Wednesday, August 29, 2007

One "size" doesn't fit all: The search for the perfect agent or manager

One of the questions I am asked frequently is "Can you recommend a good agent or manager?" Beth, an actress in Los Angeles, just wrote to ask me about this. In short, the answer is "No, I cannot." The "whys" and "becauses" are many.

Finding a "good fit" with an agent or a manager must be a personal pursuit. An agent or manager I personally like and get along with could be someone you loathe. It's all about dynamics and chemistry. My advice: Do your homework; do your research.

Ask fellow actors who are represented by people they like and are happy with to tell you about their experiences, but don't rely just on that. Do your own leg work to see who is out there and who is looking for new clients at this time (though this is a tough time of year to seek new representation because everyone is so busy with the demands of a new television production season).

Also, it's not always fair and/or accurate to judge the worth, value or effectiveness of any agent or manager by the clients they represent (who you may know of). Past or current success with any particular client is indicative only of success with that person's career journey and does not guarantee similar success will find its way to you by your signing with that agent or manager.

I have many agent/friends I could call and ask if they would take on a client of mine -- or someone else I recommend -- and I would probably get a "yes" from them. But that answer is not always in the best interest of the client or recommended actor. I am always quick to say that I'm not looking for favors; I always will be clear that I'm not looking for an agent/friend to take on a client just because I have asked them to do so.

I want any agent I approach to only accept a client I refer because it's in the best interest of the agent to add that particular actor to their roster. I want to be sure that the agent wants to pursue a solid business relationship that is in the best interests of all parties involved. For a client to be taken on as favor by an agent who won't really do the work because they are not personally committed to the actor doesn't serve anyone well, particularly the actor.

In this current climate, there is no need for every actor to have an agent; some will choose a manager, instead. Some will choose to pursue both.

Whatever path to representation you decide to take, make it a journey you have mapped out by yourself, for yourself. The opinions of other people you respect certainly do matter, but they should be used only as guideposts, not gospel.

If you have a story about how you sought and got representation that you would like to share, please send us a posting here or e-mail me directly at


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