Interview with Talent Manager EILEEN O’FARRELL

Eileen O’Farrell
Talent Manager and owner of Eileen O’Farrell Personal Management

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down and interview my friend Eileen O’Farrell who is also a Talent Manager in Los Angeles.  Of course the people we work with tend to also become our friends and I work every day with Actors, Manager, Agents, Casting Directors so I know some of the greatest people. I feel very fortunate for that and to work in this amazing and creative business. Managers are different from each other and I thought I would take a moment to share with you how Eileen O’Farrell works with her actors.


WENDY:  Hi Eileen it’s terrific to be able to speak with you about your company and how you work with actors. My first question is….where do you find your clients?
EILEEN O’FARRELL: Mostly thru agent or CD referrals.

WENDY: You actors have appeared in more shows than I can count including Castle, 2 Broke Girls, Superstore, Fresh Off The Boat, Scandal, Revenge, Criminal Minds, The Have Nots, Shameless, Bones, CSI: Cyber, Jane the Virgin, Supernatural etc. How do you pick your clients? What do you have to see?


EILEEN O’FARRELL: I need to see a spark in their eyes. A brightness to them. They need to want it, and when they do, I can see that.


WENDY: My friend Josh Latzer is one of your long time clients. I have seen you have great success with him and he is booking a lot. Josh also is one of the coaches my clients use when they have auditions in addition to CDs Carol Goldwasser and Dan Shaner, Cheryl Faye, Holly Powell, Gloria Garayua and Kim Crandall. Who do you have your clients coach with when they have auditions?

 EILEEN O’FARRELL: Mostly CD’s who teach on-camera. Sam Stigletz, Holly Powell, Caroline Liem, Jeremy Gordon, Bruce Newberg.


WENDY: Actors are always wanting to be “pitched” by their managers to Casting Directors, in other words picking up the phone and personally suggesting your client for a role. When do you pitch on your actors?


EILEEN O’FARRELL: I pitch on Guest Star & above roles when the client is truly right for the role, IMO. I pitch when the client is good for a role and has pitch-able credits or experience, or talents.


WENDY: Yes that is the same for my company. An actor has to have credits that we can call casting with. If they have recently booked a co-star or guest star we draw attention to that to let casting know they are working actors. What is your relationship with casting directors? How do you network with them?


EILEEN O’FARRELL: I support them any way I can. Many have become my friends. I socialize with them at times, see their plays or projects when I can, things like that. Lots of phone friends.


WENDY: Did some of the kids you represent already have the credits when you signed them?




WENDY: Do you search out working actors to manage?


EILEEN O’FARRELL: Not really. I rely on referrals. If I see someone at a play that I love, I’ll check to see if they’re repped and if not, I might reach out.


WENDY: As a Manager what do you do for your clients?


EILEEN O’FARRELL: Depends on where they are in their career.  Most of my clients have agents but if they don’t, I try & find an agent that would fit well with them. I work the breakdowns in 3 regions, L.A., NY & the SE. I have an apt. in Atlanta that my clients use when they work in the region, to off-set the whole local hire thing. I provide my clients guidance with coaching & classes, headshots, PR, social media. I encourage them & champion them. I walk them off ledges when they despair, I’ve paid their phone bills, rent, car payments, classes, headshots & I’ve pulled their dead cats from beneath their beds when they were beyond grief. In other words, I do all the stuff good managers do.


WENDY:  I can relate to that. I have paid for actor’s classes, headshots, gas to get to auditions, online casting subscriptions – even my assistant’s rent once or twice. IMO Going above and beyond is what good managers do. What management jobs do you have after they start on a series? Are you involved with their publicity?

Learn about live tweeting:
EILEEN O’FARRELL: I set up meetings with publicists, walk the red carpets, stay with them until they feel comfortable and then pull back when they feel like pros. I check in with them always & encourage them. I have taught my clients to ‘live tweet’, set up their twitter accounts, and helped to promote them to the best of my ability as a manager who is not a publicist!

WENDY: How do you make money as a talent manager?


EILEEN O’FARRELL: Well, I only commission on film & TV. No commercials, no VO, no print. I feel that since I don’t submit on commercials, etc. , I shouldn’t commission on it. So, my commission is 15% on all theatrical jobs & this includes all residuals. Checks go to clients direct & they pay me. And in the SE regions, I only commission my clients after I’ve got them going in L.A.


WENDY: This is a business and we both work very hard at it to make money. Where do you make the most money from actors?


EILEEN O’FARRELL: For me, I make the most $ on clients who are series regulars & heavily recurring characters. But I have a strong core group of actors who work consistently as Guest Stars & Co-Stars. It all adds up.


WENDY: How long does it usually take for your clients to start making money?


EILEEN O’FARRELL: Everyone has a different path. A few take off immediately while the majority need time to find their stride, their mojo. For most of my clients it’s a steady build up. I find the actors who put the most effort & focus into their careers, rise steadily.


WENDY: Eileen we have come to the end of our interview and I am so grateful you have taken the time to help me educate actors. I have one final question, what do YOU think makes an actor successful?

 EILEEN O’FARRELL: It just depends. An actor who is in always in a class, always learning & growing as an actor & a human being, who handles the mundane parts of the business without whining or procrastinating, ie. updates their pics on a regular basis, makes themselves available to audition, knows when it’s acceptable to leave town, learns how to self-tape properly when out of town, knows the value of networking & social media, has a positive attitude, develops confidence… these actors usually find success in my experience. I believe one has to decide that this is their life & they’re going to go for the gold and fully commit. Time wise, it varies.
Wow! Thank you Eileen I love learning from my friends and sharing the information with upcoming actors. If you want more insider information please continue to watch my videos on You Tube, read this blog and visit my coaching website SECRETS OF A HOLLYWOOD TALENT MANAGER.
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The latest Tweets from Eileen O’Farrell (@ofarrelltalent). L.A. and Atlanta Talent Manager, Animal Lover, DogMom to Ruby, Kitty parent to Penny.

See you on the Red Carpet!

