All Articles Tagged "Talent Agency Business"
By Makula Dunbar
Even via phone, it’s easy to sense that Tracy Christian is a tough cookie. Very assertive and straightforward, more than anything Christian means business — preferably the advancement of her own. Founder of TCA Jed Root, it was less than a year ago that she and former client Jed Root joined forces to launch the agency.
A Hollywood based talent agency, through the partnership — officially launched in January of this year — Christian expanded her largely all-actor roster to include producers. Prior to TCA Jed Root Christian worked as an agent at Don Buchwald & Associates. Maneuvering her way through the entertainment industry, Christian’s first stab at entrepreneurship came by way of owning a modeling agency.
Moving Past Modeling
“It was like the slushiest modeling agency around. We did car shows, boat shows and things like that,” said Christian.
Not very far into the business it was during her grandmother’s 100th birthday party toast that she realized she wanted to change her career path. Surrounded by cousins and family — one member a doctor, one owner of a fish market and another a lawyer — Christian was motivated to move forward in a slightly different direction.
“I felt very sleazy working in that end of the industry. Basically everyday I was on the phone convincing middle management to buy attractive women and it felt very empty. I wanted to do something that offered more value,” she said.
Through several friends that worked in the entertainment industry Christian was able to break out of behind-the-scenes model representation, switching over to talent. Networking and setting up meetings, Christian landed a job at a talent agency called Peter Strain & Associates.
“It was very small which I liked, because I felt like here I would be able to learn everything there is to know about the business — and I wouldn’t just be in one department,” Christian said.
Starting off as an assistant she was quickly promoted. Soon after she delved into music seeking out alternate business ventures that artists expressed interest in.
“People saw that I wasn’t at a big fancy place, but I was a person that got things done. If I was out to dinner with Nelly and his manager and Nelly said he wanted to get into movies, the next day I went and worked on that,” she said. “I think a lot of other agents didn’t have that kind of response, so that helped me a lot.”
The Business of Talent
In the short months that TCA Jed Root has been in operation, Christian and her team have managed to sell a number of television shows, one of their clients being Mona Scott-Young, the creator of VH1’s “Love & Hip-Hop.” Music industry maven and “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star, Kandi Burruss has also partnered with the agency to produce “The Kandi factory,” which airs on Bravo. Helping to Score bigger (movie) roles for TV actors like Jamie Hector from “The Wire” is also something Christian was proud to mention.
“In the past months we’ve done very well. We also represent a select number of beauty bloggers. We’ve been able to come out with product lines for those bloggers so we think that’s going to go pretty well too,” she added.
Fortunate enough for Christian she admits to being spoiled in her career saying that during its span she’s been able to represent people that she wants to — not necessarily ones that she has to. After watching the work of Michael Kenneth Williams and Hector, Christian said she was moved. They exuded the wow factor and potential that TCA Jed Root looks for in every client.
“I thought, ‘These guys are brilliant and I had a plan for them.’ It wasn’t just, ‘I should represent these people, because they can make me a lot of money.’ I knew what could be done for them and I wanted to be the one to do it,” Christian said.