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Tuesday, September 19, 2017



10 Steps to advance your acting career TODAY!



Actors Casting needs you to be available when THEY need you. We don't plan our schedules around actors. Actors need to plan their schedules around us. You might think that's not fair...but that's how it is. Your day job is not our problem. We are in the Casting Problem.  The projects don't wait until you're available and ready - unless you are Dame Judy Dench.

Our producers don't wait until all the actors can show up for auditions. If the auditions are from 11 AM to 2 PM. If you have to drop EVERYTHING to make sure you get there DO IT! Be 1000% prepared. If you are lucky enough to be in the handful of actors that actually get an audition you better show up - off book, the character fully figured out, dressed to reflect the character, early, with a positive attitude, and able to give 1000%. Or don't show up.

1) Actors are their own worst enemy. They get in the way of their own opportunities. When someone asks for your demo reel -you should have a link to your demo reel IMMEDIATELY available to give to someone.

2) When someone asks for your resume it should be updated with all of your current and most recent credits. Everything should be spelled correctly. The columns should be lined up.

3) Being prepared and ready for an opportunity is often the difference between getting the job and not getting the job.  What could you do TODAY to make yourself more ready for an upcoming opportunity? Does your demo reel have footage that is well lit that features YOU... or everybody else in the scene? If it doesn't feature you...go edit it today.

4) If you play a cop, or a nurse, or a victim, do you have an acting scene specifically for EACH of those types? If not ...schedule to shoot them.  If you sing or dance do you have clips that shows you singing and dancing on your Actor's Access? (Or any of your other major special skills?) If not...go shoot it.

5) Are you using the same name on your head shots, your resume, your email, your website, your IMDb Pro, your Instagram, and your Facebook? If not...your brand is not solid. Coca-Cola doesn't change its name on every different platform. If your name is not the same on every platform… Go fix it.

6) You need to learn to edit your videos? Go take an editing class. Watching editing videos on YouTube.

7) Do you want to do sitcoms? Make sure you are studying at Groundlings or UCB. If your audition skills are weak get into Amy Lyndon's class immediately.

8) If you need an agent - make a target list and pick up the phone and call each and every single one of them. Then send them your package, then find their email addresses and email it, then find where they are doing showcases and attend. Ask your friends if they know them and can recommend you. Stalk them like the pray that they are. Put every ounce of your soul into it. Use your power of intention.

9) Put together your vision board. If you don't have a vision board get it together and on your wall. You have to know where you're going in life if you want to get there. There's so much you can do today, this week, this month to move your career forward.

10) Have you read enough books about this business? Read mine, "How To Break Into Show Business" from a Talent Managers daily experience. http://www.SecretsofaHollywoodTalentManager.com/
Read Bonnie Gillespie's Self Management for the Actor, or Judy Kerr's book. These books are critical. And Don't just read them - follow along and DO the things we suggest. Only action will take you to the next level.

Today is brand new day! You can achieve ANYTHING!

I believe in YOU.

Wendy Alane Wright
Hollywood Talent Manager
Schedule a Skype Acting Career Consultation and make sure YOU are on the right track!
http://www.SecretsofaHollywoodTalentManager.com

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Can Social Media Followers Get You More Acting Parts? - Advice by Heidi Dean

Wendy Alane Wright is a Hollywood Talent Manager and the president of WAW Entertainment. Her clients have appeared on television networks such as ABC, NBC, TNT, CBS, HBO, Comedy Central, BIO, SyFy, Lifetime, and more. They have booked TV shows including “Modern Family,” “Blackish,” “Extant,” “The Colony,” “Animal Kingdom,” “My Haunted House,”  "American Horror Story," "Walk The Prank," and “Henry Danger,” "Nightshift," "Sharp Objects," as well as hundreds of commercials for major spots including Shutterfly, Mercedes, Visa, Taco Bell, Universal Studios, Homegoods, Walmart, Justice, Target, Honda, Legos, Hot Wheels, and many more. Wright teaches the business of acting all over the country and is on the faculty of several schools including the New York Studio for Stage and Screen in North Carolina. She is an expert contributor to Backstage Magazine and has appeared in numerous other magazines, on radio shows and talk shows including “The Oprah Winfrey Show" where she talked talked about the Power of Attraction with Louise Hay. Wright is also the author of the book "An Ordinary Girl's Dialogue With God; Contrary Action" and 7 books in the series "Secrets of a Hollywood Talent Manager." She recently wrote and directed her first short film "Stardust" which is making the festival rounds. Her 30+ years of showbiz experience gives Wendy Alane Wright a 360-degree perspective of the industry.

Can Social Media Followers Get You More Acting Parts?

As a Talent Manager I get thousands of questions every year from actors. Actors often ask the proper way to use Social media to help build their acting careers.  With today's technology Social Media marketing has become more important than ever, so I always suggest actors do some research to learn how, when and what to post to Social Media.

