Is there such a thing as contacting your agent too much?

One of my biggest hopes when I write these blogs for all of you, is that I come across informative. I never want to give off the impression of being critical or condescending. I want all of you to walk away from reading my blogs with a little more knowledge about the industry than you had to start with. I hope that’s the impression I’m giving off. When writing this blog, it was important to me to start by saying my intentions so you know where I’m coming from when you read it.

So is there such a thing as contacting your agent too much? I would say, Yes! First things first, your agent’s personal phone should never be called or texted unless you hear from them first and they are waiting on a response from you. Email is always the best form of communication. Your agent should never be called after hours unless it’s an emergency and your child is going to miss a booking.

As agents, we are surrounded by all types of parents. We have the parents who are easy and take life as it comes, we have the parents that are a little rude, and we have the parents that make sure to call, text, and email at a minimum of once a day. The hard truth is there is never a reason you need to call your agent every day. We always appreciate the enthusiasm, but there is such a thing as too much. Try to remember that we represent hundreds of talent and we need to make time for everyone including ourselves.

The entertainment industry is 24/7 . Clients can call on weekends , in the middle of the night , first thing in the morning , and on holidays . We truly never get down time or a day off . It comes with the territory and we fully expect it . However , during the few minutes of downtime we might get, we need to take a breath . So if you have a question first read my blogs as most questions are answered there . If you can’t find your answer make sure to check that your emailing during business hours , and if so send us an email . I would strongly discourage you from calling or texting . This also goes for the agent’s assistants .

One of the common complaints I get from parents coming from other agencies (and I’m sure some of my parents) is that the agent is short with them and they think the agent is rude. I promise you, I don’t think there is an agent out there that is intentionally being short or rude. We are much busier than you might think. If you have a question, most of the time, I might give a one sentence answer just so you know I’m not ignoring you. I know my fellow agents probably do the same. It’s never our intention to not give you adequate time, we are just so limited on the time we have. That’s my purpose in writing these blogs. I want to have a place where you can read, educate yourself, and feel like you took something away from reading them.

Please, don’t get me wrong, we love that you’re excited about the industry and we are just as excited with you . It’s just important to remember that we are human and we need some time with our families and some time for ourselves. We want to be everything for everyone. I care so much about each and every one of you and want you to feel like you’re not lost in the industry. I’m always here when you need me even if I give you a one word answer 😉

The industry in the time of Covid

The industry in the time of Covid

Ok guys ! I’m starting this blog with a huge sigh.

I would start it with a few curse words but I’m not sure you guys would appreciate it lol!

Let me start by saying could this year have gone any worse? Oh gosh I’m not going to jinx it, it could always get worse.

I know we are all fighting our own version of what Covid has done to our lives, but man oh man the entertainment industry has taken a hit !

I know I’m not alone in receiving texts,calls,emails saying “I see some kids are booking. When is my kid going to book something?!“, or

“It’s been months without a job”Believe it or not , I’m actually in a few modeling mom Facebook groups. I try to give industry advice to and I’m mind blown by some of the things I’m reading .

Have we all forgotten we are in the middle of a pandemic??

This time of year agents are typically slammed and right now we are holding our breath waiting for clients to reach out that they are booking talent . As much as you want your child to book a job I assure you we are wanting it so much more.

Agents are closing their doors, production companies have had to stop all productions and in turn not receive a paycheck. Actors who make a living in this industry are without a job.Casting directors are fighting to stay open.

This is how we feed our families this is how we make a living and our world has come to a screeching halt.

So when you ask your agent why your child isn’t being called right now please be considerate and mindful that this is not just a hobby for us and a fun thing to do with our kid, this is our career, our life.

Remember , in most cases clients have to fly an entire team to your state to shoot their campaign.

So, it’s a risk for a company to put their team on a plane in the middle of a pandemic.

Most companies are just reusing images or paying for extra usage . For the few clients that are booking right now.