Talent Manager WAW Entertainment 
Facebook: wawentertainment
Twitter: @WAW_wendyalane



Wendy Alane Wright is a Hollywood talent manager and the president of WAW Entertainment. Her clients have appeared on television networks such as ABC, NBC, TNT, CBS, Comedy Central, BIO, Lifetime, and more. They have booked TV shows including “Modern Family,” “Blackish,” “Extant,” “The Colony,” “Animal Kingdom,” “My Haunted House,” and “Henry Danger,” as well as hundreds of commercials for major spots including Shutterfly, Mercedes, Visa, Taco Bell, Honda, Legos, Hot Wheels, and many more. Prior to being a manager and a talent agent at Burn Down Entertainment, Wright assisted many high profile managers, agents, and publicists. For 20 years she was a recording artist, actor, and music producer, and is now the author of five books called, “Secrets of a Hollywood Talent Manager.” Wright teaches the business of acting all over the country and is on the faculty of schools including the New York Studio for Stage and Screen in North Carolina and LA Acting Academy in Phoenix, Arizona. For years she has appeared in numerous magazines, and on radio shows and talk shows including “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

Reputable Talent Agencies Across the USA

Reputable Talent Agencies Across The USA

Wendy Alane Wright is a Hollywood talent manager and the president of WAW Entertainment. Her clients have appeared on television networks such as ABC, NBC, TNT, CBS, Comedy Central, BIO, Lifetime, and more. They have booked TV shows including “Modern Family,” “Blackish,” “Extant,” “The Colony,” “Animal Kingdom,” “My Haunted House,”  “American Horror Story,” “Walk The Prank,” and “Henry Danger,” as well as hundreds of commercials for major spots including Shutterfly, Mercedes, Visa, Taco Bell, Honda, Legos, Hot Wheels, and many more. Prior to being a manager and a talent agent at Burn Down Entertainment, Wright assisted many high profile managers, agents, and publicists. For 20 years she was a recording artist, actor, and music producer, and is now the author of five books called, “Secrets of a Hollywood Talent Manager.” Wright teaches the business of acting all over the country and is on the faculty of schools including the New York Studio for Stage and Screen in North Carolina and LA Acting Academy in Phoenix, Arizona. For years she has appeared in numerous magazines, and on radio shows and talk shows including “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Wendy is also a Recording Artist, Actress, Author and Music Producer all  giving her a 360-degree perspective of the industry.

There are wonderful, hardworking Talent Agents outside of Los Angeles. Many actors start their acting careers in smaller markets. After speaking with tons of working actors about which agencies THEY recommend, here is my list for Reputable Talent Agencies across the USA.



Signature Models & Talent
5743 E Thomas Rd # 1, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Dani’s Agency
434 E Southern Ave, Tempe, AZ 85282

Deborah Maddox Agency
7135 E Camelback Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Robert Ford Black Agency
4032 N Miller Rd #104, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Top acting school in Arizona:
LA Acting Academy


Scout Model and Talent
355 Bryant St #206,
San Francisco, CA 94107
JE Model Management
323 Geary St #302, San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: (415) 395-4777
NYLO Model and Talent
1900 Powell St #688, Emeryville, CA 94608
Phone: (510) 588-8762
Marla Dell Talent Agency
2124 Union St # C,
San Francisco, CA 94123
Phone: (415) 563-9213
23 Grant Ave
 San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone: (415) 421-6272
Top 20 Kids Agencies in Los Angeles
Donna Baldwin Agency
Address: 2237 W 30th Ave
Denver, CO 80211
Phone: (303) 561-1199
Central Florida Talent (CFT)
Address: 5400 International Dr,
Orlando, FL 32819
Phone: (407) 370-2790
Artists Talent Agency
1111 Lincoln Rd Suite #400
Miami Beach, FL 3313
The Diamond Agency
160 International Pkwy #150
Lake Mary, FL 32746 (Orlando area)
Phone: (407) 830-4040
The Hurt Agency Talent & Models
400 N New York Ave # 207
Winter Park, FL 32789 (Orlando area)
Benz Model and Talent Agency
2211 E 7th Ave
Tampa, FL 33605
Phone: (813) 242-4400
Louise’s People Model Talent, Inc. SAG/AFTRA
863 13th Avenue North
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701
Gilla Roos Miami
1000 5th Street, Suite 203
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 357-0601
East Coast Talent Agency     (covers all of the southeast)
3 Central Plaza #344, Rome, GA 30161
Phone: (404) 660-7709
Salt Model & Talent
1417 Dutch Valley Pl NE,
Atlanta, GA 30324
Phone: (404) 214-9264
Artists Talent Agency
17th St Suite #300
Atlanta, GA 30363
Presence Agency
J Pervis Talent Agency
949 Image Avenue, Suite C,
Atlanta, Georgia 30318
(404) 688-9700
People Store / Hot Shot Kids
645 Lambert Drive
Atlanta, GA 30324
Jana VanDyke Agency
4461 Bretton Ct NW #500,
Acworth, GA 30101
Phone: (770) 529-0655
Red Willow Talent
100 Bull St Ste 200
Savannah, GA 31401
(912) 376-9817 ·
Houghton Talent
919 Collier Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
Phone: (404) 603-9454

Alexander White Agency 
2144 Hills Ave NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 609-4752

Atlanta Model and Talent Agency
3098 Piedmont Rd NE #102
Atlanta, GA 30305
(404) 261-9627

Privilege Talent Agency 
3355 Lenox Road, Suite 750
Atlanta, GA 30327
(404) 430-1104


