Bella Thorne changed Adam Griffin’s career. The talent manager at Kritzer Levine Wilkins Griffin Nilon signed the “Shake It Up!” star when she was 11, and she immediately began booking job after job in television and film. When it comes to the potential of representing youth, Griffin says, “Bella opened up my eyes to the possibilities.”
Not only is Griffin developing music, book and ad campaign projects for the now-16-year-old actress, but currently, nearly half of his roster are youth performers, including two thesps on “The Middle,” Eden Sher and Charlie McDermott.
Griffin is known for his ability to discover and support young performers who can go the distance. He says it’s not about a potential client’s credits, but about the meeting — such as the time Griffin signed Joshua Moore before he’d worked a single day as an actor. “I couldn’t watch anything (he had been in). He wasn’t in SAG, but there was just something about the kid,” Griffin says. “A couple of months later, he booked a series regular role on ‘Desperate Housewives.’?”
Once Griffin determines how to market his client, it’s game on. He’s a strategy guy and relishes the opportunity to sway network producers to hire his clients in career-changing roles.
For instance, producers of the MTV series “Awkward” initially passed on Griffin’s client Ashley Rickards for the lead. Griffin responded by sending them a self-taped audition of the thesp portraying a character with special needs. “I sent that tape, even though it was completely unrelated to ‘Awkward,’ to the producer to show how she can do anything,” he says. Rickards booked the job.
Impact: Building the careers of Bella Thorne, Ashley Rickards and other young stars.
Next: Transitioning talent from child star into the mainstream, such as recent signs Lucas Grabeel and Drake Bell.
Causes: National Multiple Sclerosis Society