Most are looking for real families all from one household,in order to limit the potential spread of the virus.

So, if your child does not have siblings or a complete family ,the chances of them booking right now are very limited.

There is no telling when this virus will dissipate. I hope more sooner than later,But until then please be kind to your agents and industry professionals we are all going through a scary time right now ,and we could use some patience and kindness. Things will be back to normal one day and when it does be ready for us to work our little butts off.

Teens in the modeling industry

Teens in the modeling industry

Growing up in the child modeling industry isn’t always easy . You can go from being consistently busy to crickets within a year. Why is this? And what can you do about it? Well, to be honest, once your child hits about the 14, their child modeling career is practically over. There will be a few little jobs here and there, but as a whole it will never be what it once was.During this time, I notice kids agency hopping in hopes that it’s just the agency and not the child’s career slowing down. Parents don’t seem to understand how their child can go from booking job after job to nothing in a years time . Unfortunately, switching agencies is not the answer as you will find the same outcome with any agency you switch to. The teen modeling world is practically non existent.

So why are teens so slow ? We’ll , let’s think about this. When you take your teen shopping for clothes, I would probably be right in saying they shop at adult stores and buy adult size smalls or larger. They are no longer shopping at kids’ stores such as Carter’s or Justice. They are shopping in the adult sections of clothing stores. There are most likely only one to two teen/ young adult stores out there such as Abercrombie or Forever 21. The majority of stores are either branded as kids’ stores or adult stores. So when the clients are coming to your town to shoot their campaign, they are either shooting for their adult line or their kids’ line. For the one or two brands that target teens only,it’s not enough to keep your child as busy as they are accustomed to. I Without there being teen branded stores to cast your child, the teens have no way of staying busy in the industry.

So now what? Your kid loves the industry and wants to continue. What do you do? Most of my teens that were strictly models want to continue in one way or another in the industry. This is when I begin to discuss the acting path with them. Some kids are not comfortable acting and that’s ok.

However, this might be the tail end of their modeling career until they are 17/18 and can begin to transition into the adult modeling industry. Unfortunately, the adult industry is a lot more selective in the talent they represent. An adult model must typically must be 5 foot 8 or taller for women and around 5 foot 11 or taller for men. You must fit the aesthetic of the agency as well. For some of you open to the idea of acting, this can be a great alternative until you can transition into the adult modeling industry. Start taking acting classes with some great coaches ( you can ask your agency about who they prefer ) start practicing self taping and monologues at home, and transition your modeling portfolio into an acting portfolio. Anything you can do to improve your craft will be beneficial.

Unfortunately, some good things must come to an end and not every child model will model as an adult,but that doesn’t mean it’s an end to the industry. There are other paths that can be taken that your child might like even more than modeling. Don’t look at it as an end, but rather as the beginning of something new for your child. Acting is a great outlet that most kids love.If your child might be interested in acting make sure they are with an agent that has a strong acting division. I would strongly suggest transitioning out of a print agency that might have a handful of acting opportunities and into a talent agency. Not every great print agency has a great talent division. Ask around!

If acting is not your child’s strong suit keep them with the agency they are with for the small handful of jobs that might occur, but I would suggest looking into a second hobby. Modeling for teens will not keep them busy enough to cure teen boredom. So if you can manage it into your life, I would suggest finding out what else your child might love to do and add that in as an alternative.

The child modeling industry can be short lived. It’s rare for kids in the industry to make it as adult models, but it’s certainly a possibility. Don’t give up hope as it can be just a few years until your child can hopefully transition into an adult agency. Until then, be patient and understand it’s a small window of being slow and there are other options in the meantime. Who knows, your child might actually find something they love even more during this time. The world is filled with possibilities.

Social Media VS Real life

Social Media VS Real life

This one is for the kids and probably a few moms . It doesn’t have much to do with being an agent and doesn’t offer helpful tips in the industry. This is more for the tween , teen , or even mom facing insecurities while flipping through the “ pages “ of social media .