Heyman Agency
indianapolis – audition studio only
Robert Charlock
8924 E. 46th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46226
Talent Fusion
320 N Meridian St #901,
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: (317) 951-2230
BMG Model & Talent
(312) 829-9100
456 N May St,  Chicago, IL
1017 W Washington Blvd #4F,
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 601-2345
Shirley Hamilton
333 E. Ontario, Suite 302
(312) 787-4700
312 North May Street
Suite 2F
Chicago, IL 60607
Stewart Talent Agency Chicago
58 W Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60654
Big Mouth Talent
312) 421-4400
900 N Franklin St, #4031 Chicago, IL
Peak Agency
6150 Village View Dr #112,
West Des Moines, IA 50266
Phone: (515) 279-4988
1205 E. Washington Street, Suite 107
Louisville, KY 40206
p: 502.589.2540
f: 502.589.2545
Actors Choice Talent Agency
Physical Address:  30235 Eden Church Road, Denham Springs, LA  70726
Phone: (225) 408-9857
Clear Talent Group South
2309 N. Hullen
Metarie, LA 70001
(504) 834-8290
Blue Talent Group
PHONE:  504.434.3968
Darcel Morena Talent
Shreveport, LA 71104
Phone: (504) 616-6816
Impact Model & Talent
10001 Lake Forest Blvd #600,
New Orleans, LA 70127
Phone: (504) 533-8759
1205 E. Washington Street, Suite 107
Louisville, KY 40206
p: 502.589.2540
Landrum Arts
712 Milam St #103,
Shreveport, LA 71101
Phone: (318) 742-6554
The Talent Connexion
New Orleans
(504) 756-5350
Phoenix Star Talent Agency
Jennifer Damschroeder
& Tommye Myrick
Owner and Agent
5501 Tullis Drive, Bldg 12 Suite 103
New Orleans, LA 70131
Metro Models & Talent
201 St. Charles Ste, 2500
New Orleans
(504) 324-1990


AWA Talent Agency (Andrew Wilson Agency)
18 Shipyard Drive, 2A-14
Hingham, MA 02043 (Boston area)
(617) 816-1020
Model Club Inc.
132 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116
(617) 247-9020
Productions Plus
30600 Telegraph Rd # 2156,
Bingham Farms, MI 48025
Phone: (248) 644-5566
KTA Group Talent
20 West Shore Dr.
Hattiesburg, MS 39402
Phone1: (769) 456-1964
The Agency Models and Talent
2500 W Pennway St,
Kansas City, MO 64108
Phone: (816) 523-2237
NOW Talent Management
PO Box 762
O’Fallon, Missouri 63366    (St Louis area)
Phone: 636.290.0875
Moore Creative Talent
3130 Excelsior Blvd,
Minneapolis, MN 55416
Phone: (612) 827-3823
1500 Jackson Street NE
Studio 219
Minneapolis, MN 55413
Laura M M Johnson- Owner/CEO/Agent
Talentpoole, Agency Models & Talent
The Park Building, 1595 Selby Ave #302,
St Paul, MN 55104
Phone:(651) 645-2516
Wehmann Models and Talent
1128 Harmon Pl # 202,
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Phone: (612) 333-6393
Actors etc. Unlimited
9773 Lafayette Plaza
Omaha, Nebraska
JKL Talent / Agent Jayne Krashin
873 Lightgleam Ct,
Las Vegas, Nevada
(702) 659-0420
Envy Model Management
Daniel Mahan
3790 Paradise Road, Suite 115
Las Vegas, Nevada
Future Faces
747 3rd Avenue, 2nd Floor,
New York, NY 10017
Phone: (212) 203-6898
Funny Face Today
381 Park Ave S #821,
New York, NY 10016
Phone: (212) 686-4343
Carson Adler
250 W 57th St # 2030
New York, NY 10107-0810
Phone: (212) 307-1882
Ken Park Management
92 Reade St # 4,
New York, NY 10013
Phone: (212) 566-8672
BAC Talent Inc.
PO BOX 141
Tennent,NJ 07763
Brandon Cohen
(908) 907-1904
The Brock Agency
Mailing Address Only: 329 13th Ave, NW
Hickory, NC 28601
(828) 322-8553
Artists Talent Agency
401 N. Tryon St, 10th floor suite 1117
Charlotte, NC 28202
1816 Bonnibee Ct.
Raleigh, NC 27612
10 Resolute Ln #220,
Mt Pleasant, SC 29464

(843) 284-8335

JTA, INC. Talent Agency
820 East Boulevard
Charlotte, NC 28293
(707) 337-5987

700 West Pete Rose Way, Suite 434
Cincinnati, OH 45203
p: 513.533.3113
f: 513.533.3135
772 N. High Street, Suite 207
Columbus, OH 43215
p: 614.291.8200
f: 614.291.8201
Docherty Talent Agency
2044 Euclid Ave #500,
Cleveland, OH 44115
Phone: (216) 522-1300
Switzer Talent Agency
Oklahoma City
(405) 241-5373
Docherty Talent Agency
109 Market Street
Pittsburg Pennsylvania
Reinhard Model an­d Talent Agency
2021 Arch St #400,
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: (215) 567-2000
Artists Talent Agency
1856 Belgrade Ave Suite B-4
Charleston, SC 29407
Coastal Talent Agency
Agent: Linda Eisen
P.O. Box 1142
Isle of Palms, SC 29451
Sharon Smith Talent
Airport Executive Plaza, Airport Executive Plaza,,
1321 Murfreesboro Pike #541
Nashville, TN 37217
Phone: (615) 742-4277
Collier Talent
1001 South Capital of Texas Highway
Suite L-200A
Austin, TX 78746
Phone: (512) 236-0500
The Linicomn Agency
3905 Hedgcoxe Road
Plano, Texas, 75205 -0195
(214) 403-2919
Pastorini-Bosby Talent Agency
6300 West Loop S #350,
Bellaire, TX 77401
Phone: (713) 266-4488
The Campbell Agency
Two Turtle Creek
3838 Oak Lawn, Suite 900
(214) 522-8991
The Clutts Agency
1807 Ross Ave Gallery #167
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 761-1400
Mary Collins Agency
2909 Cole Ave #250
Dallas, TX 75204-1307
(214) 871-8900
Kim Dawson Agency
1645 Stemmons Frwy Ste B
Dallas, TX 75207
(214) 638-2414
Elevate Talent Agency
David Layne and Stephanie Broschinsky
P.O. Box 575
Riverton, Utah 84065
McCarty Talent Agency
1326 Foothill Dr,
Salt Lake City, UT 84108
Phone: (801) 581-9292
Colleen Bell Model and Talent  (Seattle area)
14205 SE 36th St, Bellevue, WA 98006
(425) 649-1111


