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Sunday, December 9, 2012

8 Reasons Your Agent or Manager May Drop You - Actors Don't Make These Mistakes!



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. 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.

Every year approximately 50,000 hopefuls come to Hollywood to try and "make it" in show business. Some are successful, most are not. Many actors come here with good intentions and big dreams, but it is up to each one of you to learn how this business works. Read industry books, ask managers, ask other actors, join support groups, ask actors who have made it, read actor biographies, read the entire IMDB page of the actors you idolize and you can see their entire journey laid out in their credits. To have an agent or a manager means you need to be manageable and take direction that you are given. If you fight your reps you won't get far. You must do what is necessary, consistently and without hesitation.

You are filled with talent and energy. You can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Don't let anyone hold you back. There are very specific reasons many actors fail. Here are 8 deadly sins that will kill your career. I want to help you avoid them.

1. Lack of talent. You may think this is a no brainer, but I sit in on casting sessions and auditions and I am stunned by how bad some people are. Some actors may think they are more talented than they actually are. You've seen it on American Idol. Yes that's real some people are really that bad. One time I was in the casting room of a NBC Singing show and 1/2 the people they were auditioning could not sing. Make sure you are really talented and get the training you need. You are going to be competing with great talent. You don't need to compare your self, but you do need to be your best, at the top of your game. If you aren't, go do something else. If you are serious about succeeding, get yourself the best training you can. Develop your talent thoroughly and you will be noticed.

2.Lack of preparation. Actors try to wing it in auditions and don't understand the importance of intensive and continual cold reading and acting training. Having poor audition skills will stop you from getting anywhere. You may be able to act, but auditioning is an entirely different skill set. Don't waste your time trying to get into the audition room if you don't know how to work the room once you get in there. Poor impressions on casting directors are hard to erase. Train, train, train. If you haven't you are not likely to book.

3. Missing opportunities, not showing up. Actors skip auditions and say no to opportunities that could lead them to new contacts and potential work. In the beginning, no job is too small for actors who really want to get ahead, gain experience and make contacts. Some actors won't go to auditions they feel are beneath them. What!! Really? Casting Directors work on all kinds of projects. You may not be right for a specific project. But believe me, they will remember if you are good. Each good impression on a Casting Director is you getting ahead. You need any and every project you can get for experience, strengthening your skills, making contacts, getting footage and being paid at times. An actors acts. If that isn't you, maybe acting isn't your calling afterall so go do something else. Don't sabotage yourself. You have talent, the world wants to see it and enjoy it. Stay positive and keep doing your best.

4. Can't handle the rejection. Some actors take rejection personally and run away back to where they came from or into another line of work. Rejection is 90% of this business. Get used to it. While pursuing acting, fill your life with fun, friends, sports, concerts, prayer anything that validates and fulfills you. Don't wait for this business to do it. I suggest you read the "Four Agreements" by don Miguel Ruiz to learn all about taking things personally.

5. Can't take direction or be managed. Some actors are "know-it-alls" and can't take direction from those wiser and more experienced than they are, which results in missing opportunities that managers and agents are trying to give them. Other actors get these chances instead. You are better than this!

6. Can't figure out to how to make money to survive and pay for their acting expenses. Some come to LA broke without saving up money before coming. Some actors won't or don't realize they may have to work two jobs to be able to put money aside for acting expenses which are about $8,000 per year. College costs money and starting a business costs money. That's the price of doing business. You are an adult now, figure it out or someone else will.

7. Won't spend money on great Headshots, Demo Reels, Business Card, Workshops, Training so they don't have the tools to compete and succeed. Some actors spend years tring to get by with the least they can. Usually due to shortage of money, stubborness or sometimes they just don't realize how important these tools are and how good the tools have to be in order to compete with prepared, working actors who have been here for years and years and have their materials in order. Recently an actor who has been dragging behind on getting me his marketing materials told me he only had $75 left each month after his bills were paid. I asked him, "what are you making a week?" He said, "$350." "What!!!! I cried." Why the hell is he still at the job? He has been there two years. Did he come to Hollywood to work as an accountant or be an actor? And on top of that, he could only audition after 3:00pm when he got off of work. I told him get another job, or I would not be working with him anymore. I hate to say that because he is so flipping talented. But talented people who don't make it in Hollywood are a dime a dozen. Don't be one of these. You are capable of so much. Give it all you've got and don't let your media hurt you.

8. Lack of understanding about how the business works. This is certainly one of the biggest reasons. Actors, you are the CEO of your own company. If you don't understand how your business works you are doomed to fail, no matter how talented you are. GO to every show business seminar you can. Read book endlessly. I have been in this business since 1990 and I never stop reading. Knowledge is power.

Personally, I hate it when actors fail over things they can control. I hate it when actors can not be managed. They have this amazing talent going to waste because they refuse to take direction from people who know more than they do and end up losing many opportunities. They suffer from "I know it all already" syndrome. Almost nothing kills a career faster than this. I hate this because I so love creative people and want everyone who comes here to succeed. I truly want people to achieve their dreams. That is why I became a talent manager in the first place, to help them do it.

These "know-it-alls" can come along and put a damper on your day. They simply don't understand that before we became agents and managers we gained experience and paid our dues in this business working many other jobs. We have actually been around a minute. I will give you my personal background to give you an idea of what I mean by experience.

I came to LA in the 1990 after college and I started as an assistant to Publicist Ken Amorosano. He was a smaller PR firm who represented Keith David, Andrea Evans, Elizabeth Pena and Francisco Quinn. It was the first time I ever saw a headshot. I learned about pitching the press, promoting films, scheduling interviews with media and I got to attend a lots of screenings and went to bunch of Hollywood parties. I fell in love with this business right off the bat. Here I was just 23 years old and I was having lunch with Andrea Evans who I had watched on "All My Children" all the way through high school and college. Okay a little start struck at first. I celebrated Francisco's birthday with his family, and met superstars like Daryl Hannah, Jackson Browne, Billy Crystal and Alfre Woodard at the Oscars After-Party that year. It was exciting and new!

I made a decision to work no longer than 1 year at any given company for the next 10 years. My goal was to learn the entertainment business inside and out, in every aspect. So for my 2nd year in Hollywood, I went to work one of the largest agencies in Hollywood; The Agency For The Performing Arts (APA). I began as an assistant to Jerry Kalajian in the Literary Department where he represented Writers and Directors. I met Director/Actor Anson Williams from Happy Days (cool!) and many other working Directors. Every day I was involved in the daily workings of their careers and observed the meetings and deal making that took place. I was on the set when Anson Williams directed an episode of the original Melrose Place. He put me in as an extra and gave me a SAG Voucher. So sweet!

I was a really efficient Assistant, so much so that I soon worked 2 desks at the same time. I was also assisting Agent Larry Masser in the Casting Department where he repped huge stars. I worked side by side these two powerful agents with polar opposite personalities. Jerry was calm and kind, and Larry was an angry, raving maniac. Whew! But I learned a lot about how Hollywood worked in the big leagues. I learned about clearing the call logs and determining whose calls are important enough to return first and why. I answered questions from actors who needed clarification about money, scripts, rehearsals. I distributed huge paychecks, gave driving directions to Christine Lahti when she need to get to the Mark Taper Forum for a show she was in. (She called 3 times, still lost.) LA can be very tricky down by the 101 and downtown with lots of 1 way streets. But remember, this was way before car's had navigation systems! Maybe I was a lousy direction giver or she was...?

