Casting Networks® caught up with Gina Stoj of Gina Stoj Management. Gina explains how she dove headfirst into the world of representation, her busy but fulfilling work schedule and what excites her about the future of entertainment.
What inspired you to be a talent manager?
I was an agent in Australia for a decade prior to starting US management. To be honest, I fell into it accidentally. I went to LA to explore the industry for my son who is an actor and was planning to get his US visa and work there. As I met people in LA, I found there were so many amazing actors looking for representation. How could I resist?
What was your first position in an agency or manager’s office?
I ran a medical practice before I started my own agency in Australia. I had never worked in the industry prior to that. I threw myself into the deep end without any training, just flying by the seat of my pants until I found my footing. My only experience was as a “stage mother.”
What is a ‘career highlight’ of yours?
I don’t think I have one highlight really. Every booking for each of my actors is special to them so I rejoice in their happiness. It probably sounds twee but every booking is special. I get a buzz whenever one of my actors lands a role and it’s a joy to see them flourish! I’ve had several of my actors book heavily recurring guest roles on network TV so that’s always exciting.
If you could go back, what would you tell yourself on your first day on the job?
That the strength I found in motherhood would translate well and has prepared me to fight for my theatrical family… and that I will always have a messy desk. There is never “end of day completion,” it just rolls into the next day. Having the Los Angeles and New York agencies means I’m up at 3 am every morning submitting for the States and then the Australian ones start rolling in.
What are some of your favorite hobbies outside of work?
Outside of work?! No such thing as outside of work for me. The only time I do allocate is to my beautiful granddaughters. Other than that, I live and breathe my agency/management company.
If you could describe yourself as a television or movie character, who would you pick and why?
One of my actors likened me to Jerry Maguire, but I think the Speedy Gonzales cartoon character from a million years ago when I was a child. I always respond to casting directors, audition notifications and actors very quickly.
What was the last film you saw?
To be honest I haven’t had much time to watch films but since COVID I have tried to catch a bit of each series so I get an idea of the flavor of the show. Unfortunately, I got hooked on one… “Shameless.” I’m currently obsessed with “Shameless” but the next one on my list is “Dear White People.” I have an actor in a heavily recurring guest star role so I can’t wait to get stuck into that one!
Do you have a quote or mantra that you live by?
Most of the things that come out of my mouth have !*?!*!’s and ***’s but these quotes really resonate with me. How can I get 8 hours of sleep in 3 hours? OR I don’t have time to be this busy! Or My brain has too many tabs open! Any of these work for me but I’m not complaining. I absolutely love what I do.
If you could have lunch with anyone, present or past, who would you pick?
Lunch? Who has time for a lunch break in this industry? The last time I had one of those was back in 2003.
What excites you about the future of your profession?
I love that the industry is inclusive these days. Australia is finally catching up to the United States.
Photo Credit: Robert Olin