Agent Jorge Perez dishes on his new podcast, the future of social media, and why everyone should start seeing themselves as a brand.
What got you interested in doing a podcast? JORGE PEREZ: My co-host and I always wanted to do a project together and my biggest passion in the world is about having existential conversations about life that gravitate toward change, and culture, and technology. We talked for a while about doing a podcast, and one day he said why don’t we do something that included LGBT innovators? So that was the first idea, and from there on we wanted to open the show to a wide variety of people who we felt were doing really cool and different things in this new economy that has been so impacted by technology. Through the stories that we’re highlighting, we’re filling a void in the market where people need to be educated and be inspired.
Has there been a story you've highlighted that most impressed you? JP: Yeah, there’s a woman named Diana Madison, and she created Obsev Studios, and a digital platform for so many different shows that are streamed on various platforms. She actually just created a brand new TV show with Lifetime with Kim Kardashian called Glam Masters, which is similar to Project Runway, but about makeup artists. And she’s someone who was taking the traditional route through Hollywood, but when she wasn’t getting the offer she wanted, she started creating her own content. She made her own path.
Because you have the talent gene, do you ever try and offer advice to your guests? JP: Because I represent commercial photographers—whose jobs are being taken away by people who have Instagram followers—I’m constantly thinking of new ways to create added value: what influencer can we partner with to get numbers for a campaign? So I’m constantly in conversation with my artists. You don’t want to be the man who sinks with the Titanic, you want to get out there and make things happen.
What does a client have to have for you to take them on? JP: It doesn’t necessarily have to be social media. I’m looking for a partner who is thinking ahead of the times and not just the traditional way of marketing themselves. I’m looking for somebody who’s not only a great artist but a great network. The time where artists sit back and wait for their agent to bring in new work are over.
When we say “new model”—what are we talking about? JP: This is a universal thing. Everybody needs to think of themselves as a brand, and if you don’t stand out and create what you’re about, you’re going to get lost in the shuffle. I’m not saying an artist has to have big social media numbers, they just have to be doing unique things.
And where can we find you hanging out in L.A.? JP: I really enjoy, for Mexican, Escuela Taqueria on Beverly Boulevard and Fairfax; for great salads, Sycamore Kitchen; and my coffee spot is Alfred on Melrose Place.