×

Adam Griffin: Manager learned from his young charge

Youth Impact Report 2012: Primo Percenters

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

Return to the Youth Impact Report 2012 >>

More Voices

  • Sam Mendes Bong Joon Ho 1917

    Final Oscar Predictions: Who Will Win in the Major Categories?

    The 92nd Academy Awards are almost here… For films like “Joker” and “Marriage Story,” the journey to the Oscars began five months ago with their premieres in Venice. “1917” had the least amount of time on the campaign trail: The Sam Mendes war movie didn’t start screening until late November. In the end, however, it [...]

  • Harriet Movie BTS

    Academy Needs to Start Taking Chances With Noms; Rewards Will Follow (Column)

    Throughout its history, the Academy Awards has been subject to intense criticism for the issues it embraces — and ignores. This year’s uproar over the lack of diversity among nominations in the highest-profile awards categories is the latest example. This failure reflects a chronic dearth of opportunity at Hollywood’s top artistic and financial levels. The milestone nominations [...]

  • Baby Yoda The Mandolorian

    Media Giants Make Smaller Moves With an Eye Toward Future Gains in Streaming Era

    Maybe the empire can strike back. Or at least strike anew. Over the past few months, a number of developments have emerged for traditional media companies that indicate a spirit of reinvention and experimentation is spreading across the industry. There’s a new willingness to take a hard look at long-standing operations and make big and [...]

  • Olivia Wilde Booksmart BTS

    Olivia Wilde on Her Move From Acting to Directing With 'Booksmart'

    Olivia Wilde began acting in 2004 when she was 20 years old. It never occurred to her that she might also enjoy stepping behind the lens. “I always wanted to make movies and be a part of the moviemaking process,” she tells me. “I always assumed acting was the way in, because for many young [...]

  • Oscar Statue Oscars Placeholder

    Oscars 2020 Predictions: Who Will Get Nominated?

    The Oscar race is on. And it’s about to get a lot more intense when the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announces the nominations for the 92nd Oscars on Jan. 13. Golden Globes shutout “The Irishman” is favored to earn several nods, as will “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” which went home [...]

  • Golden Globes Analysis Oscar Race

    Why Golden Globes Will Likely Have Little Effect on Oscar Nominations (Column)

    With the Globes now behind us and Oscar noms rapidly approaching on Jan. 13, what should we be paying attention to in Hollywood’s biggest film awards race? Surefire bets are Globe winners Renée Zellweger (“Judy”), who already has one Oscar, and Brad Pitt, who should garner his third acting nomination for his work in Quentin [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content