By Valorie Hubbard
“Are you giving your power away?”
Recently, I had a client who got an abusive, brutal letter from his manager. The only reason I did not call and give her a piece of my mind is because I look out for my clients’ interests first. But there will come a time when I can confront her because when it comes to my clients, I am a very protective “Mama Bear.” His manager used the word, “fuck” about 50 times in the letter and basically called my client an idiot. How dare she talk to actors that way! This guy is a respected series-regular from Germany! She is just a manager. I would have fired her in five seconds.
But our entire busines is designed to keep actors out of it. We are being sold off. It is time to rise-up now and do business differently. Times are changing. We must be our own managers so that we do not get slighted. I have a client who is without question her own CEO. She is a doctor and booking acting jobs like mad, doing shoots between her shifts. She runs her acting career as a business. It is my mission to teach enough actors how to be CEOs of their own companies so that we will not need to rely on managers in the future.
In the acting business, the Titanic is hitting the iceberg. Now, more than ever, if you want to survive as an actor, you need to understand that you are the CEO of your own business. You cannot wait to be rescued by an agent. I remember the look on Decisive Minds entrepreneur Michelle Schism’s face when I told her that in our business, you must hire an agent and you cannot sell yourself. The agent sells you to the casting directors, who in turn, sell you to the directors, producers, and writers. She said, “Stop. Wait a minute. You’re telling me that you pay for your business?” I said, “Yes.” She said, “You’re telling me that you pay for your headshots, acting school, acting coaches, a business coach, self-tape, audition clothes…everything you need to be an actor…but then you have to wait for someone else to sell you!?” “Yes…that makes no sense.”
Creating a new actor CEO mindset is mandatory right now. You must have a business brain! You have a product to sell and it is up to you to sell it to the people who are going to use it. Do not let all these stories of how you should act to get work stand in your way. You need to have a CEO brain and business mindset. Forget going to acting school first – go get an MBA! There are plenty of actors who have been ripped off because they do not have a business mind. Lisa Kudrow and Wesley Snipes are going through that kind of hell right now. To thrive in this business, you must have a business mind and belief and confidence in your brand. Then, stand in your value. If every actor had an MBA, they would do so much better if they want to get paid as an actor and not get ripped off. Then they could take a few acting classes.
Do not get me wrong – I love my agent and we do great business together. We are partners. However, I see actors giving their power away rather than standing in their own value. When they manage their own career first, partnering with a good agent will come when the time is right.
When you look at how the acting business is run and has been since 1972, it cannot be run that way anymore. We used to be owned by studios. Then we went to this system where Actors Access runs it in the U.S. and Spotlight runs it in the U.K. At Actors Fast Track™, we have created a dynamic system that has helped turn thousands of acting clients into full-time actors booking real jobs.
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