Fusion Talent Agency
125 Court
Belle River, ONTARIO
(519) 819-7234


8 Elm Street
Toronto, ON M5G 1G7
+1 416 964 8522

Vancouver, BC
1505 W 2nd Ave
Vancouver, BC V6H 3Y4
+1 604 733 9800
UPDATES TO THIS LIST:: Actors if you come across an agency that is not listed and is fantastic and getting you legit auditions, let me know! Conversely, if you discover that ANY of these agencies are taking up front money or are abusive in any way please let me know so I can remove them from this list!  Emails can be sent to my assistant Penny at 
Follow the instructions for submitting on the agency’s website.
To discuss your type, marketing package, headshots, demo reel and resume click here to set up an Skype Acting Career Consultation

ACTING SCHOOLS If you have suggestions for top acting schools in any of these cities please let us know and we will research them. Emails can be sent to my assistant Penny at

For more helpful information visit my coaching website:
Wendy Alane Wright
Talent Manager
WAW Entertainment
DISCLAIMER: I have compiled this list with MY research speaking to actors who say they have had great experiences with these agencies.. You still need to do YOUR Due Dilligence when dealing with any company you work with. I am not liable for any reason.whatsoever. I am just sharing information.



Some people think you should never pay to do a Talent Showcase to get an agent. Of course you can submit directly to agents by EMAIL or follow their submission guidelines on their individual websites. But being in the same room with agents and performing for them WHILE they are actively looking for new talent is a very good way to get solid representation.

There are people across this country who LOVE helping children, teen and young adult actors get started. Donna Baker Ehrlich does an amazing job discovering and training new talent at Z1 MODELS in South Carolina. I have singed many GREAT kids from her showcases. Also Mike Beatty in Texas does MODEL AND TALENT EXPO in Dallas and he gives actors and models incredible opportunities. Both of these amazing people come straight from the HEART.

I’m not against the concept of putting 40 Agents, Managers and Casting directors into 1 room and having kids audition for them – and parents paying for that opportunity. I am totally against putting kids who have no business being in that room yet because they are NOT READY and then charging the parents $5,000, $10,000 or 15,000 to do it. 
This year at LA ACTING ACADEMY in Phoenix, Arizona we put on a showcase with 10 agents, managers and casting directors that flew in from LA as well as the top Phoenix agents. EVERY SINGLE CHILD GOT REPRESENTATION. The cost? Under $1,500 – plus all kids got a full week of on camera training, audition technique, scene study and improv training from casting directors, agents, managers, and acting teachers.

Plus… I don’t think it’s fair to charge the parents an extra $1,500 each just to attend the showcase with their kids. I mean WTF? Some of these showcase companies are OUTLANDISH with their prices and are only interested in making as much money off of parents as they can. That’s why it is SO important to get educated before you spend a penny. Every parent thinking about helping their child get their feet wet in show business should FIRST read my e-book: “How To Be A Star Right Where You Are.” You can download it from my website or

$300-$400 a month for acting classes for 1 year $3,600 – $4,800 (1 class per week minimum. 2 would be better.)
Pro Headshots $350
Showcase $1,500-$2,000
Plus Air & Hotel if it’s outside of your state

That’s what it costs to train and participate in good showcases. And the actors should be learning from pro teachers and working actors.
So many times the acting “training” that comes with showcases packages is no where near the level of real acting classes. I have seen actors come out of 3 months of showcase “classes” and have no idea how to slate even.

And most importantly, parents need to be taught that agents and managers only want to sign kids who speak clearly, have great energy, have personality, and real acting skills. Honestly, we see a lot of duds at the showcases and the showcase companies still take the parent’s money. Trust me, Agents and Managers are looking for actors who are as good, if not better, then the actors they already have on their roster.We want kids who are ready to work for the most part. Some kids we will develop and take time with if we think they have REAL potential, but remember we are making NO money if your child isn’t booking work… and Agencies and Manager’s businesses are not running a charity. We work for profit.

On another note, ALL parents think their kids are stars, or are special or have some “special thing” about them that’s going to make everybody want to work with them on TV and in films. But the truth is only a handful of kids have that “special quality” for TV and Film – even though all children are PRECIOUS.

Rather than jumping into a showcase situation before the child is even ready…why not do local plays, take a year or two of REAL acting classes at local professional acting schools, and then when your kid is really GOOD then you take them to a showcase.

No matter how cute you think your child is if they are not at a somewhat professional level that we think is going to make us money – 99% of the time we’re not going to sign them.

Often showcase companies tell you “you don’t have to be in LA.” That’s a partial truth. No, You don’t have to be in LA to START an acting career because actors can get an agent in their own state, who can get them a handful of auditions. And actors can self submit on and for short films, webseries etc in their own state to build their resume and get experience.

But as taping becomes more common for out of state actors know these important facts:

1) Commercial agents in LA will not want to sign kids that live out of state.
2) 95% of roles on TV are cast in person in LA by LA based actors.
3) Very few actors actually book from tape. WHY? Because casting directors almost always want to see the actors in person in the audition room so they can give them feedback, see if they take direction or redirection and those are usually the kids that book the jobs (with some exceptions.)

Sometimes when an out of state actor submits a tape and it is so undeniably good – casting directors will get on Skype with the actor and give redirection and if they pass that test, casting directors will ask you to pay for your own flight to come in to LA and have an in person audition. If an actor is seriously being considered for the role and casting wants to see them for 2nd, 3rd or 4th auditions, producer sessions or network testing – then the company hiring will often pay for you to come in and continue the audition process.

But as a rule, LA agents and managers always prefer to work with actors that live in Los Angeles who are available to go to auditions on a weekly basis if they set them up for you.

