The pain of a cancelled booking.

The pain of a cancelled booking.

Your child was cancelled on a shoot !!! I know it’s like a stab to the heart believe me I do .

Let me assure you it hurts me to tell you as much as it hurts you to hear the news. Telling a parent their child was cancelled is one of the absolute worst parts of my job. I dread the phone call like the plague . The disappointment in your voice , the hurt it’s going to cause your child , and the anticipation that I might get blamed for what’s out of my control . None of it feels good but it unfortunately comes with the territory .

Whether your child is cancelled because of bad behavior or because the client just no longer needs your child there is never a good way to tell someone their kid wasn’t picked. The younger talent , in most cases don’t understand one way or another , and the parents ego is what’s most affected, But when it’s an older child it makes it that much worse. They get excited for the shoot and now they are let down and it can be really discouraging for the parent to have to break the news. No one wants to have to hurt their child. I’m in this business to make dreams not break dreams and I don’t ever want to be the bearer of bad news. Sometimes it’s inevitable. Let me be the first to tell you that before I called you I already did everything I could to try to change the clients mind. So if I’m calling you it’s the final outcome and there is nothing more that I can do . Our jobs as agents are to book the kids the clients ask for so if they cancel your child please don’t blame your agent it’s really out of our hands.

As far as cancellation fees go, it can be a touchy subject. If a child misbehaves on set I would never ask for a cancellation fee as an Agent. It’s not the clients fault your child misbehaved and they most likely have to hustle to figure out what they are going to do next. Remember this is a business with deadlines , budgets, and expectations. If your child isn’t meeting the expectations of the client they need to let your child go. Always present yourself with class and take it as a learning experience for your child to teach them proper set etiquette. If your child was cancelled the night before a shoot it would be customary to ask for a cancellation fee. This of course is at the Agents discretion as it can complicate a relationship with the Agent and client and we don’t want to potentially lose a client over one cancellation fee. Typically the Agency m knows which clients would be open to cancellation fees and which wouldn’t. Try to put yourself in your agents shoes. We always want to defend our kids but if we don’t have a leg to stand on and if it couldn’t potentially destroy a client /agent relationship we will avoid that at all costs.

All in all we don’t ever want to make the “ cancellation phone call “ but know when we do we are hurting right there with you. Please try to be understanding at these moments as it’s really one of the worst parts of what we do !

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Family Affair?

Family Affair?

So you went to a casting with your child or you brought your child’s friend with you to a casting and they are interested in you auditioning or your child’s friend. What do you do ?

This happens more often than not. So I figured it’s a good subject to touch upon. Many of you bring your kids to castings and sometimes they might ask YOU to audition as a parent . What’s the next step? If your willing to give it a try more power to you! Go ahead and try.

First and foremost you should ALWAYS sign in under the agent that sent your child. Let’s be honest you wouldn’t have found out about the casting if it wasn’t for your agent. So do the right thing and sign in under them. After you leave the audition send an email to your agent so they are aware you auditioned with your child so they are not blind-sighted if the casting director calls them.

Now let’s say your child had a sleepover or play date and their cute little friend came to the casting with you. Typically this is frowned upon in the industry, I would always say to never bring more than just yourself and your child to a casting.

BUT, if by chance the client wants to see them first ask the parent if he/she is available for the booking if picked , next SIGN IN UNDER THE AGENT THAT SENT YOU, and last notify your agent that your friend went and give them the child’s name and info just in case the client books your friend. I realize it might be a little hurtful if the friend books the job and your child doesn’t but unfortunately it comes with the territory of bringing someone with you.

Let’s be happy for our friends 🙂

Hope this little tidbit helps you guys out the next time your unsure what to do in these situations.

The do and the do not’s in casting fashion

The do and the do not’s in casting fashion

One of the most common questions I get asked is “ what should my child wear to a casting?”

Gosh this brings me back to when my daughter was a little peanut and I was just learning the business. I remember walking into a casting with my freshly groomed daughter . Her hair was done, she had a little color on her cheeks , and I dressed her in the cutest gosh darn outfits you could imagine . Then I watched other kids walk in looking like they literally had just rolled out of bed with mismatched socks and hair in knots. Somehow those kids would book everything and it baffled my mind. Now I understand.

