About Our Firm
First Class Talent Agency is a SAG/AFTRA franchised, state licensed, and bonded agency located in Sherman Oaks, California. Since its inception in 2010, FCTA has gained a stellar reputation within the industry as a premier source for talent. We are a full service agency with a select and diverse group of talented actors experienced in television, motion pictures, commercials, voice overs, and print. As a boutique agency, we pride ourselves on our responsiveness, professionalism, and integrity. We integrate a hands-on, nurturing, family-like approach to help guide and develop each actor’s successful career.
Sandy Hunter is one of the two original founding partners and agents with First Class Talent Agency. She grew up with a single television in the house that received 3 channels only, so she never bothered to watch television until she was in her late 20’s when she moved to Los Angeles.
Los Angeles opened up a new world of opportunity. Sandy’s children became involved in the entertainment industry, and Sandy went from never watching television to constant interaction with the film and television industry. Her kids were busy and successful young actors with combined over 50 principal roles on television, film, and commercials. Sandy’s oldest daughter had a recurring role on daytime television.
In 1989, Sandy opened her own successful flower shop business, providing flower arrangements for many families in the Beverly Hills and Bel Air area. It didn't hurt living next door to the Hugh Hefner mansion which brought her into contact with many celebrities!
In early 2000 Sandy closed her shop and began selling real estate, but she always had a special place in her heart for the entertainment business. Nine years later she and her dearest friend Cynthia Barry decided to become agents and open a talent agency. Sandy worked side by side with Cynthia developing First Class Talent Agency. Sandy's current focus is new talent recruitment and submissions both commercially and theatrically.
Cynthia Barry is one of the two original founding partners and agents with First Class Talent Agency (FCTA). While attending Huntington Beach High School, Cynthia was a singer in a Christian rock band. The band performed and toured for four years and was very successful with several songs on Maranatha! Music label. After graduating Brooks College Cynthia went into the fashion business. She started her own clothing line with over 2 million in sales per year. Her designs were sold in almost every store in every mall across the country.
After leaving the fashion industry, Cynthia started to photographing children and babies. She negotiated an arrangement with Nordstrom stores, photographing children and families at store locations all over Southern California.This business lasted 10 years until digital cameras nearly phased out film and people began to engage professional photographers less frequently. Headshots were a natural transition, and that’s where she met and worked with many agents and their clients. In addition, her daughter Shannon started auditioning for commercial, TV and film and signed with an agent.
In 2010 Cynthia and long-time friend Sandy Hunter opened First Class Talent Agency. Their goal was to keep a hands-on approach with a boutique size agency to be able to give actors personal attention and development, and they feel that goal has been successfully accomplished. Cynthia currently submits commercially and theatrically and also oversees the FCTA operations.
Russell Barry has more than forty years experience as a senior management executive in broadcasting, television production, and worldwide television distribution. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and attended the Advanced Management Programs at the Harvard Graduate School of Business.
From 1961 to 1976, Barry worked for CBS and held various sales and management positions. Perhaps the most intriguing assignments at CBS were supervising the AM radio stations during their conversion to all-news, and serving as Vice President, General Manager, KCBS Television in Los Angeles for four years.
In 1976, he joined Twentieth Century Fox as Vice President Network Sales. He subsequently became President of Twentieth Century Fox Television and was responsible for the production and worldwide distribution of all network and syndicated programming. During his time at Fox, “M*A*S*H” was in production, as were such programs as: “Paper Chase,” “James at 14,” “Trapper John M.D.,” “Thatʼs Hollywood,” “Dance Fever,” “Dinah Shore,” along with numerous pilots and made-for television movies.
In 1986 Barry became President, and in June 1995, Chairman of Turner Program Services, the television distribution company for Turner Broadcasting. His responsibilities included the worldwide marketing and distribution of all Turner Broadcasting System programming, including the MGM film and television library; first-run productions such as National Geographic and Cousteau Society specials; CNN Television and other programs like “The Wonder Years” and “The Lazarus Man.” He supervised the TPS staff at Atlanta headquarters as well as the four domestic and seven international offices. As a result of the merger between Time Warner and Turner, he worked as a senior executive at Warner Brothers Television.
He is semi retired and is working as a consultant on various television, cable and movie projects as well as assisting and consulting for First Class Talent Agency.