You get to negotiate
To be a talent agent in L.A., you’ve got to be tenacious, patient, assertive — all traits I’d need when my earthquake hit that fall.
My training program was super stressful — a very “The Devil Wears Prada” culture. It was a year-long program, and as soon as you enter the door, you’re in the mail room, and you have to compete to get assigned to an agent’s desk. Show them how committed you are.
Then you’re assigned to an agent, and you have to be 10 steps ahead of your agent. If they come in at 8 a.m., you get in at 6 a.m.
It all sounds intense, but I was very career focused. When I was little, probably around 5 years old, I wanted to be a lawyer. It was the Murphy Brown show and those TV car accident lawyer commercials that got me: “Get in a car accident? Call me.” For Christmas, I asked for briefcases. When I was 7, 8, 9, it was always, “Let’s play lawyer!”
I started out pre-law (a legal communications major) at Howard University, but by my senior year, I knew a career in law wasn’t for me.
So I was trying to figure out how to merge entertainment and law, and that’s how I got to talent agent. Without a law degree, it was the closest thing to the type of law that I wanted to practice. You still get to negotiate.