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Next Gen 2011: Hollywood's Fastest-Rising Stars

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    Agents
    Mike Berkowitz
    Joe Pugliese
    Mike Berkowitz
    Partner/Comedy Department Head, APA

    Berkowitz, 33, has worked in the comedy trenches for more than a decade and counts Louis C.K., Craig Ferguson, John Mulaney, Mike Birbiglia, Aziz Ansari, Bill Burr and Kevin Hart among his clients. But his early passion was music. The Bronx native enrolled at Berklee College of Music to study guitar, piano and songwriting with the idea of starting a band. Once he realized his talent for booking gigs exceeded his musical skills, Berkowitz built a music-repping business out of his Boston apartment. "I wanted to be David Geffen," he admits. Moving back to New York in 2001, Berkowitz began a five-year stint at Rick Dorfman Entertainment that brought him into the world of comedy. He built his own list and began developing his clients' stand-up careers across a variety of platforms, eventually taking his business to APA in early 2006. "Marketability is the first thing I look for, a unique voice," says Berkowitz. "You can really tell, if you're out there enough, who's doing something different. The nature of comedy is very cyclical, and I try to stay ahead of the trends." The newly promoted partner still jams with friends on his favorite Fender Telecaster, but his own gigs are behind him. Instead, he gets gratification from seeing a client like Hart, whose concert film Laugh at My Pain has grossed $7.6 million, blow up. Says Berkowitz, "His next tour, we're going to be jumping into arenas."

    PHOTOS: THR's Next Gen Class of 2011

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