VAM 082 | How to Work Successfully with Agents and Managers

VAM 082 | How to Work Successfully with Agents and Managers

Welcome to episode 82 of the Voice Acting Mastery podcast with yours truly, Crispin Freeman!

As always, you can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

In the last episode, I explained the basics of how the casting process works for traditional Hollywood style voice acting productions. I talked about the interaction between actors, their agents, casting directors and the producers of these projects.

However, after releasing the episode, I realized that some members of my audience might not be as familiar with the job descriptions and/or responsibilities of agents, managers and casting directors. Others may be familiar with what these industry professionals do, but may not know the best way to approach or work with them.

I’d like to take the next couple of episodes to clarify how you as a voice actor might interact with these types of industry professionals in the most fruitful way possible.

One of the most important business relationships you will have as a working voice actor is the one you share with your agent, so I want to spend the majority of this episode explaining what an agent is, what they are not, and the best practices for collaborating with them. Even though it is possible, especially in the beginning, for a voice actor to gain a certain level of experience and success without the professional representation that an agent can provide, it’s useful even for beginners to learn how actors and agents work together. This way you can be prepared to approach an agent with confidence once you’re ready to reach the next level in your career. I’ll also explain the difference between agents and managers, a distinction that can be confusing to actors new to the entertainment industry.

Thanks for listening!

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #82 Here (MP3)


18 Responses to “VAM 082 | How to Work Successfully with Agents and Managers”

  1. Eric Rivera says:

    Another subject I knew little about.

    Thank you for your time and wisdom.

  2. Kalyn McCabe says:

    Wow… A bunch of information I did not know about! Certainly helps us weed out what we don’t need and what to look out for!

    Thanks for a lovely episode and can’t wait for more!

  3. Jerry Smith says:

    Well this was a nice surprise. It kind of makes you stand back and look up at the behemoth before you as there is some responsibility in a world where you play pretend for a living.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Immature celebrities notwithstanding, being a professional actor who can support oneself with one’s acting abilities takes an incredible amount of responsibility. Flaky actors don’t survive in Hollywood. There are too many performers who are hungry to succeed.

  4. Anthony Berbey says:

    Wow, I never expected that there is a vast difference between Agents and Managers. In order to get hired, I need to sharpen my skills because it’s clear that there’s a lot of competition

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Glad you’re now aware of the difference between agents and managers. There is absolutely competition in the field of voice acting.

  5. Isaac Jones says:

    All of this new information about Agents and Managers has gotten me all shaken up a bit. I’m glad i’m listening to these pod casts.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      It was not meant to shake you up. It was meant to give you an insight into the actual workings of the voice acting world. I would hope having more information would help you feel more prepared, not less. I’m glad you’re finding the podcasts useful however.

  6. Hello Crispin!

    I’m Teresa from Twitter. I brought up to you about the Acting School/Agency that I have an upcoming Interview with. I felt this particular Podcast was a little more suited to resend my question to you and it will allow me to elaborate a little more about my question rather than in 140 characters.

    “I have an Interview with a school/agency and I would like to know if this is acceptable to help further my profession or should they be separated as the two?”

    The reason I wanted to ask, is because it just seems a bit odd that I’m hitting 2 birds with 1 stone. The place I’m going, does cost money, which is understandable but I want to make sure I’m spending money in the appropriate areas of furthering myself.

    Thank you so much!
    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Hi there Teresa. Thank you for posting your question here where I can answer it more effectively.

      I am not familiar with agencies that run acting schools. Nor am I aware of any acting schools that also double as agencies. In my experience those two types of organizations have very different goals and it seems bringing them together would create a conflict of interest.

      A school’s goal is to make you the best artist you can possibly be. They are there to challenge you, to nurture you and to help you grow and explore. That is not the goal of an agency.

      An agencies’ goal is to represent you in the most marketable way possible. That means playing to your strong suits and trying to promote those strong suits to potential employers. Agents are not interested, nor do they have time to nurture you as an artist. They want to know that you will nurture yourself as an artist so they have something to help you market.

      Also, if you listen to my podcast, you’ll notice that agencies should never charge you money. They get 10% of your paycheck. Schools ask for tuition and they are not entitled to any part of your paycheck. The two institutions don’t seem to go together very well in my opinion.

      Does that answer your question?

      • Teresa says:

        Yes. I have heard that podcast and it was veey helpful.
        And that does answer my question. Thank you. I know this place charges it for tuition but it just seemed odd to have the 2, together. I may just need to look for 2 separate ones and focus on schooling with the school and the agency with the other. You’re answer was very helpful so I will just need to look for an actual school.

        Now with mentioning about Agents only charging the 10%, there is also an Agency here in St. Louis that charges for us to use their photographer. That’s what has kept me away from that one. But it seems like it has a very goos reputation but I don’t know if I can fork out $400 to use their photographer. What do you say on that one? Does it sound right or does it sound like a scam?

        Thank you again! I appreciate you and your work considerably!

        • Crispin Freeman says:

          I don’t know what the situation is in St. Louis, but here in Los Angeles, agencies and photographers do not work together. If you start working with an agency, they may suggest photographers that they like because they have gotten their other clients good results, but I don’t know of any agency that asks you to use their photographer. However, that might just be because there are so many headshot photographers in LA that there are plenty of good ones to chose from. In St. Louis, there may not be as many so maybe this agency has one photographer that they trust because other photographers in the area don’t understand how to photograph their clients properly for marketing purposes. I don’t know. You could always research your own headshot photographers in the St. Louis area and see what you come up with. Compare the people you find with the portfolio of the photographer that your agent recommends. Find one a photographer who’s style suits you and seems to be competitively priced.

          Hope that helps!

          • Yes, thank you very much again! I will just have to call again to get more information as to if it is mandatory. If I remember correctly, using their photographer was mandatory. But I will just call and double check. If it’s not, I will start looking around for other photographers.

            Your incite was very helpful. 🙂

          • Crispin Freeman says:

            Glad I could help. Best of luck with everything.

  7. kayland says:

    Hello I am kayland and I would love to be a voice actor but I don’t even know were to begin I wanted be a voice actor because I know I will be great and also I want meet my voice acting hero the YouTube r kaggy

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      I would advise that you start by listening to this podcast from the beginning. That should give you a much better idea of how to pursue a voice acting career.

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