Assistants had to do everything. We read tons of scripts and gave coverage, delivered scripts to clients and agents homes, set up appointments for Casting Sessions with Casting Directors for our clients to audition. Every day I spoke with Hollywood Casting Directors many of whom I have known now for over 15 years.

I worked for one of the CDs, April Webster at a side job in her office for a week to help move her office from one location to another. It was a fascinating week working inside a casting office. I saw how the casting office was set up and worked internally. I helped sort thousands of headshots into piles back, this was back before online casting and a number system to rate talent. I watched which headshots got tossed out and why. I sat in on a few casting sessions and decided casting was not for me. Actors were always so nervous and unprepared it was unbearable to be around. I felt so sad for them. Today I recommend actors volunteer in a casting directors office so they can see what is it like from the other side of the table. Just be sure while you are there you don't pitch yourself to them for anything. Just show up on time, be professional, assist and do your job facilitating their goals.

Sticking strictly to my plan to get a new job every year, I went to work for publicist Lee Solters who repped A-listers like Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson, Neil Diamond, Lionel Richie and Dolly Parton. Whenever I mention names, I don't say this to name drop, I say it to help you understand that I have worked with the best, at the top levels and I know a thing or two about what people who are successful in this business have done, and are doing.

Ok, Publicists are privy to quite a lot of private information, none of which I will ever repeat. But needless to say we put out a few fires and I learned more and more about the business. Mr. Solters loaned me out to John Singleton one summer to help with Publicity on the film Higher Learning. I have to say I was so excited to be working on the lot at Sony. Just driving in every day was a thrill. I walked all over the lot during my lunch hours taking the magic in! With Mr. Singleton, I worked on the NY and LA premieres coordinating celebrity, media and guest invitations. There is a hierarchy. There is a select number of invitation available and their is criteria for who receives them and industry people get angry when they are not invited.

One day Michael Jackson was coming to our office to discus the video "Remember The Time" that John was directing. I was to escort Mr. Jackson to our office when he arrived. Somehow the entire building knew he was coming because every office door had flung open. I met him down the hall and walked him and about 20 Asian Sony executives to our office. Upon leaving, Mr. Jackson had to escape the building through a back door in order to avoid the mass of studio professionals who had gathered out front to see him. I was told he Michael was never able to go out the same way he came in.

The following year I went to work as an assistant at Fox Television in the TV sales department and learned all about MIPCOM which is a content event for co-producing, buying, selling, financing and distributing entertainment content throughout the world. I learned that foreign markets like to buy reruns of our shows because they are already produced, which saves foreign companies a ton of money not having to produce content for their markets and all they have to do is hire voice over artists. I never knew that. I also had no idea how much money was involved with that aspect of the business. Wow. I also remember that year was the tragedy of 911 and our building on Wilshire Blvd was closed for days afterwards because it was across the street from a Government building. We were all in shock.

My next job was assisting President Jeff Syndey at Beyond Music Management. He repped The Cranberries, Meatloaf, The Bee Gees, Tommy Lee and Motley Crue. I experienced tours being arranged, studio sessions taking place, publishing deals being worked out, songs being selected, A&R departments reviewing and often rejecting submissions from new acts. I handled the day to day business of Musicians working and meeting their business needs.

I left at the end of the year moving to the Soundtrack Department at Virgin Records. The Spice Girls were huge at the time and the entire building was filled with energy when they all arrived! It was fun time. I learned how and why songs are selected from artists and placed on the highly coveted spots - soundtracks of films. I lunched with A&R reps like John Wooler and took in everything he said about the business and politics.

Next, I went to assist Booh Schut and incredible talent manager who repped Neil Patrick Harris, Johnny Galecki, Mayim Bialk, Sarah Michelle Geller and others. I larned a lot from her about working with agents to advance a clients career, setting up deals and helping clients in every aspect of their career from communicating with lawyers, arranging coaching, training and even getting their dogs groomed. Booh was very structured and I adapted a lot of what I do now as a manager from her.

I realized in order for me to understand this business more completely I needed to see what it was like from the artists perspective. After my day job, I started singing at night in local studios doing background vocals. I have a pretty good voice so I got a few gigs and made some extra money. I did a video for Colourblind a band that was signed to Capitol Records at the time. I recorded a few demos at Capital Records Studios on Vine Street. So iconic. These demos were handed to a producer who flew me to Europe and put me in the studio with a female rap group who needed big vocals for the choruses. We were given a record deal. Our first single was turned down by radio. But with the perserverance of our A&R rep Ronald Van Der Meyden, he went back to radio with the same exact song 6 months later feeling it was a better time for the release. And this time radio loved it. It climbed the charts to # 20, same record, top 20 hit.

We suddenly became important and in demand. It was fun. I now had a record deal, my own talent manager, a tour, tv shows, press interviews, radio drops and awards shows I had to attend. We shot music videos that were on MTV, BET VH1 and had another hit off our 1st albumn. Then our label went bankrupt and we were signed to another label Polydor/Polygram who wasn't behind the group like our previous label was. Six months later we were dropped. I learned things like this happen all the time.

I loved the artist part of the business too, performing in front of the camera, on live television in front of thousands of people. I wasn't ready to stop!

I stayed in Holland for 4 years, went solo and began writing for other artists and collaborated with super talented people like Candy Dulfer, Tatjana Simic and Tony Scott. I wrote 3 top 40 hits and made a bunch of money. I soaked up everything I could learn about publishing advances, royalties when music is licensed to territories throughout the world, music publishing deals, pitching songs to labels. I even began licensing music myself to foreign distributors and was so excited when I started closing deals and making money. I made $50,000 on my first deal and I was ecstatic. I bought my dream Porche with cash. And I think during those 4 years I spent over 8,000 hours recording, writing and producing vocals in the studio. So I know all about that process.

Getting homesick, I returned to Los Angeles and went to work as a booking agent for Eternity records repping new bands and coordinating tours across the country, organizing radio play, and marketing materials to promote the live shows. These skills led me to another Music Management company where I had the privilege of assisting Terry Lippman, who discovered and managed Matchbox 20. Terry was one of my favorite people in the business, he was so loving and passionate about what he was doing. He had a new band he had fallen in love with and he was shopping their demo to all the Major labels. He created a huge bidding war and they received a $500,000 advanced for this beginning band which was unheard of. I was involved in every step of this process even down to being a production coordinator on the their 1st music video.

During this ten years of my life, I had received extensive on the job, high level training and had learned how this business worked inside and out. So I became a Talent Agent at Burnt Down Entertainment repping two of my heroes Deniece Williams and The Four Tops. I was now the one negotiating deals and creating opportunities. At the end of that year, I decided I could do more as a Talent Manager and wanted to make sure I could guide my clients through every step of the business to help ensure their success. Like I said, I so love creative people and want everyone who comes here to succeed. I truly want people to achieve their dreams. I grew up like everyone else in love with movies and music and just want to see them continue to be made and touch people's lives and hearts. What a wonderful career I have!

And occasionally I still sing, I was on a series, I've done a few films and pilots, many jingles, released 3 solo CDS' written a book and still record. So with all that, I know a thing or two about this business.

Then here comes a "know it all" who just got off the boat so to speak, and have been here only 1 or 2 years trying to make it. They really have no idea what they are doing, or should be doing and yet...they want to tell me how to do my job. They are talented but absolutely can not take direction which leads them to sabotage their own goals. And because they "know it all" they constantly the miss opportunities you are trying to give them. It's very sad. If you came here to succeed get a good manager and take direction. Watch out for the 8 deadly sins I mentioned. And don't be an unmanageable actor.