For those of you not aware I have a 14 year old daughter. I have an 11 year old son as well but he hasn’t yet had to face the pressures of perfection due to Instagram , Facebook , Snapchat etc. I got inspired this morning as I was on Instagram and saw an old friends feed come up . She was once a pretty big model in the industry . She now has kids and makes a small living being an influencer. She also has this magical way of making her life look like perfection to all of us watching. I only bring her up because I know her. I know her life isn’t perfect like the rest of us. What I also know is she was a paid model . This mom was paid to know her best angles. She knows all the industry secrets on how to make her nose look great from just the right angle, how to make her legs look strong, lean ,and long , how to laugh so it looks natural and effortless, how to suck in her stomach just enough to make it look natural , and even how to take her thinner figure and make it look a little curvier in all the right places. I say this because your children and my children are watching her wanting to be her. She has a gorgeous home and a seemingly perfect life. What isn’t posted is credit card debt , saggy boobies from breastfeeding , arguments with her hubby, and unflattering double chin photos . You get to see a perfect face , body , family , house , and life.

Hey you ! Yes you! The one scrolling through insta wishing you had that life . I’m here to tell you it’s not real . Knowing what I know about the industry I think It’s important for me talk about the pressures of perfection. If it helps one child , one mom, one person then it’s worth it. So when you go from page to page and see these gorgeous beings know this … 99% of them are or were industry models . All the you tubers , Instagram models , tick tock kids. They all were models and or actors . They know how to move , pose , and act all just perfectly to make you watch . I have a trained eye I can see thinks you can’t and I know when someone is acting . I watched 3 different YouTube videos of famous YouTube couples playing pranks on each other yesterday . Whether it was pretending they cheated on the other one , pretending they were pregnant, pretending they gave their girlfriend / boyfriend money for a shopping spree. ALL OF IT WAS ACTING . NONE OF IT WAS REAL. Remember they are actors they are paid to pretend and to make you think it’s real . I watched this one couple prank each other pretending they cheated on the other one. The girl took her engagement ring off and got all mad. I read comment after comment of fans feeling bad for her or mad at her fiancé for pranking her. However , I watched this and saw a great acting performance. My daughter saw something totally different . That’s what they are paid for . To entertain you . To make you think all of this is real. Real life isn’t perfect. Real life isn’t made up of the perfect angle. My daughter has watched video after video. She has convinced herself her “ perfect nose “ needs a nose job, her but isn’t big enough , and she wishes to be more like what she sees on Tik Tock . In reality how long can a teen or 20 year old be a Tick Tock star ? What comes next ? What happens when the money runs dry when someone newer or younger comes around . What happens when their “ look “ isn’t in anymore. What’s left is who you are as a person and the real life you created . And are you happy ? I personally took all social media off my daughters phone . FYI I’m NOT a strict parent at all! I just wanted her to love herself without a filter and without comparing her life to someone else’s. I can tell you she’s much happier for it.

This insecurity isn’t just apparent in kids it’s also in adults. One month of watching these accounts and I wanted a tummy tuck , lip injections , fillers, and even a nose job. I NEVER WANTED A NOSE JOB IN MY WHOLE LIFE. I see pregnant moms who had a baby and in 30 days are posting bikini photos of their perfect body before and after . Like what the hell ? I can’t even give birth and gain pregnancy weight any more ? Now gaining pregnant weight is taboo? How can we ever live up to all this pressure. The truth is we don’t ! We turn it off! We live in the present of our own little lives as imperfectly perfect as they are. We learn to look at our faces without a filter and we are grateful for our health and the gifts we are given. We don’t know what’s happening behind closed doors in all these influencers lives and without knowing their truth we can’t honestly want what they have can we ? We don’t have all the pieces to the puzzle . My suggestion is … get rid of it! Take it out of their hands until they are old enough to know the reality that what they see and hear is not reality after all .