RECENTLY I SAW THIS ACTOR'S QUESTION:

Wendy do you think casting directors, producers, directors and other people who matter really look at your social media before casting you in a project? Should I be deleting stuff from a long time ago? Nothing bad, just posts and photos that don't really represent who I am now as an actor...?

Great question! Today I have Social Media Guru HEIDI DEAN answering this query.

HEIDI: "I can tell you from first hand experience with clients that having more followers can get you a job or can help you negotiate a higher salary. I just spoke on a panel at a film festival and one of my fellow panelists was an indie film director/producer. He talked about how follower counts can mean the difference of $10,000s in profit when it comes to foreign distribution of his films. Why? Because he always has to submit follower counts for everyone above the line on the film. He told everyone at the festival that (of course) he always finds the actor that is right for the role and one that is talented BUT if it comes down to 2 people and one has a larger following, he usually goes that way. This is a business.

The biggest thing you can do for your follower growth is to get set up on social media now- don’t wait until you book that BIG project. Remember: You are collecting fans with every project you do (whether you’re just starting out in community theatre or student films or Broadway or network TV)! Whether it’s the people attending the performance that become fans AND the fans of your work w/in the industry: fellow actors, casting directors, directors. Always connect with them along the way- this will collect SUPER FANS along the way not just passive followers.

How to grow your following is a huge question to answer quickly here but let me tell you the 3 step process I teach for follower growth!

STEP #1: Create AWESOME first impression!
STEP #2: Share Great content!
STEP #3: ENGAGE with your audience

Most people jump to #3 because they want to get followers faster (they follow people, engage with their posts, and reply to other peoples posts like crazy) BUT if you don’t do create an awesome first impression and your profile doesn’t look good then all your audience building, networking and promotional efforts will be a waste of time on social. People will click over to see who’s engaging with them and instead of hitting that follow button or contacting you….they’ll just say Ehhh.

So make sure you are doing 3 AND 1 and 2. That’s when you’ll start seeing results with your follower growth. Hope that gets you started! Let me know if you have any other questions or need clarification from my answer above. See you on social."

-Heidi Dean

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About Heidi:

Heidi Dean is the industry’s top social media expert for actors and creator of Marketing4Actors. A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA, Heidi was also a working professional actor for over 20 years. Combining these decades of industry experience with cutting edge social media strategy, Heidi helps actors harness the power of social media to open more doors for their acting career. Her clients include Emmy Award-winners, Broadway stars, recording artists, directors, producers, filmmakers and actors just like you.

Heidi would also like to invite you to participate in the 21-Day Social Rockstar Challenge, aimed at helping you create a solid social media presence and build real connections with industry professionals!

For more info, visit SocialRockstarChallenge.com.
Heidi's Links:
Web: marketing4actors.com
Facebook: facebook.com/TheHeidiDean
Twitter: @Marketing4Actor
Instagram: @marketing4actors
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As always I am here to give actors Valuable information to help build a strong acting career. Stay close for information and resources you can TRUST.

Subscribe to my You Tube Channel for helpful videos and sign up for my Mailing List/Newsletter for  important Industry Guidance and special discounts on actor related products!

See You On The Red Carpet,


Wendy Alane Wright
Talent Manager, WAW Entertainment
Acting Career Coach
Secrets Of A Hollywood Talent Manager
IG: Wendyalane1

Monday, September 11, 2017

SHOW BUSINESS IS A NUMBERS GAME.

 Wendy Alane Wright is a Hollywood Talent Manager and the president of WAW Entertainment. Her clients have appeared on television networks such as ABC, NBC, TNT, CBS, Comedy Central, BIO, Lifetime, and more. They have booked TV shows including “Modern Family,” “Blackish,” “Extant,” “The Colony,” “Animal Kingdom,” “My Haunted House,” "Walk The Prank," “Henry Danger,” "Murder Among Friends," "Night Shift," as well as hundreds of commercials for major spots including Shutterfly, Mercedes, Visa, Taco Bell, Honda, Legos, Justice, Walmart, Little Tykes, Foot Locker, Hot Wheels, Home Goods, Universal Studios, and many more. Prior to being a manager and a talent agent at Burn Down Entertainment, Wright assisted many high profile managers, agents, and publicists. For 20 years she was a recording artist, actor, and music producer, and is now the author of seven books called, “Secrets of a Hollywood Talent Manager.” Wright teaches the business of acting all over the country and is on the faculty of the New York Studio for Stage and Screen in North Carolina. For years she has appeared in numerous magazines, and on radio shows and talk shows including “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Wendy is also a Recording Artist, Actress, Author and Music Producer all  giving her a 360-degree perspective of the industry.



SHOW BUSINESS IS A NUMBERS GAME. 

Managers, Agents, Producers and Production Companies are all....well, gamblers.