What is an unmanageable actor like? Here is an example. It was the 1st week of December and I was working with a client who had some film credits and all of her marketing materials together. I needed to get her an agent right away. The Christmas break was coming in a few weeks and after that agents would not signing anyone or taking meetings with actors for about 4 months. Instead they would be scrambling to try and get their clients booked during what is left of the old pilot season. So we literally had a 3 week window to approach agents, or wait until April. She told me I should start pitching her to Casting Directors for auditions and told me she was going after a voice over agent, a commercial agent, a print agent, and frankly she seemed all over the place. Huge red flags popped up so I told her, "slow down, we will get to all of that but right now we need to concentrate on getting a theatrical agent." She immediately said, "I don't think this is working between us." Not getting her way and a temper tantrum. Uugggh.

So I stick to my plan because after all I do know what I am doing, and I submitted this actress to some of the fabulous agents I work with, including Nathan Habben President of Prestige. I know him of course because one of my clients had been signed to him for the past year and 1/2. I told Nathan about this actress who had a great look, lots of talent and I was pretty sure she could make him money. He agreed to take a look at her stuff so I sent it over to him. That day, I also noticed he was doing a workshop that weekend looking for new talent. I called my client and said get down to his workshop tomorrow and show him what you've got in person, blow him out of the water! He is reviewing your demo and materials right now...go the extra mile." She said, "No, those workshops never get anyone signed." I couldn't believe my ears. I told her she was wrong and that I have 2 clients right now who got great agents in showcases exactly like this. She said, no, I don't think this is working between us. What do you think I did? I dropped her immediately. This is an actress who thinks she knows more about the business than I do. And she has been here one or two whole years!

I hate these kids of situations with actors because they are very disappointing. We managers get so excited and inspired by our clients talent and what we can do for them and then they show us who they really are. Agents, Managers, Casting Directors, Producers, Directors, Writers, we have all come across this kind of "Know It All". Artists with egos that are so big they think somehow they will magically be whisked to the top because 'don't you know who they think they are?' Statistically I would say this kind of actor shows up maybe 2 out of every 30 we work with. They piss off everyone they come in contact with, burn bridges, go from rep to rep, develop a bad reputation and tend to get blackballed in time because no one wants to deal with that type of energy or personality. And let's face it, word travels fast in this town and everybody knows everybody's business. I wish I could open their eyes but I've come to learn, you can't save them all.

We hear stories all the time; I don't have the money for headshots so I had my neighbor take these. I don't have money for classes. I was late to my audition because of the traffic. All of this behavior is self sabotaging and we can't do anything with these types of clients. These people say they want it more than they actually do. This is a business for all of us here in Hollywood. Managers and agents don't get paid unless our clients work. We do our part and expect the talent will do theirs. Throughout the year we see which ones are doing their part and we drop whoever isn't. Like I said, this is a highly competitive business and I am in it to win. Talent Managers look for big talent, charisma, a willingness to do whatever it takes, the ability to take our direction, and never ending commitment to learn and understand how this business works. All of these elements must be present in one person in order to be success in this business whether in front of or behind the camera. You must be likeable.

Actors my advice to you is drop the ego, get humble, follow directions from your reps and on the set, be open like a sponge, soak it all in, study your craft, study the business, take chances, do your best work and in time your work will speak for itself.

Several times a year I offer a workshop called, “The Winner's Circle" for brand new actors which will help you begin to understand the business and start to develop a plan of action for your success. I teach it along with several important industry friends of mine including a top Theatrical Agent, Commercial Agent, Casting Director, Headshot Photographer, Working Actor and including Reel Producer. You will learn so much information in this workshop from top people in the business who are all committed to your success! I have been coaching actors for years, and I know new actors need a mentor and professional guidance, so if you are new to this business I highly recommend this workshop. It will give you the "inside" information you need and it will put you miles ahead of the hundreds of other newcomers that arrive in L.A. every year. At the end of this 4-hour seminar with us you will have a game plan for success. The cost is $179 and it's worth every penny. Visit my website and sign up today for the next workshop. email wawentertainment@yahoo.com for more info.

If you liked this information and found it helpful leave a comment! I love to hear from new people.
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Wendy Alane Wright Smith
Talent Manager
WAW ENTERTAINMENT
wawentertainment@yahoo.com

Thursday, November 29, 2012

What Does A Talent Manager Do? Do I Need One?



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.



What Does A Talent Manager Do? Do I Need One?

I am the President and Owner of WAW Entertainment, a boutique talent management firm in Los Angeles. We represent actors, comedians, models and singers for TV, Film, Commercials, Webisodes and Theater for both Union and Non Union. We only represent outstanding talent. Once I have decided that you are going to be a great fit for my management company and the contracts are signed, we get to work. And boy do we have a lot of work to do! I am going to walk you through the steps we take the first 3 years. This is what we give every new client we sign so they know what we will be guiding them to do.

Actors out there - if you have talent, drive, passion and can really act you too can follow this blueprint for success and get started working in the industry. If you never quit, you WILL become a working actor.

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YEAR ONE

First, we get our brand new actors set up on Actors Access and LA Casting. Actors Access lists mostly Theatrical breakdowns and LA Casting lists mostly Commercial breakdowns. As time goes on we may add Backstage.com, Now Casting and Casting Frontier. Everywhere acting jobs are listed you should be looking.

We have our clients fill out their online casting profile questions thoroughly and upload Pics and Resume. Kids need Work Permits and Coogan Accounts set up. Passports are needed for all clients.

Next, we have clients take new Headshots, if needed. This is your MOST important tool. Investment here is crucial to your success. There are lots of great photographers out there. Count on paying about $300-$500 for good headshots. Here are some of the many Photographers I work with and love. For Adults: Marc Carwright, Tihanyi, Kenneth Dolin, David Muller, Alex Kruk, For Kids: Fly Girl Photography, JBC Images  or Juls Megill. For Teens: Keli Squires Taylor Photography (keeps them looking young) AFFORDABLE RETOUCHING: Julie Wittner REPRODUCTIONS: Argentum Photo Lab, Ray’s Photo Lab

LEARN ABOUT THE BUSINESS We have our clients start to get familiar with how the business works by suggesting they read industry books i.e. “Hit The Ground Running,” by Carolynne Barry; “Self Management For The Actor” by Bonnie Gillespie; "How To Book Acting Jobs in TV & Film," by Cathy Reinking. If you don't take the time to read these books cover to cover, you are not serious about being a working actor. Instead you have a hobby. Read the Hollywood Reporter and Daily Variety to see what is happening in Hollywood, who the players are, and what deals are being made.

I have written 5 best selling books on breaking into show business. My 100 page e-books are given free to all of our clients. To Purchase your copy and see what we have our clients do specifically -  get an INSTANT DOWNLOAD visit: http://www.secretsofahollywoodtalentmanager.com

We also encourage clients to attend show business seminars as often as they can. There is so much to learn about this business. An actor is starting their own business. In essence actors are like mini-corporations. Starting a business without understanding how their business will work is dumb. Actors have a lot of time between jobs. It should be used to improve their craft and learn about the business.

OBTAINING ACTING WORK WAW helps clients to build up their resume, gain experience and get acting jobs. Our goal is to help clients become strong actors that will gain the attention of casting directors, producers, commercial and theatrical agents. Our beginning actors act in Student Films, Non Union TV, Film, Commercials, Music Videos, Features, Theater and Shorts to get experience and footage for the acting reel. Our clients will audition endlessly. Actors act and they audition even more. If you are not loving this, you need to get into another business, and I need to get another client, ha!.

