Paige Anderson is a talent agent who represents “rock stars” with names like Butters, Rookie, Othello and Oreo. They might not trash hotel rooms, but they’re still animals. Anderson owns an agency called Beast, and her critter clients have appeared in print ads for Neiman Marcus and Pier One Imports as well as TV spots for PetSmart and Western Union. Anderson was a photo stylist for eight years, and she’s been an animal-lover all her life. At home in Forest Hills, she has four rescue dogs, and she usually has one or two foster pups, too. In 2007, she realized she could combine two things she loves and make a niche for herself. Anderson describes a recent commercial where the producer wanted a dog to take a bag of potato chips from an actor’s hand, carry it in its mouth to a dog bed, drop the chips, and lie down in the bed. “That’s a lot of behaviors that have to be all in one sequence for the shot,” she says. “People don’t realize how much goes into it.” Anderson says she realized early on that it’s better to call for the behaviors producers expect rather than calling for a certain breed. Most of the dogs she represents have agility training because they’re focused, obedient and svelte. Just as runway models have to be skinny, so do canine models. “Most people’s pets are overweight,” she says. “I’ve had to tell people their dog is too fat.” Just because a dog is photogenic doesn’t mean it can be a model. Anderson says she receives about 10 emails a day from people asking her to represent their pets. Most of them are rejected. Anderson also represents cats, including Cadbury, who stars in a hilarious new Western Union commercial. She works with lizards, skunks, monkeys, bunnies and horses. But she draws the line at alligators: “My only rule is, I won’t work with anything that can eat me.”
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