VENICE, Fla. – You might remember Greg Pitts as Drew, the O-face guy in the cult-hit movie, “Office Space,”released in 1999. Or you may remember him because he sold you a home in the past year!
Like many real estate professionals, Pitts, a sales associate with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Venice, took a circuitous route into real estate.
“My grandfather moved to Sarasota in the 1950s and started a development company. Then in 1970, he and my father, H. Lauden Pitts, started a real estate firm,” says Pitts, who recalls spending time after-school and in the summer working in his father’s office. “I would do odd jobs, like cleaning the garbage from the developments.”
In high school and college, Pitts worked part time answering the phones and preparing for sale by owner (FSBO) and prospecting scripts for agents to use. Then, Pitts quit the real estate life to pursue his passion – acting.
His True Calling
After changing his major from business to theater, Pitts graduated from the University of South Florida in 1992 and set out to lead the life of an actor. He immediately got a job with the Miller Brewing Company as part of its improvisational troupe.
“We would go to bars and bring awareness to the Miller beer products. It was a tough crowd. People don’t always love you rushing up to their table doing comedy,” he laughs.
After that, he went on tour with the Wild West Stunt show and toured carnivals. At his father’s urging in 1994, Pitts finally moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career.
“It was one of the most terrifying and exhilarating things I’ve ever done,” he says. Once he arrived, he won a coveted spot in a legendary improv company – The Groundlings.
“It was absolute bliss,” he recalls. “I made so many friends who are friends for life. That kicked my acting career into high gear.”
In 1997, he won a spot on a television series with Damon Wayans and soon after, landed the role of Drew in “Office Space,” where he met Jennifer Aniston and Ron Livingston.
“Jennifer was very busy during that time, so our paths crossed on only one day of filming,” says Pitts. “Ron was such a nice guy. To this day, if we run into each other, he’s the same gracious person.”
From there, he had roles in several different television series, including “Melissa & Joey,” “Bones,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Burn Notice,” and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” along with a role in the film, “Coyote Ugly.” One of the many highlights of his career was when Ben Affleck, on the set of the movie “The Third Wheel,” told him that producer Harvey Weinstein, “wanted to do more with that blond kid,” laughs Pitts. “I remember thinking that was pretty awesome!”
Another memorable moment came during his audition for the movie, “Dude, Where’s My Car?” starring Ashton Kutcher. “I broke my collarbone mountain biking and it was just healing,” he recalls. “During my studio test for the movie, Ashton thought it would be funny to pick me up and goof around. The expression on my face apparently said intense pain. I didn’t get that role!”
Eventually, the wear and tear of a working actor was getting to Pitts. “Imagine a career where you have to interview for multiple jobs every week that you weren’t getting. At some point, you just want some stability,” he says.
Moving Back to Florida
“It had always been my desire to move back to Florida at some point,” he says. “My relationship with LA was getting strained. I couldn’t relax.”
In 2011, Pitts moved back to Venice and became semi-retired from acting. “I would go back to LA during pilot season in the spring and I did a few jobs, like the TV series “Burn Notice” in Miami, but I knew I needed to get more focused,” he says.
Turning to real estate was a natural next step. In 2013, Pitts hung his newly minted real estate license at the same firm as his father – Coldwell Banker.
“It’s been so gratifying and not unlike life as an actor as far as a flexible schedule is concerned,” he says. Another similarity to acting is the fact that “customers need you to be something different each time. A buyer might need you to hold his hand, the seller might want a researcher – you have to modify your approach depending on what your customers want,” he says.
While his priority now is real estate, Pitts continues to be involved in local theater and takes acting jobs locally. “I had a great career as an actor; now I’m ready to have a great career as a real estate professional!”