If you were a painter and you were getting ready to paint a canvas would you want an already painted canvas ? Probably not . You would want to pick the colors , imagine what you were going to paint , and put your creative juices onto paper . Well , same goes for art directors . They want to see a child and imagine what they are going to create with their canvas. They want to envision what will happen when their imagination comes to life . If you come to the casting with a freshly painted canvas your not giving them the opportunity to create and that can get boring . Now I’m not saying to have your child walk in looking like a ragamuffin but they shouldn’t walk in looking like they are about to get photos taken by glamour shots either . Casual attire is always good , like how they would dress if going to a movie with a friend . I always say stay away from white . Most castings have a white backdrop set up so you don’t want your child to blend in wearing the same color as the backdrop . Wear jeans or shorts and a casual top that complements your child’s skin tone. If you put makeup on your child keep it to a minimum . A little blush can go a long way . No mascara or eye makeup is ever necessary . Make sure to have hair similar to your headshot photo unless going for an acting role that requires something charactery. Kids should always look like kids. No heels, sexy attire , hats, or bows . If your going for an acting role try to dress according to character and use your best judgment for that role.

Check out our Pinterest for more casting looks!

All in all what you wear doesn’t really make or break your chances of booking a job. It really is about the child as a whole and if they are a perfect fit for the job and what the client is looking for .

What comes after the booking?

What comes after the booking?

So you booked a job !!! Woohoo !!! What comes next?

How do Agency fees work ? What does plus agency fee and inclusive of Agency fee mean ?

Are your new to the business and your child just booked their first job ? Maybe your child hasn’t booked yet but you want to be prepared for when he/she does ? Or last maybe your child already booked and your curious how Agency fees work ? Then this blog is for you !

Woohoo ! You finally got the call from your Agent ! Your child booked the job. Ok now what happens ? Where do you go from here ?

In most cases when a child books a job your agent doesn’t have all the info yet . Most of the time we just know that you booked the job . The days , times, and location will come later. So in most cases we are making sure your available for the shoot date and letting you know your child has the job. So try not to book a family vacation that week lol!

Once we get all the info we will call or email you with the remaining details. Once you receive the details it’s your responsibility to make sure your on set on time . Give yourself an extra 30 minutes or more to account for traffic if your in a high traffic area like Miami. Being late to a booking never looks good. So make sure your early. Most agents have payment vouchers they want you to bring with you on set . This is important . Vouchers are a copy of the hours you work and are to be signed by the client as a record of your work. I ask my parents to send the vouchers by text or email to me once their day is complete. You can ask your agent what he/she prefers .
While your on set be prepared to wait . Sometimes your child can quickly be photographed and your in and out . Other times are not so fast. So assume you will be there all day . Bring snacks , quiet games, and anything to keep your child busy on set while they wait.
After the production is complete we bill the client . Most clients pay their invoices in 90 days or less. Some can take a bit longer to pay their invoices. Remember the Agency doesn’t get paid until you are paid so we are anticipating payment just as you are. If it’s been over 90 days you can politely ask your Agency if payment has come through, things can always be overlooked so it’s better to be safe than sorry .
Agency fees?! this is a common question, so let’s touch on it here.

All agencies have a somewhat similar commission structure. But what most parents don’t know is that clients pay Agency fees. So what does this mean ? If your child books a job and they made $200 clients pay the Agency a fee to use our kids . The could be 10%, 15%, or 20%. To make it easy let’s say it’s 20%. So when you see on a voucher or on a casting call “ plus agency fee “ this is what the client pays the Agency . Now let’s say your agency takes 20% agency fee for print from their talent (which is standard ) that 20% DOES come from your child’s check. So if your child made $200 for the day their net is $160 and $40 goes to the agency . On top of that the Agency made $40 Agency fee from the client ( which is the plus 20%). Every now and then ( not very often ) a client has a job that’s inclusive of agency fees. Argghhh this is the biggest pain to Agents because most parents don’t fully understand what this means. Inclusive of agency fee means that the agency fee the client is supposed to pay the agency ( 20% for this example ) is included in the child’s rate. So if this is the case on a $200 check your child’s net would be $120 as the agency fee is included in the rate. This can get pretty confusing for parents and they don’t like it very much because they don’t understand the fee was included. In most cases this isn’t done very often but every once in a blue moon it happens.
Now the fun part . Your child’s check was received by the agent . Every State has different rules and laws in regards to kids and finances so on this topic I’m going to be speaking in regards to Florida. Once your child’s check is received by the Agency we take out all commission and issue your child’s check. The check is always made out to the child and it’s your discretion what you decide to do with your child’s income. Your child did earn this money so please make sure it goes to them. Some parents open savings accounts , some save for college, some purchase bonds. This is your choice but it’s always great to discuss your options with a financial advisor .
I’m not an accountant so the tax part of the business is not my area of expertise but I’m going to have an accountant write a blog soon to better answer those questions for all of you .

