In a nutshell, yes. In the entertainment industry, having representation is a must. Agents and managers are professionals that are familiar with every aspect of the industry, have the connections and the marketing skills that can help make your dreams happen. But having an agent or manager doesn't guarantee success – the only thing that will determine your success is how much effort you put into your career.
It's all on you!
Agents and managers want to represent clients that take responsibility for their own
career; clients that are proactive by continuing their education by attending acting and/or modeling classes, actively network to make connections of their own, and market themselves as much as possible.
So what can agents and managers do for you? And what is the difference?
A manager is involved in every aspect of your career. They offer advice and counseling about your marketing materials (headshots, comp cards, resumes, etc.), how to prepare for auditions, what roles to pursue, what continued training to take and how to market yourself. Managers will work close with you to help manage your entire schedule. The average fee for these services is 15% of your income.
An agent handles strictly the business aspect of your career. Their main role is to consistently market you, get you seen by casting directors, procure you work and negotiate salary and contract details. Getting you work and keeping you working is their main goal. A good agent will already have established relationships with industry professionals, making it easier for you to seen than an unrepresented actor. The average fee for these services is 10% of your income.
Managers and agents will work together to help you achieve your career goals. They want nothing more to see you succeed, but you have to be prepared to work hard as well. Stay on top of your game, do your job well and keep your manager and agent interested. They will only be as good as the talent they represent.