Talent manager and film producer Bruce Edwin offers free, ongoing advice for actors, models, and bands on how to do the right things in Hollywood. These secrets are rarely taught in school, and rarely told to models and talent.
Although a beautiful young fashion model from Russia with major print work to her credit, actress Katrina (repped by Starpower Management – pictured on this page) does not let her ego get in the way of her business, and therefore is on the path to great success.
One of the biggest reasons actors, models, and musicians fail in the entertainment industry, is that their ego is so inflated as to consider their own worth superior to that of all others, and to come off to others as snotty, entitled, and unable to handle any criticism or direction. Ego is one of the biggest deal killers of all in Hollywood, at any level.
I recently had to find an actress to replace another that was dropped due to a drug problem. The new one being considered seemed great, until I sent her a general e-mail asking her to wear open toe heels and clothing that showed her figure. It is standard for any agent or manager to tell their clients or especially potential clients what to wear for events, auditions, or at times, meetings.
This woman ended up sending me a string of e-mails, including one a page long, stating how great she was, how many credits she had, and how I should know how she would dress great and how open toe shoes are so passe. The actress, whose name you would never have heard of, and was not a young talent by any means, decided to continue rambling on about her great offense, even after my trying to smooth things over, and she blew getting attached to star in a feature film with a major salary of no less than one hundred thousand dollars, all over a pair of high heels and reasonable clothing directions. This is a great example of ego blowing a deal . I’m not an actor (thankfully), but if I was, I’d wear open-toed high heels myself if you paid me 100 thousand, and you won’t hear me complaining about it! And no of course, they are not passe.
Don’t consider yourself too important to take reasonable directions from someone that can help you get more than what you have.
Don’t react back out of ego or anger. Think and let it simmer before you respond, and then only reply after you have thought it over and determine what reply will really get you what you want.
The Taboo Subjects: Sex, Politics, and Religion
You’ve heard perhaps, how these three topics should not be discussed in business. In the movie business, the best policy is if you don’t know what a person’s sexual orientation, politics, and religion is, don’t promote something antithetical to what theirs may be, as it may kill the deal.
Take for example, an e-mail I got one day from the father of a famous director. He made the mistake of sending it to one of my then producing partners, a former Black Panther, and in the e-mail this white dude went off about how Obama was not American, not a patriot, and not a Christian for allegedly not putting his hand over his heart during the pledge of allegiance, and not wearing his wedding ring on the correct hand. My black partner e-mailed him back, and then sent back the entire communication thread that the white guy wrote, and that he himself wrote. And he sent this entire thread not only to me, but to his entire e-mail list, calling this famous dad every name in the book, including calling him a major racist who he did not ever want to hear from again. To be sure, this did some damage to the famous dad, making him look bad, and certainly ruining his chance of business with any black person on this list, as well as any Obama supporter.
So, the moral of these stories are, use good sense. I would say common sense, but sense is not common, it’s acquired. Use good sense, and remember your audience, your point of receipt who is getting your message, and do not offend them. Appeal to their interests, not push them away. After all, you’re not some un-funny comedian no one has heard of hosting the Golden Globes that likes to make people mad.
Strive to win friends and influence people, and do not discuss sex, politics or religion until you know the views of to whom you speak, and that they will be in alignment with what you say.
Bands: Music Terms
Ear Gear: It is majorly important to protect your hearing with ear plugs (hearos are very popular), whether you are on stage, backstage, or even a fan. Don’t worry about people teasing you, better to have your hearing, then care about what losers think who may go deaf when you are smart enough not to.
Merch: This is merchandise that any band must have sell on their website, MySpace, face book, on the road at gigs, and also to the record shops along the road.
Signing: this can refer to signing with an agent, manager, booker, promoter, or sometimes to doing cd or merch signings for fans on the road on your hometown.
Road manager: the road manager is the person responsible for handling most or all aspects of the tour on the road, which may include collecting the money, passing out per diems, booking and paying for hotel, travel routes, and more. Road managers may be independent or work for a label.
Tour manager: The tour manager may function also as the road manager, or may be strictly in house, direct the tour manager, and handle some of the same aspects in addition to publicity, media, signings, air and ground transportation, passports, visas, and the like. The tour manager is usually on the payroll for a label and may have many tours in a season or year that they handle.
Band Manager: The band manager is the artist manager, who may also handle some or all of the functions of a tour or road manager, but usually not with bands at the upper level. The upper level band manager does not book gigs, but instead works with the booking agent who does the bookings. The band manager handles working with the road and tour manager, tour support acts, publicity, label, other labels of other bands, contracts, riders, logistics, legal matters in consort with their attorneys, agents, and more. Band managers usually work with the band they are managing for as long as possible, sometimes years, and may have just one, or several or more other recording artists that they manage. Band managers may also work with record producers, and may help package a record or show along with other talent or talent buyers, as my office does.
I hope this has helped many of you. I will continue in the next issue about protocol when meeting people in the industry, whether one should do nudity, and more. Be sure to check out back issues of this series of articles found in the ‘archives’ section by searching “How to Succeed.” As always, if you have questions or want further free advice, you can call my office. Tel: 310-226-7176
(c) 2011, The Hollywood Sentinel.