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Atlanta's Movers and Shakers, Tay Smith, of Smith Young Talent

Updated: Feb 25

A while back, we were fortunate to have a conversation with Tay Smith, formerly of BYSB Talent, and now with Smith Young Talent.

Below is our conversation with him.

Atlanta Film and TV: With your success at J Pervis, what made you branch off and start your own agency?

Tay Smith: "That’s a great question. I believe life puts you in uncomfortable situations at times for growth purposes. At that time, everything was going well and I was let go from the company, unexpectedly. Even though it was unexpected there was still an internal feeling that it was coming soon. It’s hard to explain, but the answers are always around us if we get quiet and listen. Overall, I’m glad it happened and I’m also glad when it happened. Because timing is everything and I believe if it would have been a year sooner OR a year later, we would not have the same impact that we’ve had. "

Tay Smith, of Smith Young Talent

Atlanta Film and TV: What types of talent does BYSB represent?

Tay Smith: "Well, at this point in our careers, we try to work with what we believe are the best artists. Whether they are seasoned or that diamond in the rough that is somehow a little more naturally advanced than most, which is rare, but it happens. I don’t think we’re necessarily the agency for when you’re first starting or looking to gain experience. Sometimes that can hurt you more than helping you. But, overall we look for the best that we can help take to the next level."

Atlanta Film and TV: When does an actor know that they are ready for representation?

Tay Smith: "That’s a pretty hard one because almost all actors believe they are naturally gifted and ready for an agent as soon as they decide to become an actor. But, I do think that as people, we know when we know. I would recommend getting experience and a great amount of training first. Attempt to get as many short films, web series, and on set experience as possible. Once you’re at the place where you feel as though you can compete at the next level and with what you see on TV, that’s probably the time to start seeking representation. "

Atlanta Film and TV: How do you all at BYSB go about deciding about whether or not you will sign talent?

Tay Smith: "It's a bunch of different factor involved, because we seem to be a little more cclculatedand do things a little differently than most, which has it's pros and cons like anything else. But, the main processes are to gauge how the talent does on tape and also in-person. We have to look at our roster to see if your category is full to our agencies capacity. As a team, we will ask one another if the person trying to get in is strong enough to where we feel comfortable letting someone go in order to bring them in. Which adds pressure, but is a valid question. And, we have to seek certain talent that we're missing from our roster that might have special skills, or are a little bit out of the box. "

Atlanta Film and TV: How have you seen the Atlanta Film Industry change in the last five years?

Tay Smith: "It’s changed a lot, but also very quickly. It seemed as though every year a new overall door of advancement would open for Georgia, which was very cool. It went from being what people perceived as the reality show town, to the extras town, to the only get small co-star town to where it is now. Now we land major Guest -Star & Series Regular roles on a regular. Within the past year, our agency was fortunate enough to land 8 Series Regular roles, which I don’t believe was anywhere near possible a couple of years ago. So, we’re excited about where the market is at and where it’s headed. I’m looking forward to being apart of the journey."

For more information, be sure to check out the Smith Young Website.

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