Dear Managers, Please Do Your Job

Photo Source: Jonathan Bartlett

Dear Manager:
I’m writing because I feel sad. Do you feel sad too? It seems like all we do is argue. I don’t enjoy fighting and I bet you feel the same way. My therapist says there are two sides to every argument. So please write back because I would love to hear yours. After all, you’re a manager, so it’s not like you don’t have a lot of free time.

I’m sorry. That was snarky. I take it back.

The thing is, I’m not really sure what you do all day. It’s not like you’re Johnny on the spot when I need something. Call me crazy, but what happened to the good ol’ days when people did the job they were paid to do? For example, if you’re a manager, you might want to consider, oh, I don’t know—managing?

I’m sorry. That was really snarky. I take it back.

Here’s my understanding of what you do. While I represent more than a hundred actors, managers work with a much smaller list. That gives you time to focus on every little detail, like pictures, résumés, demo reels, and all the other tools an actor needs to succeed. You also help your clients find different types of representation, like theatrical, commercial, and voiceover. And when actors become successful, you introduce them to the right lawyer, publicist, and business manager.

So is that how you fill your days? Because I have to wonder where you are when I need you. Sometimes, it feels like our relationship is a little one-sided.

Like, remember last week when I asked you to help Lisa put herself on tape for that show in New York? As far as I can tell, all you did was call her with the directions I already gave you. I could’ve done that myself! Maybe next time, you can get a little more involved so Lisa’s tape doesn’t arrive two days late.

Was that snarky? Good. I don’t care.

And speaking of Lisa, you introduced me to her six months ago. Remember what I told you back then? No? Let me refresh your memory. I asked you to please get her reel posted on Breakdowns so I could submit it with her picture and résumé to all my casting friends. Guess what? It’s still not there! Do you even listen when I’m talking? Here’s an idea. Stop updating your Facebook status every five minutes. That should give you plenty of time to get things done.

While we’re at it, here’s something else that’s been bugging me. You’re a control freak. If I get an audition for our client, I’m not calling you anymore. From now on, I’m calling the client directly. You see, I like talking to Lisa, which is more than I can say about you. And you know what? That street runs both ways. So if you score an audition, feel free to call her directly too, and then just copy me on the email like my office does for you.

I’m sorry. I’ve gone way beyond snarky. But that’s what happens when I get frustrated. I guess I’m the kind of guy who expects everyone to work hard. Color me naive, right?

Now here’s the thing. I know for a fact there are terrific managers out there. I actually work with quite a few of them. They’re always there when I need some backup, and they also have connections I can exploit for our clients. Some of them also produce product that creates all kinds of opportunities. Those managers are the best.

Don’t worry. There’s no need to get jealous. I still care about you a great deal. But can you please start bringing something to the party?


Secret Agent Man