INCREASE TRAINING / BUILD RESUME WITH CREDITS WAW helps client increase their training and build their resume by suggesting appropriate training classes based on client’s individual needs. With each class or job booked, clients update their resume with the new training and acting work.

We have our clients sign up for top Commercial Training Classes with:
Judy Kain at "Keep It Real"
Terry Berland
Mike Pointer
Killian McHugh
Stuart K Robinson
Chris Game

We suggest exceptional On-Camera Audition Techniques Classes with:
Doug Warhit, Melissa Skoff, Margie Haber.

For Comedy we suggest:
Scott Sedita, Lesley Kahn

Improv:
GROUNDLINGS, UCB, SECOND CITY, and COMEDY SPORTZ.

For Kids Training: Actorsite, Actor Training In LA, Talent House Academy, Andrew Magarian, Tracy Martin Kids Koaching (Auditioning), Weiss Baron Hill (Commercials) For Teens: Helen Anzalone

ACTING COACHES: Cameron Thor: 818-991-0880 Michael Woolsen: 323-933-7133

SINGING TRAINING: Terri Weiss, Suzanne Kiechle skiechle@aol.com,
Erin Horton EMAIL:  e.monique.eh@gmail.com

SINGING PERFORMANCE TRAINING: Wendy Alane Wright wawentertainment@yahoo.com
Saturdays in LA from 11am-1pm Overcome stage fright, shyness, learn to perform confidently on stage and in singing auditions.

END OF YEAR 1 PROGRESS REPORT This is a very rewarding and highly competitive business. WAW continually monitors how hard clients are working for their careers, the efforts they make, and continue to determine if their actions are in line with what they “say” they want to achieve. As long as they are, WAW continues working with the client. If they are serious about building their career, this year will have proven that, and we continue on to the next phase. On the other hand, if actor has not been fighting hard for their place in this business, we reevaluate our relationship with the client. We drop clients who have not demonstrated 100% commitment to advancing their careers, or who have been lax in following our very specific suggestions. There is no reason to waste anymore time together. The reality is there are many talented actors out there who want to have a spot on our limited roster.

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YEAR TWO

DEMO REELS We guide our client in assembling their 1st demo reel. Options: 1) Actor can collect footage from projects they have completed. 2) Shoot a scene with an independent producer/ production company i.e. Daniel Scherl. 3) They can use a scene from an acting class, i.e.Margie Haber’s class – she uses great HD footage.

MORE ACTING TRAINING WAW requests actors to continue training and get into well know Acting Classes that castings director respect such as; Playhouse West, Ruskin, Groundlings, UCB. Helping our clients become the best actor they can be is our goal. As expected, (and often required) by agents, and casting directors, we keep our actors in audition training classes, have them study deeper acting Methods to keep them sharp and make sure they are ready for all opportunities. Every actor needs to learn how to MASTER the audition room. This usually takes years, and is an ongoing process. Getting into the room is one thing, getting the job is another. Training as an actor NEVER ends. You will be doing it your entire a career. And if you are not always training people, in this business will have a hard time taking you seriously, because the good ones always are.

Some actors complain, "It seems like all my managers does is suggest training." Listen closely actors, your training is everything. In order to deal with the weekly rigors of a television series or the demands of film and the expectations of all of the people involved with a project where they have invested their time, millions of dollars, and energy into their vision, you must be at the top of your game. And if you get hired and they see you aren't you will be replaced. It is my job to make sure this doesn't happen to you. It is also my job to make sure that the casting directors recommend you to the producers and directors, who recommend you to be approved by the Network. You have a tall ladder to climb and I want you to to be successful on every rung. Your training is your foundation and will carry you through this process. Without it, you will be replaced by better trained actors who can handle it. Yes, this is business driven by creativity but at the top levels, it is all about the money.

GETTING A COMMERCIAL AGENT When our actors are ready, we begin to submit their Heashots/Resume to Commercial Agents we know. WAW helps clients obtain a Commercial Agent. This will likely be their 1st agent and will give them experience in the real world of acting. Commercial jobs can be very lucrative which will help you pay for all your other acting related expenses. Commercial auditions will also help you practice your new and improved commercial audition skills and give you on set experience.

Once clients are signed to a Commercial Agent, we assist the agent with whatever they need i.e. we confirm bookings, help reach clients, answer incoming producer or casting questions. WAW also serves as a liason between agent and client, and assists with solving problems, answering questions, ensuring payment, explaining numerous aspects of the business as work becomes more frequent. Our relationship with your agent should not take the place of your relationship with your agent. You can still send them thank you notes, and updates on jobs you have booked and plays you will be in. We will guide you though to make sure you are not annoying your agent. There are specific things they hate.

Our actors continue to update their online profiles with class info, new headshots or more looks as needed by agent. We also continue to add footage to the demo reel as we go and upload clips to online casting sites.

WAW helps client determine their type. Through the acting classes and commercial training actors begin to understand that they have a type and what the kinds of roles they want to play and are suited for. As they figure this out their Headshots will change. Now that the actors know who they are their headshots need to reflect the kinds of roles they are suited to play. Headshots inform CD's how an actor wants to be cast. They are not pretty pictures!

IMPORTANT BONUS On this exciting Hollywood adventure, as managers by now we likely have also become a friend, in my case a second mother, a motivator, counselor, a support system, celebrating with you and wiping tears as needed, answering never ending questions, helping you stay positive, focused and on track. I believe in you and want you to be successful! A manager like me is a great asset to have on your team.

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YEAR THREE

GETTING A THEATRICAL AGENT By the end of year 2 or beginning of year 3, you are probably ready to start approaching a good theatrical agent. Believe me, they do not want to see you before you are ready. Often they will not give you a second chance to make an impression. So approaching an agent at the right time is crucial. I won't let it happen until I know you are ready and that you have what they are really looking for. To my amazement most actors walk in my door day one and think they already have what it takes, that they are special, and they are enough just the way they are. Well yes, of course, you are special but agents look for more than that. Agents expect that I have prepared you for them and weeded out those who are not ready. That is what they count on managers for. They don't have time to do that so they count on managers to do it for them. A manager's recommendation can go a long way, opening doors for you that you typically can not open yourself.

We are very well connected in the industry. When a client has proven their commitment to the craft, have consistently shown up on time for meetings and auditions, given us everything we need to work with including headshots and demo reels, behaved professionally, and we are 100% confident that we can count on you to represent WAW at the higher levels, WAW will submit you to agents we know personally. But know this, putting my reputation on the line for you will only happen if you have proven yourself worthy of this beyond a shadow of a doubt.

At the same time, WAW has clients regularly attending Agent Showcases as an additional way to start meeting theatrical agents, allowing them to become familiar with you, and your work. Rarely, we have clients submit their own Headshots/Resumes/Demo Reels to other appropriate theatrical agents that we suggest.

Once a Theatrical Agent is obtained, WAW assists the agent with whatever they needs to be successful with our client. WAW facilitates communications between agent and clients to confirm bookings, contact actors, answer agent, producer and casting director questions. We are now in business with your agent and we are a team. One of my jobs as your talent manager is to make your agent's job easier. I also will suggest when to replace them if they are not doing their job. And our actor continues to make changes to their online profiles, adding each job they book, class they attend, new headshots/more looks as agent need. I say this again because you would be surprised how many actors forget to update their resumes with new skills they have learned, jobs they have booked or classes they have taken. Agents hate this!

