Guy Kochlani is the founder of Across the Board Talent Agency. The LA native and Law School graduate discusses ATB and a little something about himself.
Guy on why he founded ATB:
I have 15, going on 16 years of entertainment background. I saw a flaw in the way the other agencies operate. There will be an agency with ten to twenty agents. Each of those agents has a hundred to two-hundred clients. Most of those clients just get lost in the process. Who knows where they are. The developmental clients don’t get much of the attention. You may have a big agency name, but you won’t get the one-on-one attention. So I decided to address the problem and formed my own agency.
Guy on what is different about ATB:
I created a business model where each agent would max-out at fifty clients, so each client could get one-on-one attention that they deserve.
Guy on where the name ATB came from:
The way Across The Board came a long is kind of a funny story. It started off as the Kochlani Talent Agency. I’d call the casting directors and say, “This is Guy from the Kochlani Talent Agency.” They’d say, “Where?” Turns out, they could not pronounce Kochlani. I then realized I kept saying the phrase, “Across the Board.” Clients would ask me, “How do you rep me?” I would always respond, “Across the Board.” Then I thought, “ATB. Across The Board.” And that’s the way the name Across The Board came along.
Guy on being a child actor:
I came into the business as a child actor. I was one of those kids who ran around the streets saying, “I want to be an actor.” So, my neighbor’s brother was a producer and an actor. I walked up to him at a family barbeque and said, “Benny, please you gotta put me in your next movie.” One month passes. Two months pass. Eight months pass. Nothing. I keep following up with him. Finally, after eight months of persistence, I get the call. He gave me a small part in his movie and told me that I had to take two weeks off of school. I thought to myself, how cool is that? I got to take off school to be on location. My first movie was Broken Bars. I spent four years as a working actor.
Guy on life post-the big screen:
At nineteen, I realized I have better use behind the camera than in front of the camera. I felt out the entertainment industry in every capacity. I worked at Universal Records, KIIS-FM, an entertainment law firm in Beverly Hills, and even opened up a special events company that produced fashion shows. Eventually, I landed at a talent agency. That was my calling.
Guy on relating to his clients:
Being an actor, I know the type of issues that the clients have to go through and the game they have to play. I try to reduce that. My clients know that they don’t have to play games with me. I definitely think my background as an actor has helped because I can manage my clients with knowledge of what they go through.
Guy on being accessible 24/7:
The reason I am keeping this a boutique agency is that my clients can call me, text me, email me, Facebook me, Twitter me at any hour. If you have a question at 3 a.m. and I’m up, I’ll call you back. Yes, some have abused it. But all in all, it’s going well.
Guy on life outside of ATB:
I see a lot of movies in my spare time. Mafia movies and spy movies are my favorite. My favorite movie of all time is Casino. I love dance music. I try to live a social life. I spend a lot of time networking and trying to move my clients’ careers forward. And of course, every day at 10 a.m. I need my Caffeine Free Diet Coke.
Guy on The Big Apple ATB:
My love is New York. I lived there for a bit right before law school. I’m in the process of expanding ATB by opening a second office in New York. The city has an amazing energy. You get off the subway, and you feel a rush. That rush is what I love about New York. ATB New York is looking very promising in 2011.