When life gives you lemons 🍋

When life gives you lemons 🍋

They say when life hands you lemons make lemonade right ? With this crazy pandemic it’s the perfect time now that everyone is bored to update sizes ! Ok so it’s not quite lemonade but it’s lemons with a little sugar on top lol!

Did you know when a client is looking for a child nine times out of ten they are requesting a certain height not age . Unless it’s a commercial or film . When it’s print they are always casting by size. I know I tell all my kids how important it is to update sizes but I think it’s important to realize just how crucial it actually is . Most of you live probably 30 minutes or more from your casting location . You take your whole day preparing for a casting. Dressing your child , driving down , paying for parking , and sitting to wait for your turn . Do you want to spend a whole day preparing for a casting to be turned away ? Do you want your agent to be upset with you because the client called asking why Johnny showed up to their casting and is 3 inches too tall . Probably not .

Taking 3 minutes of your day to update your child will save you hours of wasted time by showing up to a casting your child wasn’t in size for . I realize a lot of you think “ hey what’s an extra two or three inches ?” An extra two to three inches means a lot to a brand that wants their jeans to perfectly fit a child’s length and your child looks like they are waiting for a flood to arrive .

I get it ! Your excited and you don’t want your child to miss a potential opportunity. However , you risk a lot more by having the wrong sizes in the system . You also risk not being casted for something your child fits perfectly. Sizes matter guys ! Having the correct sizes in the system gives me a smile from ear to ear ( it’s like Christmas) . So take this time where we are all not doing much to log into your agents site and update. Now for my lemonade 🍋!

10 Things you wish you knew when starting your industry journey

10 Things you wish you knew when starting your industry journey

As an Agent ( especially one that is big on education) I tend to think my parents have all the tools they need for the business. Over the years I have realized there is a lot of useful info parents of kids in the business have too that can help guide someone new. Sometimes even better info than I might be able to offer because it’s from a parents perspective.

So what better way to give all the newer kids and parents out there an inside look into the modeling world than from an experienced parents perspective . So I asked a bunch of my moms “ if there was one or more things you know about the business that you wish you knew from the beginning , what would it be and why?” These are their responses . I hope this helps anyone new in the business become more prepared. I know it was pretty eye opening for me 🙂

