Why a Global Talent Agency Signed an NFT Ape as a Client
Writing this post feels a bit surreal.
First of all, I’ve read hundreds of Medium posts. I am a fan of anyone who is building something and willing to share their journey. To me, that’s the definition of WAGMI. We’re all gonna make it, because we’re all out here trying our best; pushing the limits; and sticking by each other.
It feels like just yesterday when I posted my origin story to Twitter back in May. Apes were going for 0.5 ETH, and I had 30 followers. I’d been feeling burnt out and was looking for a creative outlet. I could never imagine that story would lead us here.
Slowly but surely, more Apes started to reach out and ask me to tell their stories. I realized quickly that there are a ton of avatars, but there are very few characters. I set out to change that for myself and for many others.
For such a massive endeavor, I’ve worked to be surrounded by the best-of-the-best. With that said, I’d like to formally announce that I have signed with Creative Artists Agency (yes, that CAA) to represent me, Jenkins the Valet, in books, TV, film, podcasts, and more. In the Entertainment industry, there is no group better than CAA. A Valet never drops names, but you can Google their roster.
I am passionate about giving a voice to all PFP’s, and this feels like a historic moment for all of us in the NFT space. I know this won’t be the last signing. Things are moving at light speed and the NFT community is at the forefront. Like I said above, we’re all gonna make it.
When things became official between me and CAA, I had a specific goal to announce this partnership with the very journalists who have dedicated their careers to building in this space. Everything we’ve accomplished in 2021 on this wild frontier of Crypto has been possible because we support each other.
I asked @PackripEwing (Packrip Media), @NFTBark (dGEN Network), and @topshotfund to join me for a round table to talk about my signing with CAA. They were all gracious enough to say yes. Below is our conversation:
Packrip: How long has this been in the works? Did it happen fast or after weeks, or months, of planning?
Jenkins: From the moment I set out to build the Jenkins brand, I knew that I was foreign to Hollywood and needed a juggernaut in my corner. In that sense, it’s been months because everything I’ve been doing has been to lay the foundation for a move like this. However, my relationship with CAA has been official for 1–2 weeks now. They “got it” immediately.
Packrip: What does it mean to be represented by a talent agency as an ape? Do you think fellow apes in the yacht club will look at you differently now?
Jenkins: It means a ton to be represented by a talent agency as an ape. However, it feels even better that the opportunity came up because of my own work to represent other apes with my writing. From my very first piece of writing I did, I set out to help tell the stories of other apes, and I’m really excited to continue doing that. I don’t think other apes will look at me differently. Just earlier today Johnny Altcoin told me to shut my mouth and park his fucking boat before he kicked my ass.
Packrip: If Jenkins could collaborate with any other CAA property, project, or talent, who is at the top of your list?
Jenkins: It’s impossible to pick one. Most people only know the A-list actors on their roster, however we are most excited by the Writers, Directors, and Producers. I think the better question is: “Which of CAA’s clients would collaborate with an Ape?” LOL, in all seriousness, the collaboration possibilities are endless. For me, telling amazing stories with people who “get it” is the priority.
Bark: This is huge news for the project. How did this come about, and how long has this been in the works?
Jenkins: We caught the eye of 2 amazing agents in their Books department who really believed in what I’m building. This was fitting because my debut project is a novel. From there, we learned about all of the other departments we could tap into for our content ambitions. It was a no-brainer.
Bark: Capitalizing on the IP rights of Jenkins has always been front and center. I’m sure you considered other partners. What sticks out about CAA?
Jenkins: CAA’s vision is something that is really exciting to our whole team. It takes a lot of imagination to consider representing an NFT character, and we were immediately impressed with how quickly it all clicked with CAA. We believe they are positioning themselves incredibly well to succeed in a web3 environment and we’re honored to be on their roster.
Bark: CAA has a ton of capabilities, which one excites you the most?
Jenkins: We’ve always said that “Book 1” is a book because the Jenkins origin is with written word, but our long term vision is to produce other types of media (e.g. film or podcasts). We are so excited about how many different departments CAA has and how collaborative their internal team is. We feel like they are a great partner as we explore different Jenkins media.
Bark: What do you think this means for the NFT space as a whole?
Jenkins: I think this signing is further proof that mainstream media is looking at NFT avatars and characters. We believe wholeheartedly that the next wave of household characters will exist on the blockchain, and we think there is room for so many more. I’m a resourceful yacht valet, but I follow other NFT characters like aliens, robots, superheroes, musicians, business people, and more. There is so much whitespace for the next generation of character development.
Bark: What advice would you give to other projects hoping to follow a similar path?
Jenkins: I would encourage any project starting out to invest heavily into staying true to the NFT community. In some ways, signing with a talent agency is “anti” Jenkins. I’m a yacht valet from the other side of the swamp. We signed with CAA, however, because we believe that they understand the Jenkins character and the Jenkins voice. Other projects should do the same thing — find a voice within the community and ape in hard. If you do that, support will come from within the community and from the outside too.
TSF: What kind of doors does CAA open for Jenkins?
Jenkins: It’s almost impossible to put into words. In order to succeed in creating mainstream content, you need the best-of-the-best advocating for you. CAA’s place in Hollywood and their relationships with Writers, Directors, Actors, Producers, Studios, Publishers, and Streaming Services are truly unmatched. This gives me the opportunity to bring my storytelling to a global scale, as long as I bring my A game :)
TSF: What does this mean for holders of your NFTs?
Jenkins: We are represented first and foremost by the literary department at CAA who is helping us source a co-author as well as think through traditional publishing options. Holders of my Writer’s Room NFT get to vote on the creative direction of the book we are writing (and of all other future content), so they will gain the benefit of participating in something that could end up going mainstream. In addition to holders of my NFTs, the avatars that we license within the Writer’s Room will be written into the story and that could mean more upside for those characters.
TSF: Any other upcoming news you want to hint at?
Jenkins: We told the Writer’s Room we were going to get a NYT Bestseller to write this book with us, and we’ve come to a verbal agreement with a multiple NYT bestseller to do it! We will make a formal announcement when the ink is dry, and we are so excited.
Thank you for coming to my TED Talk. WAGMI.