How to Become an Entertainment Artist Manager

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Entertainment artist managers represent some of the biggest stars. The job duties of an entertainment artist manager include assisting actors and singers in finding work, though managers are not obligated to find work for their clients; negotiating contracts; developing and maintaining their clients' image; and handling travel arrangements. Becoming an entertainment artist manager requires many skills and a great affinity for entertainment.

Music Managers

Spend roughly 90 days getting acquainted with the music business, suggests Keith Hatschek in his article for ArtistHouse.org entitled "How Do I Become an Artist's Manager?” Read publications such as Billboard, Variety and Pollstar and books such as Donald Passman's "All About the Music Business" and "Confessions of a Record Producer" by Moses Avalon.

Intern or take entry-level positions at a music booking agency, record label or music production company. Absorb as much as you can daily. Keep your eyes and ears open to information, activities and opportunities — particularly how situations are handled in the face of adversity.

Begin searching for young artists to begin applying the knowledge you have gained. Visit clubs, keep an "ear to the streets" to find out what artists people are talking about and listening to in the community and visit recording studios to find talented, new artists.

Begin working with one or two artists. Assist them in putting together their portfolios, which should include photos, music, upcoming performances and a bio. Contact venues for bookings.

Consult with an entertainment attorney about creating a contract. Include a commission no higher than 20 percent, since managers typically earn between 10 and 20 percent. Have your artists sign a contract.

Actors

Get to know the film and theater industries; in particular, how each medium casts actors, the unions for each and their salary structures and current trends. Subscribe to publications such as the Hollywood Reporter and Backstage.

Make a list of agents, casting directors, directors and producers in your community. Mail a letter introducing yourself, listing your credentials and any affiliations such as membership in the National Conference of Personal Managers or Talent Managers Association.

Attend stage productions to scout talent. Hold "open calls" — auditions for the general public — to find new actors. Conduct interviews with actors to better assess their needs and career goals.

Consult with an entertainment attorney to create a contract that includes your commission structure, which should be no more than 20 percent. Also include a description of your duties and expectations. Present the contract to your actors.

Tips & Warnings

  • Most management firms and record companies are located in New York City, Los Angeles or Nashville. Thus, you may have to consider relocating to one of these locations.
  • Insist that artists consult their own attorneys before signing a contract.
  • Join groups like the National Conference of Personal Managers and Talent Managers Association to assure your clients that you adhere to a code of ethics as a manager.
  • Managers only earn money when artists earn money. Consider your lifestyle and needs before becoming a full-time manager.

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