Monday, April 10, 2017

Interview with Talent Manager Chris Giovanni

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

Today I 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 clich√©, 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

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

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