As a Talent Producer, your job is not just to find out what your client wants – but also what your talent wants – and then find a way to bring those together.
A List Star Talent Producer
A-list stars are often passionate about a cause, a charity or a foundation. The key, for a talent producer, is to research and know what the passions of any particular celebrity is and to best match them up with the appropriate show or event. When you can give your talent an opportunity to help them promote their charitable endeavors, that’s a win win win – for your client, for the star, for the cause, and that, of course is a big win for the talent producer!
Here are two times when I, as talent producer, was able to book two huge celebrities and also help them gain exposure for their causes:
The PBS and BBC Series “Breaking Big” was looking to profile twelve specially selected personalities – each in a 30 minute film that would focus entirely on their life, career and rise to the top. My task as talent producer was to convince these luminaries to participate – and also to find other stars as supporting interviews for the documentaries.
“The Walking Dead” and “Black Panther” star Danai Gurira was one of the renowned personalities I booked to be featured on the series. I researched Danai and found out that she was a large part of Bono’s global One Campaign, which works to end extreme poverty and preventable disease so that everyone, everywhere can lead a life of dignity and opportunity.
Landing Bono would be a huge win for the show. I contacted the publicist for One who told me Bono was very busy on the road touring. She reached out to Bono. When the U2 Superstar heard about our show, he not only agreed to be interviewed on the road, his crew taped it for us, using questions we sent! They sent back the footage and the client was thrilled! I booked Bono!
Sometimes, charities themselves need a talent producer to work with them on their events and galas. High profile attendees are a great way to help raise awareness.
The charity Safe Horizon, the nation’s largest provider of services to victims of violence, was looking for a personality to honor at their Champion Awards Dinner. These awards honor those who have gone to extraordinary lengths in helping victims of violence.
One of my key jobs as talent producer is to keep tabs on what celebrities care about. My research indicated that Academy Award winning actress Susan Sarandon is a very passionate supporter of several charities and issues. I discovered that this was a very important issue to Susan. The charity was delighted when Susan Sarandon agreed to appear at their event and Susan was honored to receive the award and give the Safe Horizon organization the exposure they deserved.
Some of the other celebrities I’ve booked to promote their charity work include Matt Damon (Water.org), Usher (Usher’s New Look Non-Profit – which is aimed at improving the lives of disadvantaged children and adolescents), Mary J. Blige (The Mary J. Blige Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now, Inc. (an organization founded by Mary J. Blige to inspire women from all walks of life to reach their individual potential), among many others.
For me, as a talent producer, booking charity events is not just a way to work with celebrities, it feels good to help both the charities and the celebrities to promote and raise money for worthy causes.