#22: Know the Difference Between an Agent and A Manager
Legitimate agents are always “franchised” by the Screen Actor’s Guild. Franchised simply means that they have taken the necessary legal steps in becoming a business and gained all the necessary licenses in becoming an employment agency. That’s basically what a talent agent is; an employment agency. They work on your behalf to help get you an audition. They don’t get the job for you, you get the job, they get you the audition. Agents, with the help of your photo and resume’, solicit you to casting directors for roles for film, television, commercial, voice-overs, Internet work, etc. Think of agents a people who try to “sell” a product–which is you.
On the other hand, managers are the ones who help “develop” the product–which is you. A good manager will guide and groom you into becoming the great actor or actress you believe you say you are. They work personally with you to make sure you’re on top of your all-around “game” and they usually work with the agents on your behalf. The part you have to be careful about is that anyone can be a manager. There are no “franchised” managers with the unions. Some are legit. A lot are scammers. The great part is that if you find a good one, managers can help you get a good agent, refer you to good photographers and help you with an overall plan to succeed as a professional working actor.