Bruce Edwin is CEO of the A-list firm Starpower Management LLC, publisher of The Hollywood Sentinel, and producer of motion picture. His services, based on his years of expertise and success in the music and film industry are sought out and used by some of the most powerful companies and stars in entertainment. This ongoing article, a precursor to his upcoming book series, is his way of giving back to models, actors and bands, with free education- that in its totality and with its unabashed honesty- cannot not be found anywhere else- free.
How to Get An Agent or Manager
Due to the vast number of do's and don'ts of this answer, I have decided to give to actors, models, and bands a free seminar by phone on this topic. You can call our office at 310-226-7176 or e-mail at the front page of this site to get information on this upcoming, highly informative and valuable free tele-seminar. Now, once you have an agent or manager, the work has just begun. You now have to make it profitable and beneficial to you, and you need to make it last in that manner. The following is how to do that.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Agent or Manager and Never Get Dropped
Follow these 22 steps regularly and apply, and I can safely say that you should never be dropped from your agency or management firm, and not only that, you will be on your way to success if you follow this and you have a great agent or manager.
1, Ask them how often they want you to be in communication, how and when, and who they want to initiate it, and then do it. If they say that they don't care if you call them daily, then you should call them daily without fail. If they say that they don't mind if you drop by, then you should drop by. If they say that they will meet you once a week, then you should schedule a time to meet them each week. Regardless of what they say, you should at least make contact of your own accord no less than once a week by phone or e-mail.
2, Ask them regularly- as in once a week- if they need anything from you for them to help you get work, whether it be new pictures, updated resumes, reels, new demos, or the like, and then do it quickly without excuses and without fail.
3, Ask them regularly -at least once a week- if there is anything you can or should be doing such as classes, workshops, meetings with them or their contacts, vocal classes, networking events, gigs, or the like that they want you to do that will help them help you get work. Ask for their advice on who to work with and what to do and if you agree with their advice, then do it. If you don't agree with their advice, then you should question why you are with them.
4, Offer to drop in once a week or so to lend a few hours to helping send out your hard copy headshots, reels, zeds, or cd's, and then do so.
5, Invite them regularly to see you perform whether it be in your local play, a little fashion show you booked through a friend, your music gig or karaoke, or even to a meeting over coffee or tea or to lunch to discuss your career and how you can make things better.
6, Ask them how you can be better to them and to their producer, director, or casting director clients. Ask them how you can be more marketable, and how you can help them market yourself more, and then take notes and follow.
7, Ask them who is getting the most work with the firm and why do they think that is, and then ask them how you can do that too and moreso. Ask their advice regularly and then follow it and be sure to let them know you followed it.
8, Ask them how the company is doing, if its making good money, and how it could do better and how could you help the firm do better to make more money that will help you too.
9, Ask them what they don't like about you they would like to see change or improve and then consider doing it.
10, Ask them what their goals for you are, how they see you as an artist, and if you were like a sculpture they could mold and create, what would the ideal result look like? Then see if you can achieve this if you are in agreement with it. If you are not, then consider new representation after you tell them your ideal, if there is no happy compromise that you feel will work.
11, Ask them what breakdowns they use and will have you on, and then ask them if they would like you to use them too. If so, do it. Regardless, look out for castings on your own and call them regularly and ask them to help you get casted for roles you discover and then be sure to follow up.
12, Ask if you can have a goal setting meeting with them where you both have goals for each other to fulfill, and hold each other accountable, and then do it.
13, Ask what their pet peeves are, what annoys them, and then try to be sure not to do it.
14, Ask them what would make them happiest about representing you and how this could be achieved as they consider it.
15, Find out their birthday and then remember it with a card and a phone call.
16. Make sure that they are aware of all of your talents or unique things about you, even if you think they may not apply, such as being a lifeguard, having a vacation home in the Hamptons that their client may want to rent for a shoot, having a famous nephew, or the like.
17, Offer to go in to read a new monologue you want them to hear, talk about a new script you just wrote, see that new outfit you bought that you want to model and how it looks on you, look at the new test pictures you just had shot, see the new guitar you just bought and hear a song, listen to the new song you just wrote, or the like, and then do it.
18, Ask them if there is an industry event they would like you to go to on their behalf when they are too busy.
19, Ask what some of their favorite films, bands, or models are and why and discuss if they think you have any of these potentials and if so how they can be achieved.
20, Offer to do some free promotion for you and the company at a red carpet event they book you on and then do it.
21, Be Polite. Remember, an agent or manager helps you get work. Get the notion out of your head that you are doing them a favor by letting them sign you- unless you are already making over a hundred grand a year or are a celebrity already. If you are not, then you should treat the agent or manager as you would any potential boss at any company you apply that you want to work for where you want to get and keep that position.
22, If an agent or manager asks you to do something simple and reasonable, do it, and don't argue. If you do not follow simple requests or directions easily and without a fight, don't be surprised if you don't get signed or get dropped. This isn't a romantic relationship where being combative may be how you both roll. This is a business, and until you are in power pulling in six figures or are a household name or are rich and could take this business or leave it, it's a top down working relationship, and you are the bottom in terms of power dynamics. That doesn't mean you have to be a pushover, but it does mean that you should know the dynamics and flow with them when the situation with your representation demands it.
Follow this advice and I guarantee you that things will be better for your career. The more you engage pro-actively with your agent or manager, the better. A truly great agent or manager that cares, will be happily surprised to find these actions in their client. Let me know how this works for you, and what happens, I will be happy to hear about it. This advise is based upon interviewing over twenty thousand models, actors, and bands in Los Angeles, Chicago, and beyond for nearly a decade, and interviewing and auditioning thousands in person. I write this with the utmost care and respect for models, actors, and singers and musicians. If I did not care to help you, I would not bother here. Without you all, the world would be a very dull and boring place. You are the ones that make life exciting and fun, year after year. Much respect, thanks and care for you all.
Katrina (pictured above) is represented by Starpower Management LLC.
© 2012, The Hollywood Sentinel, Bruce Edwin, all rights reserved.