Brooke Shoemaker - Business & Entrepreneurship - Adjunct Faculty
What’s your educational background?
I originally attended Hofstra University in NY to pursue a BA in Theatre but left and finished up my degree at Columbia College, where I received a BA in Theatre with an acting concentration and a minor in Arts Management.
What lead you to teaching at Columbia?
I attribute Columbia with giving me the skills and foundation to have this wonderful career. I really wanted to be able to give back and share my experiences and professional knowledge with my students.
I had kept a close relationship with Columbia over the years by coming back every semester to do a workshop in the Theatre department and occasionally being involved in speaking engagements regarding my experiences as an agent. A couple of years ago, I had approached Columbia about building a talent agency within the school to give management students the real world experience of working with actual talent at Columbia through different departments. Through those talks, I got offered a job teaching Talent Management. Shortly after, I was brought on to help create the Talent Agency section of AEMMP, which works in partnership with the Recording Performance and Ensemble class in the Music department.
What kind of work do you do outside of Columbia?
I am a talent agent at Gray Talent Group, where I represent actors for television/film/theatre. I currently represent several actors who are starring on television series such as “Boss” (Starz), “Level Up” (Cartoon Network), and “Shameless” (Showtime). Besides television, I have also booked a number of actors in films including Contagion, Convicton, and Trust, as well as several Broadway productions. Besides teaching at Columbia I also teach acting workshops as well as seminars at iO Chicago, The Acting Studio, The Actors Training Center and many more.
How does your time in the classroom influence the work you do outside of the classroom?
I learn a great deal from my students. It is really important in my field to have a pulse on what is important in pop culture, and they definitely keep me aware. Being able to brainstorm and bounce ideas around with them has definitely contributed to some of my work-related decisions. But more importantly, they keep me grounded. This industry can be very stressful and they always inspire me to keep going and continually re-fall in love with this business. They help me remember how lucky I am to do what I love for a living, even in those moments where I want to pull out my hair.
What should we be on the lookout for from you in the future?
I recently booked an actor on a pilot this pilot season, so I am hoping to hear that the show will be picked up. Unfortunately, a few things we are working on I cannot discuss quite yet but they are pretty exciting. Stay tuned! However as a career goal, I hope to have an Oscar, an Emmy, and a Tony award winner on my roster in the near future.