Agents, Managers, and You

Interesting read for those seeking managers or agents:


By Bob Fraser

I recently got an email asking me, “which would be
better to get my acting career going – an agent or
a manager?”

Here’s my answer: Neither an agent or a manager can
“get your acting career going” for you.

The concept that a powerful man or woman can step in
and help you skip all the hard work involved in starting
your acting career – is a fairy tale.

There is no short-cut to the top of show business (or
even to the middle). There’s also no Tooth Fairy, Easter
Bunny or Great Pumpkin.

If it could be done that way, then agents and managers
would simply pick out any actors – from the thousands of
headshots they get every week – and turn them into stars.

These people are pros – and they’re not going to waste
their valuable time, trying to accomplish what they know
cannot be done.


Now, there ARE differences between agents and managers:

An agent is a sales person for the product known as YOU.

Sales people (agents) judge how well their business is
doing by how much money they make. A good sales pro likes
to make lots of money. If people aren’t ready to buy your
product (you) then a sales person won’t make a lot of
money selling it.

Not surprisingly, agents are coldly business-like about
this part. Until you’ve managed to get your career going
yourself (making money as an actor) – don’t expect any
professional sales people to be very interested.

Managers are just what the word implies. The manage things.
Mailings, bookings, transportation, job offers, publicity –
the day to day business of YOU.

Keep in mind that in most markets, they are precluded, by
law, from seeking work for you.

The top managers are usually the top managers because they
manage very successful careers. The big boys (and girls) in
the management game, are just like agents when it comes to
money. They want to manage a going concern.

Believe me, If you have what they want – if you are a
going concern with a name that you’ve made for yourself –
they KNOW their managing skills will take you to a whole
new level (making LOTS of money) and since they get a big
chunk of a LOT, believe me – they WILL find you.


Here’s the point I want you to keep in mind: As long as
you continue to believe that your main job is looking for
someone else to help you get your career going – you won’t
spend nearly enough time doing the crucial things you need
to do … to get your career going YOURSELF.

Looking for someone else to get your acting career going
is a very bad tactic which always results in frustration,
wasted years and, ultimately, failure to achieve what you

If you don’t concentrate on doing your part, now – it’s
quite unlikely you will build your business into something
big enough to be noticed by a good agent or a good manager.

In other words, by all means keep looking for a sales staff
and a management team – but don’t neglect your business while
you’re looking.

And remember to keep “the store” open late.

Reprinted from THE ACTOR’S TOOL KIT, the email course for subscribers of Show Biz How-To -The Free Actor’s Newsletter.

Get your subscription here:

Copyright © 2008 Bob Fraser Productions All Rights Reserved


About Jeffrey Kafer

I am a Seattle-based voice over artist specializing in audiobooks, but also working in corporate narration and commercials. You can find me at View all posts by Jeffrey Kafer

One response to “Agents, Managers, and You

  • Bobbin Beam

    Hi Jeff,
    Thanks for posting this insightful article from Bob Fraser. I really enjoy his stuff. I recently read his book, “The Agent Code”, which is excellent.
    Bobbin Beam, Voice Actress

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