The Talent Experts With Their Stars, Chance & Elizabeth Taylor
By The Get Leashed Doggy Style Team
It really was a chance meeting; we were in the Distillery District, shooting Chris & Remix, who were in town from Miami for their feature, and we just happened to strike up a convo with Doug & John. Like Remix, Doug & John’s dog, Elizabeth Taylor, also knows the importance of a good outfit — she has a closet brimming with over 100 styles (note the Burberry dress below). When we found out they were also the proud owners of a rescue Pomeranian named Chance, we knew we had to feature this couple! Beyond the cute factor, it was hard to keep from giggling during our shoot as we watched Chance & Elizabeth hop into their travel carriers in record time. These jetset pets are certainly living the good life! Read on as we learn about the adventures of these talent agency owners and their fuzzy companions.
Please tell us about yourself, your profession, and what a typical work day is like.
Doug Sloan: As the head of our admissions and marketing team, I grew up in a small town with big dreams. Early in my teens I modeled for Calvin Klein and quickly gained a keen eye for the business side of the industry. I earned a degree in Business Management and opened a successful tanning salon, which quickly grew into a very successful chain.
Using the investments from the sale of those salons, I bought two of the leading day spas in Yorkville and merged them together. The David and Francis Salon was one of the most prominent salons in all of Canada under my direction for 8 years.
I knew my passion was in the entertainment industry so I sold the salon and embarked on the journey I continue to follow to this day. I have managed the development of some of today’s top talent, and have placed hundreds of actors with agencies and managers in the U.S, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
My performers can be seen in projects like Harry Potter, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, Connor Undercover, Heroes Reborn, The Odd Squad, Suicide Squad, and Degrassi. In addition, my talent can be seen in national campaigns for Winners, IKEA, McDonald’s, Nutella and VW to name a few. I am the co-founder of Talent INC Canada Ltd.
John F. Stevens: I first started performing professionally at the age of 7 in various circus venues as a clown and variety entertainer. I learned everything from riding unicycles, to walking the tight rope, acrobatics and later the trapeze. I was introduced to circus life by my late grandfather who was with the Ringling Bros., Barnum and Bailey Circus.
As a child performer I was spotted all across the Pacific Northwest, until I joined my first National Tour at the age of 17. I was named one of the top 40 most influential people in the arts under the age of 40 while still a junior in High School. With an impressive resume at the age of 18, I moved to New York City, and attended Marymount Manhattan College on a Merit Scholarship, double majoring in Dance and Theater.
During my studies I got my first exposure to the business side of acting as a Junior Agent at Eisenberg, Aqua-Hart Talent Agency in Manhattan. I was able to launch the careers of many young performers into the Broadway spotlight.
The next stop for me was with Carnival Cruise Lines where I was a featured performer in the nightly variety shows and was able to travel the world. I still place young, talented singers and dancers aboard their ships from time to time.
I returned to New York City at the peak of my dance career, choreographing three Off Broadway Shows, and was commissioned by the United Nations to choreograph a new musical being brought over from Turkey.
You can see me in numerous episodes of Third Watch, the pilot episode of Deadline, and in the Warner Bros. movie Singles, starring Kyra Sedgwick.
My musical theater career highlights include Stephen Sondheim’s, Follies starring Maxine Andrews (Of the Andrews Sisters), Denise Darcel, Judy Kaye, Karen Morrow, and Edie Adams. I also toured with John Schuck (McMillan and Wife) and JoAnne Worley (Laugh-IN) in the hit musical, Annie. On the east coast I was featured in Cathy Rigby Is Peter Pan, and starred as Peter in the newly revised script of Babes in Arms. I starred opposite Broadway Star and TV personality, Cheyenne Jackson (30 Rock, Law and Order) in the West Coast Premiere of Babes In Arms.
Since then I have produced, directed, choreographed and collaborated with Ashanti, Wyclef Jean, and numerous other talents for everything from product launches to publicity stunts. I recently moved back to Toronto from West Palm Beach and am a master level acting coach working on TV and film sets. I have helped successfully place over 700 young performers with agencies and managers around the world over the past two decades. I am the Co-Founder of Talent, Inc. (Canada) Ltd.
Please tell us a bit about your dogs. How did they come into your life? Is there a story behind the names or particular breeds?
Chance, a 10 year-old Pomeranian from North Carolina, chose us as his forever home after being sent back from five different foster homes. Our friend connected us when she met Chance as she knew he was the type of boy you just don’t give up on. After a long flight and many nervous hours leading up to the meeting, our boy landed at Pearson Airport and it was an instant connection that couldn’t be broken. While he already came with the name ‘Chance’ it seemed fitting as he took a chance on us by starting a new life in Canada.
With Elizabeth Taylor, our 5 year-old Yorkie, in the aftermath of losing our previous Yorkie, Dixie, we found ourselves missing a girl to dress and carry in a purse. We were on vacation in Palm Beach, Florida, and happened to cross paths with her breeder; the rest is history. It was love at first sight and lots of attitude; she lets us know who’s boss. As far as her name goes, both of us are big Sex and the City fans and thought naming her after Charlotte’s dog just seemed too perfect.
How would you describe your personal style?
Both of us take a more casual chic approach to our day-to-day style and are as comfortable dressing up as we are spending a night in our PJs (to which Elizabeth Taylor has matching ones!). While in the office we like to keep it business casual as we are the faces of Talent INC Canada and we dress to the nines when out with our many friends and colleagues.
How would you describe the look and feel of your home?
Our house is a very dog-friendly, modern take on classic lines and clutter free areas. We love decorating in neutral tones of grays, blacks and creams while keeping pops of color sporadically placed. While we like to think that the house is ours, in reality our babies just let us live there as is evidenced by Elizabeth having a bigger closet than either of us!
What does your ideal weekend look like?
After long work weeks and even though we work on Sundays, we still try to make the most of our relaxation time by taking long walks with the dogs, having lunches and dinners with close friends and just relaxing at home with takeout and Netflix.
What inspires you?
We are inspired daily to help young actors get the proper information and training to break into the entertainment industry. There is nothing more fulfilling than watching someone not only live up to their full potential but make their dreams a reality.
Finally, can you leave us with a funny story about your dogs?
As we travel quite often for work, we are often lucky to have the ability to take them with us so much so that their passports are getting quite full. On one such adventure while riding in the cabin with us, Chance managed to get out of his carrier without us knowing and starting making the rounds up and down the plane. He introduced himself to everyone and made tons of friends before a lovely stewardess corralled him and brought him back, much to his chagrin. It’s always an adventure when traveling with our babies!