They say talent is a rare gift, and to manage such rare talent is nothing short of a challenge.
The journey of being a talent manager, truly, starts with patience. The patience to understand your client’s process, genre and perspective.
On the other hand, the ability to correctly gauge the market and opportunities that fit best and at the same help engage the artists to the best of his/her capabilities.
You are your artists’ biggest fan and harshest critic; it requires you to have passion, compassion and an immense love for the artist that one is managing. The key is, to believe in your client’s talent while keep pushing them to become the best version of themselves.
To understand them and help guide them in the right direction, one has to share their passion for the art form. One of the biggest challenges we face in the business is to keep the artists relevant and being able pitch them to the right people for the right projects, without reducing them to a mere commodity.
A manager’s job is multi-fold- they have to figure out what their client’s USP is, what kind of roles suit their competencies, what kind of characters can they do justice to and keep up with all the latest conversation in and around the industry, to just name a few. There is no particular degree to start your career as a talent manager.
That being said, the job demands from you to have outstanding management and soft skills, since the day-to-day lives of an artist are to a great extent curated by you, from their dates to their promotions to their styling appointments. It is the manager’s job to help the artist navigate through the heaps and heaps of scripts in the direction most suited for them.
Truth be told, this profession is quite herculean and the only way to survive, is to love what you do. It is a round the clock job and you have to be at constant beck and call for your artists.
At times, it may be solving a crisis on set or ensuring the shoots do not run into overtimes. All while maintaining and protecting the integrity and respect of our artists. While the artists are the priority, it is of prime importance to strike a balance between them and the clients that they are working with.
This is where your potential as a competent manager are actually put to test – a situation may arise wherein you might need your artists to fall back despite them believing otherwise and vice versa. You are always the arbitrator in the equation.
To sum it up, talent management of an artist from any genre or art form is like a marriage. You have to try hard, tirelessly to make it work. So, strap on those shoes and get ready to dive into this exciting world.
The writer is partner, Inega.