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Fisher & Gilbert: Casting queens give agency a makeover

Youth Impact Report 2012: Primo Percenters

Last July, two of the star agents from Abrams Artists’ Los Angeles youth division jumped to Paradigm, taking along most of their client list. Rather than panic, Ellen Gilbert, who runs Abrams’ Gotham-based youth operation, helped form the solution: Get Pamela Fisher.

Before starting Buchwald/Fortitude’s youth division, Fisher had created the Applause Theatrical Workshops. Recognizing an opportunity, she agreed to join the Abrams team after Wendi Green and Jennifer Millar ankled.

“I seem to be put in that position: Restart it, rebuild it, remake it,” Fisher says. “There’s something very exciting about fresh, new beginnings and starting over.”

Right away, the duo set about changing the agency’s architecture to create a truly bicoastal unit. “Usually divisions operate so independently, there’s a list in New York and a list in L.A.,” Fisher says.

So the duo constructed a support system to double down on their clients’ chances, relying on tight synergy to attract and retain talent.

“We talk about projects every day. We’re constantly on the phone,” says Gilbert, who ensures that L.A. clients are considered for East Coast opportunities and vice versa.

The system is working: CJ Adams played the title role in Disney’s “The Odd Life of Timothy Green”; Daija Owens made such a splash in NBC comedy “Best Friends Forever” that the network is pursuing a talent holding deal with the 9-year-old; and Noah Munck, a client of Fisher’s since he was 9, is the marquee talent in Nickelodeon spinoff “Gibby” — one of eight young thesps the agency placed in pilots this year.

Impact: Duo reshaped Abrams Artists’ vital kid biz as a bicoastal operation.
Next: Clients Daija Owens has an NBC talent holding deal, Charlie Tahan is the lead voice in “Frankenweenie” and Jimmy “Jax” Pinchak co-stars in “Ender’s Game.”
Causes: Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Camp del Corazon, Make-a-Wish Foundation

Return to the Youth Impact Report 2012 >>

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