EXCLUSIVE: Zach Carlisle, one of the original five who left WME to form Verve, was promoted Sunday from assistant to agent. These days, dealmaker-minting ceremonies are becoming more and more like Punk’d episodes, and the Verve partners really strung Carlisle along. First, he was asked to come to partner Adam Levine’s house yesterday to build a swing set for the agent’s sons. As if the indignity of giving up a summer weekend day to build a swing set didn’t leave him furious enough, the assistant was greeted in Levine’s house by Verve partners Bryan Besser and Bill Weinstein. They conducted a career intervention about Carlisle’s “questionable” future. Finally, before the young assistant completely blew a gasket, he was escorted to the backyard. Instead of a swing set, Carlisle was surprised by 25 colleagues, family and friends and told he was being made an agent. But his ordeal wasn’t over: he had to perform his favorite karaoke song, I’ve Got Friends in Low Places for the group, who would then vote on his Hollywood future. Carlisle passed the audition and was promoted on the spot. The captain of the Verve softball team, Carlisle was given a custom-made baseball jersey with the number 5, to denote his position as the 5th agent at Verve. He’s the second to be promoted from within, after Rob Herting was promoted last spring.
Verve, the upstart lit agency hatched by Bryan Besser, Bill Weinstein and Adam Levine in January 2010, today made its first agent promotion from within by giving Rob Herting his dealmaker stripes. They made it memorable, with help from Summit production chief Erik Feig.