Marion Campbell Kammer is a graduate of Oakwood High School and a Muse Machine alumna. She is VP of Talent at Talentworks, a boutique talent agency in Los Angeles. She has represented such celebrities as Melissa McCarthy, Nick Carter, and Carmen Electra. She chats with her mother, Molly D. Campbell. A former leader of Muse Machine’s Parents’ Association, Molly is now the two-time Erma Bombeck Award-winning author of Keep the Ends Loose.
MOLLY: Hey. When you were in high school and a major obsession was Muse Machine, would you have believed that you would end up where you are today?
MARION: What, in my living room?
Ok. No. I knew that I loved being in all those Muse Machine musicals, but I wasn’t an actor. I thought maybe I could go to LA and be a producer. Actually, Muse gave me the confidence and people skills I needed.
So you ended up as a talent agent.
Right. When I got to LA, I interviewed with a producer, who advised me that if I wanted to produce, I needed to learn the business. The best way to do that was to work for a talent agency. I started out as an assistant, and the rest is history. I never became a producer, obviously. What about you, Mom? How did you end up being a novelist?
The empty nest. Once I managed to get two children out there and paying their own bills, it got sort of boring around the house. Rather than spend much time making casseroles or Swiffering, I started a blog which you never read.
I am a busy woman. But I hear it’s pretty funny.
Thanks, honey. I know you’re busy, by the way. Every time I come out there, you are always on the phone. And you never want to take me to any restaurants where I might see a movie star.
Ugh. Mom. We don’t do tourist things. So anyway, then you wrote a book?
Yup. And I was lucky that my publisher, unlike you, read my blog and “discovered” me. And the rest is history. Question: What do you think makes you a successful agent? Is it because you are so bossy?
Mom. Chill. Ok, maybe the bossy part. But actually, it takes persistence, tremendous confidence, excellent organization skills, and attention to detail to be a good agent. And people skills, because actors demand a lot of coddling, calming and smoothing. I learned a lot of this as a Muse Machine member. What about you? What does it take to be a successful writer?
That depends on your de nition of success. If you are talking about making big bucks, I have no idea, because I am not a New York Times bestselling writer. But if you mean how do you get people to read what you write? Persistence, tremendous condence, excellent organizational skills, and attention to detail. Oh, and creativity.
Not plagiarism? You just copied what I just said.
It was a good answer.
This has been great, Mom. I have a phone call coming in, and I have to meet a client for lunch at a restaurant where I probably won’t take you the next time you visit. It has been good talking to you.
You know I am proud of you, right?
Of course. You made me what I am today. Well, maybe Dad had something to do with it. Gotta go.
This has been great. Is there any way you could get me Matt Damon’s autograph?