As parents we always want our kids to shine, and reach the potential we KNOW they can reach.
It’s only normal to want to see your kid be “Famous” so the world can see the beauty, and talent they process.
People know that, and take advantage of that if their intentions are not right.
Many times parents rush into signing contracts without reading the fine print.
Everyone is rainbows and butterflies when you are about to get into a contract.
A cell phone sales person isn’t going to talk about all the surprise fees that you will get billed to you. They want their sales commission, so they sell you a dream of the perfect phone.
Same applies in the industry.
Don’t let the thrill of a shiny modeling contract, get you stuck into a contract of lies.
I didn’t intend to write this blog. It kinda fell into my lap after helping a parent of an adorable 3 year old child who was just beginning her journey in the child modeling / acting industry.
Boy, was she off to a R O U G H start!
Let me start by saying she signed with an Agency here in Miami ( not mentioning any names).She was promised the sun
,moon and stars.
She was easily convinced to sign a contract. Like most parents, she just wanted her child to have a shot at becoming a star.
Mind you , her daughter is only 3 years old and this is her first ever experience with anything talent industry related.
She met with me after not receiving a single call from this agency after months.
I advised her Sprout was exclusive so she would have to email her current agency that she was withdrawing her child from their system. Which is just standard procedure, when moving on to another agent. (Check out our last blog post on how to “break-up” with your agent.
My brain almost exploded when she emailed me their response to her termination of contract. I’m cringing even quoting this,
We would like to inform you that the legally signed contract creates certain obligations that are to be fulfilled by the parties who entered into the agreement.
As per our official agreement the contract can be terminated only by mutual consent by both parties.
We would like to inform you that based on the extensive work dedicated to promote your daughter as well as numerous of customized portfolio packages created as well as sent out, we cannot agree to the termination of the contract.
A contract is legally binding agreement. Once a party formally agrees to a contract, they become liable under the eyes of the law and contract to fulfill their contractual duties. Failure to perform the terms agreed to in a contract can result in a breach of contract lawsuit or various other legal liabilities.“
SAY WHAT!!!!!!! I could not believe my eyes! So this Agency was trying to tell this mother of a 3 year old that she could not leave the agency for 3 YEARS!!! No matter what. It gets even better, well worse … in the contract it then states that after she leaves the agency she can’t work with another agent for another 3 years.
So this child would be 9, N I N E years old before she can be represented by someone else. I have never in my 13 years in this industry have come across such a scam.
I asked the mom to forward me her contract . Luckily in the contract there was NO WHERE where it says that there needs to be mutual consent . It actually said only one party needs to consent . This agency was bullying her and lying to her to get her to stay . This is beyond unethical and an embarrassment to Florida and our industry as a whole!
My point in all of this is READ YOUR CONTRACTS my friends . An agency shouldn’t lock you in for more than 2 years and you should always have a way to leave if your not happy . An agent never wants to lose talent but unfortunately it’s part of the business. Talent comes and goes. You can spend months or years working, and pushing for them sometimes for them to just leave. As much as it hurts, we don’t ever want to be force talent to stay. That is something that has always been important to me. I stress that to every parent I meet.
It’s like having an unhappy employee. That’s not good for anyone.
In the end it’s just better to cut your losses amicably. There is always a chance they will appreciate that and come back if things don’t work out.
I know a lot of you get excited if your child gets signed but don’t let that get in the way of making a smart decision. There are A LOT of scamming agencies out there looking to make a quick buck off of eager parents and I would like you all to be careful when an agency is waving the Cheese in your face . The early bird might get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese. Stay smart, and be cautious!