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Self Representation, Agents & Managers.
02-12-2019 Posted by Ingrid Sanghee Edwards in Other

So, your acting job count is growing...go you! If this is the case, pop some champagne and letís talk about the next step that is right for you. Representation for yourself and your brand is very important if you want to build your name and make your acting career grow. Self-Representation, working with an agent, or hiring a manager are the three strategies that you might be looking into so that you can grow your acting career and steer it in the right direction. In this post, we will discuss all three strategies so you can decide which one is the best choice for you.

Before we begin, it is important to ask yourself  these questions: 

How much personal focus would I like 

How would I like to be guided? 

What kind of roles do I desire? 

How much of each contract am I willing to part from? 

Do I need career advice? 

Do I need someone to help me find work and negotiate contracts? 

Do I need someone to chase down my money? 

Am I someone who likes a lot of advice and input?  

Do I need help choosing photos and videos? 


The role of an agent is to submit actors and negotiate work that comes from their clients to you, as well as other actors in their talent pool.  They can put you and others like you up for projects, commercials, voice-overs, film, television, internet, and new media.  They usually have a bigger client list, and act as brokers.  They have a limitation by law when it comes to what percentage they can charge you, and must have the correct permits or licensees to get paid a small percentage of your work in the area in which they represent you.  This percentage pays for their negotiating, reading contracts, approving, signing, and keeping you informed about what it is to come.   Most agents do not go through all of your photos and your reel and discuss what classes to take, but some give general advice via blogs as well as extra personal advice to those who remain close, loyal and reliable.  

Managers don't manage more than a few artists at a time and do not negotiate your deal or sign your contract for you. That means they will do the research and pass your name out to the right people and lead you to the audition. After that, the rest is up to you. If booked for a job role, or if you landed the casting, then they have to turn that booking over to your agent, or you (if you are representing yourself). A manager is NOT able to negotiate, approve or sign your contract.   A good manager will help you find an agent, help you pick the right parts and establish a clear identity for you within the casting community. A manager can help you focus on your goals and strategies to help you implement them and guide your acting desires and needs.  Managers get around 10-20 percent of every single thing you book in all areas, and this is how they are getting paid 

Self-Representation can come to many who are very good at it and have the extra time and energy that comes along the way.  Actors need to work as their own sales manager to get their name out there and develop the right image within the right audience and market.  It is for the go-getter, the entrepreneur, and the administrative manager who is able to stay on top of the game and organized along the way.  It is for the kind of person who takes rejection lightly and isn't afraid to be the bad guy or the hard seller when they are being offered roles that aren't being paid enough or wrong for your image.  This is a good idea if you have friends in high places and don't mind taking time away from investing in your acting skills to do all the dirty work.  

In the end, agents, managers and self-representation strategies are important for you, to move forward as good acting talent.  Agents and managers can be a great tool to take you up to the next level. Each strategy has its pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses which is why it is extremely important to do your homework and design a tailor-made strategy that is right for you.  


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