry.

Sounds great, right? Here’s the bad side: managers aren’t accountable to ANYONE. They do things “in the best interest” of their clients but don’t answer to any unions or federal boards. Basically, managers pick out people they see as successful or potentially successful and try to ride the coat-tails of their success. Unfortunately it is very rare to have a manager and agent who enjoy working with each other and respect each other’s jobs. A manager handles your finances and take percentage they see best (and hopefully one you both agreed on!). The number one most important quality you should look for in a manager is a clear communicator. You should be comfortable enough to ask them anything, and they shouldn’t hide things from you. I’ve heard horror stories of managers embezzling thousands of dollars from their clients!

One thing I’ve learned from these interviews is to ask tons of questions, take lots of notes, clearly read everything given to you, talk to people who have been in similar situations, and even talk to current clients of the representation, if you can! My rule of thumb is not to sign anything without walking away from the situation to think about it some more. The right agent or manager won’t pressure you to sign on the spot.

So, this story ends short and sweet with me declining to go any farther with negotiations. I wasn’t getting the right vibe from this manager, as nice as he was. I know when the timing is right and I really need someone like I him I will have this opportunity again. And hopefully the opportunity will be with someone I fit better with! I’m interested to hear your representation stories! Good or bad — how far off are my experiences from what you have gone through?

P.S. I DID sign with the talent agency from the first blog posting! I officially now have representation! Hooray!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 23, 2011 9:43 pm

    Congratulations on your new agent. And well done for knowing what you are looking for in a rep!

  2. May 24, 2011 3:38 am

    Great work! I’m thrilled you got a chance to think over your options, and then make the choice that was best for you. Brava!

  3. May 24, 2011 1:39 pm

    So thrilled for you that you’ve landed representation! Congrats on the new chapter! 🙂

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  1. How to sign with an agent without really stressing. | The Green Room

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