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Meet Scott & Julie Tallarida of Trigger Chicago in Avondale and Irving Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Scott & Julie Tallarida.

Scott & Julie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Julie and I were always dreaming about owning a property – to start a theater company, record bands, host events, etc. It all sounded good to us! But the planets never lined up quite right to make it happen. Then right around 2014 we had started hosting casting calls in our house which was a byproduct of a modeling agency Julie had started in 2008 called “Planet Earth Agency”. After two days of castings when we had 500 or so people tramp through our house in North Center, we decided it was probably time to take that property idea seriously.

No joke, the first Google search we did came up with 2810 West Addison. At the time it was a flooring company owned by a retiree that had already moved out of state. To be honest it was a dump….outdated everything, puddles of water, wood paneling, dropped ceilings and probably 30 years of continuous smoking. We thought it was perfect!! No one else agreed including the inspector we hired who told me “Do not buy this piece of shit.” True story. Here’s a page with before and after pic and one of our first walk throughs:

Anyways, Julie and I are very hard to discourage…and maybe we have a penchant for seeing a diamond in the rough. Either way Trigger turned out as cool as we imagined. It is host to pretty much everything we do – photo-shoots, video productions, castings, events, rehearsals, recordings, etc. One day may be a shoot for Nike and the next a band is recording and the next a great Chicago theater is hosting a fundraiser. In between we get lots of charming couples getting married. It’s a crazy, wonderful mix and it is never, ever boring.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Smooth? Hell no! When you start something like this you honestly get the message that everyone is trying to stop you – from the bank to the city to even your friends and relatives. Anything new is literally unimaginable to most people so, to protect you, they tell you it’s a bad idea. For a while it seemed like there was a new obstacle every single day. But you get to a point where you put your heads down and say “It’s happening…no matter what” and you take a small step every day and it happens. It’s honestly pretty surreal and clichéd but persistence is incredibly powerful.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Trigger Chicago – what should we know?
Trigger is an umbrella for quite a few different businesses. The facility is primarily a rental space for production work – photo shoots and video production. We own a casting company called Trigger Casting which operates out of Trigger so we are actually renting from ourselves Inception style. The secondary business is becoming just as viable, however. That includes recording and post-production work as well as small events.

We are known for Trigger being a friendly, supportive place. The photography business can be pretty harsh on people – especially the casting side. We pride ourselves in treating people with respect and keeping things light. That warmth combined with a near pathological work ethic pretty much sum it up. We have a sign in Trigger that says “Work Hard and Be Nice”. That’s pretty close. We also have a pillow that says “Fuck Yeah” which is also close.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Attitude, integrity, hard work. All the clichéd stuff. There is simply no getting around how essential those basic ingredients are to forging long term success. Business is about trust. Trigger is literally who Julie and I are. It’s honest and it’s real. We believe people get that.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 2810 West Addison
    Chicago, IL 60618
  • Website:
  • Phone: 312-685-7268
  • Email:
  • Facebook: @triggerChicago
  • Twitter: @TriggerChicago
  • Yelp: Trigger Chicago

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