  1. Debbie says “ When gabby showed interest I had no idea where to go. What kind of pictures did she need. Could i use a regular camera? I would think most parents don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars for a maybe. We were lucky I have a friend who is a photographer But they still weren’t right. It was enough to get her signed but now I see a huge difference from that and what she gets now. There is a huge difference from you taking a picture and having a professional take them. Find out what your agents looking for in the pictures and get them done !
  2. Shannon says “ In size and out of size. I have so many people ask me about getting their child into the industry when they are around 18 months. So when is a good time to start and also to expect down times and busy times. Most babies are in size from 0-12 months but then out of size from 12 months to 3 years old. When they become 3 things start picking up again. I also noticed a lot of older babies that were small for their age booking more. And Big babies don’t usually get booked. You may not want to say it that way (I’m brutally Blunt) LOL. But being a baby in the 99th percentile for weight is not good for baby modeling. You would obviously know more about this than I would but that was the first thing I noticed on set. Also, it doesn’t matter how cute your baby is, they need to be well behaved and can easily go with other people. If they cry every time mom leaves, don’t bother. So Rider was always in the 25th percentile for growth. He wore size 6 months when he was 10 months. He’s 4 now and still in 3t. Anyway, with babies, many are bigger and may wear size 12-18 months when they are 6 months old. Older babies can do more, sit up, crawl etc. So they are more likely to book a 10 month old who can wear 6 months than a 5 month old who can’t do those things yet.”
  3. Alicia says “ I had to learn to not take it personal when your kid isn’t booked from a casting. I use feel like I did something wrong like, not choosing the perfect outfit or maybe her hair wasn’t perfect. Or maybe she didn’t smile enough lol I had all the anxiety while she was just having fun 🙃”
  4. Melissa says “ In my case. Avoid over paying and enrolling your child in Talent Search companies like Barbizon, Talent Auditions. They charge over 3K in classes that are not real classes. They just want you to pay for overpriced headshots, acting and modeling classes. If I knew you could just go directly to an Agency and send your child pictures. I would it have save a lot of money and then been able to invest in real acting classes and photo sessions. 💯”
  5. Jennifer says “ I wish I knew before how fast the castings are done, meaning you can get a call to be somewhere in 1 day. To always be on your toes when it’s time for a casting. It’s hard to plan but when they’re younger and home with you it’s easier. “
  6. Amanda says “ 1) a photographer can make or break you. Sometimes people want to go the cheaper route but that’s not going to benefit you in the long run. You’ll end up needing new photos anyway and spending double what you needed to. It’s an investment. Nothing can guarantee you jobs but good photos will definitely put you in the forefront over bad photos. Also – you get what you pay for 2) when you ask for quick cellphone photos at the house it’s imperative you do them correct and you’ve put out examples. No distractions – accessories good background etc. a quick digital needs to look as professional as possible❤️❤️”
  7. Lindsay “ Something I wish we knew when we first started was how short notice you can be given for castings, self tapes or bookings. You aren’t generally given much notice or time to clear your schedule or find a sitter, etc. The casting can be anywhere from Miami to Tampa (that I know of). Luckily our personal work schedule works great for this business because one parent is always home with the girls and we are almost always available and do our best to make that short notice work. But with bookings, sometimes trying to find a sitter for the other sibling can be a challenge with short notice. Family Self Tapes are also difficult for us. We would love to be considered for family jobs, but we are together as a family once every 3rd day, so when we are given only 24 hrs at times to submit a family tape, that is most likely not going to be the day we are both off together and can’t possibly submit. “
  8. Tessa says “ I wish I had known that although I was allowed to be onset my opinion wasn’t. I remember the first time I was on set, I was singing,dancing, and playing peek-a-boo with my baby until the stylist asked me politely to basically to stop being annoying. I mean I was totally annoying. They have an entire staff dedicated to making the kids happy. A mom who is too involved just stresses everyone out, including the child. Now I look for a spot where kids can’t see me, but I can see them. I get to enjoy the process, not stress out and watch the magic happen. If they need you they 100% will tell you!
  9. Maria says “ So having multiple kids in the biz is crazy stressful. I wish I had known that just because my kid is beautiful and their siblings love being in the spotlight, it doesn’t mean that they do too.I don’t push them to do jobs anymore. It stresses out my son, and he starts turning into another kid on set. I get stressed, the crew gets stressed, and by the end of the day I feel defeated. It’s not worth it anymore, and just not fair for my kid. Know when to let go, and when to sign up for soccer classes instead. Lol !
  10. Angie says “If your child wants to be an actor 1000000% sign them up for acting classes! It taught my kids how to audition like pros, and how to overcome their stage fright. There are so many kids who are auditioning for the exact same role, and a lot of the time have a similar look to your child. It so important to have an edge over some of the other kids. Practice totally makes perfect when it comes to acting.My kids wake up so happy on acting class days!

How to reject rejection!

How to reject rejection!

How to reject rejection :

One of the topics most of my parents are concerned about when deciding to try out the modeling and talent industry is the fear of rejection . They don’t want to destroy their child’s self esteem as we all know this industry can be filled with a lot more “No’s” than “ yes’s”. Totally understandable ! I get it ! These are our children we are talking about and the last thing we want is for them to hurt .

Here is the thing . I have noticed over the last 13 years in the industry that the parents tend to care more than the kids do in regards to booking a job . Kids tend to go to a casting and forget it. All the while the parents tend to be the ones loosing sleep wondering if their child will be picked. Kids have this way of being in the moment. If it’s not happening now they are not really thinking about it. Which can be a really great thing in this business.

