By Ava Hiniker
Photo Courtesy of Robert Rossi
From the dazzling Hollywood Walk of Fame to the famous TCL Chinese Theater, it’s no wonder many think of Los Angeles as the beginning for most celebrities and movie stars. In this new age of digital entertainment, however, one talent manager strives to take this spotlight and shine it down onto his hometown of Paradise Valley.
Rising from his humble beginnings in Arizona to carry out an incredible career in Los Angeles, Robert Rossi is the founder and president of Rossi Talent Management. Over the years, he’s used decades of experience in the entertainment industry to build a reliable and recognizable brand helping young stars find their place on the big screen, one of which being “American Housewife” star Daniel DiMaggio. Focusing his attention on actors between ages 9-18, Rossi believes you don’t need an extensive professional background to start on the journey to success.
“I must have some sort of instinct,” says Rossi. “I can go into a grocery store, point, and say ‘That kid over there has talent!’ That’s what I love so much about this job. Not only do I get to use this instinct and create this big extended family, but I also get to help these kids grow and guide their careers.”
Rossi is also known for his passion for representing deaf talent. After achieving a degree in deaf studies through California State University, Northridge, he has used his newfound second language of ASL to help propel talented deaf actors onto the cinema scene. With over 15 years of advocating for and promoting deaf actors in all kinds of roles, he’s proud to say that he played a part in shaping a more diverse Hollywood.
Now, with a million memories and successes behind him in L.A., Rossi feels that the stage is set for his next adventure: Paradise Valley.
He’s always had a soft spot for the desert town he grew up in. Having moved back to the Valley a little under a year ago, Rossi feels that everything from the Franciscan Renewal Center where he worships to the beautiful, scenic mountains lining the horizon gave him the perfect “welcome home” after his time on the west coast. He’s even taken the time and care to give back to many Arizona-based organizations including Kids in Focus, Valley Youth Theater, and the Arizona Humane Society. But this move home wasn’t solely for reminiscing. With so much undiscovered talent waiting in the wings in Arizona, Rossi hopes to give these kids a chance to achieve their Hollywood dreams.
“In Los Angeles, I kept meeting all these really talented kids from Phoenix in showcases and auditions,” says Rossi. “I took it kind of as a sign. Now that I’m back in the Valley, I feel like these kids won’t miss out on an opportunity because I’m a local resource that they can reach out to.”
Rossi is currently working with an amazing assortment of young local actors and is always on the lookout for more show-stopping natural talent. Arizona natives unsure of where to start in show business can dive right in simply by sending in a resume and a headshot. From charming young performers to prodigious musicians, Rossi hopes to help Arizona’s next Emma Stone rise to the occasion and take the entertainment world by storm.
“I want to give back to my community,” says Rossi. “I would like nothing more than to work with these kids, especially the ones that don’t come from places of wealth, and to show them the direction. Agents are always great and do so much for their clients, but managers really get to be part of the family. That’s why I love what I do.”
To learn more about Rossi Talent Management, visit rossitalent.com.