Todd Wharton was born in Howard Beach then moved to East Meadow a quiet neighborhood of two-family homes with a mix of blue-collar and white-collar workers. He himself was raised with a strong work ethic. It was passed on to him that you can not succeed without hard work. Todd was first drawn to sports but became more involved in sales. He would soon use his salesmanship technique in another more complex industry.
As a young man his mother would always set up lavish parties especially around Christmas to bring family together. Todd always loved how she would set it all up. Unfortunately, after his parents divorced the parties no longer existed. Todd felt he had to try to keep up the momentum. He began setting up Christmas parties that after each one the crowd would keep growing.
Due to the fact he had a strong work ethic he always worked in the restaurant business in some capacity. He worked as a server, manager etc. While working in these various food establishments Todd noticed that most of the workers were artists waiting for a break.
“Many of the people I worked with were either actors, painters or singers working to pay their bills while trying to achieve their dreams. I thought maybe there is a way I can help make that happen.”
Hence, he decided to try to build a platform for these talented individuals and offer them a chance to shine. His inspiration was drawn from his mother who had the desire to entertain people. Todd would begin to build what was first titled Local Talent NYC to what is now Local Talent Connect. The company was established on September 21, 2012 on his mother’s birthday.
The desire to begin this mission was when he noticed that many artists’ working day jobs were sucked into paying their dues and lose focus of who they really want to be. As Todd phrased it; “getting stuck in the grind”. He found that to be a shame and wanted to help make some kind of difference. Many of these talented individuals did not have an outlet to network. That is where LTC would come in and offer them that outlet.This idea to form a platform for these artists has never been done on a grand scale. The company is only a year old and has already begun to pave a way for artists. LTC was recently a special guest at the RAWARDS in Manhattan. Todd was asked to be one of the judges to the many talented people showing off their work. The event had bands, painters, body painters, photographers etc.
The way LTC helps aspiring artists is by showcasing their information on the website which is updated daily. The site offers promotional profiles that are filed under an artist’s location and area of expertise. LTC members also have the opportunity to chat and promote themselves internationally. The site receives at least 10 thousand hits a week. It basically is a social network for the arts and entertainment world.
“Artists have an amazing drive when they do something they love and it truly is inspiring, but watching the passion slowly erode in their eyes has always bothered me. I see them consistently getting lost or caught up in the game of struggling to get by: connecting with the right people, going to the right seminars, attending the right shows, floating resumes all over town, going to every casting call possible, demo gigs, practice, dress rehearsals, meetings, on top of supporting themselves with paying jobs, paying bills and so on, and so on and so on…It gets pretty drowning.”
Todd admits that Facebook was the catalyst to social networking but it lacked the personal touch. He noticed this and thought he can expand on this theory. LTC’s exposure is recently not only in NY but worldwide. Todd has received emails inquiring about LTC from Nigeria, Australia and Europe.
Currently, LTC along with Tranquil Water NY Inc. hosted a big event in Manhattan at Studio 48 where it had a major lineup of talent. The event which a portion of the ticket purchases went towards the “Adam Yauch Foundation” (THE BEASTIE BOYS) was a huge success. The co-hosts included Steph Lova DTF Radio, FUSE TV producer June Archer, Spencer Humphrey and Christine Vega of “RAW NY”. Performances from Mia J, Jerr Ra Rules, Shareef Clayton & Band, MTA “Mas Transit Artists” and more. It didn’t stop there Celebrity headliners like Mario Winans (Grammy Nominated R&B Artist), Allure (Multi-Platinum R&B Group), Rayvon (Reggae Star), DJ Hollywood, Jerrra Blues and Chris Rivers (Son of Legendary Hip-Hop Legend “Big Pun”) among others.
“This is a grand event with some real talented people. I am happy to be here to connect with all these gifted artists,” said Creator/ Producer Joe Cawalis.
“LTC put together an event that should happen more often so artists like myself can develop the right contacts,” added SAG actor Tommy McInnis.
The event even drew author A. Adams Jones who showcased her current novel “Blind Innocence” a real page turner. “I am thrilled to be here and have the opportunity to expose my new book and connect with artists from all walks of life.”
Media crews were also on hand to expose the event live. One example was Wasner “Waz” Joseph from GE (Greatest Entertainment) who with his sexy host Deanna who interviewed many VIP guests on the red carpet.
We of course could not avoid mentioning the artists that also showcased their work; Fashion Designer, Tori Famuyiwa (Toriola) & his models, Kelly Torres (Body Paint & Tattoo Artist) & her models and William Sloan (The Cupcake Cartel) & his Gourmet Holiday Treats. It was an event that cemented the theory behind Todd’s work “My Passion Is to Help Others Find Theirs”.
by Nick Christophers