“People in the industry have branded me as the ‘go-to’ talent agent for fresh faces ready for exposure in major venues,” says Shirley Faison of the reputation she has built over 35 years in the entertainment industry. “I like to think of myself as representing professionals who are extraordinarily talented.”
Faison attributes her success in developing talent to several factors. She goes where the new talent is, identifies what sets her clients and prospective clients apart from others, promotes their unique skills, and crafts a plan to get them in front of individuals and audiences who can advance their careers. And she animates these efforts with the Faison First Principle, “always look beyond the obvious.”
A former actress, director, producer, and artistic director for a theatre company, Faison is a discerning talent scout with proven savvy discovering and nurturing new talent and launching and guiding their early careers. Her broad-based experience in entertainment informs the talent development, career consultation, and personal attention that is her hallmark and supports a talent roster that books.
Known as an agent who listens to what producers and casting directors are looking for and a talent developer who keenly interprets the needs. Faison has earned the respect of leading casting professionals in theatre, film, and television.
Equally respected by her clients, Faison is proud of her track record building a career ladder for the actor from their first job. She specializes in talent of all ages and engages them as partners in the enterprise. “I look at their strongest asset and market that,” she stresses. “I ask them how they want their career to develop and make a plan to get them jobs. I narrow the playing field by getting them in where they ‘fit.’ So even where there may be a lot of great actors who have more credits, I look for the strategy most likely to secure the job for my client. Then, I work with them to eliminate the blocks that can stall their progress from one stage to the next.”
Actors represented by Shirley Faison have booked lead and supporting roles in feature films and parts in television pilots, episodic, and series. Her clients have also booked countless lead and supporting roles on Broadway, Off-Broadway, national tours, and regional theater companies across the U.S.
Faison is proud to have developed and launched the careers of successful actors, including Eden Duncan‐Smith, Constance Wu, Donald Faison, Ryan Toby, Horace V. Rogers, Reza Salazar, Laz Alonso, Annabelle Attanasio, Dorian Missick, and Jeannette Bayardelle.
Shirley Faison is a Rutgers University Douglass College graduate and is the author of 7 Rules To Thrive As A Performer: A Workbook Experience. She is a proud mother of three sons and a grandmother of eleven.