"That one time I’ve dealt with a pedophile manager"
My life can turn into a major network soap opera, especially in the beginning of my acting career. Things I went through and experienced on a daily basis aren't written anywhere, not yet anyway. From living in a cult-like Christian household and almost ending up homeless due to CoVid...my life is a crazy rollercoaster. I’m sure I could say the same thing about another actor’s life, it’s a journey for every one of us.
The first time I got a manager was through a former friend of mine, named Dick. Yes, a very good name in our day and age. Anyways! A man named Woody Anderson contacted Dick out of the blue on Facebook, and wanted to represent him. Not to throw shade at Dick, but the guy only had one credit in a student film that wasn’t going to show anywhere. Dick told me that we should go meet this so-called “manager”. I did the smart thing- I Googled and IMDB’d this Anderson guy. After some careful searching, he seemed legit enough, I messaged him on Facebook and Dick and I drove three hours to Raleigh from Charleston. Woody worked in a church, which he managed and dedicated the rest of his spare time to actors. Dick and I both gave Woody our headshots with resumes taped to the back, and he wanted us to audition for him in the auditorium. We went to the very front and the first thing he asked us was to sing. Dick decided to do screamo and threw his voice off, while I did “Edge of Glory” by Lady Gaga. Next one we had to do an improv scene, and after that Woody asked Dick to take off his shirt. In my mind I kept saying “Why is this okay? What kind of manager is he? Fuck this! RED FLAG!!”.
Woody started criticizing Dick’s body right in front of me and asking my personal opinion. I gave it- Dick should get more into shape and switch his diet since all of his body was covered in zits and blackheads. I was up next, but Woody didn’t ask me to take my shirt off, thank God! Dick complimented my body and we got signed. There wasn’t any contract, and Woody gave Dick and I his business card and we drove back home.
On the way I wasn’t sure what to think about that encounter. At the same time I was happy that I got signed with a manager, but something was off. A week later Woody contacted Dick and I and wanted us to perform in a haunted house attraction for a week, lodging and food provided. I had two jobs at the time and couldn’t leave, and Woody gave me a lecture about responsibility over the phone. That was a BIG red flag. Manager should manage your career, booking gigs is an agent's job. On the other hand, Dick agreed to do the gig, because he was unemployed at the time.
Another week later Dick came back from Raleigh exhausted and with some news. Apparently Woody participated in the haunted house attraction and was getting very friendly with the kids. One of the parents complained and called the cops and what do you know? Turned out Woody Anderson was indeed a PEDOPHILE. Police found photos and videos of little kids on his computer...in a church. It was obvious that me and Dick had to cut ties with that sick person.
Unfortunately, things like this happen all the time. People get taken advantage of and pedophiles, sexists and racists are roaming among young actors. Especially in Hollywood. I’m looking at you, Weinstein. My advice to all the dreamers out there- always, ALWAYS trust your guts. If something seems off- it probably is.