HOLLYWOOD SCAM TIP #1:
AGENTS/MANAGERS ASKING YOU MONEY UP FRONT
OK. Once an agent or manager asks for money up front, turn and run away!! NO ONE in the entertainment business should ask for money up front. Period. Rule of thumb is: When YOU make money, the agent and manager makes money. You should NEVER pay them until THEY get you a job. Agents normally charge 10% of what you make, and managers usually take 15% of your paycheck. This includes agents asking you to get "new headshots" and then sending you to a photographer that they demand that you to go to. They can absolutely recommend photographers to you, but they should NEVER require that you go to the one that they want.
Check SAGAFTRA.org for a list of union franchised agencies. These agencies are usually among the best because they are regulated by union rules. Also, managers do NOT have to be a part of a union to operate. (I'm referring to California regulations by the way.) So be VERY careful when selecting a manager. I personally don't think you need one until you're working very regularly. As I constantly mention, YOU must be your own manager and agent. When you do decide to hire an agent or manager, make sure they are the right fit for you. And be a "PLEASANT PEST"!! It's their job to help get you work, so I say annoy them relentlessly (in the most pleasant, non-stalkerish way possible!!) until they get you more auditions! -----SCAM TIP 2 coming soon!!