Agents and Managers in LA will sign talented kids with the understanding that as their career progresses and if they’re serious about continuing it – they will need to relocate to Los Angeles.
For more useful and straight forward information read my ebooks and watch my You Tube Videos which can be found here:
Wendy Alane Wright
Talent Manager
Acting Career Coach

Wendy Alane Wright Interview With Film Producer Tanya Thompson

 Hollywood Talent Manager Wendy Alane Wright
President of WAW Entertainment in Los Angeles.
Now a days Actors try really hard to get noticed in a sea full of competition. One of the best ways to stand out and get noticed is to CREATE YOUR OWN CONTENT! That means writing, or finding a good script, casting YOURSELF in it, assembling a production team, shooting it and releasing it to the public through social media, You Tube, Film Festivals etc. Many actors have become experts at this and use their own productions to network with casting directors, film makers, and other actors.
It’s a wonderful way to take charge of your career and show people your talent and what you are capable of
Recently I had the opportunity to interview Tanya Thompson, Actress, Producer and Film Maker about producing her own film projects and was really inspired by our conversation.
Tanya Thompson
Actress, Producer, Filmmaker.
Tanya has appeared as an actress in numerous films not only in front of the camera but has now started working “behind the lens” as well. Tanya has most recently had the honor of being a Co-Producer on two (2) major feature films starring the incredibly talented Clifton Powell (Ray), Malik Yoba (Empire), Taral Hicks (A Bronx Tale, Belly), Malik Whitfield (If Loving You Is Wrong, The Temptations), Claudia Jordan (Real Housewives of Atlanta), Omar Gooding (Baby Boy, Barber Shop, Smart Guy) and a host of others. She is using all of her experience she gained as an on-camera actress as well as her financial/business background from the Emmys to help other Directors bring their vision to life as one of the Producer’s on their projects. 

WENDY’S QUESTION: Hi Tanya I am so honored to be able to speak with you.  I truly admire passionate, strong, smart actors. In addition to acting, you produce your own projects now which I think is a brilliant way of getting yourself out there.  Making a film is a really daunting project. What experience did you have in filmmaking prior to completing this film?

TANYA: I started out in the business acting in the early 90s doing background roles in NY Undercover on FOX and other TV shows…then life happened, I got married, had a baby so I left the business and got a job as a Director of Finance, Operations & Special Events for the National Academy of TV Arts & Sciences (also known as “The Daytime Emmy Awards).  In 2006 I decided to return to the business, when I booked my first feature film as a principal actor. I’ve been acting ever since. In 2009, I got frustrated with the lack of available roles for women like me so I decided to take my destiny in my own hands by producing my own projects. With my experience in acting and my background in finance it gave me the confidence to try my hand at producing.  When other Directors found out that I produced films, they reached out to me to help them produce theirs as well.

WENDY’S QUESTION: Getting distribution for a film is a complicated procedure. How are you able to get distribution for your film?

TANYA: The distribution process is not always easy. You have to find the right distribution company for the particular film you are trying to sell. I was able to get distribution through pitching to a few companies, having a few conference calls with each and ultimately deciding which one would be a good fit based on our genre, production value and talent.

WENDY’S QUESTION: Raising money for a film is always a challenge for filmmakers. What message do you use to raise the money you needed to complete your project?

TANYA: Most of the films I’ve produced have been funded by the production company putting out the film that I’m producing. Each project is a case by case scenario. There are so many avenues I’ve seen the various Directors I’ve worked with raise funds from crowdfunding, to cashing out real estate properties, to securing an investor, to pulling the money from their own pockets. When you don’t have a big studio backing you, you have to be resourceful. Most people won’t invest in you, unless they see you have invested in yourself. You have to be willing to make financial sacrifices in order to get your project out there otherwise you will be waiting forever for someone to come along and invest in you. Once you have a few projects under your belt and have built a track record of putting out films that are successful in terms of turning a profit, then it becomes a little easier to approach an investor to back you on your future projects.

WENDY’S QUESTION: Was this a passion project for you? Did you write the story? Or where did

you find a story you resonated with?

TANYA: This latest project that I produced “The1Closest2U” was written and directed by Willie Coggins of Official IC Entertainment. He approached me with the script and I immediately fell in love with the story. Not only did I produce the film, I starred in it as well.

WENDY’S QUESTION: How did you put your team together and find other passionate people to work with?

TANYA: My current team, “Official IC Entertainment” came kind of as a package deal when I signed on to produce “The1Closest2U”. We all had an IMMEDIATE connection and I really feel like it was ordained. We all work so well together and everyone knows their role and does a fantastic job. I have never worked with such an amazing, humble, dedicated, driven bunch of people. We are all passionate about the work and see the long-term vision of where we all want to go careerwise. We work hard AND smart so that we can achieve that all together.

WENDY’S QUESTION: What was the most challenging part of this process?

TANYA: The most challenging part of the process I think is all of us wearing multiple hats and having to get projects done on a limited budget in a limited amount of time. You have to be so creative with your choice of locations, talent, etc. However, the team I’m working with (Official IC Entertainment) is so resourceful that even this minor challenge we were able to overcome and get everything we needed done for the film. The film looks authentic and it was well received by the distribution company that picked us up.

WENDY’S QUESTION: What advice would you give up and coming filmmakers who want to bring their visions to the screen and to an audience?

TANYA: My advice would be to DO IT! A lot of times we talk ourselves out of the process because we think of all the things that can go wrong or all the resources we don’t have. I encourage filmmakers to sit down and write a list of all the resources you DO have. You’d be surprised at how many things you have within your reach to cut a few corners and save you money during the production process. I would also encourage filmmakers to work on having the best production value they can as this is something distributors look at, especially if you are looking for a theatrical/broadcast deal. If you can secure at least 3 “named talent” in your film, that will make you super attractive to the distribution companies as having recognizable faces makes it an easier sell for them. Be sure to build a good strong team of passionate, dedicated, humble people who share your same vision and who have a similar work ethic. That will take you a long way.  You’re only as strong as your weakest link and you can’t do it all on your own so you need to have your “soldiers” with you that can help you execute your vision.  Last but not least, DON’T GIVE UP, even when the challenges come…because they will. If you take 2 steps, God will help you take the 3rd and beyond. HE will send people your way to help you bring your vision to life. Do the work and give him something to bless and trust me, HE will.

WENDY’S QUESTION: Did you bring this film to film festivals first?

TANYA: No we did not bring this film to festivals first. However, we did submit to a few and we have already received confirmation of acceptance into a few festivals that is yet to be announced. We are super excited!

WENDY’S QUESTION: What was your favorite part of making this film?

TANYA: My favorite part of making this film was the deep relationships I have built with the cast and crew. We literally consider ourselves family because we not only enjoy working together, we just enjoy spending time together as friends. This particular film “The1Closest2U” was filmed on a gorgeous lakehouse in Stratford, CT. We spent a week there filming and it was like a beautiful vacation getaway. We filmed for hours but we didn’t even feel it because we had so much fun on set creating together. It was such an amazing time with some amazing people.

