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What’s the Difference between an Agent and a Manager?

As an actor, you’ve probably heard a lot about agents and managers. It can seem like getting on the radar of these business people is the secret to booking big parts and auditions! But what do agents and managers actually do for you, and is there really a difference between the two? We here at ClaimFame want to pull back the curtain and tell you the real deal about representation.

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Agents

The traditional image of the talent agent is that of a smooth talking shark with a great haircut like Jerry Maguire. The truth is a little more complicated. Agents are negotiators between yourself and the film, tv, or modeling companies. They will find and send you on auditions, and make a commision if you get the part. Agencies come in all sizes: there are huge corporate giants, more specialized boutique agencies, and even some independent professionals.  At the big companies, one particular agent can have more than 50 clients. Agents may also negotiate with the studios once you get the part. You should never have to pay to work with an agent. They only make money off of commision so it’s in their best interest for you to get parts! To be an agent, you have to be licenced by the state and are legally only allowed to take a maximum 10% cut of your pay, meaning it’s much harder for them to take advantage of you.

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Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA --- Hollywood Sign --- Image by © Robert Landau/CORBIS

Managers

Your manager is the person who helps you makes sense of the business side of your career, and they can also be a critical part of your support system. They often have fewer clients, meaning that you will receive a ton of personal attention. A manager will not help you get auditions however, as they act more as a business manager. They can suggest roles or auditions to be on the lookout for, but they will not send you out on specific auditions. Often times, a manager can help you get in contact with the agencies. If you’re feeling stuck in your career, a great manager can refocus your energy to where it’s best suited!

 

While it may seem like there’s no way to become an actor without representation, many actors go for years without an agent or a manager and still get tons of work. All of the auditions and casting calls on ClaimFame can be applied for without needing representation. Getting a manager or an agent is one of the biggest decisions you can make in your career, and it’s not one you should make lightly. Stay tuned to ClaimFame for even more tips and tricks to achieve your performing dreams!

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