There are two types of entourages: those made up of yes men that eventually take you out of the game; and, those who work with you to build mutual success. The motion picture star and his entourage is the first that pops into mind, but the Ford, Edison, and Firestone entourage was legendary.
Thomas Edison encouraged his employee Henry Ford, an engineer at Edison’s Illuminating Co., to build his horseless carriage on weekends. Ford was a devoted employee until he was fully funded for his automobile. During his tenure, Ford was the recipient of Edison’s numerous introductions to all kinds of businesspeople, including Harvey Firestone who owned a rubber company. All contributed to the development of the automobile and benefited. Firestone’s most noted benefit was the launching of his tire company. Edison’s provisions included the alternator, wire and lights.
The best entourages in Hollywood provide mutual success to all involved. Every member is trustworthy and paid for his or her workload. Mutual respect positions the team for success, as everyone handles his or her portion of the business with excellence. The best teams are made up of people that work “with” each other and not “for” anyone.
While some entourages are first staffed with friends, most are staffed with experts that soon become friends. There is also a form of like-mindedness involved in the decision making process that moves the team in a unified direction. Dan Aykroyd’s entourage shares his vision with fervor, and all have become motorcycle enthusiasts that dress in black and ride together.
The first person to join an actor’s entourage is typically an agent. The publicist is the second to get on board, followed closely by the personal assistant. Soon a business manager is required, which forces the need for a personal manager. Next is security, if a hint of over zealous or crazy fans get involved. Make-up, wardrobe and a hair stylist also plug into the mix when the timing is right based on the type of work generated. If success continues a producer is added. This is then followed by the necessary connections needed to support a development team.
All above line cast and crewmembers pull entourages together. Some times department heads follow suit with smaller or department based entourages. The number one purpose is for mutually beneficial networking. It is not for narcissists. A person who sets out to create an entourage for their own benefit rarely finds success. However, leaders who pull people together to help those on the team, finds even greater rewards flowing in their direction.