Some critics in Ghana’s showbiz industry have made the point that there are no talent managers in the industry – and that those who are called or call themselves artist managers, are actually ‘errand boys.’
The latest to add his view to this assertion is King of Satire in Ghana – popularly known as KSM. According to KSM, he’s developing TV series and so contract some actors for the production – only for them to tell him “talk to my manager” – but after talking to the so-called managers, he realized they should be termed “Fee Collectors or Booking Assistants.”
Read his full thought:
I am developing a TV series, so I called a few actors I wanted to engage. I was promptly directed to their managers.” KSM – talk to my manager”. Wow, I marveled and asked myself: is the industry growing that big? Big enough that actors/actresses actually have the need for managers? I was pleasantly surprised.
Actually, I was impressed until I started talking with some of the “managers”. It took a few minutes for me to realize that the people I was dealing with could not be called managers. At best they were just “Fee collectors or booking assistants.”
For the most part we use the title ‘manager’ very loosely in GH. I say this and many have disagreed with me. I don’t think we have a very active film and stage industry in GH yet. It is very difficult for me to define the role of a manager in our current environment. A “free collector or a booking assistant”, I can understand, but a manager? A beg!!!!
The work of a Manager is very tedious especially where the industry is flourishing. The Manager or agent will be abreast of all the current film and television production and casting that is going on. Not only are they are up to date on all productions but they are also aware of the kinds of parts producers and casting directors are seeking to cast.
They will be in touch with as many casting directors as possible and they will be busy setting up audition or interview appointments for their clients. THEY HUSTLE for the clients.
Whatever costs, if there are any, that need to be taken care off for the audition or interview is borne by the manager. When the actor or actress finally lands a part, the manager will do the negotiation. After the fee is paid, he will then take his hard earned commission from the salary he or she negotiated. That is the least of what Managers do.
Imagine the reverse in GH. No manager hustles me for a part for their client. They are not even aware I am shooting. So, when I get in touch with the actor or actress, he or she will refer me to the so -called manager who has done absolutely nothing. The manager then comes in and even before he requests for the script, which he should, he or she rather start talking salary. It doesn’t get any more amateur than that.
The manager should read the script thoroughly and make the decision whether the part is consistent with the clients growth before talking salary.
Please we have a long way to go to build our industry, let’s focus on building it first. Trust me, as the industry grows the role of managers will inevitably emerge. For now, please let’s not rush. It’s okay to call most of them what they are now: “Fee collectors and booking agents.”