I hope this helps with your Agency fee and booking questions and most of all Congrats on your booking !

To sign or not to sign EXCLUSIVE, That is the question.

To sign or not to sign EXCLUSIVE, That is the question.

So yesterday I was talking to one of my favorite moms. She’s had her kids represented by me when I was a manager working with 14 agents and now her children are represented by me as an exclusive Agency. We were shooting, and she was telling me how she had a lot of friends in the industry that are considering switching agencies . She told me their only fear was how comfortable they are knowing their child is multi-listed ,and they are scared to make the leap into exclusivity. She wanted to know what she should tell them. Obviously explaining how happy she was wasn’t enough she wanted to know from the horses mouth why I thought it was beneficial to be exclusive. I’m lucky I have been on every side of this business. I have been a parent of a model ,a manager , a booker , and now an agent . I have had my kids multi-listed with 14 agents and now I push them to commit to one. The million dollar question is, WHY ???

Well , when I opened my management company before Sprout was even a thought I had the best of the best intentions. I knew the majority of castings in the area were divided up by agencies and each agency had their own clients. There was a definite benefit at the time to multi-list but this was 13 years ago and times have changed, so much. My intentions were pure and I wanted the best for my kids. After I opened my management company quite a few other managers proceeded me (which is totally fine by the way I believe there is enough business for everyone). What I didn’t expect was the fallout. Soon after I opened almost every child was represented by a manager. Problem is that when a client ( such as Target , Carters , Next ) asked for a pull of talent they received the same pull of kids by every agent in south Florida . Every agency was multi-listing and working with managers. This unfortunately caused a lot of frustration for the clients. It gave them loads of extra work. Instead of looking over a group of kids and selecting who they like in 10 min . We gave them days of work to go through, with tons of projects of the same kids, and to boot Agencies were fighting over who the child would be booked through. Needless to say clients were frustrated and started to look elsewhere for kids. The thriving industry which once was harbored in Miami quickly was replaced by New York , Atlanta , etc.. Of course the tax incentives didn’t help either. I watched one client after the next leave Florida and find talent in other cities. This is when I decided we needed a change. I realize change doesn’t happen overnight but it has to begin somewhere, and why not with me. Let’s bring these clients back ! How do we do that? Give them what they want !

Exclusive kids, kids that are trained, KIDS THE AGENCIES KNOW PERSONALLY . That’s my mentality “if you build it they will come” and the truth is … it works. I’m not saying Multi-listing is bad as every agency does what they believe works best for them, and it might have worked for 20 years, but now I don’t believe it does. I believe it’s time for Florida to tighten up the reins. The truth is by me doing this it helps other agencies as well as it’s bringing clients back, but we need to show we got what it takes to compete . I believe we have the talent but I also believe we need to make some changes. I have never been a person afraid of change its probably one of my biggest blessings as I know change is not easy for everyone. But growth doesn’t begin without change. I’m ready for it, are you ?

Sprout en Español

Sprout en Español

Cómo convertir el sueño de tu hijo en realidad: actores y modelos infantiles de habla Hispana

Guía para principiantes
Por donde sea que miremos, hay anuncios y comerciales promocionando algún producto o servicio. Si prestas atención a los carteles publicitarios que inundan las calles o a los comerciales de televisión, te darás cuenta que hay una enormidad de niños actores y modelos que trabajan en estas campañas.

Si estás leyendo este blog, seguramente quieres saber cómo hacer para que tu hijo ingrese en el medio y se convierta en la cara de una de estas empresas. Aunque puede parecer un sueño inalcanzable, la realidad es que si tienes un chiquito extrovertido y talentoso que le gusta actuar acá en el sur de la Florida existen muchas oportunidades de trabajo siempre y cuando logres meterlo en una buena agencia que lo represente.

Si tu chiquito además habla español fluido entonces tiene aún más posibilidades de triunfar ya que son cada vez más los clientes que buscan talentos infantiles latinos (de entre 5 y 12 años) con buen dominio del idioma.

Es por esto que Sprout Kids Agency, la principal agencia de talento infantil del Sur de la Florida ha decidido expandirse con la apertura de Sprout en Español, un sector que cuenta exclusivamente con niños y familias latinas.

Que buscamos?