Agents and Managers are constantly submitting their clients. When an actor isn't called in one reason is CDs don't know them yet. Give it time. Some actors get auditions right away and book lots of projects. Others get very few auditions and don't book anything for years. That's just the way it works.

Actors may be beautiful, even talented but acting success doesn't come to all. That's why only 5% of SAG-AFTRA members actually make a living acting.
(https://www.google.com/…/la-fi-sag16jun16-2001-story,amp.ht…)

As Talent Agents and Talent Managers we get a LOT done for some clients and not much done for others. That's just the way this business works. This WHOLE business is a numbers game. We work our asses off and push them ALL towards the finish line, but only a handful make it across.

Agents and managers are gamblers. They're investors. They are people who invest using their own time and money experience and connections in the hopes that at least one of their bets will pay off huge and make it worthwhile for all the hard work they have done for everyone, even those who don't make it. Entertainment business is a high-stakes gambling game.

Similarly, when record labels sign several bands in a year, they know only a handful will pay off. They just hope the profit is enough to cover all the investments into the other bands that did not pay off...and still make profit$$.

The same is true for Television. When TV pilots are made and taken to the Upfronts in New York City to determine which pilots will be actually picked up - networks know only a small handful will be picked up. The rest will be tossed in the trash. They're just gambling and hoping that one of those shows that are picked up will go on to become a HUGE hit, which will make everybody millions and pay back all the money they spent on the majority of pilots that did NOT get picked up. And then they start the process all over again for the next season.

Show Business = High Stakes gambling. It pays BIG if the investment turns into shows like "Friends" and "Big Bang Theory" or actors become a "Tom Cruise" and "Scarlett Johansen."

Worth it?

We would all like to think so.

Why should you know these facts? So you can be REALISTIC and make smarter decisions, take advantage of opportunities when they do come your way, know the difference between what you can control and what you can't. Make sure YOU have the best package to sell: the best headshots, the best demo reel, the best acting training you can get. UP YOUR GAME. RAISE YOUR ODDS.

Academy Award Winning Actor Denzel Washington says, "The key to this business is to keep going."

Keep developing your craft, keep making connections, CREATE YOUR OWN PROJECTS, build and nourish the relationships you make, enjoy the process of making art... you are an artist. You are doing this for the art...remember? If you are doing this crazy business to get rich and famous...ahhhh....you might want to pick a more sure bet.

If you are doing this for the art...then relax, and remember to ENJOY THE JOURNEY.

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As always I am here to give actors Valuable information to help build a strong acting career. Stay close for information and resources you can TRUST.

Subscribe to my You Tube Channel for helpful videos and sign up for my Mailing List/Newsletter for  important Industry Guidance and special discounts on actor related products!

See You On The Red Carpet,

Wendy Alane Wright
Talent Manager, WAW Entertainment
Acting Career Coach
Secrets Of A Hollywood Talent Manager

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Acting roles for kids who look older than they are is tough!


Wendy Alane Wright is a Hollywood talent manager and the president of WAW Entertainment. Her clients have appeared on television networks such as ABC, NBC, TNT, CBS, Comedy Central, BIO, Lifetime, and more. They have booked TV shows including “Modern Family,” “Blackish,” “Extant,” “The Colony,” “Animal Kingdom,” “My Haunted House,” and “Henry Danger,” as well as hundreds of commercials for major spots including Shutterfly, Mercedes, Visa, Taco Bell, Honda, Legos, Hot Wheels, and many more. Prior to being a manager and a talent agent at Burn Down Entertainment, Wright assisted many high profile managers, agents, and publicists. For 20 years she was a recording artist, actor, and music producer, and is now the author of five books called, “Secrets of a Hollywood Talent Manager.” Wright teaches the business of acting all over the country and is on the faculty of the New York Studio for Stage and Screen in North Carolina. For years she has appeared in numerous magazines, and on radio shows and talk shows including “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”


I am a Talent Manager and Expert Contributor for Backstage. I get a lot of questions from parents of child actors. I get this one so much I decided to do a bloig about it to help any parent out there struggling with this dilemma.  Recently a parent asked;

"Hi Wendy, my daughter is almost 13 and looks much older than her age. She plays ages 13-17 and is 5'5". We've found it to be difficult to find auditions and I was wondering if anyone knows of someplace to look for them. I've found that most roles for minors are for ages 6-12. Does anyone else have the same problem or any advice? Thanks!"

Let's get right to my answer:

In this industry kids that look older than they are have a very hard time of it. Managers, Agents, Casting Directors and Producers want children who look YOUNGER than they are. Many "kids" on TV who play high schoolers are often 18-20 years old, which may surprise you.

