First of all, why don't you introduce yourself to those of us who
don't already know you?
name is Gina Stoj I am an Australian based agent who operates out of
Sydney, NSW where I represent over 200 actors. As an agent/manager
my career spans across 15 years. I also run Gina Stoj
Management USA and manage over 100 actors in Los Angeles and New York
Do talk about some of the talent
you're currently managing, and what are your criteria for choosing
suitable talent for your agency?
have a little over 100 people in America and over 200 people in Australia.
Recently I have I have booked actors on shows such as Scorpion,
NCIS, Madam Secretary, Mistresses,
Marvel Agents of Shield, Law &
Order SVU, Bones, Castle just
name a few. In Australia lots
commercial bookings and TV shows such as A Place To Call Home,
Home and Away, Neighbours, Deadly
Women, Rake and several others. I
am very committed to building relationships with actors who are self
motivated and reliable. Obviously I have a very high standard when
looking for talent but I am open to nurturing relationships with
actors who are developing their identity in the industry.
Any free advice for
actors trying to make it in the business?
talent is important - however I do believe understanding that you
are your own business helps you move a lot quicker through the industry
hoops. Always keep your agent/manager informed of your
movements/answer your phone, keep CVs and headshot regularly
updated - your material is one of you tools. And always be
prepared, it is important to do the research that is required of you… find
your niche, understand what makes you tick because in the end you are
the product. I guess the best advice I can give an actor who is
starting out is be yourself because in the end it is your “uniqueness"
that we are looking for.
You are known
for getting your talent into some top shows and movies - so could you give
us a quick rundown how that works?
spend a lot of time looking at the breakdowns that come out each day and
submit my actors that I feel are suitable for those roles.
If an actor is 100% spot on in what they are after – I will call
the casting director and pitch that actor and point out what they
have to offer for that role. With
that we hope that the actor will get an audition. Then it’s up to them
to win the room.
How does one become a
talent manager, and how does one train to be one actually?
is no training – I think the most common route people take is intern in
offices and learn the ropes that way.
I jumped in the deep end and just decided to be one!
I am a member of the Talent Managers Association in America but
that was after I had managed for a while and proved myself to be
legitimate. When I need to know something – there is always someone
there to advise me. I
think it was easier for me because I knew the business and spent many
years reading information about the American entertainment industry.
originally started your company in Australia - so what can you tell us
about the early days of Gina Stoj Management, and about the
Australian entertainment industry?
out as a "stage mum" I saw the need for a middle tier agency.
The agencies that were out there were either top on the line or they took
care of only extras - I saw a huge gap so I filled it! I
learned so much about the entertainment Industry from being
immersed into it - GSM grew very fast through word of mouth.
I still represent many of actors that I signed 15 years ago - how’s that for
What were your
motives to expand to the USA eventually? And how does working in LA
compare to working in Australia?
years ago I travelled to LA to explore the industry for my son, at
the time I represented him in Australia only. As an actor he wanted
to explore his options to relocate and work in the US. I
visited several actors studios, upon mention that I was an
Australian agent I was inundated with headshots and CVs from US
based talent so many actors reached out for management - I was
surprised at the high calibre of these actors so I thought to myself, “Why
not try to establish myself here?"… The support I received at the
time overwhelms me till this day. There is no secrecy when it comes
to the film/TV industry in the US - it has been an amazing ride… I
now manage my son’s career in the US as well and have done so for many years.
I have met so many casting directors who I not only call work
colleagues but I call friends - their generosity and support has
never ceased to amaze me.
You seem to have come
pretty far already - so what are your aspirations for the future?
would love to continue to support the industry by producing quality
a more personal note: Your favourite movies, and movies you really
genre of films that interest me vary... I love psychological thrillers - I
simply loved the Saw films. But give me a good ol’ romantic
film any day etc Dirty Dancing, Ghost. There are not may films
I deplore … I appreciate and value what has gone into getting a film off
the ground. Usually a lot of blood sweat and tears - so you gotta
respect the process.
Your/your company's website, Facebook, whatever
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
- Australian IMDb.
- USA IMDb.
Anything else you're dying to mention and I have
merely forgotten to ask?
With the time difference, my day starts at 3am – submitting in LA.
am constantly working hard for my actors their success drives me!
Thanks for the interview!