SPOTLIGHT ON: CHARMAINE GILCHRIST, International Actor Talent Management 

WORDS: Caroline Russo Visit: PHOTOGRAPHY Supplied

Our spotlight is on Charmaine Gilchrist, manager of Gilchrist Entertainment. She is an Australian and American Talent Manager, and has worked hard to establish her company which represents A-list and international actors worldwid.

Where and when were you born and raised, and what was your first-ever job? 

Lismore 1971. My first job was working for my dad in his furniture store in the office

What are your best memories of growing up? 

Evans Head – the beach. My favourite place in the world. Many family ties there and many memories with family and friends that continue to this day.

Has there been a mentor in your life or someone that is special to you?

Yes, my first job with my dad. Janine Egan was his number one secretary and has taught me so much about business and life. Many great stories I could tell here! As I type I have a smile on my face.

How did you begin your agency management company, how did it all come about and in what year was it?

It came about in 2002. I was doing a lot of modelling and TV commercials myself so I started scouting other actors. I grew from there and went national within 6 weeks and international within 5 years.

How much did you have to inject at the start to get your name out there and what were the most challenging times you’ve had so far?

Oh, it was hard. I started with 2 small babies aged 1 and 2. I worked from my bedroom while tending to the babies. It was hard but I loved it so much. To get my name out there was hard. Being from Lismore seemed to be a barrier but that just made me more determined to succeed. Back in the day, it was all about sending books with actors’ photos and credits by post to the CD’s. It’s changed so much now and I’m grateful for that.

What have been the highlights of the years you’ve been operating?

Seeing my actors booking roles. I have had many of my actors for so many years, so we have grown together. I love seeing the kids who are now teens and over 18. They feel like mine as I’ve watched them year by year grow and succeed. Makes my heart so full but I also love my adult actors who have also been with me for a long time.

How do you see the industry at the moment with the strikes and how much does this affect you?

It is affecting my American side of things a lot as this is half my day. My mornings are a lot quieter but it will be worth it in the end as the writers and actors need to be acknowledged for their work. I’m very lucky though, that my Australian side is so strong and there are so many projects coming through here. I also have great ties with the UK.

In your spare time what is it you like to do or take yourself to?

Being with my partner, family and friends! Exercise is also a big part of my life as this keeps my brain, body and overall well-being on top.

What is the best advice you give to upcoming artists who would like to be in the industry?

Keep active. Activity creates activity!

Episode 101 ÒMy So-Called DeathÓ, Pictured, L-R: Xavier Baxter (Spencer McPherson), Maddie Nears (Peyton List), Rhonda (Sarah Yarkin), Claire Zolinski (Rainbow Wedell), Wally Clark (Milo Manheim), Charley (Nick Pugliese), Simon Elroy (Kristian Flores) and Nicole Herrera (Kiara Pichardo) in SCHOOL SPIRITS on PARAMOUNT+. Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/Paramount+. ©2022 Paramount Global, INC. All Rights Reserved.

Are there any exciting things that you are working on that you can share, and how do you see yourself in the next five years?

Yes, so many. On my IMDP page, I share so much on socials. In 5 years, I will have been in business for 27 years and I’m so excited for what is ahead. I am so established now in the industry but there is always room for growth. Actors can take this on too. Keep stepping up!