When a child is 13 and looks 17 there will very FEW roles if any for that child. Some of it has to do with child labor laws. Older children can work longer hours than younger children. A 16 year old that looks 11 can work longer hours than a true 11 year old. The only solution to this conundrum is called the CHSPE. Once a child passes the CHSPE they can work as a Legal 18 - which means they can work the same hours as an adult - which allows a 13 who looks 17 to work the same length of time as a 20 year old who looks 17. Now your child will have more opportunities because casting tends to hire adults, or legal 18 kids for teen roles.

CHSPE California High School Proficiency Examination
https://www.chspe.net

 
About the Test
This information comes directly from their website. The California High School Proficiency Examination (CHSPE) is a testing program established by California law (Education Code Section 48412). If eligible to take the test, you can earn the legal equivalent of a high school diploma by passing the CHSPE. The CHSPE consists of two sections: an English-language Arts section and a Mathematics section. If you pass both sections of the CHSPE, the California State Board of Education will award you a Certificate of Proficiency, which by state law is equivalent to a high school diploma (although not equivalent to completing all coursework required for regular graduation from high school). Although federal agencies are not bound by state laws, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management has ruled that the Certificate of Proficiency shall be accepted in applications for federal civilian employment. The U.S. Department of Education, including the Federal Student Aid Office, recognizes the CHSPE as the equivalent of a high school diploma in applications for federal financial aid. All persons and institutions subject to California law that require a high school diploma for any purpose must accept the certificate as satisfying the requirement.

Passing the CHSPE does not, by itself, exempt minors from attending school. Minors who have a Certificate of Proficiency must also have verified parent/guardian permission to stop attending school. Many students who pass the CHSPE continue to attend school. State law provides that, if you leave school after passing the CHSPE and are no more than 18 years old, you may reenroll in the district in which you were registered with no adverse consequences. If you do reenroll you may be required to meet new or additional requirements established since you were previously enrolled. If you reenroll and then leave school again, you may be denied re-admittance until the beginning of the following semester. Contact your guidance counselor or school administrator for further information and details about leaving school after passing the CHSPE.

Dropping out of school after registering for the CHSPE or while awaiting results is unlawful for those under 18 years old. It may also result in failing grades for courses in which you are enrolled.
If you opt not to have your child take the CHSPE keep your child in LOTS of acting training and theater until they get older. Do they auditions you can get and good luck!

Wendy Alane Wright
Talent Manager, President
WAW Entertainment
InstaGram @WAWEntertainment
InstaGram @WAWKids
InstaGram @WendyAlane1
InstaGram @SecretsofaHollywoodManager
BlogSpot @SecretsofaTalentManager
YouTube @Wendy Alane Wright
eBooks ~ SecretsofaHollywoodTalentManager

Friday, September 8, 2017

Los Angeles or Atlanta -Which is the Better Career Move? - by Alex Collins

                                                              Photographer: Tihanyi
Wendy Alane Wright is a Hollywood Talent Manager with WAW Entertainment. Her clients have appeared in numerous national commercials, movies, webisodes, short films, and on television networks such as ABC, NBC, Comedy Central, BIO, Lifetime, plus many more. Wendy clients have booked TV shows including MODERN FAMILY, BLACKISH, EXTANT, THE COLONY, MY HAUNTED HOUSE, AMERICAN HORROR STORY, THE NIGHT SHIFT, ANIMAL KINGDOM, MURDER AMONG FRIENDS, NIGHTSHIFT and HENRY DANGER, as well as hundreds of Commercials for major spots including Shutterfly, Mercedes, Visa, Taco Bell, Honda, Legos, Hot Wheels, Little Tykes, Foot Locker, Target, Walmart, Justice and many more. Previous to being a Manager and a Talent Agent at Burn Down Entertainment, she assisted many high profile Managers, Agents and Publicists in the careers of Neil Patrick Harris, Johnny Galecki, Sarah Michelle Geller, The Four Tops, The Bee Gees, Meatloaf, Whoopi Goldberg, Steve Guttenberg, The Cranberries Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand, Kenny Rogers, and Neil Diamond. Wendy is also a Recording Artist, Actress, Author and Music Producer all  giving her a 360-degree perspective of the industry.

Hello Actors! As a Talent Manager in Los Angeles I get this question all the time. "Wendy, do you think LA is better career move or ATL? I live in LA but it seems like everything is currently casting in ATL.?"


To answer this question I gained the imput of an amazing show business resource Alex Collins. 
Alex Collins is an Atlanta based, SAG-AFTRA actor, who has worked in BOTH LA and Atlanta. His work includes major studio films such as The Accountant, Sleepless, American Made, and Shock & Awe. Television work include recurring roles on Underground, Turn, and The Have & Have Nots, as well as roles on 24: Legacy, NCIS: New Orleans, Satisfaction, and Sleepy Hollow, among others.  He has also worked in the indie film world, both as an actor and most recently as a producer of the SAG-AFTRA short film, Debt.  In addition to working on camera, Collins is a teacher at Drama Inc., one of Atlanta's premier acting studios, teaching the challenging class, From Audition To Set, as well as additional classes. He also works as a private acting coach and career consultant. Alex's IMDB:  http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1180204/?ref_=nmbio_bio_nm


"Ultimately it's a very personal decision. There's the hustle and bustle of LA, the large amount of classes, networking opportunities, and of course, the weather. BUT, it's a massively saturated market, it's incredibly challenging, and it's easy to burn through cash quickly and make ZERO progress.