AUDITION COACHING
WAW offers suggestion about who to coach with, and ensures clients are getting coached for auditions as needed. We want our clients to truly be able to deliver their best in the audition room. Coaches we love are Dan Shaner, Gloria Garayua, Kimberly Crandall, Rod Rowland, and Josh Latzer.

AUDITION CLASSES
AMY Lyndon in LA s the ONLY choice.

WORKING MORE REGULARLY By year 4 and beyond – we can likely refer to what you are doing as a “CAREER!” Congratulations. You did it! And it took years. It does 99% of the time, for 99% of the actors.

Of course, there are exceptions 1% of the time...you could get really lucky and book a role as a series regular in your 1st year. At which we will jump up and down. But back to reality. over the years as your acting work picks up, and it does because you’ve built relationships with CDs and your booking is strong due years of auditioning, working as an actor, preparing and training - WAW and our clients BOTH have more responsibilities. With each client’s growing success, WAW is also coordinating press, interviews, audition and acting work schedules, interfacing with producers, directors, studios, record labels, products, publicists, selecting projects, reading scripts, attending premieres, producing projects, referring accountants and attorneys…and so much more.

You have been blessed with talent and you will be rewarded for your hard work. And WAW is rewarded for our hard work, not only financially, but spiritually, creatively and emotionally as we watch our clients succeed in sharing their gifts and talents with the world.

We are excited, and truly honored to be a part of our client's journeys!

Now you see how we get our clients working. We have a system that works. The only thing that is needed is an actors talent, tenacity, positive attitude and endless effort with a willingness to do whatever it takes to make their dreams come true.

Good Luck!

If you liked this information and found it helpful leave a comment! I love to hear from new people.

Subscribe to my Secrets Of A Hollywood Talent Manager TV You Tube Channel with over 200 FREE Videos! And follow me on Twitter @WAW_wendy


Wendy Alane Wright Smith
Talent Manager
WAW ENTERTAINMENT
wawentertainment@yahoo.com

HOW TO GET A TALENT MANAGER


 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.


You can get a Talent Manager in several ways. Here are three ways:

1) Purchase the book at Samuel French's in (Hollywood or online, "The Right Manager" by Keith Wolfe  FIRST view their website for submission instructions or call them to find out.
2) Direct Submit; Start making tons of phone calls, sending emails and put your package in the mail.
3) Ask other actors who their Managers are and ask for a referral.
4) Get referrals from your acting teachers
5) Attend Showcases for Managers.
6) Use IMDB PRO to see who the other actors at your level are signed to.

To find a Talent Manager that is right for you in LA go to Samuel French Bookstore on Sunset Boulevard or online and purchase the $12 book "Personal Managers" by Keith Wolfe. It lists most managers in LA and the types of clients they work with. Go through it with a highlighter and mark the ones that are open to submissions from your type and age range. Hopefully you know what your type is, but that will be another discussion.

Be careful selecting a manager. Managers do not have to be licensed like Talent Agents so there are scam artists out there. You should never pay upfront fees for any manager. Managers should only take 15% on TV/FILM and 20% commission on Commercials from what your book. Also, you should be given a list of various photographers and teachers to choose from. (I suggest you avoid managers who have a training, photo, representation package.)

USING IMDB PRO TO FIND POTENTIAL MANAGERS
Look at shows like Grey's Anatomy and NCIS to see the list of actors who have been on these shows. Find people who have done 1 episode and look at their profiles. If they are doing co-stars on various shows contact their managers if you are new. Find actors that are at your same level and see who represents them. Their email addresses will be listed.

CREATE YOUR LIST OF WHO YOU ARE GOING TO SUBMIT TO
Be sure to address them individually by name. No groups emails we tend to delete those.

DIRECT SUBMIT
When contacting a manager you really need to have your materials together. Your cover letter should be simple and professional. If you can make them laugh great, it's a bonus!

MUST Include in your email:
1) Headshots
2) Resume as a PDF
3) Links to your demo reel or acting clips
4) Links to your casting profiles on actors Access, LA Casting and IMDB
5) Links to your social media accounts

HEADSHOTS
Headshots should be professional. Do not send in photos standing in front of trees or in your kitchen. I always drag 2-3 headshots right into the body of the email. The quality of your headshots will tell us if you are an amateur just starting out or if you are a pro. More tips about Headshots: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPPhFz3BsbU

RESUMES
Resume should be CORRECTLY formatted with attention to detail. Always send your resume out a a PDF other wise it shows up all over the places on people's various devices and makes you look http://www.secretsofahollywoodtalentmanager.com/actors-checklist
unprofessional.  Download a FREE Resume Sample:

WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE A DEMO REEL
If you do not have a Demo Reel you can send a Monologue or Scene with a reader off camera
Record these on your iPhone, upload it to You Tube, mark it unlisted and send that. Make sure it is well lit so we can actually see you and have great sound. If you really can act we will be able to see it. We will be looking for believable acting.
Sample Monologue Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_YqBhpDm78


SAMPLE COVER LETTER
Here is an example of a short and sweet cover letter:

Dear Ms. Wright,

If you’re looking for a funny girl-next-door type, I’m your gal! I’m Laura Price. I’m a new actress in Los Angeles and I perform age 17-28. I’m currently seeking theatrical representation. Fun fact: I do the scratch voice for Mandy Moore for Tangled the Series (Disney Channel).

Just this year, I have booked several indie films in LA, I constantly make videos for my thriving YouTube channel (collectively I have over 145,000 followers across my social media accounts), and I’m starring in a new web-series that I wrote and directed myself. If you can’t tell already, I’m a self-starter!

I study audition technique at Margie Haber Studio, improv at Upright Citizens Brigade, and recently I did a workshop with the amazing Lesly Kahn.
My demo reel is here: https://youtu.be/2tn-v4g_FaA.
My headshot and resume are attached. If you think I’d be a good fit for your agency, I’d love to schedule a meeting.

Best,
Laura Price



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WHAT DO MANAGERS LOOK FOR
We are always looking for great actors who can fill the spots we have on our roster for various types. We want to fall in love with our clients so every manager has different taste in clients and have the actors they are passionate about working for. Keep reaching out to find the right fit for you. Sometimes it may take submitting to a manager for a year or two until they have an opening on their roster for your type.

In your headshots we are looking for energy, a sparkle in your eye, charisma, truth, for emotion in the pictures. In your resume we are looking to see if you have been trained, are booking short films, webseries and student films. If you have done some theater and are aggressively pursuing your career. In your demo reel we are looking for believable acting and believable reacting. Either it is or it isn't. We are looking for talent, specials skills, people who speak languages, people who are Funny! We need all kinds of types shapes and sizes.

Always be polite and friendly. We don't owe you anything. There are thousands of actors right behind you looking for their chance every year. If you have an attitude of entitlement, or your ego proceeds you into the room, we quickly remove you from our presence. We are looking for humble, talented, hardworking actors. Confidence is fine, arrogance is not. It won't work on the set with directors and it won't work with your representatives. Our job as managers is to weed that kind of actor out so as not to burden the rest of our industry with them.

Be enthusiastic, upbeat and speak positively about yourself and your passion for acting. Don't worry, if you are lying, we will figure that out by what you have done on your resume. Which reminds me to tell you, keep your resume 100% truthful because sometimes we do call your teachers to see what they think about your acting ability.

