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UTA’s Jason Richman and Johnny Pariseau

Hollywood's New Leaders: 10 Assistants to Watch

Richman and Pariseau began their careers at UTA on the same day last February — in the mailroom. Less than a year later they are assistants to lit super agents Howard Sanders and Kassie Evashevski, respectively.

“It was just a natural fit,” Pariseau says of joining the tight-knit group. “They hired us because they value our thoughts.” Before joining the department, Richman trained under a motion picture literary agent; Pariseau was with a talent agent.

“We made an effort to be known within the company and in particular to make ourselves known within the book department,” says Stanford graduate Richman.

USC graduate Pariseau says he originally went for a degree in biochemistry, but after enrolling in an introductory film class realized his “true passion.”

The duo — both admittedly have a love affair with literature — read books, manuscripts, blogs, Twitter feeds and whatever else they can get their hands on.

“I’ve definitely come across stuff that I really believe in and I will literally walk it right into Howie’s office and he’ll pick up the phone and make a call,” Richman says. “We are blessed with having this freedom to bring in material.”

Richman introduced the department to the “White Girl Problems” Twitter feed. The three writers who author the feed under the pseudonym Babe Walker are now UTA clients. Their book will be published by Hyperion in 2012.

“They trust us and our opinions,” Pariseau says. “That said, they definitely don’t always agree with us and we can definitely disagree with them. It’s a collaboration.”

“When I’m out of the office Jason can step in and fill my shoes and vice-versa. It’s a very fluid — ” Pariseau says before Richman interrupts: “I don’t want to say we complete each other’s sentences, but we could.”

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