WENDY’S QUESTION: I grew up in Connecticut and actually got married in Stratford. It’s a very beautiful place. Do you think you’ll continue making films in the future and why?

TANYA: Absolutely. I’ll be starring in and producing films until I’m old and gray…and even then I will probably still continue. This is my passion and I love every bit of the process….the highs, the lows.. I love it all!

WENDY’S QUESTION: WENDY How can my readers support you, see your films and promote your films for you?

TANYA: They can like our official FB fan page and follow our Twitter and IG pages under @The1Closest2U.

For those who want to follow my work:

IG @tanyathompson11
FB tanya thompson
Twitter @tanya_thompson
IMDB nm2479233/

WENDY’S QUESTION: As you know, being successful in this business takes tremendous work, dedication and persistence. Tanya you are a very powerful woman, both spiritually and creatively. You are an inspiration to thousands of actressesaround the world who dream of doing what you do. I know how busy Hollywood producers like you are, so I genuinely thank you for taking the time to answer these questions, and to inspire future filmmakers.

TANYA: Thank you so much for the opportunity!

Actors – Stay close for more inside information from The Hollywood Talent Manager to help you along your journey as you build your successful acting career!

See You On The Red Carpet!


Talent Manager

WAW Entertainment

Facebook: wawentertainment

Twitter: @WAW_wendyalane

SCENEBOT – FOR ACTORS The Greatest Discovery since the iPHONE

SCENEBOT for Actors is the greatest discovery since the iPHONE. As a Talent Manager in Los Angeles who signs actors every year, I highly recommend actors sign up for a FREE account with Scenebot. Scenebot is the app that empowers you, the actor, to “get scene” by top entertainment industry professionals – Agents, Managers and Casting Directors – for FREE!

I know for a fact you do NOT need to do expensive showcases to meet legit Casting Directors, Talent Agents, Modeling Agents, and Talent Managers. Every single day actors and models get into this business without ever spending that kind of money. As a rule, I would say…be very concerned of showcase systems that cost $5,000-$10,000, have BIG Hype and lavish expensive hotels because that means YOU are paying for the frivolity that has nothing to do with a one-on-one meeting with an Industry Pro. TRUST ME You don’t need any of that to get discovered and signed to a great agency.  I will explain what you can do instead. I have several suggestions:

1) The first is called SCENEBOT.

SCENEBOT IS A FREE WEBSITE/APP that allows actors to sign in, create a profile for FREE, choose a scene, learn it, practice it and UPLOAD it to SCENEBOT so REAL Talent Agents, Talent Managers (like me) and Top Casting Directors can watch them. 

WITH SCENEBOT THE EXPOSURE IS FREE. That’s right I said free and we are talking about MAJOR INDUSTRY PLAYERS reviewing the tapes.  There are over 100 VIP’s watching and the list is staggering: Disney Casting Directors, Nickelodeon Casting Directors, Top Agents and Managers. It’s an incredible opportunity for actors. Click here to see who is watch the scenes a- SCENEBOT VIPS Check these top industry players out on IMDBPRO, do your research.

SCENEBOT It is something you can do right from your home, starting today, without ever spending a PENNY! It’s Legit. Actors who have uploaded scenes to SCENEBOT have actually gotten Agents, Managers, Auditions and have been CAST in Film and TV projects, booked Pilots and had major auditions just from being seen on SCENEBOT.  I have signed several clients myself who are on SCENEBOT.

Anyone in the world can upload scenes from anywhere in the world. Actors upload scenes regularly, they have monthly contests, the winners get promoted to Industry people with a direct email into their inbox. Each week I receive an email with the top 10 best uploaded scenes. Can you spell EX-PO-SURE?

Stop what you are doing…go to your phone and DOWNLOAD THE APP right now. Create your profile the start by practicing…You can download scenes to practice for awhile, work on them with your acting teachers and when you feel the scene is really good… upload it to SCENEBOT! You can upload scenes ongoing to the monthly competitions.

Also there are all kinds of training video for FREE that teach about the industry. You will learn from Agents, Managers, Casting Directors and some of your FAVORITE STARS!

  Jace from Henry Danger talks SCENEBOT!


The visionary man who invented SCENEBOT is married to legendary kids casting director Krisha Bullock – (she has cast Henry Danger, Sam & Cat, Victorious, ICarly, True Jackson, Drake & Josh etc.) He had the idea for 17 to find away to connect actors and industry folks without charging obscene fees. If you know me, and you have read my blogs you know I HATE obscene fees. When I learned of SCENEBOT I immediately called them to get the entire story and went to their offices in Woodland Hills to lend my support.

Stop what you are doing…go to your phone and DOWNLOAD THE APP right now. I have it on my iPhone and I can look for new actors from where ever I am. It allows me to send a message to an actor I am interested in speaking to about management. I just did that… which is what sparked this Blog Entry:) As a Talent Manager in LA I can go into SCENEBOT look at all the profiles of the actors and when I see actors who are interesting to me… I can read their profiles and contact them directly. Easy Peasey.

So these are the kinds of “Secrets” I share in my never-ending series called “SECRETS OF A HOLLYWOOD TALENT MANAGER”

If you want more of my “SECRETS” visit my website, read my blogs, read my EBooks watch my videos on YouTube! and STAY CLOSE…..

See you on the Red Carpet,

Wendy Alane Wright
Talent Manager, President
WAW Entertainment



Self Tape Equipment

One of my FAVORITE acting schools in the world is in NEW YORK CITY.  It’s called MATT NEWTON STUDIOS. I highly recommend actors train there with MATT NEWTON.  He knows his stuff.

 I want to share this article Matt wrote about self-taping that I find very helpful!

Every actor needs to be ready and armed for when those last minute self tapes come in.  The tapes need to look GREAT so that the decision makers are paying attention to your FACE, and not your weird doll collection behind you. That means good, clear video, professional sound, neutral backdrop, and killer lighting.   

How do you do it on a budget?  What equipment do you need?  How do you edit it?  Without further ado, here is everything you need to know about getting a killer self tape.

