The Theatrical Agent
Are your representatives in the film and television industry. They get the “Breakdowns” which is the list of roles that CD’s (Casting Directors) are looking for. They then submit your headshot, and try to get you an audition. They are bound by law to take no more than 10% of the jobs they help you get. They are not allowed to produce. There are about 10 major ones who control most of everything in terms of talent. In the old glory days of Hollywood agents would “discover” talent and groom them. They had a special relationship and actors rewarded them with loyalty. Actors and agents are not so cozy anymore. Most of the top ten agencies want no part of you until you’ve established yourself and are earning some cash that they can commission. They do not have the time or inclination to deal with you if you are not making money already. As a result most actors do not like agents. A lot of agents don’t like actors either; because they were once actors who couldn’t hack it and they became agents. In any case you will need an agent, you will not like them, and they will not like you. None of this will matter though because you will smile and schmooze them just like they are doing to you. It is basically a healthy parasitic relationship. Most of the time you spend in the beginning of your career will be trying to get one of these guys to talk to you. Late in your career you will get even by making them do tricks like a trained dog, and they will as long as you’re hot.

Commercial Agent

The same as above except they only deal with commercials and modeling work. These agents do not care so much about talent as they do looks. This is probably the agent you’ll get first. Generally a nicer, harder working bunch than their theatrical counter-parts. You can be a complete freak of nature and have a commercial agent. You will eventually have both types as you progress.

The Manager
Is what the old time agent used to be. Will find and develop talent. Unlike agents Managers can produce their clients projects which means that they can participate in ALL profits as opposed to just commissions. Generally take between 10 to 25 percent of the clients earnings. Agents hate these guys. Your manager will deal with your agent for you. In theory a manager is in it for the long haul with their clients.

The Producer

The person who puts the whole project together and pays for it. They are the ultimate power. If you can deliver an audience worldwide, these guys are going to love you. Generally care nothing about art, it’s all about cash. If you are a big star these guys kiss your ass the hardest.

The Casting Director

This is the person who the Producer hires to find the actors. They look at the pictures, call the agents and you get called in for an audition. A very important group for actors. If you come in for an audition and suck you might not get called by that CD again. It is their jobs to get the best performance out of you at the audition. They generally are very good group of people.

The Director

God. Controls everything on the set, everything. If he’s nice you’re set. Directors like actors who aren’t a pain in the ass, or if you are big box-office. Tend to work with the same group of talent.

The Lawyer
Is the most important person in your career. They are the person who makes sure that nobody screws you. Trust only this person. Hollywood is the only business in the world where the lawyer probably has the most ethics in the room.

The Studio
The international evil entity that cares nothing about you until you make a hit for them. Then they will kiss your ass until you have a flop.