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5 Questions to Ask Your Potential Manager

March 01, 2017

You’re Interviewing Them as Much as They’re Interviewing You!

When seeking representation, it is important to remember that you’re building a team. The person you choose to represent your child should be passionate and qualified to help him or her succeed.

While in many ways the roles are similar, there are also some significant differences between an agent and a manager. A manager’s job is to help develop and guide your child’s career and to help you find, if you haven’t already, an agent.

The following questions will help you determine if the manager you’re interviewing is the right manager for your team.

Where do you see my child fitting within your roster?
This question will help you assess the level of passion your potential manager has for the specific qualities and skills your child possesses. You want to know that your manager is already brainstorming ways in which he hopes to pitch your young performer, and likely because there is a spot to fill.

What type of development will my child require?
This is particularly important for those who have never had representation before. Most young actors need some sort of development (training/prep work to get them ready before they can audition) and all actors need continued industry education. Getting an idea, upfront, from your potential manager about what he/she feels your child will require before he/she is ready to be pitched for roles and how long (three months, six months, a year) that will take is important so that everyone is on the same page. This is also a key moment for spotting red flags in terms of pitfalls and scams.

What agents do you work with regularly?
Part of the job of a manager is to help you get an agent. Before going into a meeting with a manager, do your research and develop a list of “agent hopefuls” – those talent agents you would ideally want to work with down the line. You can do this by reviewing the CIF member directory. Then when you’re in your manager meetings, see if the agents you hope to work with are the same agents your potential manager works with. You’re building a team, and you want to select a manager who brings great connections to the table.

What is your connection to Los Angeles and New York?
This question is important for those who live outside of major entertainment hubs because working with a local manager who also has connections to bigger cities is key to advancing your career.  Perhaps your potential manager used to live and work in Los Angeles or perhaps he or she is affiliated with an agency in a bigger city. Dakota Fanning’s success story is a great example of this. She found local representation in Atlanta with Joy Pervis who is affiliated with the Osbrink Agency in Los Angeles. 

What do you expect from me as the parent?
As with any type of team, each individual on your team has a very specific set of tasks and goals. Your child’s, for example, is to continue to practice his/her craft and to simply be a kid (getting a great education and maintaining his/her grades is also part of the role). You as the parent have another very important role. Setting up expectations and boundaries early on is a great way to build a strong foundation for success.  What does this manager expect from you? Do you need to check in weekly? Monthly?  Are you supposed to be self-submitting? Asking this question will show the rep that you are prepared to contribute in a helpful way and productive way.

Now that you know what to ask your potential manager, are you ready to line up some meetings? Remember, before going into any interview, Children In Film suggests you complete every step of the KidStart Program leading up to “Finding Representation.”  When you’re ready, our Member Directory is filled with reputable managers just waiting to find talented kids and teens!