It also stuns me when actors don't want to sign a 2 or 3 year contract. They say, "that's a long time, can't we just do 6 months." No we can't. Why on earth would I invest 6 months of my time developing you for free so you can walk away with advanced skills and give some other representative the benefit of my hard work? Realistically, it takes 2 - 3 years to really start working in this town. That is what it takes to get you going. If I spend that kind of time with you, working for free, it is because I believe in you and believe that you have the ability to be a profitable actor in the future. That is how I get paid for my investment. This is not charity volunteer work. I want to make money.

But, that is not the reason I do this job. I love discovering new talent and getting them on TV, Commercials, Print and into Films! Nothing makes me happier than to see actors succeed at their dreams. I live on that adrenaline every day. This is my super talented client in the set of NIGHT SHIFT on CBS in his 1st Guest Starring role. He did great! I am one proud mama manager:)

One of the biggest things managers look for in an actor is the ability to take DIRECTION. If you sign with a manager, be prepared to take a lot of direction. We have a lot to do to get you ready for a career as a actor and we will be giving you a lot of direction. If you think you already know it all...a manager will not be right for you.

WILL MANAGERS TAKE ME ON IF I AM NEW?
Yes! If you are very talented and/or have a great look. Managers will take on developmental clients if they feel a strong interest. But only a certain percentage % of a managers roster can be developmental otherwise they won't make money. Manager take on clients they think can make them rich. So they tend to balance out their roster with working actors and some developmental clients. If you are new, your job is to always be self -submitting to projects, get lots of training, build your resume with student films, short films, webseries and get as much great footage as you can. BE a working actor and show us you are all about the work!

THIS IS A BUSINESS
This is a business and you are a mini corporation. I am one of your investors. Obviously I want to see a return on my investment. I represent actors to make money.  It amazes me when actors say, "I don't know about paying 15% of what I make." Really? If you are new...you don't make anything yet.  And when you do start making money it will be because we spent 2 years getting you ready to. Remember, we are investing a lot of time into your career and we don't get paid until you are good enough to book the work

WHAT DOES A TALENT MANAGER DO?

Here are 2 Blogs I have written regarding this. http://secretsofatalentmanager.blogspot.com/2012/11/once-we-have-deemed-that-you-are-going.html

and

http://secretsofatalentmanager.blogspot.com/2017/07/wendy-what-does-talent-manager-do.html



READ MY ARTICLE IN BACKSTAGE.com "How To Impress A Talent Manager"
 http://www.backstage.com/advice-for-actors/backstage-experts/how-impress-talent-manager/

Read my other blog on this subject: http://secretsofatalentmanager.blogspot.com.cy/2013/01/your-first-meeting-with-talent-manager.html

ACTORS ADVANTAGE 
Actors Advantage puts on great Manager and Agent Showcases. I have signed people from showcases often. It gives us an opportunity to see many actors at once DOING their work. Check them out for upcoming Manager showcases in Los Angeles. http://www.actorsadvantageshowcase.com/showcases

Well that's that. Now you see what it takes to contact a manager and make a good impression. Often actors just starting out are not ready for a talent manager simply because you don't have a strong enough package yet for us to sell you to casting directors. You may need to develop your skills, build your resume more, create your demo reels. You may need to figure out your type and what looks you need for your headshots. If you need help check out my coaching website: http://www.secretsofahollywoodtalentmanager.com

Just stay on track, work hard and you CAN build a successful acting career.  Good luck!

SUBSCRIBE TO MY YOU TUBE CHANNEL
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See You On The Red Carpet!

Wendy Alane Wright
Talent Manager
WAW ENTERTAINMENT
Secretsofaholywoodtalentmanager.com

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Don't Be Afraid. Believe In Yourself.

Fear can be your worst enemy. It can suck the life out of you. It can drain you of your inspiration, your motivation and your actions. It can keep you from being who you are capable of being. It is a raper of creativity. But, you have to accept it's existence, learn how to live with it and over come it. You should never let fear define you or your life. That will be a life you will regret.

Performers deal with fear all the time. Fear of not being good enough is a huge one! There is also fear of making mistakes, fear of failure or even fear of succeeding. Failing and falling down only means you have to get up. Taking chances that may have you looking badly is part of the journey. Let's be honest. Everyone will not like you. Not everyone will care for your brand of humour, or style or looks or talent. And that is okay! You are who you are. You are a unique gift to this world. Stop and breathe that in. It's true. You will never be someone else and you will never be repeated again, ever. You are a miracle. And what is inside of you is special. Your talent is uniquely you. Only you can bring it.

John Kimble from the William Morris Agency says, "I believe every person on the face of the earth is unique. Therefore you are not in competition with anybody else."

It is important to say this mantra to yourself every single day, "What other people think of me is none of my business." Say it in your car, when you wake up, looking straigh into your eyes in the mirror. Post it on the mirror. This will change how you think. And when you have done this for several months, you will notice you care so much less about what people think and you will gain new strength to follow your own heart.

I hate when people are born with great gifts inside them and never realize them fully because they are too afraid to take chances, to fail, or to succeed. It breaks my heart because we are all worth so more much than we remember we are. Artists are notorious for self sabotage and fear "interfearing" with success. But remember, because you are born with your gifts already inside you, they are your birth rite to share. God has placed them within us not to hoard and be selfish with, but to share with others and make the world a better place. (if you believe in God). If you don't, it doesn't change the fact that we are all born with gifts and they are there to be shared, period. Not sharing them will only cause you personal stress. And that is no fun to live with.

The great singer Michael McDonald told me one day after a concert, Wendy not everyone will like your voice. Not everyone likes mine. I sing for the people who do and I sing for myself." Man was he right. I sing because I love to sing. It fills my soul to be creative and to express. And when that dirty things called fear creeps back in, I have to work hard to embrace it and get past it. The most successful people in the world have to do this too. When Mayor Bloomfield was asked to sing at a NY event he panicked. Even though he had spoken in front of thousands of people at countless events, he had never sung at any of them. Doing something new was terrifying. Even a very successful and wealthy man can be afraid of not being good enough, or making a mistake, or a fool of himself. The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that successful people feel the fear and do it anyways. Unsuccessful people feel the fear and let it stop them in their tracks, or cause them to run away from opportunity. Half of success is just showing up.

Artists are sensitive, often insecure, and deeply self centered by nature have to work very hard at this. Being an artist means taking chances and being willing to bare all of your heart and soul in front of strangers, and opening yourself up to public criticism and rejection. We stand on a stage and say what do you think? It can be so scary, but our art calls us in a haunting, never let go of you sort of way. As artists we must do this, or we feel trapped inside ourselves. And that can be unbearable for ourselves and others. Just ask the people around us!

I recommend a concept called Contrary Action. It means to take an opposite action than you currently feel like taking. If you get afraid and start to back out of an audition, you take contrary action and go anyways. If you think speaking to a producer or director is scary and you procrastinate on the call you should be making, take Contrary Action. You will have to force yourself to take Contrary Action. But what will happen after 6 months of this is you will have realized that none of what you were afraid of was ever as scary as you had imagined it to be. And sometimes you will have really enjoyed it. Wow! To learn more about Contrary Action and how to apply it to your life for drastic changes you can purchase my Book "Contrary Action, An Ordinary Girl's Dialogue with God straight from my Contrary Action website. Yes, the title mentions God, but it is not a religious book. It is a spiritual book that will truly help you make drastic changes and create the life you really want to be living. It has worked for me and many others!

