Michael Inman, a second-year in marketing, aims to foster Buckeye talent this spring with his organization, Student Talent Agency Experience.
STAE is a student-run organization that plans to function much like a real-world talent agency, where students apply to be an agent or audition to be a talent. From there, the agent or talent will be signed by STAE for further development.
“Coming from a performing arts background, I went to the School of Performing Arts (in Cincinnati),” Inman said. “I saw all of my peers booking record deals and I kind if saw the process of how to go about landing a job in the entertainment industry. There was a common understanding that for internships and job, you need experience to get experience. That’s why experience is in the name.”
Agents signed by STAE will work with the talent acts in the areas of publicity, representation, performing experience and artistic content. STAE will help create a profile for clients, as well as help market the acts by representing them on STAE’s official website, set to launch March 1.
“First and foremost, the agents are selected, and, in partnership with the development team, we will then choose the talent — singers or models — that we want to represent and help develop their skills,” Inman said.
Artistic content that STAE will help develop includes producing one music video and two recorded original songs for musicians, and developing a professional portfolio for models. STAE will assist musicians in booking at least one gig throughout their academic year of being signed and will confirm models to walk in at least one fashion show on campus, Inman said.
Inman has confirmed collaboration with other university organizations such as Scarlette fashion magazine and the Fashion Production Association, which puts on an annual fashion show. Inman also hopes other organizations will look to STAE for opening acts at major events or banquets.
“We also have positions specifically for freshmen students called STAE Associates so that first-years will have a way of getting involved in the organization, and will hopefully take on leadership positions in the future,” Inman said.
Inman said he hopes to use the resources on Ohio State’s campus to STAE’s advantage, including Barnett Center spaces and other student organizations.
Sonia Manjon, director of OSU’s Lawrence and Isabel Barnett Center for Integrated Arts and Enterprise, will play a major role in providing these resources for STAE.
“I will function as the adviser for STAE,” Manjon said. “So I’ll be providing guidance and industry perspectives for the group.”
Having previously been the executive director for the San Francisco chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in the past, Manjon said she is willing to use her extensive network in the national and international arts and entertainment industry to connect students to people who will provide further insight to this profession.
Although Inman is thankful to have a wide array of resources for his organization, he said there are challenges of having to prove to others their authority to dictate what is talent and what is not.
“What we’re looking for in talent is very open. We’re not going to have any expectations for what talent is,” Inman said. “But we are going to be highly objective about who has a lot of potential and what we want STAE’s name to be behind.”
The STAE development team plans to accomplish this by using a New Artist and Musicians Audit Report. With this, members will conduct market research analyzing the top talent agencies to learn which genres, looks and styles are trending to base their own campaign upon.
“You’ll have people coming together who know how to best use the resources, and kind of have a creative way of doing so,” Inman said. “It’s bringing a team together to hopefully create something magical.”
Manjon added to this vision of STAE, hoping that students will discover what it means to be “creatives,” people who have passions for art even if they are not specifically focused in the arts community.
“There are creatives in everything,” Manjon said. “I hope through participating in STAE that students see it’s not really that hard to pursue a career in this area, that they can get out of it the courage and ability to know they can do it.”
The group can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.