Drew Sullivan is a Vice President at APB Speakers, one of the world’s top speakers bureaus. Prior to APB, Drew dabbled in the marketing and public relations side of the entertainment industry with a strong focus in reality television and commercial dance. An alumnus of University of Connecticut, Drew lives in Boston with his partner, Brad, and their Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Belle.
Tune into my conversation with Drew to find out how passion can be your career catalyst on the Find Your Passion Career Podcast!
From Reality to Real
Drew stepped out of college and dove into the field he loved, reality TV. Drawn in by the raw nature of the medium, the heightened drama, and its capacity to let him shape stories, Drew boldly went after his dreams, researching internships in the space. He started with an unpaid internship for Jill Zarin, a Real Housewife of New York City, and translated that experience and relationship into more positions representing other names, both big and small, in the reality TV world. As he spent years in the industry, however, Drew found that the details of his daily career were at odds with his passion.
“I experienced, through representation for reality TV, a lot of the things I didn’t want to do for the rest of my life.”
Drew talks fondly of many elements of his work, but he found himself wanting a change. While everyone knows that reality shows are staged to some degree, Drew saw that when the cameras turned off, there was no life left for many of the reality stars he worked with. Among those stars, he recognized a split; for some, being a reality star was really their only aim, inflated egos desperately chasing celebrity. Others, however, were proactive or entrepreneurial, growing businesses from their connections or taking their dance talents to professional stages.
Drew didn’t want to help people chase empty fame. He stepped out of the world of reality TV that he loved, and into speaker representation, which let him pursue sharing stories he believed in from a work environment he desired.
Drew brought in his unique perspective from the reality TV space, and used it to build successful brands for the clients he works with. Unlike other representatives in the industry, Drew doesn’t just pitch every speaker at every client he gets.
“It’s not just about the speaker, it’s about the client too.”
Because of his non-linear career journey and his worries about not having flashy credentials, Drew consistently pushed himself to innovate. He created a meaningful experience for his stars and speakers, while also making sure clients walked away satisfied. Drew’s story is proof that hard work and a willingness to creatively and consistently follow your passions, pays.
To hear more of Drew’s story and the lessons he learned, download my podcast interview with Drew here on iTunes!