By: Bella Klekar, Staff Writer
Phillip Sun is a Tabb High School graduate who used the skills that he learned in Yorktown to take him farther than he could have ever imagined. He is now a talent agent for numerous big names across Hollywood and the music industry. A talent agent is traditionally a person who finds clients and builds them up, getting them jobs and helping them build a foundation in the industry. It is his job to make sure his clients get the best offer possible. If you think about it like a business, he is the CEO.
He started his collegiate career in International Studies at William and Mary, so he could “get a little bit of a feel for everything.” He then decided that he wanted to do something in Hollywood because nobody he knew had made it there. Sun wanted to be able to come back and say that he did something that was actually important. After moving to Hollywood, he was soon struck with luck. Starting as a PA (Production assistant), he soon became a DA (Director’s assistant) and worked in casting. He met Steven Spielberg, and as they chatted someone noticed that Phillip wasn’t star struck, and recommended that he go into the agency.
He started young, and of course when you’re young you want to go out and party, but Sun valued setting restrictions and being professional. Sun’s motto is, “they will never take me seriously with my age if I’m out partying and drinking all the time.”
Sitting down with Sun, he provided a deeper and more personal account of the evolution of his career.
What does it take, from an agent’s point of view to make it in Hollywood? “You have to trust your taste and your gut. You always have to be learning. You have to understand everything that’s going on in the world to make the best decisions for your clients. I need to be able to keep up with what’s going on. Knowing how to ask the right questions. I don’t mind being the “dumb” one in the group. Because by the time I have left I will have asked enough questions to make sure I am the smartest one.”
How would you describe yourself in high school? “I think I was always good with people. I was always very spirited and was in the middle of causing trouble in my classes. High school is very similar to life- I use this analogy all the time-high school is work, because you have your different cliques. Understand how to deal with different groups. My group of friends from Tabb are across the board, at the end of the day people are just people. If you understand what people are thinking, feeling and doing, it goes a long way, it just translates well to my job.”
Have you learned any big life lessons through your profession? “Always be honest, because once you tell one lie, it spins into 20 lies. You might get a bad reaction when you tell it immediately bit in the long run it will help you out.”
How has mentoring in the Compton community rewarded you? “We’ve had a good success rate of getting kids into college. It’s just giving back, which has always been a big thing for me since I was little.”
What is your tie to LupasLA? “My mom has it, so any type of attention I can bring to the disease that people really don’t understand, I’ll take as much time as I need to do that.”
Thanks to Mr. Sun for sitting down with Tiger Times and giving us his insight on life after Yorktown.