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Andrea Meigs

Talent agent Andrea Nelson Meigs was born on October 30, 1968 in Bellflower, California. Her father, David Nelson Jr., was a principal in the Los Angeles Unified School District; her mother, Dorothy Nelson, a college professor. Meigs spent her early childhood in the Compton area of Los Angeles and attended a private Christian school before entering the public school system in the fifth grade. After graduating from high school in in Palos Verdes, Meigs enrolled in Tufts University and graduated with her B.A. degree in English and Spanish in 1990. While there, she studied at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia as well as the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in Madrid, Spain. Meigs went on to earn her J.D. degree in entertainment law from the Duke University School of Law in Durham, North Carolina in 1994.

In 1994, Meigs was hired to work with Congresswoman Maxine Waters in the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office. Meigs joined Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in 1996 as a mailroom clerk where she was promoted to motion picture talent agent. She was then hired as a talent agent at International Creative Management (ICM). Throughout her career, Meigs has worked with major talent in the music, television and film industries including Christina Applegate, Halle Berry, Ellen Burstyn, Beyoncé Knowles, and John Voight, Mark Salling, Cristina Saralegui, and the multi-talented power couple Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil.

Meigs is a member of the State of California Bar Association, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. In 2003, she served on the steering committee for the American Black Film Festival. In addition, Black Enterprise magazine recognized Meigs by including her in the 2003 “Hot List” and the 2004 “Brightest under 40” list. She also appeared in Honey magazine as one of the “25 Hottest Women in Entertainment.”

Meigs is married to John V. Meigs, Jr., a partner at the entertainment law firm Home Page for the law firm of Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren & Richman, LLP. They have four daughters: Avery N. Meigs; the late Alexandra N. Meigs; and twins, Isabella Alexa and Calla Alexis Meigs.

Andrea Nelson Meigs was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 18, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.301

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/18/2013

Last Name

Meigs

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Nelson

Occupation
Schools

Duke University

Tufts University

Brethren Christian School

Naples Elementary School

Malaga Cove Intermediate School

Palos Verdes High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Andrea

Birth City, State, Country

Bellflower

HM ID

MEI01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bora Bora

Favorite Quote

If Given A Lemon, Make Lemonade

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Interview Description
Birth Date

10/30/1968

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Sushi

Short Description

Media executive Andrea Meigs (1968 - ) was a high-profile talent agent at Creative Artists Agency and International Creative Management, where she represented stars like Idris Elba and Beyonce Knowles Carter.

Employment

ICM Partners

Creative Artists Agency

Los Angeles Unified School District

Los Angeles District Attorney

Office of Congresswoman Maxine Waters

KEET

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Andrea Meigs' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Andrea Meigs lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Andrea Meigs describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Andrea Meigs describes her maternal grandmother's decision to leave the South

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Andrea Meigs describes her mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Andrea Meigs describe her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Andrea Meigs talks about her father's reasons for leaving St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Andrea Meigs describes her father's occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Andrea Meigs describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Andrea Meigs describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Andrea Meigs describes her homes in Compton, California

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Andrea Meigs describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Andrea Meigs talks about her early education

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Andrea Meigs talks about her father's support for his relatives

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Andrea Meigs describes her early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Andrea Meigs recalls her experiences as a child actor

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Andrea Meigs recalls some of her acting work

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Andrea Meigs talks about her decision to stop acting

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Andrea Meigs remembers her parents' decision to leave Compton, California

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Andrea Meigs recalls an influential elementary school teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Andrea Meigs remembers her aspirations during high school

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Andrea Meigs describes her brother's secondary education

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Andrea Meigs talks about her Spanish language studies

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Andrea Meigs describes her experiences at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Andrea Meigs describes her mentors at Tufts University, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Andrea Meigs describes her mentors at Tufts University, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Andrea Meigs remembers her rejection from law school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Andrea Meigs talks about returning to Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Andrea Meigs remembers the Duke University School of Law in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Andrea Meigs recalls her graduation from the Duke University School of Law

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Andrea Meigs remembers working for Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Andrea Meigs recalls her transition to the entertainment industry

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Andrea Meigs describes the Creative Artists Agency's training program

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Andrea Meigs describes the Creative Artists Agency

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Andrea Meigs recalls what she learned in the mailroom of the Creative Artists Agency

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Andrea Meigs remembers her promotion to assistant agent

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Andrea Meigs reflects upon her experiences as the only black woman at the Creative Artists Agency

