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Old 12-28-2012, 11:59 AM   #1
ChristopherCurtis
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Default Managers/agents need degrees??

Okay, FIRST, let me start this thread by saying I do not mean for this to be rude, or antagonizing, or offensive but for sincere, honest, discussion and something that has always kind of bugged and bothered me.

My background is in the music industry, 20 years of radio and records promotions, a few of those years at the largest and top dog... Sony Music/Epic Records. We had the biggest of the big artists. I was responsible for those artists when they came through my market, meaning airport pickup, radio and tv visits, meet and greets, etc. I worked in conjunction with their day to day tour manager, but usually they were off doing other stuff and deferred to "the record rep" to handle all the promo type stuff, as they dealt with the venue,the roadies,club owners, etc.

Over the years, I developed great relationships ( and reputation) with radio program directors in major markets, down to the smallest of markets. When doing indie radio promo, (working for all the labels) in a sense, I was a "manager" or agent, because I would work to create promotions with radio that got airplay. They took my calls most importantly. I got to know the bands, and the artists on personal levels and professional. It was all about relationships, and being likable and having that special,unique, personality.

So, I've always thought that I would make a great agent, much like Jerry Maquire, I love making deals, I love putting our artists first, looking out for their best interest, getting them deals or gigs, watching their career blossom and explode worldwide. I took pride in that and I did it with passion , which was the key to my success.

So...here is my question if you are just scanning this thread. WHY do they (agencies) require a bachelors degree or higher to be even considered for employment? A manager doesn't do the legal documents, that's what you have lawyers for right? OR you have a general knowledge of the deal, but have someone on staff that does that stuff right? The manager is the person who markets and promotes them, lays out the path for them, sets up and takes meetings, and uses their "inside relationships" in the business to get their client noticed and hired right? A lot of power lunches, dinners, events, shows, networking, etc. I know this to be true, cause I lived and worked in L.A. for a few years in 2000 and was out every night at numerous events,shows,dinners, etc. (right before the big music industry crash).

I would really love to hear from some managers on this, if most hold college degrees, and how it has helped them? I'm talking about managers, not agents, I think the agents have more duties and things to do than a manager. It's a people business, and if you have great people skills, an understanding of the business, what good is a college degree?

DISCLAIMER!! I am not putting down or belittling college, it is my personal belief that you do NOT have to have a college degree to do a job. Nor should a company make that a requirement, actually seems like discrimination in a way to me, hey maybe I can sue them! lol...Does it (a fancy degree) look nice, yes, it does, does it help in some ways? sure, I'm sure it does. Do companies (for some reason) feel more at ease if they see someone went to (insert fancy university here) yes... But I also feel that having a strong work ethic, a fast learner, people skills, and being mentored or trained by another person in the business who brings up in it showing you the ropes, you can be just as successful as the person with the fancy degree from the fancy college.

I honestly feel discriminated against when I see companies hiring and their requirement is "college degree in.....". Has anyone ever thought about it this way???


Last edited by ChristopherCurtis : 12-28-2012 at 12:00 PM. Reason: spelling, this is a writers forum after all.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:15 PM   #2
Geoff Alexander
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Default Re: Managers/agents need degrees??

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristopherCurtis View Post
Okay, FIRST, let me start this thread by saying I do not mean for this to be rude, or antagonizing, or offensive but for sincere, honest, discussion and something that has always kind of bugged and bothered me.

My background is in the music industry, 20 years of radio and records promotions, a few of those years at the largest and top dog... Sony Music/Epic Records. We had the biggest of the big artists. I was responsible for those artists when they came through my market, meaning airport pickup, radio and tv visits, meet and greets, etc. I worked in conjunction with their day to day tour manager, but usually they were off doing other stuff and deferred to "the record rep" to handle all the promo type stuff, as they dealt with the venue,the roadies,club owners, etc.

Over the years, I developed great relationships ( and reputation) with radio program directors in major markets, down to the smallest of markets. When doing indie radio promo, (working for all the labels) in a sense, I was a "manager" or agent, because I would work to create promotions with radio that got airplay. They took my calls most importantly. I got to know the bands, and the artists on personal levels and professional. It was all about relationships, and being likable and having that special,unique, personality.

So, I've always thought that I would make a great agent, much like Jerry Maquire, I love making deals, I love putting our artists first, looking out for their best interest, getting them deals or gigs, watching their career blossom and explode worldwide. I took pride in that and I did it with passion , which was the key to my success.

So...here is my question if you are just scanning this thread. WHY do they (agencies) require a bachelors degree or higher to be even considered for employment? A manager doesn't do the legal documents, that's what you have lawyers for right? OR you have a general knowledge of the deal, but have someone on staff that does that stuff right? The manager is the person who markets and promotes them, lays out the path for them, sets up and takes meetings, and uses their "inside relationships" in the business to get their client noticed and hired right? A lot of power lunches, dinners, events, shows, networking, etc. I know this to be true, cause I lived and worked in L.A. for a few years in 2000 and was out every night at numerous events,shows,dinners, etc. (right before the big music industry crash).

I would really love to hear from some managers on this, if most hold college degrees, and how it has helped them? I'm talking about managers, not agents, I think the agents have more duties and things to do than a manager. It's a people business, and if you have great people skills, an understanding of the business, what good is a college degree?