So to wrap this up... if you are alive and if your are human which I assume all of you are. That dirty things called fear is present in your life. You do yourself a huge disservice by letting manipulate you. You are strong and in charge of your thoughts and emotions. You can choose what to give your power to. We have tremendous power and the ability to manifest what we intend. Use that for your own benefit and the benefit of others. Focus your Power of Intention and all that good energy you have inside yourself on taking Contrary Actions and being the creative, expressive person I know you really are.

This applies to people in all walks of life. We need scientists to follow their dreams and intuition and share their gifts. We need doctors to do it, teachers, veterinarians, etc. etc., and even plumbers. No offense...we really need them to do it. However artists are my personal favorite people. I am moved to the core by people who are willing to be vulnerable and share their humanity. Actors, Writes, Singers, Directors, Producers, Musicians, Casting Directors, Costumers, Special Effects and so many more have the amazing opportunity to express their creativity and bring forth light and love into t he world through their art and talents. Yaaay! I love them and I thank them.

You follow your dreams and your heart. Your gifts will be appreciate by many, not everyone, but enough to matter.
If you touch just one heart with your gifts haven't you made the world a better place?
If you liked this information and found it helpful leave a comment! I love to hear from new people.
Visit and "like" me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/WAW-Entertainment/108466172546413 or follow me on Twitter @WAW_wendy

Wendy Alane Wright Smith
Talent Manager
WAW ENTERTAINMENT
wawentertainment@yahoo.com

WARNING FOR PARENTS OF ACTORS (This post has 855 Views)


WARNING PARENTS: Don't let your show biz kids suffer from THIS! 

As a Talent Manager in Hollywood, I get the privilege of working with super talented people, helping them realize their dreams. It is one of the greatest jobs in the world and I love it every day. One of the downfalls of my job is dealing with parents who are overly biased about their children. These parents often feel their kids should be able to walk right in the door and get the job because their kids are so special. I have to get brutally honest here. Yes, of course your kids are "special." I personally love kids which is why I represent them. However, parents you need to understand a very basic fact. Your kids are special to you because you raised them. You see them through different eyes than we do. I did not bring "little Johnny" his 1st Christmas present and watch as he squeeled with delight in his eyes and opened it. I did not cheer "sweet adorable Cindy" on when she kicked her 1st goal in the AYSO Soccer match in 4th grade. I don't know your kid. Neither does anyone else. All we know is we have 300 kids in front of us and they either stand out to us, or they don't.

We have no personal history with your child. We can only gauge what we see or feel in that moment. If they are poorly trained we will see that. If they are shy and holding back we will see that. If their have very few professional skills we will definitely see that. If they are there because you want them to be there, we will see that too. We are comparing them to others and we can see who is further behind or further ahead than your child. This is the objectivity you do not have.

In order for your kid to stand out, they really need to be exceptional to us, and to our standards! Not yours. We need to see well trained kids who have been taught by top teachers who know this business and can bring out your child's full talents and skills. We need to see kids that do not hold back. And importantly, we need to see gratitude and not a sense of entitlement that trickles down from your over biasedness. Yes, they pick that up. We don't like to work with kids like that.

So with all due respect, overly biased parents, YOU are child's worst enemy in terms of their career. Recently, a mother from Texas contacted me about her 12 year old daughter that sings. She sent me several links of her child's tube videos the mother shot. I watched them all. I came to see that, yes, her daughter has an amazing voice! A unique style and a great sound. But, she is a very boring performer. She doesn't sing with emotion. She performs with her eyes wide open most of time, looking like a deer in headlights. She doesn't get lost in the music. She rarely changes her emotions or her expressions. Her videos stay the same all the way through. No interesting changes, no smiling, no emotion. Yikes!

I explained to her mother kids that can sing are a dime a dozen. Great artists are great performers. Stars are always great performers. They express the lyrics of the song from the depths of their soul (even covers) in a way that moves people to the core. Her daughter has not learned to do that yet. That will take time and so much practice and live performance. She is not competitive yet with the kids who already can.

Yes that is hard for any parent to hear. But in order to help her child move to the next level, she needs to hear it, take that information and act upon it by getting her daughter performance coaching and several other things I told her to do. You get the jist. The end result needs to be a child that sings and performs in away that gets people talking, brings tears to people eyes, and makes us feel like we just witnessed something amazing. Until her daughter is able to do that, her mother can continue to post her boring videos with only 56 views on You Tube, while bragging about how great her daughter is. Justin Bieber had 10 million views on the You Tube videos his mother posted of him singing BEFORE he was discovered by his manager Scooter Braun.

I believe most parents are very well intentioned. But, overly biased or know-it-all attitudes will prevent a parent from taking direction from professional representatives who know more than they do, have seen it all, and have been in the business for years.

Here is a resume of a 16 year old in Kentucky. She is serious about becoming an actor and her resume PROVES it. Look at the training she has had and the theater she has done. How does yours compare?  Click on this link to see Alicen's resume. This is what you need to start building your child's resume into.



Currently, I have a 15 year old client who just signed a record deal with EMI and is going in the studio to work with Diane Warren on 2 songs. He has one of those mothers that is a blessing to us managers. She listens, takes direction, calls for advice and allows me to guide her. I love these kinds of parents. She has become a wonderful friend and her son is about to go on tour next year! Wow!

I am thrilled when people contact me with talented kids. I get so excited and can't wait to help them take the steps that will bring them closer and closer to their dreams. But if I have to fight with a parent who has a false sense of reality about their kids, I have to decline my involvement. I hate to see that happen, especially when the kids are really talented. Agents, Managers and Casting Directors can see these nightmare parents a mile away. We avoid them like the plague.

Recently, I met a 17 year old singer at an audition for NBC. I looked at his headshot and resume and asked if he had representation. He said, "Yes, he is with Media Artists Group." I said,"why isn't their logo on your resume?" He looked at his mother who answered, "when we do music things I don't put it on." Confused, I asked why? She said, "They have nothing to do with his music so I choose not to." I informed her that she was wrong and she should absolutely add any representation he has to his resume. Listen, if other people believe in you, we may too, or at least give you a chance. By not putting his representation on his resume he appears like an amateur and a beginner. That is not the image this mother should be giving off. Her son should have his agent logo for acting, music management logo, print agent logo and commercial agent logo all on his resume, whatever representation he has. Remember, there are thousands and thousands of wannabes in this business, So if you can establish your self as reputable and ahead of them, you should. By not putting the representation on his resume, this mother is in fact, reducing the competition for the prepared people.

Gently, I asked the mom, "Are you in the business?" She stated, "I am an actress and had been doing this a long time, I am his manager. I am not putting his agent on his resume." Oh geeez. I cringe. I hate when parents think they know how to manage. 99% of the time they don't. They are like people who stand over surgeons and tell the surgeon know how to operate with out any schooling or training. Yikes! These well meaning parents, but just by sheer fact that they are the parent, they believe they know what they are doing. So many talented kids get lost in this problem. I never take on kids with parents like this and neither do most managers or agents I know.

Once I found a singer on you tube that I just loved. She was a 13 year old bi-racial girl with an amazing voice. I contacted he parents on twitter and told them I wanted to meet them and talk about representing their talented daughter. A few months later she was signed to my company and I was so excited about her. I had huge plans for her. I started to notice an attitude of entitlement in the child and an argumentativeness and arrogance in the mother, but I proceeded. I took her to a huge agency and she was turned down. For the next 6 months, I worked with this teenager on her cold reading, improv, audition and interview skills. I took her back to the agency and they signed her on the spot.

