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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

PEOPLE ALWAYS ASK ME.."Do all agencies receive the same audition opportunities?  Or do some of the bigger agencies get preferential treatment or their connections help get their talent better opportunities?"

For the most part all agents get the exact same breakdowns. Small agents can have great relationships with casting directors, and so can big agencies. Having clout by signing with agencies like CAA and ICM and William Morris Endeavor applies to actors who have already built their careers. Those big agencies really only represent actors who have already spent 5 or 10 years building their name, reputation and body of work. Those agencies find you, you don't submit to them.

When you are just getting started in an acting career you're not going to get an "A" level agent. You're going to get a "B" or "C" level agency and that is FINE!! At the early stages it doesn't matter who the agency is. New actors with no TV credits are always a harder sell then actors who already have credits, period. They take more time to get in the door.

Any hard-working agent at a "B" or "C" level agency that takes you on is going to have to become VERY excited about you and willing to continually work hard to get you in the door year after year. (Only you getting legit TV credits will make that easier, or becoming social media star, or established in another field like sports)

SO...How does an agent get excited by a client? Here are 5 ways!

1) If the actor BOOKS the auditions they go on.

2) If the actor gets CALLBACKS for the auditions they go on.

3) If the actor is busy SUBMITTING THEMSELVES on projects and booking them. For example; short films that go to major film festivals and get recognition.

4) If the actor gives their agents great HEADSHOTS to work with and great acting CLIPS AND DEMO REELS. Always updating their acting clips with great new footage every six months.

5) If the actor is busy networking and making connections on their own through networking groups and film festivals and getting opportunities on their own to help build their resume.

Having an Agent or Manager is only one piece of the puzzle. That's why they only get paid 10-20%. Actors have to do 80% of the work.

When looking for an Agent or Manager go ahead and submit. But understand the agency and managers check those submissions at THEIR leisure not yours. If they need clients they will look at the submissions, if they're not in need of new actors they won't look at the submissions. Some may look at every submission, some agents don't and they only look at submissions by referrals. If you're really interested in signing with one particular agent submit every 3 to 4 months, send the new footage, send them to Headshots, and stay in touch with them always asking for a meeting. It will take persistence and consistency - just like it takes for every other success you will have it this business. DON'T GIVE UP. YOU ARE WORTHY. ❤️

Talent Manager
WAW Entertainment 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Interview with Talent Manager Chris Giovanni

Wendy Alane Wright Interview with Talent Manager Chris Giovanni

Today I am talking with Talent Manager Chris Giovanni. I am grateful for the time he has taken to speak with me and to share information with my readers!  

Chris Giovanni is the CEO/Founder and head talent manager at CGEM Talent in Los Angeles. Christopher's clients range from commercial to theatrical actors who have signed with many reputable talent agencies at William Morris Endeavors, Daniel Hoff, Prestige Talent, as well as shows like Fox's Glee, ABC's Modern Family, What Would You Do, and CBS Broad City.

1) Hi Chris! Thank you for taking time to talk with me today! I know you are a very busy manager with tons of submissions coming in every week. What are 3 things new actors have done to get your attention and have you sign them? 

​A: Wendy while having quality headshots, reel and a resume are great, it boils down to energy and ambition for me. I need to see the personality and eagerness to achieve entertainment goals. If a new actor can walk into a room with my team and sell us their vision and goals -- I am more inclined to sign them.

2) Social Media is really important nowadays. How do you think an actor can use social media to assist in building their career today?

A: Yes, Social Media has become one of the largest marketing tools in show business today. Industry professionals are now using active social media profiles as influence with making decisions for certain projects.

Actors should use their social media as a vessel for creative input. You can start your own web series, share approved photographs of yourself on set -- I even know one actor who puts out a '30-second 

nooner' everyday at twelve documenting his personal and business life as an actor. Creating consistent material that is innovative will help you to stand out on social media for industry professionals.

​3) Chris what do you think the role is of a great talent manager?

A: The role of a great talent manager extends far past submitting your clients for breakdowns all day. It's becoming ONE with your actor to understand their individual wants and needs for their entertainment career. From their specific type, to helping them establishing brand presence -- all the way down to their allergies. 

A great talent manager will work hard to place you with the right agencies, make calls on your behalf to get you in the door, create ventures, as well as providing a 'second hand on your back' with your agents. We provide the TLC in show business.

