Rajeev Masand has published a blind item in Open The Magazine about a celebrity management agency boss who found out that her employees had a secret whatsapp group.
It isn’t easy being a celeb manager. While one might believe that staying with a celebrity & getting close to them is very cool, nothing could be further from the truth. Firstly, you need to put up with their tantrums. Even TV stars behave like they rule the world. At a event where we had invited a few TV stars a few years back, a TV star asked yours truly to get sandwiches, coke, vada pao for her & her mother. After barely 10 mins, she also insisted on me getting a fan installed around her, provide her with bottle of water every now & then. It was her mother who asked her not to make me run errands, as I was no spot boy! Now imagine if it was a bonafide superstar instead of this barely known celeb. His/her tantrums would have been 10X.
Apart from meeting the weird/ridiculous demands of celebs, managers also have to become their agony aunts, motivational speakers. Most of the celebs are very insecure & need a lot of molly coddling. One compliment & they will melt. On the other hand one criticism & they lose their cool. A friend told us about how these celebs who claim to hate the paparazzi in India, are befuddled when desis abroad don’t come after them for selfies or autographs.
These celeb management firms survive on the commissions they earn from managing these celebs. So if their client’s income takes a beating, the agency too will bleed. On the other hand, if a client’s star rises after a few hits, the commissions of the agency goes up. It is a volatile business to be in, if you ask us.
There’s been major drama at a top artist management company recently, one that represents a clutch of leading Bollywood stars. Turns out the young lady who has been managing a popular actress for some years now will no longer represent the heroine and is moving to a rival agency. But few are aware of the whys and the hows of the shake-up.
Rumour has it that said manager’s boss (aka the agency head) stumbled on to a WhatsApp group that many of her employees were on. Except that this was no ordinary group: it was where they would criticise her.
The employees were horrified to learn their WhatsApp group had been discovered by the boss. While some apologised, one fainted and a few others used it as an opportunity to confront her with their issues. The manager who fainted (she represents an A-list heroine) is pregnant; her boss did not want any complications, so she sent her off on ‘early leave’. But this other manager, who has grown so close to the actress she represents that most think they’ve been childhood friends, did not have it as easy. Let’s just say there was a heated conversation. Next thing you know she’s out the door.
There is some dispute over how things ended. Her boss says she gave her the pink slip; the lady has told friends she just fast-tracked her plan to leave the agency: she was intending to put in her papers soon. Word on the street is that she was quickly lapped up by a rival agency because of her solid reputation. Some say the rival agency has also asked her to poach the star from her former boss. Let’s see how that goes.
Agency – Matrix
Boss – Reshma Shetty
Manager who was asked to leave – Poonam Damania
Star she managed – Kareena Kapoor
Rival agency – Kwan