The relationship between a performer and management can be the difference between success and failure. A good all round manager will take an overview of your career and help you develop as a performer, writer or director. An agent or ‘booker’ might only handle your affairs and bookings administratively and some acts prefer to do this themselves in agreement with their manager. Some companies will offer both services as part of the package. Here are a few tips to help you make the right choice in getting represented:
Find out who represents different styles of performers so that you don’t waste your time and energy. Visit websites of management companies and agencies that best represent your kind of act – if you are an actor as well as a comic, you will want representation that has similar acts so that they can send you to appropriate castings or put you forward to producers and directors for the right roles.
Once you have been signed to an agent or manager you trust, listen to their advice. You are buying into their ethos and they are successful on behalf of their artists for good reason. You are paying them a commission which is taken out of your fees, so don’t waste your money or their time by ignoring their advice.
- Invite them down to your gigs
It is just as much your choice as it is theirs as to who manages your career or handles your bookings. Let the various companies court you and don’t sign with anybody who hasn’t been along to see you perform live. The more times they come and see you, the better. They clearly want you on their books and are doing their homework. Somebody who has only ever seen you on YouTube is not going to do the business.
- Know when to call it quits
If the relationship isn’t working, get out. A manager or agent who isn’t getting you in front of the right people isn’t right for you.
- Know what you want
A good manager will advise you on all aspects of your performance, introduce you to other promoters and producers, and encourage you to network with the right people at industry events and comedy venues. They should also be able to guide you on the use of marketing tools and social media to advance your comedy career.
- Relationships change
Expect that these relationships may change over time either down to the chemistry between you, or the direction your career takes. For example, if you start to appear on television more frequently, you would do well to move to a management company that has experience of negotiating contracts and dealing with producers. Remember that good representation should be a happy and productive ‘partnership’ that suits both your needs.