4) What are 3 ways an actor can network and find their own opportunities?
A: Making connections in the industry is always #1. I can't stress this enoughIt takes more than just one postcard in the mail to establish relationships. Creating professional relationships with industry professionals are a lot like dating. If you really really like that guy or gal, are you just going to send them a postcard in the mail and wait for a reply? No -- you're going to get out there and show THEM that you like them.

That means inviting us to your shows, updating us on your major career accomplishments, and innovating your mail-in material. Give us a reason to keep your casting material. Creating relationships, having a great package, and establishing brand presence will help you expand on opportunities in show business.

5) We all have various motivations for becoming talent managers. I chose to be a manager because I wanted to help people love out their dreams. Why did you become a talent manager?
A: In High School, I was always the kid that introduced someone to someone. I had a large amount of friends who were photographers, so I would send them my friends who were attractive, or who needed new shots for modeling or acting. Little did I know, that was actually my first exposure to management!

I became a talent manager at the age of 19 simply because I love the business and watching actors work hard to achieve their goals. My dream is to make their dreams come true. As a young talent manager every day is a learning process for me. I enjoy being able to grow consistently with my clients.

​6) ​Your management company CGEM recently acquired the east coast creative magazine and public relation brand; Golden Boy Press.  How does marketing and branding play into an actors career?

A: Yes, we recently acquired Golden Boy Press under our media portfolio! We have a lot of exciting plans including releasing a spotlight section for new actors in the industry. This section will be sent out to various industry professionals within our network.

I would say that marketing and branding is one of the more vital components within an actor's career.  Branding is more than just a nice website, or a catchy hashtag. It's the way you deliver your lines, your type cast, the way you dress, your overall presence both online and in the audition room. An actor who establishes a brand are more than likely to stand out and get booked for the job.

7) Show business is a really competitive field. What do you feel are some of the out of box things an actor can do to promote their acting careers?

A: Create an online newsletter and invite industry professionals to subscribe to it. Sign up for Google Alerts with your favorite casting directors and producers. Use to follow and connect with every single industry professional on twitter. Create a personalized skit on video for that industry professional to remember you by. Show Business operates off of innovation. Do something that will have us talking about you to our friends and colleagues.
8) This is my last question Chris and I am so grateful for your time today and your wisdom. What last “secret” words of wisdom would you like to share with upcoming actors?
​A: This may sound cliché, but STOP second-guessing yourself and just DO IT. What you won't do, someone else will. There is no better time than right now. You have to strike everything in life while it's hot. That means enrolling in the recommended acting training, self-submitting daily for new roles, introducing yourself to at least 3-5 new casting directors daily. Finding great representation to back you in the casting room.  The actor who is proactive is the one who achieves the success they desire.

To contact Chris:
Christopher Giovanni
Chief Executive Officer 

CGEM Talent Management


Stay tuned for more Insider interviews with Wendy Alane Wright!
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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Interview with Talent Manager EILEEN O'FARRELL

                                                             Eileen O'Farrell
                   Talent Manager and owner of Eileen O'Farrell Personal Management

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down and interview my friend Eileen O'Farrell who is also a Talent Manager in Los Angeles.  Of course the people we work with tend to also become our friends and I work every day with Actors, Manager, Agents, Casting Directors so I know some of the greatest people. I feel very fortunate for that and to work in this amazing and creative business. Managers are different from each other and I thought I would take a moment to share with you how Eileen O'Farrell works with her actors.


WENDY:  Hi Eileen it's terrific to be able to speak with you about your company and how you work with actors. My first question is....where do you find your clients?

EILEEN O’FARRELL: Mostly thru agent or CD referrals.

WENDY: You actors have appeared in more shows than I can count including Castle, 2 Broke Girls, Superstore, Fresh Off The Boat, Scandal, Revenge, Criminal Minds, The Have Nots, Shameless, Bones, CSI: Cyber, Jane the Virgin, Supernatural etc. How do you pick your clients? What do you have to see?

EILEEN O’FARRELL: I need to see a spark in their eyes. A brightness to them. They need to want it, and when they do, I can see that.

WENDY: My friend Josh Latzer is one of your long time clients. I have seen you have great success with him and he is booking a lot. Josh also is one of the coaches my clients use when they have auditions in addition to CDs Carol Goldwasser and Dan Shaner, Cheryl Faye, Holly Powell, Gloria Garayua and Kim Crandall. Who do you have your clients coach with when they have auditions?

EILEEN O’FARRELL: Mostly CD's who teach on-camera. Sam Stigletz, Holly Powell, Caroline Liem, Jeremy Gordon, Bruce Newberg.

