Agent acclaimed for leading role in Hollywood
David Park is an agent at United Talent Agency, which is one of the three biggest agencies in the United States along with William Morris and International Creative. There are more than 150 agents working for the agency.
Mr. Park has over 40 clients including writers and producers of current programs such as ABC’s “Lost,” as well as “C.S.I. Miami” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” and older hits “The X-Files” and “ER.”
“Agents need to make all kinds of requests to TV stations and make them say ‘yes.’ Their personality has to be aggressive,” Mr. Park said. However, he is “comfortable” when he is around his clients. “I don’t want to be on edge all the time when I am working. After all this is my work. In the end it is a people business, and I want to enjoy and be considerate to other people,” he said.
Mr. Park originally wanted to be a lawyer and after graduating from UCLA worked in a law firm. However, he found this kind of work tedious and boring and so looked for something else to do. He ended up joining United Talent Agency where his first job was in the mail room. “It was really hard. I arrived at 7 a.m. and worked till midnight,” he said.
Mr. Park also had to run errands for his bosses such as picking up laundry or their children from school. The wages weren’t much and he felt like quitting many times, but he stuck it out knowing that he had to start from the ground up. After three months, he was bumped up to agent and from then on was very successful. In the 11 years since he joined the company he has slowly climbed the corporate tree and now has dozens of agents working for him.
On being selected as one of the 35 future leaders in the industry, Mr. Park said, “I am proud that I was acknowledged by my clients and colleagues as well.”
Mr. Park attributed his accomplishment to his parents. His family immigrated to the United States in the early ‘70s and settled in San Francisco. “I have a vivid memory of my parents who sacrificed everything for their children,” he said. His father, Park Hee-jong, is a pastor in a church in Berkley.
“In the future, Koreans will make great strides in Hollywood. Koreans should actively make inroads there,” he advised. America’s entertainment industry thirsts for new things, he said, and this is why it has made remakes of Asian films.
“In Hollywood, race or nationality is no longer an obstacle. Producers search for talented people with different cultural backgrounds and young Koreans should give it a try,” Mr. Park said.
by Lee Jae-hee