The flip side is that many people think Atlanta is just some golden ticket to work. FALSE. It's incredibly competitive. 600-1500 people are still being submitted for every one line co-star just like in LA. 90%+ of what we're auditioning for is via self-tape, so it's much harder to establish a relationship with CD's but the upside is that it's easier to create great audition tapes.

Just like someone moving to LA "for a year" anyone coming to Atlanta with the idea of just dipping their toe in the market will not experience success. If you move here, planning to commit to truly being here, immersing yourself into the market, then you will find success. Why?

LA has SO MANY levels of gate keepers. It's incredibly challenging to even find an agent. Usually that first agent is a commercial agent. Then you have to prove yourself and/or get a referral to get on a theatrical roster. Then you spend tons of time trying to get auditions and then impressing in those auditions and then, maybe booking some smaller roles.

In the same amount of time in Atlanta, if you're halfway talented and professional, you WILL get an agent (across the board), you WILL get auditions (for TV AND film, which film auditions are hard to come by in LA), and ultimately you will book.

Then people say, "there's only small roles in Atlanta" and "what about pilot season" to which I respond:


1. If you're new/newer to LA and don't have amazing credits, then you're not going to be testing for pilots anyway, so you can forget that. Atlanta shoots as many dramatic pilots as LA each year and you'll audition for those, just as you audition for everything you're right for in Atlanta.


2. Define "small roles" because if you're barely auditioning for anything in LA, then isn't any audition for a network, cable, or studio film a great opportunity? Yes, there are the one line co-stars, but there's also the three episode recurring co-star. There's also the 6 episode arc on Ozark that Atlanta actors are booking. There's also the 10/10 recurring guest star roles that Atlanta actors are booking. There's top of show guest stars that Atlanta actors are booking. That same actor in LA who is clamoring for a one line co-star opportunity in MOST cases isn't going to be seen by a CD for a 10 episode recurring guest star because they haven't proven they can handle it yet. But, because they need/must cast locally, Atlanta actors get that opportunity.

Take a look at the top shows that shoot in Atlanta, whether it's Walking Dead, Stranger Things, Ozark, Halt & Catch Fire, etc. and scroll IMDB Pro and look at the resumes of the local actors. They work a TON. More frequently than most LA based actor at the same tier level.

There's pros and cons to both markets, of course. And ultimately, if you want to be a series regular, then LA is the place to be. If you want to work in comedy, LA is the place to be. Most actors never make it to the series regular level, they just want to have a career. Actors are doing that daily in Atlanta."


In addition to working on camera, Collins is a teacher at Drama Inc., one of Atlanta's premier acting studios, teaching the challenging class, From Audition To Set, as well as additional classes.  He also works as a private acting coach. If you need a great acting class in Atlanta or private audition coaching please reach out to him on his coaching website: https://www.alexbcollins.com/contact/

Thank you Alex for sharing your amazing advice with the the acting world, you are a valuable resource!

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As always I am here to give actors Valuable information to help build a strong acting career. Stay close for information and resources you can TRUST.

Subscribe to my You Tube Channel for helpful videos and sign up for my Mailing List/Newsletter for  important Industry Guidance and special discounts on actor related products!

Actors go out into your life and be focused, believe in yourself and KNOW that anything is possible.

See You On The Red Carpet,

Wendy Alane Wright
Talent Manager, WAW Entertainment
Acting Career Coach
Secrets Of A Hollywood Talent Manager
IG: Wendyalane1


Friday, August 25, 2017

Battle Stories- Behind the Scenes at a Talent Management Company



Wendy Alane Wright is a Hollywood talent manager and the president of WAW Entertainment. Her clients have appeared on television networks such as ABC, NBC, TNT, CBS, Comedy Central, BIO, Lifetime, and more. They have booked TV shows including “Modern Family,” “Blackish,” “Extant,” “The Colony,” “Animal Kingdom,” “My Haunted House,” "Nightshift," "Walk The Prank," and “Henry Danger,” as well as hundreds of commercials for major spots including Shutterfly, Mercedes, Visa, Taco Bell, Honda, Legos, Hot Wheels, and many more. Prior to being a manager and a talent agent at Burn Down Entertainment, Wright assisted many high profile managers, agents, and publicists. For 20 years she was a recording artist, actor, and music producer, and is now the author of five books called, “Secrets of a Hollywood Talent Manager.” Wright teaches the business of acting all over the country and is on the faculty of the New York Studio for Stage and Screen in North Carolina For years she has appeared in numerous magazines, and on radio shows and talk shows including “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Wendy is also a Recording Artist, Actress, Author and Music Producer all  giving her a 360-degree perspective of the industry.

