Contributed by: Barbara Garvey, Owner/Agent
1) What makes you unique as an agency?
There are many things that I think are special about East Coast Talent. For one, our agency really tries to act like a "family" and provide support to one another -- often pitching in to help with taping auditions or working on independent projects with a fellow agency mate. I don't view being the owner as "my job" because it is really more of a passion for me. I'd do it whether it made money or not -- and, since a percentage of actors never make their agency any real money, that's probably a big plus!
2. How long have you been in business?
I have been the owner/agent for a little over a decade. The agency is a little older than that. We had a big 10th Anniversary celebration last year!
3. What do you look for in an actor who is seeking representation with you?
Obviously, we all look for "talent." But there are plenty of talented people in the world who don't have an agent. I want to see evidence that they will work hard and provide me with the professional tools (headshot, reel, resume, etc.) that I absolutely must have in order to represent them well. And, I'm not just looking for the drop dead gorgeous people -- I'd love to see more "plus size" actors, as well as actors with a "face that only a mother could love!"
4. What is your best piece of advice for actors working in the SE?
Trust your agent. Listen to your agent. Do what your agent suggests. Also, don't sit by the phone waiting for something to happen. Get out and collaborate. Learn new skills and just develop as a "real person," too! I always tell my females to take up pole dancing (can't hurt, right?)
5. Share a success story with us. Keep in mind it can be for you as an agent or specific to a client and their journey.
Many people know that I represent Chandler Riggs, the "child star" of The Walking Dead.
He was a Georgia kid who booked right from here. He has been with our agency since the very beginning and his whole story is one of great success. That's usually who people ask me about. But one actor that you WILL be hearing about over the next few years is Jack Champion. Jack is a great kid who lives in North Carolina. Jack self taped for a big movie and (after several callbacks, tests, etc) landed a very nice role in the upcoming Avator movies. Within a few weeks, he and his mom landed in Los Angeles and it's been a whirlwind ever since. This is a life changing booking -- and he is from a little town in the southeast, not from LA or NY.
We have long been told that no one can really book those "big roles" outside of Hollywood, but I think our southeastern region is changing that opinion, especially for the youth market. I mention these two young men because I want to point out that it was not only life-changing and career-changing for the actors, but for their families. Parents had to leave/modify their employment and make drastic changes to their lifestyles -- often with very little time to do so. I'm not just proud of the two young actors-- I'm very proud of how well their parents have managed!