WHAT IS A PERSONAL MANAGER?
First, let's state what a personal manager is not. A personal manager is not an agent (whose role is to obtain employment). A personal manager is not a publicist (whose role is to generate publicity). Nor is a personal manager an attorney (whose role is to provide legal counsel). And, a personal manager is not a business manager (whose role is to provide accounting, investment, and other financial services).
A personal manager advises and counsels talent and personalities in the entertainment industry. Personal managers have the expertise to find and develop new talent and create opportunities for those artists which they represent. Personal managers act as liaison between their clients and both the public and the theatrical agents, publicists, attorneys, business managers, and other entertainment industry professionals which provide services to the personal manager's clients.
Picture a wagon wheel. At the very center is the axle. The axle is the performing artist around which everything revolves. The hub protects and supports the axle. That is the personal manager. The rim of the wheel is the artist's career which travels on what can often be a bumpy, long, winding road. Connecting the hub with the rim are many spokes which give the wheel support in different directions. These are the agents, publicists, attorneys, business managers, and other industry professionals which support an artist on the road to success. When the wheel is well constructed, the artist's journey can be smooth, speedy and successful.
A personal manager is responsible for everything and anything that enhances the development of a performing artist's career. From simple staging suggestions, to complex negotiations, to long term career plans, a personal manager lives the artist's career every day behind the scenes. The manager's commitment to and involvement in the artist's career is one hundred per cent. The personal manager is the driving force breaking through the barriers of frustration and difficulty so often encountered in the entertainment industry. A personal manager is the person who believes in and keeps fighting for a client when all others have given up.
With responsibilities like that, it is a prerequisite that a personal manager must have the broadest of experience in the entertainment industry. Professional personal managers are also well informed on industry practices, standards, and regulations. Plus, managers are alert to the constant changes affecting the entertainment industry. Only with experience and up to date knowledge can a personal manager benefit clients.
Personal managers who exhibit professional experience, conduct, and ethics have been elected to membership in the National Conference of Personal Managers, an association committed to the advancement of personal managers and their clients. Established in 1942, NCOPM members have vast experience and expertise in concerts, motion pictures, publishing, radio, recordings, television, and theatre.
NCOPM members abide by a code of ethics which includes: having personal management as their primary occupation; dealing honestly and fairly with their clients; not deriving personal gains at the expense of clients; treating client relationships in a confidential manner; not encouraging artists to breach existing personal management contracts; being proud of the personal management profession; and exchanging information with other NCOPM members in the best interest of their clients. Most importantly, NCOPM members never accept a fee from a client on the promise of attempting to obtain engagements for the client.