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UI alumnus applies performance skills in work for talent agency
For Gordon Adams, life is about finding your passion.
His first passion – acting – is what spurred Adams to the University of Idaho to pursue his Master of Fine Arts in performance. His love carried him through years in the Hartung Theater including performances of Fiddler on the Roof, Into the Woods, Rainmaker and several Shakespeare works with Idaho Repertory Theatre.
When he graduated in 2000, acting was the fire that fueled his first taste of the professional life — and it was grueling.
“Working as an actor ... that’s a tough thing to do,” he said. “I was finding too much success and working really hard.”
With a new-found appreciation for the actors of the world, Adams soon found himself looking for ways to represent this hardworking crowd — and his passion changed.
Adams began working to represent the Seattle acting division of Big Fish NW Talent Agency, headquartered in Cheney, Wash.
“I understood actors and acting,” he said. “I wanted to represent them.”
Having been through the process of marketing himself as an actor, finding adequate jobs and learning which jobs to accept and turn down, Adams said he could effectively manage and prioritize work for other talents.
Now, even though he spends less time on the stage, Adams said he is able to stand beside folks with whom he shares common goals.
“I work with fantastic group of folks, a wonderful cast of characters are in my life,” he said. “Whether it’s the talented actor-types to the business side, producer-types — I juggle between all these different personalities. Wearing a lot of different hats is part of the joy.”
He said one reason he was able to move so fluidly from acting to the business side was his ability to research. He said that is one of the many useful skills he picked up at UI. For example, being able to research a character will help actors create a role all their own. Researching business contacts helps with future networking. And, he said, knowing your business background helps your communication skills.
“Folks are getting put through a wringer of sorts,” he said. “Knowing how to get those research questions answered and having communications skills ... that translates into getting what it is that you want when you are out there in the real world.”
Before UI, Adams received a minor in business at Eastern Oregon University. He said taking business classes was a great benefit to jumping into an agency job and being able to navigate acting contracts is an asset for any actor. He said accounting and fundamental business courses also are helpful.Big Fish NW Talent agency represents thousands of union and non-union talents across the Pacific Northwest. For more information, visit the agency's website.