Sherry D’Agostino has held positions at radio, SOS Records Alacarte Entertainment, Show on the Road Productions, and went on to be the Founder of BearKat Productions. Sherry brings over 20 years of experience in the entertainment industry. She mastered her specialty as disc jockey in the clubs and on radio segments in the 1990s all over Chicago. Sherry has worked with legends in the entertainment and music industry.
She often worked alongside special talents on their climb to the top such as the Dixie Chicks, Tanya Tucker, and JoDee Messina. Her persistence and dedication have landed her work with legends such as The Four Tops, Ronnie McNeir, Jermaine Jackson, Marlon Jackson, and numerous others. In 2015 after leaving CBS Radio, Sherry was recruited by Media Artist Group, one of the top talent agencies in Los Angeles, as Vice President of their Music Development program.
Sherry is a member of the Recording Academy and the Screen Actors Guild. She continues her pursuit of keeping arts in the educational system. Sherry has been invited to speak at Toronto International Film Festival, Sundance, and more on industry-related topics. Sherry’s volunteer work includes sitting on the Board of Directors for the non-profit organization, Gifts From The Heart For Downs. Donating time and food to local food pantries and constructing funds for charity events for local and national organizations.
Tammy Reese: What inspired you to get into the entertainment and media industry?
Sherry D’Agostino: My first inspiration in the entertainment and media industry was in school. I can remember as a young girl auditioning for the one-act plays at my junior high school. I was cast as a lead pantomime. I was so fascinated and inspired by the whole process of stage performance.
Transforming into full costume and makeup, performing in front of an audience, receiving the sense of accomplishment from drawing emotions out of people, and putting smiles on their faces were all so inspiring. I had the opportunity later in high school to see Marcel Marceau, the famous French pantomime.
I will never forget it. He was amazing, and it was one of his last performances in Chicago. Backstage passes to the Van Halen concert, a guitar pick handed to me from Eddie Van Halen.
Before I even knew how I would appreciate this experience later in life, these are the early moments that inspired me. ‘The Idolmaker’ is a movie from 1980, it is an incredible depiction of what it is like to be behind the scenes in the music business.
It is a story that I absolutely love; it is the side of this business I have chosen to build my legacy on…and I cannot wait to reveal the work and the stars that are about to come out of it.
Tammy Reese: What do you love most about the work that you do?
Sherry D’Agostino: I love helping talented people realize their goals and dreams. Most people have a dream. Some have the talent to back it up. The rare ones have the dream, the talent, and the drive to make it come to fruition.
I love facilitating the steps for the ones that really want to achieve their dream. I absolutely love witnessing success and knowing that I had a part in making it happen.
A dream that is written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal set up in steps becomes a plan. A plan put to action becomes reality.
Tammy Reese: What are some memorable moments in your career so far?
Sherry D’Agostino: Becoming a member of the Recording Academy, attending the Grammys, working with
many talented people: The Jacksons, The Four Tops, The Temptations… are among some of them. I have had so many opportunities to work with music legends and royalty. I am blessed.
A few years back there was a young man with down syndrome who had a dream to meet the Jacksons, as the late Michael Jackson was his idol. I was able to help orchestrate a full-day event hosted by Jermaine Jackson and his mother Katherine Jackson. It was amazing to see this young man’s dream realized, and it was beautiful to watch the generosity and hospitality of the Jackson family.
Early on in my dancing days, I was cast in a national McDonald’s commercial. The most memorable part of it was that Debby Allen was the choreographer. I could say I danced for Debby Allen. These are moments embedded in my memories.
Tammy Reese: How did you and Hollywood Talent Agent Michael Pellegrino business partnership come
Sherry D’Agostino: Michael Pellegrino and I developed a partnership over the years, it started with the exchange of business cards at a networking party.
The more I learned about his amazing creative ideas and witnessed his tenacity, the more I thought “wow, this is someone I want to be on a team with, or at least build a connection and form an alliance.”
Tammy Reese: Please tell us about The Authors World.
Sherry D’Agostino: The Authors World is an amazing creation of Michael Pellegrino’s. When he first shared
the concept of this idea, I knew immediately I wanted to help develop it. I wanted a partnership. And I told him, “Let’s do this. I want in and I want a percentage.”