Matt’s list of affordable self tape equipment for actors. 
1.  A soft box light kit.  Here is one by Limostudiofor $79 on Amazon.  It uses daylight bulbs (great for video), and are very portable.  Watch this videoon 3 point lighting to get a sense of how to position them. 
2.  A 60″ tripod.  Here is one for $24.  
3. A tripod adaptor.  If you are taping with your iPhone (which has great HD video), you need to attach it to the tripod. Here is one for $5. 
4.  A lavalier microphone.  For sound you should always use an external mic.  This one hooks up to any camera, including your iPhone, and is great.   $20.   
5.  A neutral backdrop.  I prefer the color blue or grey.  Here is one for $10 on Amazon. Or you can just pin a bed sheet to the wall. 

Simple, right?  For around $125 you can take your self tapes to the next level.   Yes, there are cheaper ways, but this is the exact equipment I use at the studio.   With self tapes more important than ever, you must always be sending out the BEST LOOKING SELF TAPE you possibly can.   These are seen by casting directors, producers, director, and network executives.   Do yourself a favor and invest, and watch your booking ratio go up!  


On-Going TV and Film Classes for Adults

 Classes are  for ages 18 and up, and are limited to 10 students.    All students work each week, and all get a video of their work after each class. If you have questions, email us at

Just à little more helpfu information for all of you hard-working actors out there. 

See you on the red carpet!

Wendy Alane Wright
Talent Manager and Acting Career Coach

How Can I Get Roles On Television?

How Can I Get Roles On Television?
To get on TV or Film do I need an Agent or Manager or both? First, let me say Agents are in the business of selling finished products. They do not develop actors. An Agent wants to represent a client who already has a developed resume, top acting skills and a strong demo reel, with professional headshots that match the TYPE of the actor. 
Without these tools you won’t get anything more than a “C” agent. To be represented by an Agency with clout you need to have your package together. 
Managers will develop you into a marketable package that well connected Agents will be interested in. There is a reason Managers typically sign a 3-year renewable contract. Year one we are developing you, year two you are starting to build relationships with CDs and year three you are starting to book.  A Talent Manager doesn’t make any money until you start to book. So all the work we do the first two years to teach you about the business, about branding and marketing and building your resume, demo reel, headshots and getting you in front of casting is done without compensation.
We expect the pay back and rewards for our hustling and working our asses off to come in year 3, 4, 5, 6 etc. If you book a series regular in your 3rd year and another manager comes from a big company comes up to you and says we can package you with our projects say “thank you” and stick with your manager. Have some class and loyalty. Julia Louis Dryfus has had the same manager her entire career …and she has had a HUGE career. You don’t need a BIG management company to become a BIG success! You need to become the best actress in the world. You need to be GREAT.
To get a great Agent you need to have and be the complete package. Your headshots and demo reels must match you…your type. What is your type? To figure that out start by saying I am a cross between ____________ and _____________ and ____________.  
I do a Type Casting for actors on my website if you really want to know your type. 
Once you figure out your type you should be auditioning for anything and everything you can to build your resume and to WORK. Even if you don’t take the job you need to learn how to book the job. And you must stay in training 2-3 days a week so you are always warmed up and ready for the bigger and bigger auditions. This is not a city where you can slouch and still make it in this business. At every corner there is someone working harder and more focused than you.

How Can I Get Roles On Television?
Dreams of being a film star won’t interest a Talent Agent. Agents aren’t interested in your film career. Agents make money off of television. If you want to be on Television you have to know what shows you are right for and you have to know what the tone and pacing of the shows that you are auditioning for.  Actors who want to be on TV need to watch a LOT of television.  Problem is many of them don’t. But you simply must know where you fit on TV. If you don’t know that…you won’t work on TV.
Your auditions have to be GREAT.  They can’t be average. You have to really know your stuff. While you are making choices with the script for your auditions remember the writers have already outlined the pacing, the tone of the show and the way their characters deliver their lines, for example standing still or acting frenetically. You need to know the differences.
When you are working on your audition material know that your transitions in the material need to be strong, not lazy, because that’s what creates the dynamics of a scene. When you are reading your sides, you need to know who you are talking to and why you are in the script at all. If you can get a hold of the script get it, read it. If it is a small role you need to know whose storyline you are moving along. You need to know who the other characters are and how you fit in. On TV you are stepping into to the writers show. This may seem like a no-brainer but make sure you watch the show before you audition for it.
There is too much competition in this business to be an average actor. Mediocre will not be good enough. You need to train your talent until you are the best actor in the class, then switch classes and become the best actor in that class. 
Only the best of the best end up on television. Are you ready to work hard at becoming the best? 
If so, get a profile on Actors Access and Backstage. Submit yourself for everything you can. Build your resume, get some strong acting clips, reach out to a great manager and go for your career 100000%.
Wendy Alane Wright
Talent Manager
WAW Entertainment

Wendy Alane Wright is a Hollywood talent manager and the president of WAW Entertainment. Her clients have appeared on television networks such as ABC, NBC, TNT, CBS, Comedy Central, BIO, Lifetime, and more. They have booked TV shows including “Modern Family,” “Blackish,” “Extant,” “The Colony,” “Animal Kingdom,” “My Haunted House,” and “Henry Danger,” as well as hundreds of commercials for major spots including Shutterfly, Mercedes, Visa, Taco Bell, Honda, Legos, Hot Wheels, and many more. Prior to being a manager and a talent agent at Burn Down Entertainment, Wright assisted many high profile managers, agents, and publicists. For 20 years she was a recording artist, actor, and music producer, and is now the author of five books called, “Secrets of a Hollywood Talent Manager.” Wright teaches the business of acting all over the country and is on the faculty of schools including the New York Studio for Stage and Screen in North Carolina and LA Acting Academy in Phoenix, Arizona. For years she has appeared in numerous magazines, and on radio shows and talk shows including “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

How the Casting Process Works!

Every Actor and Parent of a Child actor should know how the casting process works.  
Casting directors call in the actors that are submitted to them for specific roles. When a Casting Director has a role they need filled, they release information about that role on the breakdowns. Agents and Managers see that breakdown and submit any of their clients that fit that description. 

