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Logo for William Morris Agency
What is the difference between an AGENT and a MANAGER?

Naturally, the grand-daddy of them all is the William Morris Agency.
Here are comics they represent:
http://www.wmeentertainment.com/0/cta/comedy/roster/

CHUCK GUNTER started this discussion on LinkedIn.com which some may find of interest.

OUR DISCUSSION began the end of August, 2013, with CHUCK's opening question:

CHUCK GUNTER, a very good comedy juggler:
Chuck Gunter with arms full of juggling balls.
Hi fellow comedy professionals! Looking for a MANAGER not agent. Need someone willing to hustle up different types of gigs. Any ideas? Would appreciate any guidance. Thanks!
----------------------
JIM RICHARDSON, a Comedy Coach and Co-Writer:
Jim Richardson pointing to computer monitor with image of Jim showing a little leg on a boat.
Chuck, I just looked at your profile and suggest you exploit all the LinkedIn categories to establish your credits and endorsements.
This way, you leave open the possibility that a top manager
will run across your profile, click a link
and find video proof of your marketability.

More marketing tips here: Business
----------------------

CHUCK:

Thanks, jim. Improving my LinkedIn profile page has been on my to-do list forever!
----------------------

JIM:

Tell me about it:
I joined LinkedIn about 3 years ago,
and am just getting around to that part of my to-do list.

8-)

Another point:
Back in the day, credible managers were not interested in spending time with talent lacking an already proven ROI (return on investment).

Ignoring for the moment the thousands of performers now presenting themselves as "managers" on social media sites like LinkedIn, ask yourself this question:
"How many hours of your imaginary manager's week do you want him to spend on creating and executing your national business plan?"

If you answer "all his time,"
and he is getting only 15% of your income,
how much does your income already have to be
before this makes ROI sense to a real manager?

Rule-of-thumb:
Don't look for a manager until you have so much business
•that you both need help
•and can afford the 15% cut in your income to buy same.

If you want a manager to "hustle up different types of gigs,"
to the manager that might mean,
"Hustle up different types of agents who will take another 10-25% of this guy's income."

Of course, there are the exceptions when a manager sees a Roseanne Barr with dollar signs over her head,
and immediately puts her under contract the first time she walks off a national TV stage.
This, even though she has no real track record beyond that initial appearance on "The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson."

But for the less paradigm-shifting acts like funny jugglers,
perhaps the more mundane initial calculation is,
"Are you ready to bet 25-40% of your current income?"

If you wish to discuss further, get in touch.

JIM adds further thoughts the next day:

This is why I offer alternatives to the manager/agent route.

When you are ready for their help, both managers and agents should be lining up around the block to get your business.

If not, then my career guidance may be in order.

But what do I know?

8-)

Jim
Just a simple, country comedy coach
http://www.stand-upcomedyworkshop.com/coach.html

JIM, a few days later:

The laws governing Agents vs. Managers differ for each state in the USA.

Here is a very general description of the current rules for California.
(As these numbers keep changing for the commission percentages,
you might want to contact a lawyer specializing in entertainment law for the latest regulations.)
But according to this interesting web page, things are not as cut and dried as in the past:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talent_agent#Difference_between_agents_and_managers

You can follow and/or join what has become an "Agent vs. Manager" discussion here:
http://linkd.in/19heegE


Page last updated: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 4:06 pm PST and March 11, 2014, 8:05 pm PST.
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Home | Video | Coaching & Co-Writing | Order | About | Techniques | Register | FAQ | Contact
Studying Comics | Comedy Roots | Comeback? | Defense | Character mask | Robin | Censorship
Writer's block | Camcorder Coaching | Memorizing | Remembering | Setting a bit
Business | Business Cards | Your Web Site | Open Mics | Evil "Bringer Shows" | Audition | MC tips
Promo Packet | Contact media | Interviews | How to get BIG-$ Gig$ | Agents vs. Managers
Newsletter | Goodies | Auditioning: TV & Movie parts | Site Map: more tips