The Authors World is a social media platform that joins readers, authors, publishers, writers, and advertisers through the common denominator of the love of books. The mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected through the power of books in a way that has not been done yet.
I have been drawn to books since I was a young girl. My mom instilled in me the importance of reading and education. I fell in love with books. When Michael shared his concept of The Authors World, I did not hesitate. Once again, I said, “I want in.”
Tammy Reese: What impact do you intend to make on the world with The Authors World?
Sherry D’Agostino: The Author’s World is the next Facebook, Amazon, TikTok all rolled into one. We are in
the process of creating a multilevel platform that has never been done before. It is really fitting for today’s climate. I am a huge believer in organic happenings. The Author’s World will impact the world at that magnitude. It’s absolutely the time and space for it to unfold.
In today’s climate of ’separate – stay six feet apart’ people are longing for connection. The Author’s World allows connection through a favorite book, participation in sessions of a book discussion and podcasts with our favorite authors, access to publishing houses, and worldwide marketing platforms for the writer, the publisher, the author, and the audience.
It is the ultimate multilevel platform for all the world to share interactions, opinions, and provoke discussions. It will impact the world to more openness, more connection, and more meaningful discussions for change.
Tammy Reese: What else are you currently working on?
Sherry D’Agostino: I am currently working on a few passion projects. One, in particular, comes to mind:
Girls On Vinyl. This project is centered around female entertainers and performers. Girls on Vinyl is a big platform live venue show that features female DJs spinning on vinyl records and more. Think Blue Man Group meets WWE meets the ultimate dance party.
I cannot wait to introduce these amazing and talented women. In the 90’s I was a DJ. I performed in and out of many clubs in Chicago. I noticed that there were not that many women on the turntables and in the DJ booths. It was a male-dominated industry. I also noticed that the pay scale for females was significantly less. That fact alone pissed me off. Think about it. I am doing the same job, probably with stronger more qualified skills, and I’m getting paid less money? No way. I am here to help change that.
Fast forward to the current day, right before COVID hit the world. An amazing idea hit me – let us level the playing field for these girls and women. Let’s create a show that features them, accentuates their value and talent, and that is built around them. It is a live venue show, and we are ready to launch post-COVID. I cannot wait to see an audience again. And the performers are just as excited. Stay tuned.
Tammy Reese: What does your role entail as a board member on Gifts from The Heart for Downs?
Sherry D’Agostino: Gifts from the Heart for Downs is a beautiful non-profit organization that grants wishes
to individuals with down syndrome. I am extremely proud to be a board member.
I simply help grant wishes any way that I can. Sometimes it is sharing a link, sometimes it is getting in touch with a celebrity, sometimes it is helping raise funds, sometimes it is just helping the director and founder, Kim Adams, in any way that I can.
Tammy Reese: What was your experience like working with the Dixie Chicks?
Sherry D’Agostino: At the time I was a DJ, working in small radio spots and in and out of the night clubs in
Chicago. The Chicks played at a small country bar called Dumas Walkers in Mount Prospect, IL. They were kind, extremely talented, and incredible in live performances.
I ran the spotlight and helped with some general stage lighting for them and their crew. The facility probably only held 300 people at the most. It was amazing. It was right before they exploded into stardom.
Less than one year later they were filling amphitheaters and stadiums and being nominated for Grammys. I love the Chicks, they are strong, they are brave, they are beautiful artists and women.
Tammy Reese: What do you think is the future of the entertainment and media industry?
Sherry D’Agostino: Our industry has struggled. But I believe it’s time for a comeback in many ways. It is
always about reinvention. How can we give concerts again? How can we experience theater again? How can we connect again?
The performing arts are so important, I think the future is different than what the past was, but it is possible to become stronger than before and make comebacks in ways that are yet to be discovered.
Virtual reality, zoom calls, and Facetime connections, all play a part in what is being created currently. I think the future of entertainment will keep evolving. The show must go on… it always does.
Tammy Reese: When you think of women empowerment, what comes to mind?
Sherry D’Agostino: As a woman in a position of leadership, I ask myself ‘How do I add value to the other
women in the room? How can I help?’ Women empowerment means banning together, lifting up my sisters, encouraging them, meeting them where they are at, and cheering them on to the next level.
Some of us as young girls are pit against each other. She is prettier, she is smarter, she is stronger, it is the dreadful downward spiral of constant comparison.
