Talent,manager relationship? Joshua Mwendo far left with artist 3rd Eye closing a deal.
My last post looked at what a talent agent does and this was in a way, in contrast to what a talent manager does. I dwelled much on the agent's role because I thought that was the most misunderstood part. However, several people have asked me to explain what a talent manager's role entails and how would a talent know which manager is best for them.
There is no question about it, an agent is mandatory if you want to get booked for your talent, but it can be hard to crack an agent’s roster. Not only is a talent manager more likely to take a chance on you, but they will also pave the way to good agent relationships. So how do you know which managers are good and which to stay away from? Here are some important facts to keep in mind.
Is an agent better than a manager?
This shouldn’t even be a question as they each do entirely different things. Managers help manage your career. Agents send you out on auditions. The bigger you get, the more you’ll need a manager. Agents don’t have a lot of time to hold your hand—to an extent, it’s a manager’s job. They will help you set up the proper bank account, get your photoshoot, manage your social media, schedule your days get your resume or press kit up on submission sites and, well, manage you! If you get agent interest first, it’s up to your agent as to whether they’d like you to have the additional guidance of a manager from them.
Should I sign or have a part time agreement?
You don’t get a choice as a talent, they’ll let you know how to work with you. The manger may send you out for a bit to see how you do before they sign you, but know that a contract is the end goal. In terms of contract lengths, they vary. I’ve seen everything from one to five years—it will depend on the manager. If you do have a contract and you get to a point where you’re unhappy with your manager, have a respectful conversation. Just because you’re not getting deals doesn’t mean they’re not working for you.
Can I still meet agents or self-submit as a talent?
If you have a manager, you’re a team. If you meet an agent in a workshop, pass along your manager’s name and phone number, not yours. Don’t be that person always in pursuit of the next best representative. Success takes time.
Regarding self-submits, that’s a great way to gain experience and take some personal control of your career, just make sure to pass it through your manager first before you submit for anything.
The line between what agents and managers do seems to have blurred over the years. But in the end, a manager is there to guide and manage your career. If a manager takes interest in you, it can be the start of a very productive career. Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.kuwalacreatives.com if you have questions regarding your career as an artist/talent.
Dennis Imaan is a Global Citizen born and currently staying in Malawi. He loves to share his experiences and lessons with others. Travel, Tourism, Innovations, Media and Youth development are close to his heart.