The Casting Director looks at all the pictures and acting reels that are submitted (500 or so) and then calls in the actors THEY want to see. For Commercials it can be in the thousands according to my friend Carol Lynn Sher at CESD. Sometimes they call in actor they have auditioned before, or hired before for other shows, or actors they have seen at workshops. Sometimes they call in actors they have never seen if they seem to fit the role.

There are different types of roles to audition for:

Series Regular (In every episode)
Recurring (in several episodes)
Guest Star (works 3-5 days)
Co-Star (works 1 day)


(These are how these credits should be billed on your resumes by the way.)

Meeting a casting director doesn’t guarantee employment anywhere, at any time, ever. But every time a casting director sees an actor they get to know the actor’s personality and their skills better and better over time. They discover which actors are really good, and which actors still need work They discover which actors are ready to work, and which actors are not yet. 

Casting Directors have very, very, VERY good memories. They can see an actor one time and determine if the actors is ready to work…and to which extent. Are they ready for co-stars, guest stars, or series regular roles? Every time a casting director is working with an actor in an audition format they are determining these things.

For example…What a casting director has a SERIES REGULAR role available, they will call in the actors they know who are capable of handling the demands of such a role. After that, they will call in additional actors to see if any of those would be able to handle the demands of such an important role. Sometimes during that process of screening actors for one role they discover an actor might be right for a different role…in the same project… or in another project. Casting Director’s keep track of all of this. 

FOR PARENTS OF CHILD ACTORS Your job as a parent is to keep taking your child to the auditions they get. And try to remember this is a numbers games.


The casting director is responsible for WHO gets seen and can influence a great deal but is not the final decision maker. 

It’s no different in film. Casting Directors are responsible for who is seen but they collaborate with their bosses, who make the final choices.

When an actor auditions for a film, the casting directors and the producers could take months to decide who fits the role. 

TV AUDITIONS With TV roles, Casting typically happens very quickly. For example: a Costar or Guest star role is cast in one week… and then works the following week because they shoot a new episode every single week. Therefore, the process of putting out a breakdown, auditioning people, giving callbacks, and then making the decision is very quick. 

All auditions start with the Casting Director. Once the CD is satisfied that the actor meets the description of the character, has interpreted the character in an interesting way, and has the acting skills necessary to do the job they will be given a CALLBACK.

When an actor gets a callback their agent or manager will let them know and a 2nd CALLBACK audition will be scheduled. A Callback means the Casting Director likes what the actor did in their preliminary PRE-READ audition. They are now seriously being considered for the role and may have 2 or 3 other callbacks until the Casting Director has whittled the selection from down from 500 actors to 5 or 10.  Once the Casting Director has enough confidence in the actor’s ability and performance to introduce the actor to their boss – the producers, the writers and sometimes the director – a Producer’s Session will be scheduled.

This next round of auditions called THE PRODUCER’S SESSION in an audition in which the show’s producers attend the audition. In this audition the actor needs to do exactly what they did in the PRE-READ session and Callback session with the Casting Director (unless told otherwise by casting) The actor should wear the same clothes, same hairstyle, and do the same exact audition so casting can show the producers what they saw and liked about the actor.

For a series regular role it takes much more time and is a much more involved process.

If it’s for a TV Series Regular role the casting process has additional steps – mixing and matching and testing with the Network. During the mixing and matching process, actors are paired in combinations to see who has the best fit and best chemistry. Then they go to a final audition process with the network itself called NETWORK TEST. The Executives at the Network hold a final round of auditions to see the final few candidates for each role and then decide who gets the Series Regular roles in their television shows.

The producers, writers and directors make the decision of who is cast, and often the Network has approval as well. 
For any role including a Series Regular role, there are many reasons an actor does, or does not get a role; 
1) the actor may have to fit in with the looks of a family, with other siblings.
2) they have to have good chemistry with the other actors who will make up the series.
3) the have to be likeable and get along well with the others who are being cast.
4)being ontime, every time and well prepared at all times is critical and part of being a professional (on time to me means 10 minutes early)
5) the director, producers or network execs could just take a disliking to an actor for whatever reason and send the actor home. It’s a personal preference. The actor could remind the Executive of the wife he is divorcing and arbitrarily dismiss the actor from the process. An actor will usually never know why they did not get a part. Side Note: Don’t expect your reps to get you feedback all the time. It’s a bother to casting. Once in awhile you may get feedback.

The Director is usually not involved in casting. Every production is different. Some will use the same director for multiple TV episodes so that person’s direction can really influence a shows tone.  But usually in television the executive producer, who is usually the head writer, is the biggest decision-maker in casting.

In film, it’s all about the Director’s vision. In television, it’s all about the Executive Producer’s vision.

Once the cast is assembled a Table Read is scheduled and everyone who is cast comes together to read through the script out loud so producers, writers and directors can hear how the project sounds as a whole. 

Then the re-wrting and shooting begins!

Well there you go….a peak into the world of casting.   Keep reading my blogs and continue to learn!

Keep shining, 

Talent Manager WAW Entertainment 
Facebook: wawentertainment
Twitter: @WAW_wendyalane


Wendy Alane Wright is a Hollywood talent manager and the president of WAW Entertainment. Her clients have appeared on television networks such as ABC, NBC, TNT, CBS, Comedy Central, BIO, Lifetime, and more. They have booked TV shows including “Modern Family,” “Blackish,” “Extant,” “The Colony,” “Animal Kingdom,” “My Haunted House,” and “Henry Danger,” as well as hundreds of commercials for major spots including Shutterfly, Mercedes, Visa, Taco Bell, Honda, Legos, Hot Wheels, and many more. Prior to being a manager and a talent agent at Burn Down Entertainment, Wright assisted many high profile managers, agents, and publicists. For 20 years she was a recording artist, actor, and music producer, and is now the author of five books called, “Secrets of a Hollywood Talent Manager.” Wright teaches the business of acting all over the country and is on the faculty of schools including the New York Studio for Stage and Screen in North Carolina and LA Acting Academy in Phoenix, Arizona. For years she has appeared in numerous magazines, and on radio shows and talk shows including “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

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