Sprout no busca niños ni familias perfectas, sino personas talentosas y reales que representen la diversidad del mundo en el que vivimos. Así que si tu hijo o hija siempre soñó con estar frente a las cámaras no dudes en mandar su aplicación y recuerda que muchas empresas como Disney buscan familias reales para sus comerciales. Así que esto se podría convertir en un gran negocio para toda la familia.

Te estarás preguntando: “¿ dónde y cómo aplico?”. Tranquilo que es muy sencillo siguiendo nuestra guía.

Primer Paso: Busca en internet una agencia en tu ciudad o en alguna ciudad vecina que te guste. Mira su página web y redes sociales para conocer bien sus trabajos anteriores, cuales son las marcas con las que ha trabajado y qué tipo de niños representa.

Como Aplicar

Segundo Paso: Envía tu aplicación. Si quieres formar parte de Sprout en Español ingresa a www.sproutkidsagency.com. Ahi llenas el formulario y en aproximadamente una semana estarás recibiendo una respuesta si estamos interesados en trabajar contigo. Si no fuiste contactado, puedes volver a mandar tu aplicación con nuevas fotos para ser considerado nuevamente. No se aceptan solicitudes por Instagram ni facebook.

Tomate el tiempo de mirar la página web. No sólo para conocernos en cuanto a experiencia y trabajos, sino también para asegurarte de que somos lo que buscas para representar a tu hijo.

What do you do when you’ve been dying for a chance to be seen but you aren’t available all the dates?!

What do you do when you’ve been dying for a chance to be seen but you aren’t available all the dates?!

Lately we have had so many parents turn down AH MAZING potential castings/bookings, which is a H U G E no no. While we have been digging deeper to find out why our talent has been turning down jobs we found that most of not all turned down opportunities could be worked out. Want to have your cake, and eat it too? Here’s how.

Availability check: what does it mean?

So your agent just let you know a client reached out and wants to check if your child’s available December 11-14 ( for example). Your only available the 13th and the 14 do you decline ? Do you confirm ? What are your next steps ?

First things first, Let your agent know your available! Nope just because not all dates work, it doesn’t mean we can’t let the client know.

Here is what we recommend saying. “ Hey agents name, We are available just 2 of the 4 days. Can you check with the client if that’s ok?”

That’s it! It’s never good to decline an availability check as a lot do turn into bookings. Most agents get really frustrated if all they hear is not available, we rather work around a schedule then hear no.

The same goes for a client.As long as your up front with the client,if they like your child they will work around their schedule to fit your child in to their shoot . So it’s a win win . Just make sure you let us know know any known conflicts before you are booked.

Wanna know what you shouldn’t say when an agent is doing an availability check?

What time ? What location ? Or a million questions!

Argghhh it just drives me mad even typing the words lol . 🙈

99% of the time when we are asking availability the only info we know is the dates. If we have any additional info (rates, location, etc.) we almost always include it. We don’t ever hold information from talent if we have it.

Another reason to keep your response short and to the point is, We are also on a time crunch getting this info back to the client as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Think of it this way,

a client isn’t going to have their schedule ready before they book the kids they want so most likely they won’t have a time yet .

All your Agent is trying to find out is … is your child available the said dates. Yes or no.

This is also another reason why sometimes agent get a bad rep, we aren’t trying to be short, we just have to be. When we are clearing hundreds of kids.

Nothing takes more time than trying to get everyone cleared, and a project perfect for a client.

Do your part in making this process smooth, and we promise we will do our best in getting you in front of our clients!

Sunny side up please!

The entitled model mommy

13 years in this business has taught me a lot . It’s taught me humility, gratitude, and patience in particular . Some days I have more patience than others I must admit .

Most of all I have watched the tides change . I have watched kids go from booking nothing to being a super star booker. I have watched super star bookers dry up and just completely stop booking.My point is everyone has their time in the sun but with it comes the shade . You can be on the highest of highs for one year and the next season it can call come crashing down.

My point in saying this is we have all seen the kids that go into the business and magically start booking right away.

The parents go from being the humble grateful parents to the entitled parents in about two seconds flat.

They start demanding more hours from clients, asking for booking times to be changed, or asking for full or half day rates to book their kids.

I have seen this time and time again and every time this becomes where the child peaks then takes a nose dive within the industry. Parents can be a child’s biggest sore thumb.

Don’t become too big for your own good that you stop being grateful for what you have been given. There are so many parents wishing to have the 2 hour booking your child was lucky enough to get and wouldn’t dream of asking for any type of accommodations. Remember your CHILD is making on an hourly bases about 10 times more than minimum wage for most adults. Have gratitude.