Today I looked up an old client on IMDB and saw that she has not added 1 more credit to her resume since her mother left my management company a few years ago. Nothing new. When she was with me we added 8 credits to her resume with costars and guest stars on 4 Television episodics, 2 short films and a Pilot booking! What is this new manager doing for her?

Now I was curious. I took it further and looked at her Actors Access profile and saw outdated pictures from 2 years ago! She looks nothing like that any more. Then I noticed the only acting demo videos she had up were the ones I produced for her to give her that high definition footage she needed to show her acting range and personality. I got her many jobs with those. Knowing children change so much between 9 and 11 why hasn’t her current manager taken those down headshots and videos downs replaced them with new gorgeous headshots and updated video clips that show her amazing talent? I don’t get it. I research the manager, he is legit. Where is his attention?

I’ve seen by her Facebook posts she is singing with a girl group. They are cute and talented and they can dance and sing, yet nowhere on this former clients Actors Access profile has her new manager posted a video of her singing or dancing to share with casting directors. This beautiful, talented child who I loved representing, who was the focus of my attention is now completely UNDER REPRESENTED. Why did that happen? Because the mother thought the grass would be greener somewhere else. It happens to actors ALL THE TIME.

Actors and parents get a some success and feel someone else can take them further faster. But guess what? It was the steady, focused, consistent and direct attention on the client with the correct guidance of a strong manager for several YEARS that led to that success. Which frankly, would have continued if they were patient enough to stay with us. Ahhh so many mangers and agents have these stories. We cry the 1st time it happens. We call all of our close industry friends and tell them the tragedy. We all understand. We have been there. “Just keep going we say…”

After the first few times I’m not sure sad is the word we use to describe this anymore. Sometimes we get angry and sometimes we are glad to see them go. But it’s always disappointing when we have the ball rolling and one of our clients wants to jump ship and climb aboard someone else train mid-trip. I have been in this business over 30 years and I have RARELY seen that work out. I look at their IMDB Pages and I see stalled career after stalled career. It’s like graveyard. I suppose I just wonder what amazing things could have become of that actor had they had a modicum of faith.

Hollywood is a fickle place. Many actors learn that the hard way. They can be starring on a show, unscrupulous agents and managers come snooping and try to steal other people’s clients. Then in 5 minutes when the actor is no longer “the flavor of the month” the new agent or manager dumps them. They don’t know it’s coming, but we do. It’s like we are standing at the ledge of a mountain saying stop!!! Stop running!! You are going to go over the edge!!! And the actor is running with a huge smile on their face and finger up at us and we watch them go over the edge hearing their screams on their way down. I am never happy to see this happen, but sometimes, okay a lot of times a feeling crops up of “I told you so, dumb ass.” Well, I am only human.

Ego and impatience are the top killers of many acting careers. Any actor who has attained success in this business will tell you it’s the LONG GAME that matters. It’s the constant training, showing up for auditions, increasing your acting and auditioning skills, learning about the business, doing solid acting work, auditioning 100 times before you book 1 single job. I’s about having people in your life who believe in you, keep you motivated and going when it’s hard and then being loyal to those people who are working hard for you. So many actors fail when they deviate from this formula. They get the “I know better than you” syndrome LOL. It’s contagious, watch out!

Once an actor I used to represent a years ago when he was still a teen called me at 10:00pm at home on my cell and DEMANDED that I take down pictures of him that were on my social media. Hmmmm. His attitude was not positive! This isn't going to work out well for him. Here he comes out of the blue being abrasive and angry while I was happily relaxing @ home with my beloved husband and 2 precious dogs - watching a current client in his Guest Starring role on a CBS TV show. I had no idea what pictures he was talking about or where he saw them but I told him his emergency was not my priority and my assistant and I would look into and remove whatever he was talking about. I rarely take pictures down from clients I have invested my time and energy into, even if we are done. But this kid was such an ass I was glad to do it.


 Then he had the audacity to say “Well You never got me the auditions for those movies anyways. I got those myself.”

Ummmm, that’s when I have to laugh and tell you the real story.

When this kid came to me years ago he was in about 16 and had never done ANYTHING but school plays. During the 2 years I managed him I showed him how to create an Actors Access account, which we did together, I taught him how to self submit to smaller projects himself so he could get real experience in front of the camera. I had him shoot professional headshots, I got him in to new professional acting classes so he could learn the professional TV/Film acting and audition techniques I knew he would need. I developed him for about a year and when I felt he was ready, I introduced him to a fantastic Talent Agent who signed him and got him many, many mainstream TV and Film auditions - for which he NEVER booked. Not one.

