Meet Trevor Neilson. His job is helping famous people "build [their] brands" by finding charitable projects for them. He's the philanthropic powerbroker behind Angelina, Ashton, Demi, Shakira, and Bono. If he ever uses his powers for evil, we're screwed.
He looks at his BlackBerry and laughs. "Look at this," he says. Kanye West is on the line. Well, his people are, and they want to set up a meeting about starting a foundation. "See, I respect this guy," Neilson says. "I'm a huge Kanye fan. But we're actually having a capacity problem. We're growing fast, so we really have to pick and choose our clients." What Neilson is looking for, he says, is a sincere connection. He wants to separate the wheat from the chaff and pinpoint which stars are going to stay committed five, ten, fifteen years down the road, and which ones will bask in a brief halo effect and then move on. "I want to sit down with someone like Kanye, look him in the eye, and say, 'Are you serious about philanthropy? Talk to me about your life. What matters to you?' "