Manager Checklist

Dear Parents and Young Actors,

I’m working on this post right now, and when I get if finished,
I’ll send to my email list…

Questions to ask yourself about picking a manager:

So many parents ask me about how to interview a prospective
manager and what to look for in a manager.

If you’ve had a manager who didn’t “get” your child and didn’t
push  for them, then you know how frustrating it can be.

Personal managers in Hollywood are famous for their hard work
and dedication to their client’s success. The agent is there to
protect  the client…and it’s the manager who many times
provides the momentum to help build the career.

At the same, time, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of
choices out in the market, but only a few dozen who are
known to pitch and push their clients for further success.

It’s important that you don’t make the mistake of finding a
“bad fit” for your child and losing valuable career time by
sitting and waiting while your manager works on other issues
and is not dedicated to your child’s success.

Many managers will “love” your child, but may waste your time
because they don’t pitch and push your child.

If they “love” your child, and seem “really excited to work with you”,
then make sure that they put that enthusiasm into helping build
your child’s career.

So, if you are studying at the Actorsite, and building relationships
with casting directors, you need a manager who will pitch and
push your child, and there are many hard working and reputable
managers to choose from.

So I’ve put together a checklist  for you.

[  ] Does this prospect fit the profile of my ideal manager?
(Does my ideal manager profile need to change? Do I even know
what to look for in an ideal manager?)

[  ] Does my child even need a manager? (If you have an agent, study in
Actorsite’s “FAST TRACK” program, and attend casting director
workshops and intensives, then a manager may be able to provide
that additional “push” you need for success. If you don’t train and
push yourself, then a manager may not have much to work with.)

[  ] If I had 10 prospective managers waiting to work with my
child, would I consider working with this manager?

[  ] Will working with this prospective manager move my child
closer to their goals or farther from them?

[  ] What are the chances for advancement with this manager?

[  ] Does this manager have too much on their plate? (Too many
clients, too high level clientele)

[  ] Does this manager pitch and push for roles? (If not, then
what services do they offer, and do your really need those services?)

Questions to ask a potential manager once they have interviewed
your child:

1. What do you bring to the table? Make a list of what they bring
to the table as a manager.

Managers bring different expertise to the table and it’s
good to know how they view their own experience, etc.

2. Do you have relationships with casting directors?

Managers must have working relationships with casting directors.

3. FOLLOW UP: Will you use those relationships to push my

Any manager who is truly interested in your child’s success  will contact
casting to let them know that they signed a new talent and are excited about

If they say you are “not ready” yet, then I would pass on this manager, since
once they have decided you are “not ready” it’s difficult to convince them
when you are ready.

4. Do you pitch to casting?

It’s important to know if your manager will pitch your child.

Again, if the manager feels your child is  “not ready” yet, then I would
pass on this manager, work on training and wait to find a manager
who feels you are ready. It difficult to overcome the “not ready yet”
stigma with a manager. So when you are “ready”, that’s the time
to look for a manager, not prior to that time.

If they feel you are “ready now”, many times no matter how hard the
manager will pitch your child, casting may be reluctant because they
haven’t built a relationship with your child. Don’t blame the
manager if this happens.

Pitching a client is not easy, so if you take the initiative to build
relationships with casting, then the pitch becomes much easier.

Plus, if you are completely wrong for a role, you save time and
aggravation because casting already knows your child.

5. Do you have strong relationships with agents, and which ones?
(If you are with an agent, make sure they are already on the list)

If you don’t have an agent, then the manager needs to find an
agency to cover you. If you do have an agent, the manager needs to
be able to work with them, so they don’t both pitch on the same day.

Remember, 90% of the pitching in Hollywood is done by managers,
and not by agents. Agents usually only pitch for Series Regular and
Guest star roles, as well as big feature film roles. Managers can pitch
the smaller roles because they have a more active role in building a
career. Then the agent helps protect you by negotiating in your

6. If casting calls for my child, do you guarantee to make sure I’m
contacted, no matter how small the role?

Sometime managers don’t like their clients to book smaller roles and
want to hold them out for bigger roles. That’s fine, but they should
tell you when this happens, so that you can make a choice.

If you have relationships with casting, sometimes you want to do those
smaller roles to build on your relationship with that office. The manager
can give you feedback and input on that process, but, at the same time
they need to make sure you are aware of all of those situations.

7. Do you require a signed contract, and if you (the manager)  don’t perform,
how do we cancel the contract?

Many managers want you to sign a  contract, and if they don’t perform
as you expect them to, you need to find out how to cancel the contract.

Contracts go two ways, so make sure that they understand that by signing
the contract, you expect them to perform as advertised and push
and pitch your child. If you get lost in the shuffle, you should be able
to find a better fit easily.

Remember, managers who encourage you to build relationships with
casting through workshops and intensives, can then help you
sort through the auditions and offers that are generated through come
those relationships

That’s a good thing.

Do you have any comments?

Let me know,

All the best,

Jack Turnbull