Ever since he was a child, Gregory Omar Osborne has not stopped making strides in the entertainment world. Beginning in dance, he moved into talent management and never looked back. Osborne, founder and owner of Dottridge Talent Management, takes great pride in empowering others and provides a wealth of knowledge to all talent he comes across. Whether he’s working with his nonprofit theater company, Progressive Theater, or enjoying a mid-afternoon cocktail, Osborne is always moving forward.
1. How did you start working in the industry?
After 9/11 my mom and I moved to a little town called Maplewood in New Jersey. I was shuffling from the cold [dancing] at my locker one day and this kid named Zander told his mother about my dance moves. Before I knew it I, along with Zander and Andre, another classmate, were moonwalking across a stage with a professional dance company. Shout out to the Lydia Johnson Dance Company!
As it pertains to talent management, I would like to say that it just fell in my lap. I founded a nonprofit theater company called Progressive Theater, and my mission was more than putting up a show. It was about allowing artists the space and grace to make mistakes and figure things out. Heck, I was figuring it out myself.
Anyway, a young woman by the name of Renée Reid, whom I cast in a production of The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, was like a sponge! I wanted the best for her, as I did for others. She would call and ask questions about auditioning and such. One day I received a call from her saying she booked the Dreamgirls international tour and she wanted me on her team. From then on I filed a DBA and became Dottridge Talent Management.
2. What inspired you to work as a talent representative?
Talent management for me is an extension of a greater goal of diversity, equity and inclusion. Many Black and Brown artists don’t know how to get ahead because of one of two reasons. Reason No. 1 is that they don’t know how to navigate the industry and often are unaware of the standards. Reason No. 2 is they’ve lost their authenticity because many institutions that foster actors do not encourage individuality. Instead, they are put into a mold that doesn’t give them the room to expand and explore all of what makes them unique and valuable to the industry. I am trying to make household names!
3. What would you say to those aspiring to work in your field?
I say many times after meeting with clients, “I wish I had me when I was performing.” So those aspiring to work in my field should understand the primary role of a manager, which is to advise and counsel. Lead with love and compassion.
4. What was a pivotal moment for you within your industry during the pandemic? How has your role and/or your day-to-day routine changed since?
Ha! Pivoting is so easy for me that I can’t say that I have ever lost my spot during the pandemic. I went full throttle and committed 100% to being a talent manager. That’s when I stepped away from performances, auditions, etc. Everything was new and exciting for me. My roster went from two to twenty.
5. If you could cast yourself in any role from any time in the history of film, what would it be?
I have no desire to cast myself in anything that wasn’t written for me. I would honestly cast myself as a narrator in my film, sort of a memoir/ autobiographical film. I think I’d call it “The Gatekeeper,” to show people my truth about the industry. I really thought that being on the other side of the table would be a bit less challenging. However, every setback, every denial, is inspiration to figure out what’s so precious behind the gated community of the industry.
6. What are your favorite activities or hobbies outside of work?
I actually love a good mid-day cocktail…
I still have my nonprofit theater company, Progressive Theater, which has a new initiative called the Professional Arts Outreach Program. This program has revitalized musical theater at Arts High School, the nation’s first visual and performing arts school located in the heart of Newark, New Jersey. The program not only provides students with the chance to showcase their brilliance, but also helps them develop important life skills such as critical thinking, discipline, commitment, camaraderie and self-esteem. Visit progressivetheater.com to get involved!
7. What is one of your favorite acting performances to date?
Is this weird to say? I don’t have a favorite. I have yet to see something that truly impacts my being to call my favorite, but I give a round of applause to all those that are doing the job.
8. Who is an industry professional you admire and why?
I admire my clients, my friends and anyone that moves boldly through the industry without sacrificing who they are and what they believe. Stand in your truth, y’all.
9. Do you have a quote or mantra that you live by?
“Mantra,” I love that word!
“My Black is Permanent.”
It’s just a reminder that when I walk through doors both literal and figurative I should be my authentic BLACK self, exuding joy, creativity and innovation. None of those things can be taken away from me.
10. What are you looking forward to in the industry in the coming year and beyond?
I’m looking forward to joining the Talent Managers Association, continuing to make an impact and dismantling the gates that divide the industry. It’s time for a change—a radical one at that. I think many people forgot about the pandemic. It was a time of social distancing, but it was a time where communities gave back and it felt like we had no choice but to lean on one another.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
Gregory Omar Osborne has spent years captivating hearts, empowering people and putting up theatrical masterpieces. A performer-turned-manager/producer, he is the man behind Dottridge Talent Management.
In 2018, Gregory founded Progressive Theater A NJ Nonprofit Corporation with friend and colleague, Jasmin Richardson.
The company’s mission is to tell culturally enriched stories that empower the misrepresented, Black, Indigenous, other People of Color and women.
DTM packages artists to achieve their vision of success, representing and creating vehicles for talent to build a tailored resume that will attract opportunities in line with their mission.