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Andrea Meigs talks about the pay structure for talent agents

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Andrea Meigs talks about her mentors at the Creative Artists Agency, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Andrea Meigs talks about her mentors at the Creative Artists Agency, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Andrea Meigs describes her training at the Creative Artists Agency

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Andrea Meigs remembers her promotion to agent at Creative Artists Agency

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Andrea Meigs remembers representing Cedric The Entertainer

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Andrea Meigs talks about her clientele at the Creative Artists Agency

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Andrea Meigs remembers representing the members of Destiny's Child

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Andrea Meigs describes her experiences of pay discrimination at the Creative Artists Agency

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Andrea Meigs recalls leaving the Creative Artists Agency for ICM Partners

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Andrea Meigs reflects upon her departure from the Creative Artists Agency

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Andrea Meigs recalls moving her clientele to ICM Partners

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Andrea Meigs talks about her new clients at ICM Partners

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Andrea Meigs describes her work with Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Andrea Meigs talks about her clientele at ICM Partners

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Andrea Meigs talks about the process of identifying talent

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Andrea Meigs lists the African American talent agents in Hollywood

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Andrea Meigs talks about the experiences of minority talent agents

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Andrea Meigs describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Andrea Meigs reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Andrea Meigs reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Andrea Meigs describes her family

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Andrea Meigs talks about the challenges of balancing life and work

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Andrea Meigs remembers pledging to the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Andrea Meigs describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Andrea Meigs narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Andrea Meigs narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

