Morgan Graham
Graham Entertainment Founder and President

Morgan's Acting, Modeling and Performance Resume.

Read Morgan's interview with Phil Sweetland.


Morgan Graham Biography

“The Best Talent Agent In Town” - By Robert Hetzel

This is how a growing number of Nashville’s top talent are describing their agent and advocate, Morgan Graham, of Graham Entertainment. Chief reasons sited for this sentiment include the perception (conviction) that Graham sends her talent out on far more auditions than most other local agencies. Many local actors and models will also tell you that few agents are as hardworking, as honest – or as much fun as Morgan Graham.

Graham came to Nashville in 1994 to pursue a singing career. Having done a considerable amount of acting and modeling in high school, in college, and during her first few years in Nashville, she accepted a position with a well known national talent agency and school to teach classes, and to scout talent in Nashville in the fall of 2000.

It was during this time that Graham came to realize that her own ideas about what a talent agency could be (and should be), were very different from what she was seeing and experiencing. “I saw several shortcomings among agencies in Nashville, including the fact that many agencies seemed to be sending talent to auditions ill-prepared. I also noticed that there were a number of companies taking advantage of aspiring talent. These companies would have slick sales campaigns promising comprehensive training packages and lucrative opportunities to find work. The reality all too often was that the training was mediocre and overpriced, and the opportunities to book jobs were virtually nonexistent.”

With resounding support from several of her friends in the industry, Morgan Graham launched Graham Entertainment in the December of 2002. It was not long before a buzz began to circulate among area talent about the vivacious red head with sparkle and pizzazz who was training talent in her own home - and then sending them out on auditions at a rate far in excess of what most (local talent) would consider normal or typical. Casting directors, one by one, were hearing about Morgan Graham and her new agency. They were learning that they could call on her day or night without apology, and with high confidence that she would find the talent that they were looking for.

Graham was not content, however, to wait for the word on the street to bring business to her door. She made a point of spending a great deal of time at industry functions, as well as at popular after-hours venues networking with many of Nashville’s entertainment shakers and movers. It was not unusual for her to return home with fists full of cards, and a schedule book full of appointments with new clients and talent.

Within just over a year of starting her business, Morgan moved her offices out of her home, and into a Music Row/West End office address. Less than a year later, she moved again to larger digs in nearby Marathon Village.

In the midst of this growth, several members of Nashville’s acting and entertainment community took a keen personal interest in Morgan, her company, and its growth. Among these was Annie Dorman who (early on) became integrally involved in the teaching and training functions for Graham Entertainment. Annie, a former international model, and professional stage, screen and TV actress, had been teaching acting and modeling in Nashville for several years. Her credits included Model of the Year in 1965, and several roles in feature films, and in television soaps – to name just a few. Several of her students through the years had gone on to professional careers in stage, television, and feature films.

Morgan and Annie evolved a two and a half hour introductory training program designed to ensure that all talent knew how to ace an audition in Nashville. Even industry veterans were asked to attend the course – if they wanted to sign with Graham’s agency. More than one of these pros groused at the idea of taking an “introductory” course, only to come away later impressed by its simple, yet poignant content, and re-vitalized by the incredible passion that Annie Dorman showed for their craft.

The cost of the course was a staggeringly affordable $35. At a time when other agencies and schools seemed to be making their money by charging well over a $1,000 for mandatory start-up courses, it was Graham’s contention that she and her talent could thrive by making their money the old fashioned way – by booking paying gigs.

Graham believed that there were lots of “starving artists” (aspiring musicians, and songwriters) who had plenty of drive and talent (and who would love to get paid money to be in front of a camera) – but who lacked the funds typically required to break into the industry. Graham believed that given the chance, and the right kind of basic training, these natural born entertainers could, and would impress Nashville casting directors.

In time, as more and more talent expressed an interest in signing on with her agency, Graham introduced another program designed to reduce the cost of getting started in her industry. This innovation had to do with the all-important “headshot” (close up talent photo). It is a well known fact that actors and models must have headshots to get work. It is also a well known fact that headshots can be very expensive. Professional headshot photo sessions typically cost several hundred dollars – minimum.

Without discounting the importance of getting top-notch professional headshots, Graham introduced a program which made it possible for talent to obtain preliminary (“starter”) headshots at a dramatically reduced cost. For just $50 talent could have headshots made using professional equipment, but an abbreviated photo session, which would pass muster with local casting directors. The understanding between Graham and her talent was that the discounted headshots would be temporary, and would be replaced with quality photos once the talent had logged a few successful bookings, and were in a better position to afford a full professional photo session.

Recently, Graham has been able to turn her attention towards several exciting opportunities which have presented themselves as a result of her hard work and hard earned reputation. Chief among these are some newly formed alliances which will allow Graham Entertainment to become a mainline regional conduit into the world of national and international high fashion. Ambitious and exciting regional events are in the planning stages designed to discover high-end fashion talent, and launch lucrative fashion careers. Graham plans to be drawing talent for these campaigns not only from Nashville, but from bigger cities, and small markets all over the south.

Graham is also in the process of investing heavily in a brand new website which integrates seamlessly with her talent database. The site is specifically designed for the talent industry. It will be a boon for casting directors and talent alike. It will allow talent to update their resumes and headshots online. It will bring “headshot pulls,” and “casting calls” out of the filing cabinet, and into the electronic age. Graham and her team are extremely excited about these developments, and the company’s prospects for the future.

When asked what she thinks about being considered “The Best Talent Agent In Town,” Graham suggests that, “The chemistry between an agent and their talent is critical in this industry. Ideally, all talent should feel as though their agent is ‘the best talent agent in town.’ Based on my high regard for many of the people who (I know) make those kinds of comments (about me), I could not be more flattered or more proud – both for myself, and for those that have worked so hard to bring Graham Entertainment this far. Regardless of how some of my more ambitious plans for the future may unfold, as long as I have talent who truly feel that way about me and my agency, then I will count my venture a huge success.”

 

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