APA (also known as Agency for the Performing Arts) is one of the largest diversified talent agencies in Los Angeles with headquarters in Los Angeles, New York, Nashville, Atlanta, Toronto and London. Founded in 1962 in New York by a group of former MCA agents, the company represents actors, writers, producers, showrunners, directors, performers, physical production services, film studios, and luxury and lifestyle brands across all media platforms worldwide. The agency also packages feature films, as well as television series such as Away and Bridgerton on Netflix, The Dublin Murders on Showtime, All Rise on CBS, and For Life on ABC, as well as classic TV series Home Improvement and Roseanne.
APA was founded in New York in 1962 by former MCA executives David Baumgarten (c. 1917–1995), Roger Vorce (1929–2018) and Harvey Litwin (1931–2020). Early clients included Rowan & Martin, Victor Borge, Rogers Williams, Johnny Cash, Tina Turner, Rosemary Clooney, Liberace, The Doors and Harry Belafonte.
The agency's divisions include Alternative & Factual Programming, Branding, Comedy & Live Podcasts, Concert Touring, Intellectual Property, Motion Picture Literary, Physical Production, Speakers, Talent, and Television Literary. APA is the 5th largest talent agency in the United States after Creative Artists Agency, United Talent Agency, William Morris Endeavor, and International Creative Management. They are larger in size than Paradigm Talent Agency, The Gersh Agency, Innovative Artists, Abrams Artists Agency, and Don Buchwald & Associates.
The agency's on-camera and theatrical talent include such actors as Academy Award-winning Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour), Wesley Snipes (Coming 2 America), Tony, Golden Globe and Academy Award-winning James Earl Jones (The Lion King), Mary J. Blige (The Umbrella Academy), Emmy Award-winning Eddie Izzard (Victoria & Abdul), Lucas Till (MacGuyver), Academy Award-winning Mira Sorvino (Stuber), Grammy and Billboard Award-winning 50 Cent (Power), Lili Taylor (The Conjuring), Tyrese Gibson (Fast & Furious), Academy Award-winning Richard Dreyfuss (Madoff), Cole Hauser (Yellowstone).
APA has been a driving force behind such non-fiction series as Dance Moms (Lifetime), Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath (A&E), Dr. Pimple Popper (TLC), Unidentified (History), and Blown Away (Netflix). The agency also represents the Executive Producers of hit non-fiction series such as Nailed It (Netflix), So You Think You Can Dance (Fox), Let’s Make a Deal (CBS), and Pyramid (ABC).
While the agency's Concert Touring division represents a diversified list of performers with departments that include adult contemporary, contemporary, country, electronic, international and jazz, APA's urban music representation has grown substantially over the past few years with clients such as 50 Cent, Mary J. Blige, Bryce Vine, Tyga, Lil Tjay, Young Dolph and Oddisee. Other major acts include Travis Tritt, Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness, David Gilmour, Blondie, Smokey Robinson, Cake, Brian Wilson, Judas Priest, Manchester Orchestra and Frankie Valli.
The agency also reps numerous authors and storytellers in the area intellectual property, whose works have been adapted for film, streaming, television and Broadway, including bestselling author Gregory Maquire (Wicked, Egg & Spoon), #1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child (Jack Reacher books), #1 New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris (True Blood, Midnight, Texas, Aurora Teagarden Mysteries), Patrick O’Brian (Master & Commander), and New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award winner Neal Shusterman (Challenger Deep).
In 2017, then APA agent Tyler Grasham was accused of assaulting several current or former child actors, including Blaise Godbe Lipman (who stated that Grasham assaulted him 10 years earlier when he was looking for representation) and Lucas Ozarowski, a film and TV editor who stated that he was also assaulted by Grasham. Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard, who was represented by Grasham at the time, terminated his relationship with Grasham. After a prompt investigation, APA terminated Grasham’s employment with the Agency.
In 2017, a former agent of APA accused the agency of sexual discrimination, harassment and assault. As evidence, the agent alleged that a partner at the firm sent her graphic text messages and threatened to have her fired when she refused their advances. An independent investigation into the matter found that the agent’s claims were fraudulent, and that she had fabricated emails and text messages to extort money from the agency. Accordingly, APA concluded that the allegations were false and filed a Demand for Arbitration pursuant to the agent’s employment agreement. Thereafter, the former agent filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court citing the same allegations, but APA was successful in moving to compel the matter to be decided by arbitration.