Instead he complained with me about "not needing training." He came to my office and proceeded to tell me how I should have the files organized on my desk, and how I should do this and that. Uh-huh. Red Flag. I should have dropped him right then and there but no.

While managing him I was often on the phone with his mother while she was crying about what a bad kid he was being and how disrespectful his behavior had gotten at home. I met with the mother, I met with the sister and grandmother, I met with the mother and the son for the three of us to talk. At the mother's request I tried to help them resolve their family issues. I spend hours on the phone with my client trying to help him deal with things emotionally and let him know that his behavior was not acceptable, and that I would not represent someone who was treating his family that way. I told him I was going to drop him if he didn't start to fly right. He promised to do better and he did for a while.

Down the road, his mother called and told me her son forged her signature on the production documents of a FEATURE FILM he was currently shooting. It was the document that gave him permission to do a horror film. His mom in no uncertain terms had told him NO. Since he was a minor and it was completely against her will and her religion she wanted him OFF that set NOW!  He didn't want to turn down his first feature film. I explained to him she was legally in charge. Then
I, AS THE MANAGER had to let production know he would not be able to participate in the film which had ALREADY STARTED SHOOTING that week. Holy cow. He was lying to both of us. Can you believe it! What a phone call to producers that was. I was mortified. You want to be a Talent Manager yet?

Hours of my time over the years have now been taken up by all of this bullshit with him and I still haven’t made any MONEY to reimburse for me for my time, efforts, knowledge, energy, connections, etc. If I have a "regular job" I would have been paid at the end of the week for the past 2 years. Do I keep going and hope to recoup my money? Do I quit with him and sending him packing? He is a teenager....they go through shit. I was a crazy teenager once. Maybe he just needs someone to believe in him and stick by him. I am his manager that is what I am supposed to do, right?

This talented kid has so much "potential." So I keep working with him. I want to see his dream happen damn it. We are 2 years in ...4 short films later with leading roles, he's got experience, he knows how thinks work. I am invested now.  I want a return on my investment. That's what managers and agents do, we invest in "potential" because we want the dividend. We are not doing it as a game for pete's sake! Oy Vey.

So I keep going and producers are calling me saying they have never seen such amazing talent. They are blown away by his ability. I am amazing for finding such a talented kid. Great.

Then further on down the road during post-production of one of these short films “he got himself” another producer calls me and says my client was calling him at odd hours and talking about his sexuality. OH MY GOSH!!

I was beyond words, apologetic, embarrassed for him. I had to explain and cover, soothe and help make things right in their relationship. He is making me look bad, making my company look bad which makes things look bad for my other clients.  Oh HELL NAW. I was NOT happy about this. The producer told me to “get him under control” and that he would “not allow the star of his movie to attend ANY promotional events relating to the movie if this behavior happened ever again.”

Turns out the images this actor wanted me to "take down from my social media" were images of him and I together at the premiere of this movie - (which he WAS able to attend and experience because I cracked the whip on him.) And now here we are with this actor years later, out of the blue, calling me at 10:00pm at night at home angry saying "you weren’t really a manager…I got those films on my own."  I guess he doesn't remember any of the other stuff.

Actors SELDOM REMEMBER everything we do for them.

But folks I am taking you behind the scenes. This the type of STUPIDITY and EGO I see with actors all the time. In fact, all of my agent and manager friends see this kind of crap; actors who are ungrateful for everything we do for them and yet…expect everything from us. Atrocious. I don’t know if it’s this new millennial generation or just the utter self-centeredness and selfishness of SOME actors. Creative people tend to be a tortured breed you know?

There are some incredible actors and human beings in this business and when I find them I am so happy to be in their presence; grateful, humble, talented and hardworking people who are dedicated to the craft of acting. I have MANY of them on my roster now because I have learned how to pick them over the years. I learn from my mistakes. This has been just one of many battle stories in this business. BATTLE? Yes..it's a battle. A battle to keep good clients, a battle for jobs, a battle for bookings. I have heard more horror stories than you can imagine. So what makes Managers and Agents stick with this crazy business?

Well, for me it’s an addiction to the excitement of the "possibility." It's gambling... I guess. Huh, which is strange for me since I am the one who goes into a casino with $20 and says to my friends "when this $20 is gone I am done." And when it is gone.... I actually do leave. LOL

It’s an addiction to when an actor breaks through the noise, becomes successful and their talent shines through. When I see great movies being made and stories being told. When I see that what I am doing works, I get very excited, happy and actually proud of myself. Plus I like the glitz and the glamour of show business, all the perks. And when the list of bookings my clients get grows longer and longer and the money comes in from those bookings... I am a happy camper because love making money :)

Wait...there's more.....

