Wendy Alane Wright is a talent manager and the author of several books on the subject of talent management; here is a link to her website:
Q: What made you interested in talent management?
A: I have always been interested in actors and singers from a young age. I was fascinated with film, TV and records. The concept of recording a human being forever in these mediums thrilled me to no end. I grew up wanting to be in movies, on the radio and I have had the honor of doing so myself. I spent some time as a Talent Agent but decided I prefer the exciting challenge of finding a brand new actor and building their career from the ground up.
Q: What does the job of a talent manager entail?
A: I attend acting and music showcases, watch YouTube videos and attend plays to find talented up& coming actors or singers. I discuss their goals with them and create a 1-3 year plan of action for accomplishing them. I advise them on their type, help them create outstanding headshots, help them build their resume, create their demo reel, make connections in the industry and teach them how to market themselves.
Q: How do you go about getting shows to book talent for in the first place?
A: Agents and Managers check the Breakdowns every day and submit their clients to appropriate projects. If casting is interested in seeing our clients they request an audition.
Q: With YouTube and all the other internet avenues of getting attention now a days, why does someone even need an agent?
A: Agents can get their clients many opportunities but they are just one piece of the puzzle. An actor should always be looking on their own for acting opportunities. I wrote a e-Book called, “How To Be A Star Right Where You Are.” It teaches actors how to meet casting directors, filmmakers, get agents and find TV and film work right where there are – throughout the US and abroad. On my website www.secretsofahollywoodtalentmanager.com I offer all kinds of mentorship to new actors to jumpstart their careers.
Q: What is the weirdest thing you have seen anyone do at an audition?
A: My friend Casting Director Dan Shaner told me one time an actor was auditioning for a dinner party scene. He brought plates, forks, and a bag of peas and carrots to the audition. Obviously that is a no-no. Props are not required at any audition. Needless to say the actor did not get the job.
Q: You wrote a book called How to Break into Show Business and you have a workshop of the same name. Can you tell us just one of the secrets?
A: Well of course I teach artists how to get big time roles 🙂 But actors will have to read the book for that. I can tell you this secret: Be nice to assistants. Assistants become agents, casting directors and TV producers. Make friends with assistants and you will climb the ladder with them.
Q: You have done some casting in reality TV. What do producers tend to look for in a reality show star?
A: Casting Directors look for huge personalities and interesting backstories. They want real people, not actors.
Q: What is your greatest professional triumph?
A: Every time one of my actors books a film or TV role that allows people to see how talented they are I get so excited I could scream. My client Drucilla Perez sent me the movie poster of her new movie “Like She Can” with her picture and name on it and I was so excited! Nothing turns me on more than a person fulfilling their dreams.
Q: What do you think is more important, training or talent?
A: I think Talent is definitely required and training that talent is crucial. Untrained talent typically stays the same level. Studying with a great teacher can magnify your skills and abilities from being to being great. A smart artists is always training.
Q: I believe that, given the amount of time people in America spend being entertained, people in the entertainment industry could considerably change people’s perception of who is and isn’t attractive if they thought outside the box a bit when casting guest star and leading roles; what do you think?
A: I think we live in a multi-cultural world and the roles on TV and films should reflect that diversity. Roles for minorities have increased and with so many more channels, webseries, indie film companies there are many more opportunities for artists of all shapes and sizes. The entertainment industry need to continue expanding its doors.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)