WENDY: Actors are always wanting to be "pitched" by their managers to Casting Directors, in other words picking up the phone and personally suggesting your client for a role. When do you pitch on your actors?

EILEEN O’FARRELL: I pitch on Guest Star & above roles when the client is truly right for the role, IMO. I pitch when the client is good for a role and has pitch-able credits or experience, or talents.

WENDY: Yes that is the same for my company. An actor has to have credits that we can call casting with. If they have recently booked a co-star or guest star we draw attention to that to let casting know they are working actors. What is your relationship with casting directors? How do you network with them?

EILEEN O’FARRELL: I support them any way I can. Many have become my friends. I socialize with them at times, see their plays or projects when I can, things like that. Lots of phone friends.

WENDY: Did some of the kids you represent already have the credits when you signed them?


WENDY: Do you search out working actors to manage?

EILEEN O’FARRELL: Not really. I rely on referrals. If I see someone at a play that I love, I'll check to see if they're repped and if not, I might reach out.

WENDY: As a Manager what do you do for your clients?

EILEEN O’FARRELL: Depends on where they are in their career.  Most of my clients have agents but if they don't, I try & find an agent that would fit well with them. I work the breakdowns in 3 regions, L.A., NY & the SE. I have an apt. in Atlanta that my clients use when they work in the region, to off-set the whole local hire thing. I provide my clients guidance with coaching & classes, headshots, PR, social media. I encourage them & champion them. I walk them off ledges when they despair, I've paid their phone bills, rent, car payments, classes, headshots & I've pulled their dead cats from beneath their beds when they were beyond grief. In other words, I do all the stuff good managers do.

WENDY:  I can relate to that. I have paid for actor’s classes, headshots, gas to get to auditions, online casting subscriptions – even my assistant’s rent once or twice. IMO Going above and beyond is what good managers do. What management jobs do you have after they start on a series? Are you involved with their publicity? 

EILEEN O’FARRELL: I set up meetings with publicists, walk the red carpets, stay with them until they feel comfortable and then pull back when they feel like pros. I check in with them always & encourage them. I have taught my clients to 'live tweet', set up their twitter accounts, and helped to promote them to the best of my ability as a manager who is not a publicist!

Learn more about Live Tweeting:

WENDY: How do you make money as a talent manager?

EILEEN O’FARRELL: Well, I only commission on film & TV. No commercials, no VO, no print. I feel that since I don't submit on commercials, etc. , I shouldn't commission on it. So, my commission is 15% on all theatrical jobs & this includes all residuals. Checks go to clients direct & they pay me. And in the SE regions, I only commission my clients after I've got them going in L.A.

WENDY: This is a business and we both work very hard at it to make money. Where do you make the most money from actors?

EILEEN O’FARRELL: For me, I make the most $ on clients who are series regulars & heavily recurring characters. But I have a strong core group of actors who work consistently as Guest Stars & Co-Stars. It all adds up.

WENDY: How long does it usually take for your clients to start making money?

EILEEN O’FARRELL: Everyone has a different path. A few take off immediately while the majority need time to find their stride, their mojo. For most of my clients it's a steady build up. I find the actors who put the most effort & focus into their careers, rise steadily.

WENDY: Eileen we have come to the end of our interview and I am so grateful you have taken the time to help me educate actors. I have one final question, what do YOU think makes an actor successful?

EILEEN O’FARRELL: It just depends. An actor who is in always in a class, always learning & growing as an actor & a human being, who handles the mundane parts of the business without whining or procrastinating, ie. updates their pics on a regular basis, makes themselves available to audition, knows when it's acceptable to leave town, learns how to self-tape properly when out of town, knows the value of networking & social media, has a positive attitude, develops confidence... these actors usually find success in my experience. I believe one has to decide that this is their life & they're going to go for the gold and fully commit. Time wise, it varies.

Wow! Thank you Elileen I love learning from my friends and sharing the information with upcoming actors. If you want more insider information please continue to watch my videos on You Tube, read this blog and visit my coaching website SECRETS OF A HOLLYWOOD TALENT MANAGER.
Follow Eileen on Twitter

Eileen O'Farrell (@ofarrelltalent) | Twitter
The latest Tweets from Eileen O'Farrell (@ofarrelltalent). L.A. and Atlanta Talent Manager, Animal Lover, DogMom to Ruby, Kitty parent to Penny.

See you on the Red Carpet!

Talent Manager WAW Entertainment 
Facebook: wawentertainment
Twitter: @WAW_wendyalane


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