I realize many of you take off work for your kids to be involved in the industry , you move things around, and your other kids need to be picked up by family members or friends. Trust me I get it ! You made the choice to involve your child ( in turn yourself ) into the industry and with that comes some sacrifice.

With that sacrifice come a huge return. My son plays hockey he’s at the rink more than he’s home.

I pay way more money than I would like to for him to be involved ,and I spend way more time than I would like to at the hockey rink. It’s sacrifice.

We sacrifice as parents as much as time allows us for our kids. Unfortunately with hockey there is NO RETURN on my investment unless maybe god willing my son plays for the NHL one day and he can start paying MY bills woot woot lol !

This is one of those great hobbies that you can actually make more money than you invest.

Actually a lot more, And your lucky enough that your child has what it takes to be signed by an agent.

Remember about 1 out of every 150 kids that submit to me gets signed.

So it’s a privilege to be represented and should be treated as such.

Chances are your child’s day in the sun will come to an end and it will be on to something new. So enjoy it while it’s here, be grateful for every opportunity, and you can never thank your agent too much.

Direct bookings only please

Direct bookings only please

“Hi I would like to submit my child to your agency but I’m only available for Direct bookings” – A quote agent that makes an agents stomach turn.

Castings are essential to this industry, they are unfortunately a “necessary evil” that any talent has to accept when submitting to an agency . Will I represent kids only available for direct bookings? No, unfortunately I won’t. If your not willing to put in the work, in my eyes you shouldn’t reap the rewards. There are countless parents willing to put it all in. They run around like chickens with their heads cut off just trying to get their kids to a casting on time. Would it be fair to them for me to accept kids not willing to put in the time and effort ? Probably not. I understand some of you reading this might be new. Some of you might have been in the industry years ago and are not familiar with how it has evolved. In your mind your going to sit in a room for 5 hours waiting for your child to be called and they weren’t even the right look or size anyway. Well here is the good news, the industry has changed drastically . Cattle calls are a thing of the past and rarely done unless they are booking hundreds of kids for a big shoot. These days a client sees your child’s photo ahead of time ( thanks to modern technology) and preselects who they want to see before the casting. So there is no waisted time and most castings are in and out.

If your thinking of joining or rejoining the industry be prepared to attend castings. Every model or actor famous or not needs to audition for a role. It’s also that much more exciting when you actually book it.

When things come easy , there is no premium on effort . There should be joy in the chase,zest in the pursuit .

Branch Rickey

Over it? How long will this dry season end?

“I give up !!” I read this in a moms group for child models the other day. This mom was clearly over it. Over the business , over her child not booking , over it all . I’m not sure who she was , who her child was, or what exactly threw her over the edge? But I get it ! A whole group of parents encouraged her not to quit and told her this moment will pass … but will it ?

You see that’s the question so many of you don’t ask yourselves. Is this business right for my child or am I just trying to push a round peg into a square box? Let me start by saying “I feel ya”. Not long ago I was in your shoes too. My daughter modeled. She worked a lot as a baby. She was super easy , happy , and had these Shirley Temple curls that clients loved. Once she turned about six years old things slowed down. I needed to honestly ask myself was it everyone else or was my child no longer what they were looking for . That’s the hard part… excepting it’s time to move on.

I came to the realization modeling wasn’t in our cards anymore and we moved on to another hobby. I gotta be honest it was a bit rejuvenating to walk away. When I did I realized just how obsessive I got about something that really was just a fun hobby for my kid. It was kinda neat to truly look at the industry from an outside perspective without taking it so personally because it was my own child. I seriously have contemplated letting every parent work for me for a week just so they can see things through my eyes. Sometimes I think it’s like looking at earth through an astronauts eyes an realizing how small we are if that makes sense. I just think sometimes stepping away isn’t a bad idea. It doesn’t mean you can’t come back but I assure you that you’ll come back with a new set of eyes. Here is what I can say . If things have slowed down for your child be honest with yourself. Is this right for our child ? Am I holding on for dear life for my child or is this for me ? If it is for your child you also need to be honest with the idea that there’s a chance your child isn’t right for this business. If you are really truly unsure you can ask your agent to be honest with you. Just make sure when you ask you are going to get an honest answer and be prepared for it. Not every kid is meant for this just like every kid isn’t going to be the next Michael Jordan. Take it as it comes , enjoy the process , and know when to walk away