When an actor starts going straight to producers and is getting offered direct bookings without auditions, or when people call me and want interviews with my clients or they are standing on the red carpet next to the movie poster with their face on it... I get fricken excited! When my actor's names are in the credits in the movie theater...well I let out a whooop!!!!! When a kid goes to the store and they see themselves on TV or in a Justice Ad on the wall of a store, or in TV commercial, in a magazine or on the Box of a Toy…I feel elated for a moment. Why? Because I know that everything I did up until that point MADE that happen. Along with some amazing parents, acting teachers, casting directors, producers, production teams, editors...okay, it's not all me. but I have a part in.  :) Before me...they were just a kid in school with a dream.

Do the parents know how much we really do behind the scenes? Not always. Do the actors know? Not always. Sometimes this bitch is a thankless profession. But when the big checks roll in from the actors who stick with us for the long haul….it makes it all worth while. That’s why I have my house in Connecticut ☺ Thank you very much.

As talent managers we do the same things with ALL of our clients and yet it only works for a HANDFUL. That's disappointing for many people but we know that's true because we have been doing this for years, and years, and years. We have run many actors through "the system" and only a few stick.  Of course every adult or parent hopes it will work for them or his or her kids. Jack Nicholas’s Agent Sandy Bressler always says to me “every actor thinks they will make it, but honestly they won’t. We know that.” So what happens to them? Most of them will find OTHER careers, albeit many of them IN show business like directing, production, set decorating, scoring films, costume design, special effects etc. Why? Because this business is freaking addictive. It’s like nothing else on earth. It’s exciting and once it has its claws in you… your stuck.

But it’s a beautiful love affair.

I have been a singer, an actress, a casting director, a music producer, a talent agent, a music booking agent, a publicist, a screen writer, an author, a film director, an acting teacher, an acting career consultation and a talent manager and ALL of it has filled my soul and kept me in an industry I worship. Yes, I worship (not above God) but I love this industry and all the beauty it yields.

I have been on so many sets where I have been enthralled by the creative process and symmetry of movie making. The talent in this space. I have been in many casting rooms where incredibly passionate people have moved me to tears or laughter. For me, being around people with a dream for something bigger than they are is a great feeling and I NEED that in my life. I love it.

I scout for talent all over the country and I take on actors who have the POTENTIAL of doing great things in this business. I can see it a mile away. They have the looks, the personality, the talent, the spark…but so many things can go wrong for them their train derails. And usually… they derail it themselves. That’s the sad part to me.

But… we go on, looking for new clients, finding new talent and spotting diamonds in the rough. Excitingly polishing them with hope and anticipation of all they can be…and SOMETIMES BECOME.

Wendy Alane Wright
Talent Manager
WAW Entertainment
http://secretsofahollywoodtalentmanager.com

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Why Agents Drop Talent + How Not To Be One Of Them



Here is my most recent article in BACKSTAGE.com Magazine!

Talent agents drop clients all the time. If you’re signed to a talent agency at some point you might receive an email like this:

Dear actor — Unfortunately, we are having to let go of models and talent that are not being requested by clients, going out but not booking, or not actively involved and/or updating their marketing materials/stats. You fall under one of these categories.

Don’t let this happen to you. Obviously, you need to book the jobs your agents sends you on or at the very least, get callbacks. But it’s also important to build a personal relationship with your agent so that when drop season comes along, it’s harder for them to drop you if they like and care about you, and have a vested interest in your career.

Here are six ways you can build a more personal relationship with your agent so you’re the kind of client he or she doesn’t want to drop.

1. Update your agent every time you book something on your own. Agents like proactive actors who are working hard on their careers and not waiting for their agents to do everything. You should be submitting yourself on Backstage daily.
2. Stay on their radar! Send birthday cards, Valentine’s Day candy, cookies on the Fourth of July. Little gestures keep you front of mind throughout the year.
3. Follow your agent on Instagram and Facebook and take notice of the special things that happen in their lives. Congratulate them when their other clients are successful, if they win an award, or have a new baby. Show your agent you care about them outside of work.
4. Create your own content and be sure to let your agent know about it.
5. Send your agent new acting clips on a regular basis so they can see the depth of your talent and the different roles you can play.
6. Invite them to any theater performances or film festivals your work is screening at. Let your agent know you care about what they think of your work.

It's important to become more than just a face in a headshot—your agent has hundreds of those. If they get to know you as a person and if you take the time to keep them informed about your career, they'll develop more of a personal relationship with you, making it that much harder to drop you from their roster. If you’re not doing these things when drop season comes along right after pilot season, it’ll be very easy for them to drop you. The same goes with your manager.

Wendy Alane Wright is a Hollywood talent manager, the president of WAW Entertainment, and a Backstage Expert. For more information, check out Wright’s full bio!

Wendy Alane Wright
WAW Entertainment
President
http://www.secrestofahollywoodtalentmanager.com