Last week, by some crazy luck, I got to make a cameo appearance for popular YouTube channel, YOMYOMF. The video in question was produced by talent manager Mike De Trana, who was gracious enough to sit and chat with me for this little blog in return for my spontaneous, last-minute help.
Mike De Trana originally moved to LA to be a director, but quickly learned he was going to need to make some money before he was fifty. "I was good, but I wasn't good enough." He started his career as an intern for Joel Silver, which eventually led to him working for an agency. Eventually he grew a strong client base outside of the agency, leading him to starting his own business. When he left the agency, he had around five clients. Today, he has around forty. As far as his directing goal is concerned, for now, he's happy helping put together other people's projects. He gets a lot of joy out of putting out projects that others may not have believed in, and cited Nerdist show "Tournament of the Nerds" as one of his favorite accomplishments.
When choosing people to manage, he says he looks for people who are hungry but have also been through the system. He says that in the beginning he used to sign anyone he believed in, but unfortunately, it's too difficult to convince others to believe in someone who hasn't really worked before.
He believes the web is the future, and it's going to evolve the way cable did in the 80's. He concurs with the commonly-held opinion that guest spots and consistency are vital to success on the web. Still, he says there's nothing wrong with dabbling in multiple mediums.
He gave me his insights about following trends versus being totally original. He recommends going into a genre or theme that people are familiar with, but putting your own spin on it and defining your brand.
He also told me not to be afraid of being bold when marketing my channel to blogs or nurturing industry contacts. He said even if you might rub someone the wrong way, there's no need to stress, because they'll probably get over it quickly.
"I don't think being good is good enough," says DeTrana. "I think you have to be the best!"
I give Mike De Trana my most humble thanks for taking the time to share his perspectives and insights with me.