Want To Be An Actor In Movies? What You Need To Know - Avoid Scammers
Are Acting Managers and Agents Necessary?
With over 25 years in the entertainment business, I have formed definite opinions about the role of agents and managers. I'm writing this article to both educate and protect the reader from bogus, money-hungry, out-right lying scams so prevelant here in the US. These "vultures" not only think nothing of robbing "wanna be" actors, models, singers and comedians from their life-savings, they play on the hopes and dreams of the unsuspecting. Not only does this behavior not bother them, they are quick to boast and laugh about their long list of "sign-ups".
I have witnessed parents selling their car, taking out big loans, borrowing large somes of money from family and friends just to pay an unqualified agent his rediculous fee. This is also the case when "gratefully" signing up for bogus management representation.
We need to be more informed and cautious before putting our children, or ourselves in to the hands of clever and deceptive agents and managers.
Legitimate Agents NEVER Charge a Fee
Remember this, and spread the word to your family and friends - legitimate agents make their money, only when you do. They get paid from the percentage you make. Period!
And here's another thing to remember. The only time agents advertise is when they hold an "open audition" or "open call". These announcements are broadcast on the radio, in the newspaper, sometimes on line and on television. Open auditions are rare, perhaps once a year only. Reputable agents do not need to advertise for clients. Their clients are so good and so busy, they do not need to advertise.
About Acting Agents
The role of a Film Agent, is a major powerbroker in the industry, controlling many aspects of it.
Agents in the music business, are involved in booking, live personal appearances and concerts.
Agents will hand you a contract to sign, which allows them a small percentage of your income (10%). They are only paid, when you are paid. Agents must be regulated by unions such as AFM, AFTRA, and SAG. You absolutely must do your homework and check to make sure your agent has membership in each of these unions. Remember, the above unions are your seal of approval for the endless list of agents.
Agents do not approach a person with a promise to make them a star. Never! Yes, there are a few stories circulating around with conflicting rumors - but not true, especially in today's market. These "sharks" are popular in malls where they prey upon young people, innocent and starry-eyed young people.
If these "hunters" approach you, ask for their business card and NEVER give them your personal information, like your name, phone number or address. If the business card has the above union names printed on the face of the card, call the unions to verify that they are members. Again, do your homework. And parents - do talk to your children about this and keep them safe.
The William Morris Agency - Los Angeles, Ca.
Some of the greatest stars in the movie industry are signed with William Morris.
The Truth About Talent Managers
A manager used to be someone you needed to guide your career. Even if you were an established artist or a big star, managers were in big demand. Now, A "manager" can be all kinds of things from aspiring actors manager, to a celebrities manager and anything in between.
When searching for management, look for reputable, qualified companies, preferably one that will help you get signed with an agent. A manager will take a hefty percentage of everything you make money with. He may include, all films, commercials, voice-overs, recordings, stage, screen and television as well as promotional items (t-shirts, mugs, caps).
He will ask you to sign a contract and have no problem with you taking the contract to an attorney. Entertainment attorneys don't come cheap, so save your money. Personally, I would not do business with a manager who doesn't insist on a contract. The contract protect YOU as well as your manager.
Get Educated With The Acting Business
The best thing you can do for your career is to learn everything you can about the business. Take a trip to the library and read and study everything you can find on the entertainment business. Also, keep in mind that what you learn in a manual or book written in 1999 may have totally changed. So, keep current. Scan the internet for the latest laws, new information and fees.
The other thing you must do is to study your craft - again and again. Always take a class to become a better actor, model or singer. When you stop studying, you stop growing.
No form of art goes beyond ordinary consciousness as film does, straight to our emotions, deep into the twilight room of the soul. - Ingmar Bergman
Acting is not being emotional, but being able to express emotion. - Kate Reid
A fan club is a group of people who tell an actor he is not alone in the way he feels about himself - Jack Carson
Believe In Yourself ~
Not everyone "makes it" in the movie and television industry. The few who do are persistent, very well-prepared and some times have a little bit of luck. But, I want to say this - if being an actor or asingeris what you are all about - if it is your passion, your dream and your very life - you must believe in yourself and never, ever give up!
Go to every audition, knock on every door, learn all you can and be prepared...be prepared...be prepared.
Go out there and really sell yourself - again and again and again. As many times as it takes, prove to yourself that nothing will stop you. You are unstoppable.
William Morris Agency
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