The question I get asked most often is "What do you like most about being a manager?"
There are many things that make being a talent manager a lot of fun. What's not to like about rubbing elbows with celebrities, or visiting a client on set while he's working on your favorite TV show? Going to Hollywood parties and getting to see movies well in advance of their theatrical release (for free no less) are also some of the perks. But what I like best about being a manager is telling an actor that they just booked their very first job.
Sharing the news with a client that they booked any job is always a fun conversation. But letting them know they booked their very first job can be an emotional experience. And not just for the client! Oftentimes, I too am swept up in the moment with an overwhelming sense of "We did it!"
Let's face it, booking a job isn't as easy as you might think. Someone once told me it takes an average of sixty-one auditions for an actor to book a job. I realize that may be a generalized statistic. After all, I've had clients book their very first job out of the gate. And I've also had clients accrue far more than sixty-one attempts prior to getting a role. But no matter how many visits they've had to the casting office, it always feels great when they're cast for a part.
Those who are not professional actors may not understand how difficult it is to book a job. For many actors it takes years of training to get their craft to a competitive level so that they're able to go head to head with the best talent out there for a chance to get cast in a film. Getting good representation that can provide you with the right opportunities to be seen for acting parts is another hurdle that can also prove difficult. Once you're in the room, you can give the performance of a lifetime and still not book the role. So when the stars align and you finally do land the job, there's reason to celebrate.
I fondly recall telling a young girl from San Diego whom I met at a talent convention that she booked a guest role on Judging Amy. Her tears of joy brought tears to my own eyes. My ears are still ringing from the ecstatic screaming of a teen boy after I told him he booked an episode of Nip/Tuck. And after learning that he booked a pilot, another client graciously told me that he couldn't have done it without my help.
Do I love walking the red carpet as my clients are interviewed by Entertainment Tonight? Absolutely. And how I relish any time a casting director tells me how amazing my client's work was on last night's episode du jour. Seeing my client's name in the main titles of a major motion picture as I sit in a dark, crowded theater always makes me smile. But telling them they booked the role, especially their first, is always my favorite part of the job.
To hear about some of the first jobs your favorite actors ever had, check out this video from People.com: