What does it take to be an out of town model or actor ?
This is one of those questions I get asked pretty often. I have parents that either live outside of Florida wanting to model for Sprout or parents currently with Sprout hoping for an agency in New York , Atlanta , or California to add to their roster. Is it worth it to be signed out of state ? Let me explain how it works and from that you can determine for yourself .
Most families wanting to work out of state have the best intentions . They know their child has talent and they want to give their child as much opportunity as possible . As parents what more do we really want for our kids than to provide them every opportunity we can ? I get it ! I’m a mom with two kids myself. My son plays hockey and every time there is an opportunity for him to grow as a player I jump on it . So I’m with you ! Unfortunately with our industry it’s a bit different . It takes a ton of sacrifice ( primarily financial) to add an out of state agency to your roster of agents . Let me explain why . When an agency takes on an out of state talent primarily for print and commercials that agent wants commitment from the family. When your child gets requested for an audition they want you to be there 9 times out of 10 . It never looks good for an agent to submit a child who continues to decline auditions. So, you accept the audition. Next you have to either fly down for the audition or drive. Which most likely is 2 plane tickets there and back . Now , let’s say the audition is on the 12th of July but the client doesn’t start shooting until the 15th. Most families don’t want to fly back to their home state just to turn around and fly back if your child books the job 2-3 days later . So , most families stay and hope for the booking which is 3 days in a hotel of waiting . Let’s pretend your child books the job and the client is shooting July 15-20. You hope for all 5 days but chances are you might book 2-3 days and it could be the 15th, 17th , and 20th. So now your paying for a hotel 3 days after the casting and 5 days during shooting. It can add up financially pretty quickly .When clients book kids they are hiring you as a local .They see it as it’s your choice to audition out of state so they really don’t try to make accommodations to help you and your agent can’t ask for accommodations as kids are hired as locals and it’s not fair to put your agent in that position. Now let’s say you auditioned and you don’t get the job. You fly into Florida or another state for the audition , wait 3 days for the client to decide who they are booking and your child didn’t make the cut. That ends up being 2 plane tickets and 3 days in a hotel with no reward. It can get pretty defeating . Like I said , most parents have great intentions but when you make the trip a few times without a booking to show for it , that’s when most family’s decide traveling isn’t for them.
I’m not saying it can’t work . It definitely can work and for some family’s it makes sense to travel . Where I see it making sense is if you can stay in the area for 2-3 months and you don’t have to travel back and forth , this option makes the most sense for a talent and the agent. We can send you on all the auditions we have while your in town and there are no hesitations when submitting your child due to rate or various shoot days . Next, if you have someone you can stay with regularly when your in town , your only cost is airline tickets . You would save a substantial amount of money and it would make it more worth while to travel . Lastly , if you can financially afford to travel on a regular basis without turning down more casting than you accept then traveling would be a good fit for you as well. Don’t forget traveling is not only a financial hardship it can also take time from school and work. If your a local talent the parent might miss a few hours of work or the child might miss an hour or two of school. If your coming from out of town most likely it could be days of missed school or work. So it’s all something to consider ahead of time before submitting.
As an agent I want to give everyone the opportunity to pursue their dreams. I realize some states don’t have modeling and acting opportunities like other states and I want to consider everyone. Unfortunately it isn’t always practical. Agents always want to keep a good standing with castings directors and production company’s. Having kids that clients request decline never looks good for an Agent , which is why most agents are very cautious when accepting an out of town talent . If you are considering submitting to an agency out of the state you live in please consider the sacrifices in time , money , missed school , and missed work before you submit to a new agency. We all love the idea of fresh new faces to add to our team but it has to make sense for all of those involved. We don’t want to burn you or your child out. This should be fun after all 🙂