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.
HOW TO GET A TALENT MANAGER
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.
LET ME BREAKDOWN THOSE 6 WAYS INTO SPECIFICS YOU CAN IMPLEMENT.
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.
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:
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 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
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.
Instagram • Twitter • Tumblr
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
READ MY ARTICLE IN BACKSTAGE.com "How To Impress A 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 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