One of the biggest things new parents have the most difficulty navigating is who they need on their team. We have coined the phrase “momager” as the title moms give themselves before their team is built. For some, the title Momager replaces the Manager on their team. While we do not want you to build a team of people that will leave your child star in the dust when it comes to getting paid, some people are needed.
A talent agent is someone who finds jobs for actors, writers, models, and filmmakers. In addition, the agent’s job is to defend and support the interests of their client. But, having an agent is not required to become an actor. Obtaining an agent is one of the most important steps in a performer’s career. A talent agent works for a talent agency where they use their contacts to arrange auditions for the actors represented by the agency. A talent agent is able to provide an actor with auditions they would not otherwise know about. Securing auditions for the performer is the main job of the talent agent.
The manager is someone on the team that fights for the actor’s well being. Their focus in more on managing the actor’s future endeavors. Talent managers keep in close touch with talent agents to ensure a shared vision for the actor, but a manager stays mostly on the management end of the actor’s career.
Sometimes a talent manager may set up an audition for an actor, but that is not their primary responsibility. A talent manager will not guarantee auditions for an actor. A talent manager handles public relations, business matters, and helps to make a career plan and keeps the actor on a path toward success. Most actors cannot juggle the acting demands as their fame and careers grow, interviews, and appearances that come with a prominent career. That is where a talent manager comes in. They typically receive 15-20% of the actor’s pay. While many debate if this position is necessary, many more will debate if your career will thrive without them.
The Momager in its professional sense is the child’s manager. It means you do double duty. You have to know when you need to be the Manager and when you need to your child’s mom. This isn’t a job for everyone. While parents use the term “momager” loosely it is a very involved, paid position. In addition to doing everything listed under the “Manager” position (including going after the necessary credentials and being certified within the industry), your number job is to be the parent of your child.
Having an accountant that specializes in working with kids in the entertainment (or sports) industries is necessary. Unless you (the parent) are an accountant, I would not try navigating taxes across state lines on your own. Many young entertainers may be commissioned out of the state they live in. Taxes will need to be filed in every state your young star has an active work permit in.
The addition to an entertainment lawyer is critical when it comes to reading over contracts being presented to your child star. Key things they look for in your contract are the length of contract, scope, and exclusivity. While this person is not typically on the inside of your dealings, they are needed to make sure you don’t sign over more than you should.