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Unscripted Stardom: – World of Pakistani Artists Without Agents and Managers

In the world of fame and stardom, an industry that is known for its red carpets, extravagant events, and scandalous stories that will even make the devil question its existence, one might think that the stars of our entertainment industry, including actors and singers, will have a team of agents and managers acting as knights protecting their king and queen, as well as being the guiding stars of every actor’s constellation. When it comes to Pakistan’s entertainment industry the rule of engagement changes compared to what we see in Bollywood and Hollywood. The absence of managers and agents in the dynamic landscape of Pakistan’s entertainment industry is still there in the 21st century. Yes, talent agencies do exist in our country such as the widely known “Citrus Talent.” Such agencies represent a variety of actors and artists from newcomers to established stars. Yet these talent agencies still haven’t reached their full potential mainly due to a lack of demand for agents in the entertainment industry of Pakistan since it is much smaller in size compared to what we see in Hollywood and Bollywood. Also, many Pakistani actors still prefer to manage their own careers mainly due to the lack of knowledge about the benefits that exist in hiring an agent. Also, the Pakistani culture focuses heavily on family relations and community which can make actors especially newcomers have difficulty trusting outsiders like managers and agents.

In Pakistan the actors and singers are charting their own course in the treacherous waters of fame where the Pakistani stars work on their own to establish a network of contacts, auditions are secured through personal rapport and social media also plays a significant role in helping out the stars in navigating the entertainment industry on their own. There are several other reasons for the lack of managers and agents for Pakistani actors and singers. Pakistan’s entertainment industry operates differently from other countries mainly because it does not have a well-established agency system and also because of limited opportunities in the country’s entertainment industry. The industry lags behind other major players because of the historical developments that have taken place in our country including the Islamization policy of 1977-1988, which hampered the growth of our industry. Such policies made the industry lag behind its competitors and in the present case scenario the entertainment industry is still evolving and developing where it still needs time to reach its true potential in order to create a market for agents and managers. Even with our history, there are also other factors as well where many actors and singers prefer independent pursuits where they choose to manage their career independently, handling negotiations and opportunities themselves. Also, since Pakistan’s entertainment industry is still in its evolving and development phase economic factors also play a major role where normally agents require a certain percentage of an artist’s earnings. In Pakistan, many artists might prefer not to share their percentage of earnings. Also, tradition and culture play a significant role in our nation’s entertainment industry where it is encouraged to have a more personal and hands-on approach to career management.

The evolving dynamics of Pakistan’s entertainment industry at a certain point in time will require agents and managers but this requires concentrated efforts of improving and developing the industry at a capacity to introduce agents and managers into the system. Currently, most Pakistani stars rely on their power of personal connections, social media skills, and their own personal determination to reach the stars. While there is some existence of talent agencies within Pakistan they haven’t made an impact enough to force the industry to change the way it operates. It is still common for many actors and singers to have a more direct involvement in their careers, relying heavily on personal connections and industry relationships.

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