You have over 21 years of experience in the industry, founding your Agency in 2001. Where did your journey in the entertainment world start?
My journey started whilst working as an assistant at an Agency in Melbourne, where I learnt the basic foundations of the role and day to day challenges faced in the industry. My parents had always owned their own businesses and I had grown up in a very entrepreneurial and hard working family, so taking the leap to start my own agency was the natural thing to do. I had offers to buy an Agency but I saw the challenge of building my own from the ground up as the best way forward.
You work very closely with your performers both nationally and internationally, how have you maintained a strong reputation in such a tough industry?
Your name, reputation and integrity is everything in the entertainment industry, it is very small and people are interconnected in many ways, personally and professionally. It is so important to be honest and upfront with people.
When people engage with HPM I want a mutual level of trust. I have worked with the same Actors, producers, casting directors etc for many years and whilst there are always fresh faces, you can’t do the wrong thing as you will definitely have to work with them again in the future and you never know where your next referral or contact can take you.
What sets your agency apart from other types of representation in Australia?
HPM prides itself on having a very close relationship with all our Actors – it can be a very tough industry and for Actors can present all kinds of day to day challenges. We guide and assist Actors not only to secure auditions and introduce them to casting directors but also when Actors need to talk through personal issues. Many of my clients I have known for years and I have been with them on their personal and professional journeys and whether that means being there for an opening night with their families or Skyping at random hours of the day or night because they need advice, that’s all part of the job and something that is very important for the Agency to provide that level of support for an Actor.
We can also connect Actors internationally. For example we can introduce a client to the best of the best in Hollywood or London. I have a client who visited London last month and after a meeting with a leading casting director he was auditioning for a lead role in a new BBC series!
Tell us about how you chose your talent.
Every Actor is different, I attend graduations and showcases, I watch hundreds of showreels and attend as much live performance as I can, but sometimes an Actor can just appear from a recommendation or out of the blue and blow you away leaving you wondering “How are you not represented?” I sign them up quickly! I still get very excited when I see amazing talent and am privileged to take them to the next level.
And is there a certain criteria to be met for the actors and performers you represent?
Most professional performers have attended some sort of formal training like NIDA, VCA or Wappa. I do look at where they have trained and who with.
They need to provide some sort of showreel or screen work so I can see what they can do. I don’t necessarily need to see an expensive showreel, I almost prefer a couple of raw scenes shot on their phone. I am inundated with lengthy reels but at the end of the day I just want something recent and easy to watch not a montage of scenes that are usually 10 years old!
What is the most rewarding thing about what you do?
Helping an Actor work towards fulfilling their dream of securing a role they really want is just amazing. To see the excitement and feel the energy on an opening night, see them on the red carpet, on stage & screen or an awards night and knowing how hard we have all worked to get there is truly rewarding. Many people don’t see the hard work, struggle and frustration that Actors can go through to secure a role.
Lastly, do you have insider tips on a new, up and coming star or future Hemsworth brother in the making?!
I have a few incredible clients but Harrison Gilbertson is on track to being a house hold name. You’ll see him next in Picnic At Hanging Rock which is coming to Foxtel this month.
Also Luca Sardelis. A young South Australian Actress. You just know she was born to be a star.