4$2

DATitle
Andrea Meigs talks about returning to Los Angeles, California
Andrea Meigs remembers representing the members of Destiny's Child
Transcript
(Simultaneous) Now is the Houston program [Charles Hamilton Houston Pre-Law Institute] at the Howard law school [Howard University School of Law, Washington, D.C.], or at Georgetown [Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C.] (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) It was at Georgetown. It was Georgetown.$$Okay, all right.$$Yeah, and so I took that for the summer. And at the conclusion of it, which was extremely helpful and enlightening, I was not lifted off the waitlist; I was not taken off the waitlist at Georgetown. And so I stayed, trying to find a job on Capitol Hill [Washington, D.C.], and also considering reapplying to the school. And about, I don't know, September-ish, I got a phone call from my dad [David Nelson, Jr.] who said that the money was not going to be coming in the mail for my rent. And without a job and without being in school, there was one thing left for me to do, and that was to come back home. And I was shocked, because I was like, "What do you mean, you're not going to send money?" Like, I had no concept of what that meant. Like, "You're not going to send money? Well, how am I going to live?" And of course, that was his point, exactly. And he did not send a check. So, (laughter) I had to pack up and come home. And so what I did is, I applied for a job when I got home to L.A. [Los Angeles, California], and I got a job working at Channel 13, which was KCOP [KCOP-TV, Los Angeles, California] at the time. And I, my job was working as a production assistant for two programs. One was, I think it 'L.A. Now.' No, it was called 'Children Now.' It was a children's advocacy program that was nominated for an Emmy [Emmy Award], and it was in conjunction with L.A. Unified [Los Angeles Unified School District]. So it was kind of, actually to be honest it was the perfect job for me because it was entertainment, and yet educational. It was, we would have a different school come to the set every week. So, there would be anywhere from, you know, forty to fifty kids bused to the set; they would fill the audience. And I was in charge of coming up with guest speakers and presentations for them. So, we would have somebody come from the zoo and talk about, you know, caring for animals. Or we might have somebody come from a museum to talk about being a curator. And it was, it was a lot of fun. I'd have to keep the audience going and keep the kids engaged and excited, and interview the hosts. And there was another program that I worked on called 'L.A. Today,' I believe it was called something like that. And that was just a current events show about what was going on in Los Angeles.$$Okay.$$So I did that for a year. And when I was at KCOP I quickly looked around and realized that everybody that seemed to be really influential and really making--being in a position of influence and decision making--they were people who had either gone to law school or they were people who had gone to business school. And at that time I realized I, I need to go back to school. It's time for me to go back to school. So I reapplied, and that's when I got into Duke [Duke University School of Law, Durham, North Carolina].$Before we go there, it seems like an odd time to break this flow up. But--$$Yeah.$$--did you represent Beyonce [Beyonce Knowles Carter] and (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yes.$$--Halle Berry at CAA [Creative Artists Agency]?$$Yes.$$Okay. That one, I think we should talk--talk about first before we--$$Okay, sure.$$--move on.$$Sure, sure, sure.$$But--$$Sure.$$--those were the two biggest stars in the African American community.$$Right. Yeah, well, at the time--again, I--Halle was a client, and I was asked to be part of her team. I didn't sign her, but I was asked to be part of her team. I was involved with--when she got Monster's, the--$$'Monster's Ball.'$$'Monster's Ball,' for which she went on to win an Academy Award [Oscar]. I remember that process very distinctly. And I remember, you know, the feedback when she was auditioning really for it. And clearly the feedback was there was no way she could play this role. She's much, much, too pretty and attractive and, you know, we're looking for somebody that, you know, can really, you know, play it raw and gritty and beat up, you know, average, which she is not. And she really, you know, would accept nothing but, "You've got the job." And they'd gone out to a few people who passed, and ultimately she got the job and it carried her to the Oscars. And I remember that night, you know, so many of my friends on the East Coast calling me and saying, "Congratulations! This is amazing. This is so--." And I remember calling home and my parents [Dorothy Clay Nelson and David Nelson, Jr.] said, "Oh, how was your day?" I said, "Fine." And they said, "Oh, so what did you do today?" I was like, "You know today is the Oscars right?" And they said, "Oh, is that today? Is that today?" I'm like, "My client was nominated and won an Academy Award." And they said, "Oh, that's wonderful, that's wonderful. Now, who is she again?" You know, like my parents, you know, are very simple people, very humble people. They were not caught up in the, you know, celebrity--star struck--of it all. You know, they may have known who Robert De Niro was, or is, but yeah, they did not know. But that was really, really exciting, being part of that. And you know, at the time also, you know, Destiny's Child was coming up, and they were a hot group. And you know, they were kind of just at the heels of Aaliyah, you know, the artist who ended up passing away. And I remember very distinctly meeting with my colleagues who were representing them on the music side. And they said, "Look, you know, at some point they're going to be interested in acting. Are you interested in handling them on the acting side?" I said, "Of course, sure." And I, I started, I sat down with them at the time with their manager, Mathew Knowles. And the plan was after Destiny's Child kind of finished that- their final, you know, their final album and they were going to embark upon solo careers, we were going to start with--we were going to--Michelle [Michelle Williams] was going to work on her gospel album and Kelly was going to--Kelly was going to start working on her acting, and Beyonce was going to work on her solo album as more of a, you know, R and B pop artist. And so, Kelly was the first one up for acting. As it turns out, you remember that song, 'Dilemma,' that she did with Nelly. It got leaked and it hit the airways, and it was the hottest thing. And so, it immediately propelled her. It's like, "Okay, well, you're going to be the first one that's out with your solo album." So, she ended up being the first out on the solo album. And so we kind of shifted gears and then we said, "Okay, well, Beyonce, we'll work on her, you know, right now for her acting." So, she ended up being the first one that we started working with on the acting side. And we got her the MTV movie, 'Carmen: A Hip Hopera,' which she did with Mos Def, and that was the first acting gig. I did her deal on her first major studio movie, 'Austin Powers Goldmember' ['Austin Powers in Goldmember'] for New Line [New Line Cinema]. And then, you know, we just kept building from there, you know. I put Kelly in, Kelly Rowland in a New Line movie, 'Freddy vs. Jason' which did extremely well. And then once Michelle's gospel album was underway, she started acting and we put her into theater. So she did 'Aida' on Broadway, and then went on to do 'The Color Purple,' and has gone on to several other productions, 'Chicago,' and 'Fela!' ['Fela!: A New Musical,' Bill T. Jones and Jim Lewis] and so forth. But, yeah, with Beyonce we went on to do--after 'Austin Powers' we got a big deal to do a movie for Paramount [Paramount Pictures Corporation], 'The Fighting Temptations' which she did with Cuba Gooding [Cuba Gooding, Jr.]. And then 'Dreamgirls' came about, and that was, that was a highlight, definitely, that was definitely a highlight. She got nominated for a Golden Globe [Golden Globe Award] for both the song and for acting. And there was--you know, it was something that she was extremely proud of, and really, really dedicated herself to giving her best performance. She's such a committed and hardworking individual and, you know, all up to this point she had been focused on her music career, both as in the group and then, you know, subsequently with a solo career. And that was the first movie that she really carved out a significant amount of time and, you know, recorded the music and worked with the acting coach, and, and, and really dedicated herself to working on the movie.