DISCLAIMER!! I am not putting down or belittling college, it is my personal belief that you do NOT have to have a college degree to do a job. Nor should a company make that a requirement, actually seems like discrimination in a way to me, hey maybe I can sue them! lol...Does it (a fancy degree) look nice, yes, it does, does it help in some ways? sure, I'm sure it does. Do companies (for some reason) feel more at ease if they see someone went to (insert fancy university here) yes... But I also feel that having a strong work ethic, a fast learner, people skills, and being mentored or trained by another person in the business who brings up in it showing you the ropes, you can be just as successful as the person with the fancy degree from the fancy college.

I honestly feel discriminated against when I see companies hiring and their requirement is "college degree in.....". Has anyone ever thought about it this way???

You don't need a college degree to succeed in Hollywood.

Scott Rudin is the best producer on the planet, he never went to college, started working in theatre in high school and now he is a multibillion dollar box office generator.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:22 PM   #3
JoeBanks
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Default Re: Managers/agents need degrees??

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Originally Posted by Geoff Alexander View Post
You don't need a college degree to succeed in Hollywood.

Scott Rudin is the best producer on the planet, he never went to college, started working in theatre in high school and now he is a multibillion dollar box office generator.
And before him David Geffen (although he lied on his resume about graduating from UCLA).

I think it's more a de facto situation that the competitiveness of the limited number of slots at established companies means that people vying for those slots are almost always going to come out of college, and now even post-graduate programs MBAs and JDs. that's just what the market for the jobs are.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: Managers/agents need degrees??

Two word:

STEVEN SPIELBERG!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:08 PM   #5
ChristopherCurtis
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Default Re: Managers/agents need degrees??

Yes, I want to be CLEAR, CRYSTAL CLEAR, that I know damn well that having a degree is NOT needed to succeed in Hollywood, or any industry for that matter. I would like to think I am an example of that. What my question and this thread was addressing specifically was being hired as an agent or manager by one of the big (or smaller) agencies out there.

I kind of understand that they(employers) feel that someone with a college degree "must" have a least the basic skills to work there, but isn't that discrimination in it's rawest of definition? Meaning, that someone WITHOUT a college degree is NOT qualified, nor would they even be interviewed or considered.

Some people are great in person, just get to the interview, that's all I need to do. But since I don't posses a college degree, I can't even get consideration for an interview.

Personally, I prefer someone with "street smarts" and passion for the business or industry they are looking to work in. That's who we hire. A college degree does not impress me, or put them to the top of the list for being hired or joining our team.

Ive never had a "resume' so to speak, I've always gained employment through referrals, or my creativity.... starting at the bottom, working my way to the top through my efforts and good ole fashion hard work. Not some degree that hangs on my wall.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: Managers/agents need degrees??

I didn't even have education on my resume. People in LA don't care about college choice or degree, that's East Coast nonsense. People in LA care about what projects you're working on. How hard you're going to work.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:24 PM   #7
Geoff Alexander
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Default Re: Managers/agents need degrees??

If your goal is to become a manager or agent at an established company, then you have to work your way up in that arena. Get an internship or an assistant gig at a boutique agency or management company, then start climbing the ladder. There is simply no way that you will be able to "be hired" as a manager or agent without real experience in development on either the buyer or seller side of the equation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristopherCurtis View Post
Yes, I want to be CLEAR, CRYSTAL CLEAR, that I know damn well that having a degree is NOT needed to succeed in Hollywood, or any industry for that matter. I would like to think I am an example of that. What my question and this thread was addressing specifically was being hired as an agent or manager by one of the big (or smaller) agencies out there.

I kind of understand that they(employers) feel that someone with a college degree "must" have a least the basic skills to work there, but isn't that discrimination in it's rawest of definition? Meaning, that someone WITHOUT a college degree is NOT qualified, nor would they even be interviewed or considered.

Some people are great in person, just get to the interview, that's all I need to do. But since I don't posses a college degree, I can't even get consideration for an interview.

Personally, I prefer someone with "street smarts" and passion for the business or industry they are looking to work in. That's who we hire. A college degree does not impress me, or put them to the top of the list for being hired or joining our team.

Ive never had a "resume' so to speak, I've always gained employment through referrals, or my creativity.... starting at the bottom, working my way to the top through my efforts and good ole fashion hard work. Not some degree that hangs on my wall.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:40 PM   #8
ChristopherCurtis
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Default Re: Managers/agents need degrees??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Alexander View Post
If your goal is to become a manager or agent at an established company, then you have to work your way up in that arena. Get an internship or an assistant gig at a boutique agency or management company, then start climbing the ladder. There is simply no way that you will be able to "be hired" as a manager or agent without real experience in development on either the buyer or seller side of the equation.
Yes, I completely understand that, but would they even consider someone without a degree to even start as an intern or part time?? that is what I'm saying. I would literally work for peanuts, or free for that matter to learn the business, work side by side with other agents learning from them, be mentored, and work my way up. My whole point was would an agency even entertain that idea?
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:51 PM   #9
JeffLowell
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Default Re: Managers/agents need degrees??

What does your writing partner think of your career change?

But to answer your question: if you want to be a manager or agent, find material/writers and start selling.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:59 PM   #10
ChristopherCurtis
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Default Re: Managers/agents need degrees??

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What does your writing partner think of your career change?

But to answer your question: if you want to be a manager or agent, find material/writers and start selling.
Not sure what you mean by that exactly?? but, she is very thankful, because I found her, and brought her our current script to work on together. She does not like the marketing and promo side of the business, I absolutely love it, and it's my passion and strength. So, we make a great team. I'm still learning the "craft" of writing, she has the experience, an optioned screen writer, and she knows what she is doing when it comes to the actual writing of the script if that makes sense. It's a perfect dynamic, and works well.
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