Friday, January 2, 2015

How Agents REALLY See Actors

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. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Its important for Actors to learn how agents really see them. Now hold on to your egos this may sting. Agents see actors as dispensable and replaceable commodities. Unfortunate or whatever it doesn't matter, its the fact. Agents sign actors to see if they will make them any money, period. If they do they will continue to have an agent. If they don't, they will be dropped. That's how it works. 

If an actor makes an agency a LOT of money they become the most important people on any Agency's roster. This is a business about making money. Making money on the talent of creative people and projects, but making money nonetheless. Most decisions in this business are based on who is going to bring in the most money. Where the money is the people follow. 

Newcomers are very naive to that fact so they often go into agency and manager interviews with pipe dreams and "great talk" trying to convince agents to believe that they are serious, that they will go the distance. But we know from experience that about 50% of actors quit trying after their 1st year. They all sound very committed in the first meeting but they fall off the wagon for many of the same reasons.

Here are 12 common reasons:

1) Actors don't have enough money 
2) Don't know how to network 
3) Rejection sucks. 
4) They can't handle the pressure
5) It's not happening fast enough 
6) They skimp on their marketing materials selling themselves short 
7) They wait for other people to make their breaks 
8) They are lazy, entitled or have egos that derail them 
9) They don't train their talent 
10) They have unrealistic expectations 
12) Simply afraid of the HARD work it really takes

SOME AGENTS are fantastic and when you have a great agent who is well connected and YOU are at the top of your game great opportunities can be had. There are also horrible agents that only waste your time. I always say a COMBINATION of a great agent and creating your own projects is a powerful way to get things done in this industry. But to get a great agent you need to be the best in your age group, type, category etc. Medicocre is usually not good enough.

 Train your talent. Get yourself jobs. Network and stay in touch with the people you meet along the way. Work hard. Find ways to give and not take. Make genuine friends in the industry. People hire who they know, admire and like.

Be likeable.

Wendy Alane Wright
The Hollywood Talent Manager

To learn more about how the business really works, do yourself a favor, GET EDUCATED.


 Wendy Alane Wright is a Hollywood Talent Manager and the president of WAW Entertainment. Her clients have appeared on television networ...