However, I was still seeing red flags along the way. Prior to meeting with her new agent to discuss headshots, her mother showed me a headshot she had of her daughter and it was horrible. I said, "do not take that one out during the meeting, only show her the ones I have selected." Sounds simple right? Needless to say, during the meeting the mother handed the agent the lousy headshot asked "what do you think about this one?" The agent said, "we won't be needing that one." I looked at the mother in disbelief. Afterwards, mom said, "I just wanted to see what the agent thought." I was not happy about it, but I thought that would be the end of it. Later that evening, I get a phone call from an irate agent saying, "what the hell is that awful picture on her LA Casting site? She looks like a monkey. Get it down, now." The mother had uploaded this picture to her daughter's online casting websites. Geeez!

When a parent does things like this it just shows the agent and casting directors that they don't have any idea what a good headshot is, and have no idea how to best represent their child. It makes them look like amateurs. Of course, we know parents don't know much. But that is why people hire managers to help navigate the business and prevent them from coming off like idiots. This is a very competitive business, you don't want to give anyone reasons not to work with you. Smart parents hire managers, even smarter ones let the manager do their job. After many incidents like this I had to drop this fantasticly talented kid. I was very disappointed and sad.

To finish up making this point here is my final example. Another well intentioned mother sent me an email saying, "I would like to submit my son's pictures for possible opportunities to be represented by your establishment." So I thought okay, let's look at the cute little kid and see what he has got. I always like to look for potential stars. I open 3 pictures and I find an 18 year old man! Big guy, looks like he plays football. I asked her why is she sending pictures of her adult son? And she responds, "why shouldn't I?" I could tell right away she was going to be argumentative and not really interested in finding out what she SHOULD be doing.

I explain to the mother that her son is 18, and if this is something he wants to do, he should be doing it HIMSELF. No one will give him the time of day if his "mommy" is doing it for him at this age. I just don't see this as a kid who knows how to work the camera or even looks interested in doing this. I shoot her that email.

He was a handsome boy, looked like a sweet guy, but the pictures showed he had no idea how to work the camera which leads me to believe that his mother has sent some random family pictures of him sitting on the couch and standing in the driveway. If either his mother or the young man had any experience they would have made sure the pictures were worth looking at. Listen up, when you are contacting a manager, what you present shows us how much you understand, or don't understand about the business. And it also tells us how much research you have done on your own before contacting us. With no modeling experience this 18 year old he is not ready for a manager. He needs to get out there and work with some local photographers, practice modeling positions by studying male models in magazines and do his homework. I can open doors, but you have to have the goods for me to sell. Your pics to me don't have to be professional, but if you have done any research you would know we prefer plain backgrounds at the very least!

But that isn't even the biggest read flag. His age is. An 18 year old man with little, or no experience, has a lot of work to do and HE needs to be the one to do it, not his mommy. When we are dealing with adults in this business we want them to be acting like adults, period. We happily deal with parents when their children are underage. But our expectations change when we are dealing with adults. That's just the reality. Listen people, we know what it takes to make it in this business and a man his age has to be the one in charge and making it happen. A parent of an adult can not be in the lead.

Well this "mommy" and I call her that not to be disrespectful, but because she is still being a "mommy" to her grown son and she needs to understand that won't be taken seriously. Of course she did not like what I had to say at all and she replied, "Wow bitch your Really rude !!! And to say he doesn't know how to work the camera it stated to send a close up and full body picture which I read off your blog so MAYBE you need to retract and reword delete my email its people like you that would give young aspiring children to THINK they cant achieve, thank God my child is NOT like that so you can take your criticism and put it on a Plain surface!!!!"

aaaah... I rest my case.

If you are the parent to a talented child, do your child a favor. Remember, you are not a talent agent or a manager. Your career in Accounting or the Military has not given you the experience to direct your child in the entertainment industry. That is what we are here for. Let us do our job. Your job is to be supportive, bring your child to where he or she needs to be, take direction, be humble and grateful. And always be professional. You can be your child's worst enemy in this business. Know-it-all mothers are a dime a dozen. We look for the exception.

There are a lot of opportunities out there for children but remember the work should speak for itself. As my friend and Casting Director Risa Bramon Garcia says, "You must be about the work first, knowing that career will follow and not the other way around. Dedicated work leads to good work. Good work leads to great work. Great work is thrilling. Great work is noticed. Celebrated. Hired. And money follows bliss." Well said Risa!

Parents I encourage you to contact me and send your child's videos to me at wawentertainment@yahoo.com. I am more than happy to review them. But if you do, be ready for straight talk. If your child is talented and your are willing to work together to advance your child's career, I look forward to doing great things with you!

This is the type of email I get from really supportive parents.
Hi Wendy, Here's an update on Alice.

She started her acting classes at the Margie Haber Studio. It goes for 13 weeks, Sundays from 2-5 pm.

She started rehearsals for Fauntleroy. She was just going to play Tom (a boy), the Fauntleroy imposter. But they love her sooo much that they are giving her other little parts and are putting her in several of the ensemble song performances. I think (not sure yet) that the musical is scheduled for February 8, 9 and 10, at the Santa Monica Playhouse -- I don't see it on the website yet, so I'm inquiring of the director. Thank you for getting her this audition. She loves the people she is working with.

She also started rehearsals for Annie, under the Theatre Experience of Southern California. About 100 girls are in rehearsal. Last Sunday, girls who wanted lead roles, auditioned for them. Alice auditioned for "Annie." She got a callback and is one of the final four for "Annie". I think they may find out this Sunday or next which girls will play which parts. I hope she gets "Annie." If she doesn't get it, she may get one of the other orphan parts. The musical is scheduled for April 11, 12 and 13 at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse.

She signed up for her school's vocal recital on January 31. Many kids sign up each year, but Alice usually stands out. She's going to sing "Greatest Love of All". It's usually limited to 2.5 minutes per person. Per your suggestion Dr. Thelen, who the school's choir master, is also giving Alice voice lessons now.

She is again an American Girl model for the Flintridge Guild. Fittings will start soon. She usually models 3 outfits and does 3 or 4 shows. The American Girl fashion shows are scheduled for March 22, 23 and 24 at the Glendale Hilton.

I started submitting her again this week. She has an audition tomorrow for a print job. We love her agent. I hope she can get Alice some auditions for Tv, Pilots or film. Please let me know if they need anything from me to make their job easier. Thank you for helping me get her demo materials up on her online casting sites.

I revised her resume. I also renewed her work permit this week since it was already expired. It is attached.

We are going back to New York this summer. If you have time, can you please look into some master classes that maybe she can sign up for. Her friend Emma is now on Broadway in Matilda, scheduled to open in April. Alice wants to follow in Emma's footsteps on Broadway, or at least join a Broadway touring company for Annie or Matilda. Emma took master classes -- that's how she connected with the NY CDs. I think she also has an agent in NYC -- maybe that's something we should look into as well.

Let me know if you want to go to any of these events, you will be our guest.

Sincerely....

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Wow! Now this a parent I love to work with :) Proactive, taking direction, building her daughters resume, experience and just plain working hard. No sense of entitlement and grateful for every opportunity.

That's it for now. Be sure to read other blogs on my site 'Breaking Into Show Business: Secrets Of A Hollywood Talent Manager" If you liked this information and found it helpful leave a comment! I love to hear from new people.

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Wendy Alane Wright Smith
Talent Manager
WAW ENTERTAINMENT
wawentertainment@yahoo.com