Casting Networks® caught up with Director of Youth Talent at LA Talent, Jeremy Apody, to find out more about his journey working in the industry. Jeremy dives into his inspirations, experiences, mantra that he lives by, and lessons he has learned since starting his career in the mailroom of a busy talent agency.
1. What inspired you to be a youth Talent Agent?
I have always loved working with youth from the time I spent summers as a camp counselor when I was home from college. I was working in the mailroom of a talent agency, and when a desk opened up to be an assistant under the Youth Commercial Agent, I jumped at the opportunity. I knew from that day that this was what I was put on this earth to do. Being able to be a part of the passion and dedication young actors put into their careers, as well as the amazing support of their parents, I was truly inspired to make a career out of artist representation. As a youth talent agent, I wanted the opportunity to help guide young actors through their early careers.
2. What was your first position in an agency or manager’s office?
My first position was in the mailroom at a talent agency. I floated to different desks answering phones, packaged hard copy headshots to be mailed to casting directors, and helped out agents in different areas. I look back and feel so fortunate that I got my foot in the door at such a prestigious company and learned from the bottom up. I wouldn’t change how I started for anything. It truly helped build and form my character and work ethic.
3. What is a career highlight of yours?
It might sound cliché, but every booking I call or send out is a career highlight for me. Hearing the excitement on the other end of the phone when I tell an actor they landed the job is the best! To do what I love for a living and have an opportunity to make an impact in a young actor’s life is truly the best feeling in the world. There’s nothing better than seeing clients of mine, who I have watched grow up in front of my eyes, go on to have successful and prosperous careers in adulthood.
4. If you could go back, what would you tell yourself on your first day on the job?
Life is too short! Don’t take things too seriously. This is a tough business that requires a thick skin, and I would advise a younger me to not let some of the adversity I faced get me down. Turn it into a positive life lesson that you can grow and learn from.
5. What are some of your favorite hobbies outside of work?
Anything involving sports. I coach my son’s teams on weekends and it’s such a blast.
6. If you could describe yourself as a television or movie character, who would you pick?
Probably Eric Taylor from ‘Friday Night Lights.’ He was a dedicated husband and father who put everything he had into his family and work team. As a coach, he treated and protected every one of his players like one of his own, and that’s my mindset as an agent. My clients are like my extended family. I will always go to bat for them.
7. What was the last film you saw?
‘Spies in Disguise’ with my little ones.
8. Do you have a quote or mantra that you live by?
The mantra I always try to preach to my actors is to trust the process. This business requires a tremendous amount of patience. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Be patient with the team you surround yourself with and trust that though it might take time, they are going to do everything in their power to open doors for you and put you in the best position to succeed. Work ethic is everything. If you have the drive and put in the work, good things will happen.
9. If you could have lunch with anyone, present or past, who would you pick?
As a basketball fanatic, I think I would want to have lunch with Jerry West. He’s one of the sharpest, brightest minds in NBA history as both a player and front office executive. I imagine he would have some incredible and fascinating stories about the league.
10. What excites you about the future of your profession?
The new challenges and experiences that are thrown my way. Each day comes with its own themes, tasks, and situations that force me to think outside the box and that’s truly the fun part of what we do. To have the opportunity every day to come into contact with different faces and meet with such incredible new talent makes me excited and look forward to coming to work.
Thank you, Jeremy, for taking part in our series and for your passion and commitment to talent in the industry!