Craig Rogalski, owner of CK Talent Management, has been haled as one of the hottest talent managers in the entertainment industry right now, and it’s clear to see why. His lineup of talent have been involved in anything from the award-winning movie Ladybird and cultural-phenomena The Bachelor. The company has even spread its wings to an international level after recently purchasing the largest talent agency in Africa and expanding business into Australia.
To Rogalski, managing talent isn’t about the accolades and titles that are slapped on his name. In an exclusive interview with The Sophia News, Rogalski reveals that all he truly cares about is making talent happy and helping them further their careers.
“…I really like helping people in this capacity,” he says. “It gets me excited to wake up every day. There are so many different things happening and with so many different opportunities. I love seeing the look on talents’ faces after I’ve just negotiated a great deal for them, but more than that, I love creating a safe space for talent to hone their craft. A lot of how talent is managed is approached in an old way—”you do what I tell you do, you wear this,” that sort of thing. They don’t let talent be talent, and that’s what we strive to do.”
Talent management is first and foremost about the talent, and Rogalski gets it. Where other talents managers may treat their talent in a “what I say goes” fashion, Rogalski and his team understand how important it is to let talent be talent. What’s more, he works tirelessly to ensure no one takes advantage of the men and women whose careers rely in him.
“We work with talent to develop their careers. One of the things I always way is “I’ll burn down my f***ing company before you take advantage of my talent.” I just won’t let it happen. I also won’t let anyone lie to talent—if anyone at my company does, they are immediately fired. It’s important for me to be straightforward with my clients. I had one who was in Ladybird and asked if I watched it, and I told her that I didn’t like it so I turned it off. Being honest with them is one of the most important aspects of our business.
We also put a lot of passion in what we do, and we don’t put ourselves in front of the talent. The talent always comes first. Sometimes, on a small project, we won’t even take a commission. If they only made $500, I’m not going to take $50 of that. I tell them to go buy their kids a happy meal instead. It’s not just about the money, it’s about moving the client’s career forward. Another thing I say is when talent goes on stage that’s their art, but my talent is my art. They are my Picasso.”
Honesty is the best policy in all aspects of business– especially in a career as cutthroat as the entertainment industry can be.
“…It’s like if you have kids and they show you a finger-painting, you don’t tell them their finger-painting is crappy even if it is.”
Learn more about Craig Rogalski’s methods, his company, and his advice for actors hoping to break into the industry by reading the full Sophia News interview.