Management – what does it represent? (Do you see what I did there?) When I set up Daisy Francis
Comedy Management (DFCM) I felt it was crucial to carve out the model I wanted for my agency
and think carefully about what role I would play. The job title seemed obvious at the time. Surely,
“Agent”. But then the more work I did, the more I designed the inner workings of DFCM, the more I
felt limited by my title. The title I had given myself. So why not change it? But what to?
The wise and wonderful Arlette Azémar of Call my Agent! famously defined her role and title as that
of an Impressario. Old school but I like it. Arlette believes it is classier. It also encapsulates the sense
of Founder, Executive, Administrator, Promoter. I reckon she was on to something. On any given day
I’m acting as an Agent, Manager, Mentor, Producer, Publicist, Whinge Listener and Imaginary Fire
Putterouterer yet it’s the industry jargon Agent and Manager that we expect to cover everything.
Neither of them quite manage (I did it again) to include each role that is being fulfilled or all the jobs
that are getting done. I reckon we are selling ourselves short.
Agent and agencies carry lots of mixed messages and a plethora of roles when it comes to comedy
specifically. There are agencies that house artists, there are agencies that hire artists and there are
agencies that represent artists. And all of these functions are executed by the Agent. Or are they?
Manager: Although this is much closer to encompassing the variety of jobs that are done within my
role, this perhaps implies that I have a hand in the creative content and output of the artists. Look at
Susie Myerson (& Associates). I may have a plunger and be 5ft 1, but the title Manager still doesn’t
quite cut the mustard. It creates a hierarchy. It suggests that I’m taking control over their career
paths rather than guiding and facilitating. There is an important difference between the
management of the art itself and managing a person.
I designed the DFCM management model to put all these roles together under one roof, and for now
under one person, me! This way, I work on the profile building and development of clients alongside
procuring work. I see this bespoke and detailed approach becoming the way forward for artist
representation, as comedians start to ask: What am I getting for my money? Or perhaps more aptly,
what could I be getting? And If I could be getting more: more advice, more expertise, more help,
then can that all come from my Agent? And if it can, are they really my Agent anymore?
In addressing the common lack of unanimous understanding of what an Agent or Manager might or
could do, I aim to make DFCM just as bespoke in its language and presentation, as in its service. So,
let’s see if I can do away with the term Agent to solely describe what I do. Instead, I hereby appoint
myself Executive Ambassador to the Curation and Furtherance of Laugh Mongers’ Development and Success.
Got more questions about comedy agents? Join Daisy Francis for our Demystifying Management event 7.00-8.30pm on Wednesday 14th April. For more information click here!