Satisfied with being the one who encourages rappers like Busta Rhymes to enhance their natural ability by taking acting classes, nowadays Christian says that the talent agency business is harder to make money in and also far more competitive — even though most celebrities are worth more than they were 20 years ago when Christian entered into the industry. However, today’s technological and media landscapes provide more avenues for her clients to explore.
“When I started in the business I was seeing things from one vantage point. Now there are fewer studio movies, but more ways to watch films. There are more types of media out there,” said Christian, elaborating on how she’s seen the business opportunities in entertainment evolve. “There’s also reality television. When I started in the business, reality TV really wasn’t a force to be reckoned with; it certainly is now.”
Also motivated by her clients’ desire to pursue their individual dreams, Christian disagrees that the stigma of the Hollywood business hustle (harsh bosses and snobby clients) holds ultimate truth.
“It’s difficult, but I can’t look at what’s difficult; I just have to do it. I’m an African-American woman and 100 years ago you can’t even count the doors that were closed to me, so I can’t look at the stuff that’s difficult,” she said confidently and dismissively.
“In Hollywood I’m a unicorn. There really aren’t a lot of female black agents and there are certainly none that own their own agency.”
Ushering In A New Generation
Looking back on her upbringing Christian says that she has noticed African-Americans becoming accustomed to being one of few or the only African-American trailblazer in their field. In Hollywood Christian says she would like to add to, not stabilize the momentum.
The ultimate struggle within her line of business she thinks is continuously ushering new generations of African-Americans into top positions and agencies. Like many businesses and entrepreneurial ventures, financial hurdles are what Christian had to tackle in order to launch TCA Jed Root.