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Manager vs Talent Agent, what’s the difference!

Manager vs Talent Agent, what’s the difference!

There is a huge difference between an artist manager and a talent agent. The talent agent is licensed and bonded and handles certain aspects of the artist career (i.e. booking, auditions, sponsorship, endorsements - anything employable for the artists). Most talent agents are affiliated with SAG-AFTRA (Union) and contractually have agreed to work within the policies and procedures of the Union. The biggest talent agencies are ICM, CAA, UTA and William Morris/Endeavor. Those agencies offer full service to their client. They mainly handle name brands, high-profile clients. There are quite a few boutique agencies that are well equipped to help with the success of an artist.


The manager is a part of the artist's critical core team who leads, guide, and counsel the career of the artists. The manager is responsible for making sure the machine is working on all syllables.
The manager is responsible for establishing an effective team approved by the artist that fit within guidelines discussed and determined by the manager with artist. The manager manages the day to day affairs of the artists and provides layouts of how each team member will function. The manager is the catch-all person for anything good and anything going bad. He or she works with the core team as well as the auxiliary team of publicist, marketing, retail, personnel, etc. within other organizations and the talent agency. The manager and the artist relationship must be one of trust.


There is one huge difference between the manager and the talent agency is managers cannot procure employment for the artist according to the Talent Agency Act (TTA) in California. The TTA says only talent agents can procure and negotiate deals and bookings on behalf of the artists.


Talent agents’ basic commission is 10%, managers’ commission range from 10 to 25% depending on the success of their clients.


Can a manager be sued by procuring employment for their client?



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