We have all had our share of haters. Unfortunately, hate is taught. Do not hate the successful because they navigated a way to make their ambitions come to fruition.
The woman that you are ‘smack talking’ can be the one as an alliance, a friend, support, and a path to stand in your own power. And the men in our lives, often play roles that are equally important. I grew up watching my dad respect and empower my mom. Women empowerment is not just a woman-to-woman issue.
I will challenge the men in my life. To the gentlemen: your mothers, your wives, your girlfriends, your sisters, your daughters, your nieces, they are all learning and watching. How do you want them to be treated?
I am a strong woman, in a position of leadership and power. I have accepted that responsibility. I will empower other women. I have a very dominant philosophy. “When SHE wins, we ALL win.”
Tammy Reese: What are you looking forward to?
Sherry D’Agostino: I am looking forward to building on our current boutique client base. ICE-T and Coco are amazing parents, and Chanel is the next generation. When you talk about women empowerment, Coco is a force. She is instilling these qualities in Chanel. We have helped facilitate a possible Guess Kids campaign for Chanel. This little girl is an amazing personality.
Last month she was on the Martha Stewart Show, and we are working on some other big commercials for her. This is what I love. It is the fun part of this business. It is always amazing to bring work to ICE. He is established, professional, and so real. He is a veteran and shines because he knows who he is, and unapologetically shows up in his truth.
We love real people. I am looking forward to several partnerships that are in our negotiations. We have some amazing projects and intellectual properties in the works with Nous Entertainment. Mark Roling and Adam Scherr are establishing an incredible IP line up and we are highly anticipating the partnership. We are also representing an amazing company from the US and International territories, Thunderball Films.
I am excited to see the projects unfold in our talent agency, Artists Management Agency. I am so happy to represent an incredible television series based on the conspiracies of JFK. Mario Domina has amazing IPs ready to go, “JFK Assassination: Declassified Theories” and many more.
Mario and Thunderball Films are a hidden gem, soon to be revealed. The unveiling of the details of our new studio build-out in St. Charles, IL: A-M-A Studios. It’s a micro-studio, we have the capability of sound and video production from beginning to postproduction.
Chicago is home, and we are excited to bring the entertainment world back home to Chicago, and St. Charles. Musically speaking, Anthony ’Treach’ Criss has some big stuff unfolding. I can see the accolades coming now. I love grabbing acting roles for Treach. He is an absolute power. Once again, he shows up in his truth. No hidden agendas, just real.
Cicely Evans is an acting talent that I cannot wait to bring the right role to. She is absolutely talented, and I have been searching for the right parts for her. Larry Braggs, from Tower of Power and the lead singer from The Temptations, is completely and significantly talented. His voice, his songwriting skills, and his amazing musical creations are making some waves in his new tracks. Stay tuned, they are headed out for release soon. I can see the awards and nods headed his way.
Another honor in our folds is the representation of Prelude Pictures. Mark Koch, amazing talent and producer, “Lost In Space” “Passion of the Christ” and many more is bringing some salt to the table at Artists Management Agency. We are excited to produce his next projects.
Marlon and Carol Jackson have an amazing television series ready to develop. It is always an honor to bring The Jackson’s projects to the table. Harry Lennix is also an amazing relationship that we are cultivating. His talent and his alliance are powerful. I mostly look forward to establishing a table where the women are empowered, and the men support them. Our boutique agency and the micro-studio are focused on some extremely specific agendas. I am excited to watch it unfold.
Tammy Reese: What advice would you have for anyone who aspires to follow your career path?
Sherry D’Agostino: Stay in your truth. Everyone has a different path, so appreciate your unique way. If you get off the path, it is never too late to find your way back. You are more powerful than you think you are. Stay open to new ways and always be ready to form reinventions.
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Sherry’s Photos Credit: teresadalbera.com
Sherry’s Makeup Credit: jackielawrence.com
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Multimedia Creative and Personality Tammy Reese is an award-winning Writer and Journalist. Writing and Directing short films on social issues to spread awareness through the arts gained Tammy the Makers: Women Who Make America Award honor on International Women's Day 2019. Tammy currently serves on the Communications Committee for New York Women In Film and Television. She is also the Founder and Owner of Visionary Minds Public Relations and Media.