So I have spent the past four years feeling my feet on the ground, culminating knowledge to use as ammo against the system, and really developing my craft as an actor. Now, it is just nearly time to head into the world and make a change, or at least make some money. One of the first steps we are told to take as actors is “get representation.” I mean, it makes sense. In this business, particularly in larger market: you don’t have representation, you don’t get work. So ok, I did the ultra difficult task of bridging the gap between myself and the world of representation. In other words, I found a manager, a couple, actually. And I soon came to realize that I have not been prepared for taking this NEXT step. Like I understand picking representation is a completely subjective experience and it truly is up to me… however, we have barely been taught the standard responsibilities for a manger or an agent so choosing one for myself feels more like me begging for their attention as opposed to both parties finding one another. One manager has even gone as far as to send a contract, GREAT!! Until I realize that I have no idea how to interpret this contract. I have no idea what is started in a management contract. I have no idea how to go forth and negotiate with this manager because I don’t even have to footing to know what is common practice and what isn’t! Is it standard that a manager receives all of the money first, then doles out my part? Is it standard for the talent to pay their representations travel expenses? Is it standard for talent to sign away all rights to the image and likeness? I mean, these are all things that I am forced to pay an exorbitant rate to discover because I was not taught how to deal with them myself. Now, I understand that I studied acting not law or contract negotiation but I am noting that this is a standard procedure in any actors career and one could only hope that the system set up to prepare me for a career in this industry would have given me the slightest preparation for this moment.