The truth is … do you really want your child to book every job? Can you imagine the monster that would create ? You don’t want the opposite effect with a child that books every job and doesn’t learn humility right ? I truly believe you need to hear a few “No’s” so you can really appreciate when you hear a “yes”. There is nothing worse to an agent than when a kid books everything and a parent doesn’t seem excited or grateful because it is expected. We get so excited to call you and tell you about your booking and we want you to be just as excited if not more than we are.

If you do happen to have a child that’s a bit more on the sensitive side ,the best approach is one from the very start . As soon as they are mature enough to understand explain that there are several kids that audition, all the kids deserve it , but the director can only choose one or so . Explain to your child that it doesn’t mean your not great but they might want a child a certain age , height , or a child that matches a “parent “ exactly . I would also recommend not bringing it up again after the audition. Like I said most kids have a short attention span and will forget 20 minutes after leaving the audition.

Rejection is part of human nature . Whether it’s a job , partner , friend , sport , or this industry , it comes with the territory of life. It makes for a well rounded individual. I realize we all want to shelter our kids from rejection as it’s part of our nature as parents to protect our kids from any pain . Remember you want the victory to mean something and it can’t mean something without a few bumps in the road . I promise you , you feel the bumps more than your children do . I also promise it will mean that much more when they do finally get the job.

I understand as parents we worry and that’s ok. My greatest advice is to forget the audition as soon as you walk out the door and your child will too. They are not as fragile as we think they are and you’re making a stronger individual in the long run .

Seeking out of state representation.

Seeking out of state representation.

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 🙂

How to increase your chances of booking during Covid-19?

How to increase your chances of booking during Covid-19?

For months there was a huge unknown regarding the entertainment industry.
All the major industry hubs were at a standstill due to Covid-19.
Directors, Agents, Producers, Creatives, Actors, Casting Directors, (just to name a few )were left with no answers as to when they would ever receive a paycheck. Even worse how would the industry would ever continue. Could things ever go back to normal? As of now everyone is adapting to our new normal. Even with so much uncertainty, we are still as an industry getting more and more emails from parents concerned they are missing out on the next big gig. We can’t guarantee that you will be as busy as before, we have no way in knowing when or how often castings will be coming in. We can guarantee that everyone who fits the project specs is being submitted. It is ultimately up to the Clients, and Casting Directors as to who will be seen, and selected.
Virtual Casting’s are beginning to come in via Skype, and Zoom. We are having more Direct Bookings than usual. Safety precautions are in place, and Waivers are being signed. Not everyone is comfortable working while Covid-19 is still a threat. So make sure if you are not, you block-out all your dates until you are.
This is such a new territory for all the working pieces of a production. If you think organizing a shoot was tough before, just imagine now. So let’s increase your chances of being asked to audition, while helping everyone involved in the casting and selection process easier.
Here is our blog on how to dominate at Virtual Castings!


Headshots

Check out our blog on headshots!


A constant theme in our blogs!
Headshots, headshots headshots.
This is the most important when you are looking to be noticed, even more so now than ever before.
Casting Directors and production companies are almost exclusively relying on Virtual and Direct bookings.
If you want to stand out, you simply cannot have a photo you took on a cellphone 2 years ago in a dimly lit bathroom. Photographers are starting to do headshot sessions. Start making your appointments!
Contact your agency for a list of their recommend photographers.
Stats


UPDATE YOUR STATS!
This shouldn’t be something your agency has to remind you about.
It is your job to keep up with any changes in height and sizes.
With so many direct bookings happening, clients are relying on sizes being accurate.
You can’t be upset if your child isn’t booking if they are 7 years old, and their profile says they are wearing a 4t, 32 inches tall, and in a size 5 shoe.
Clients get so upset if they direct book a kid based off of their stats and end up being a completely different size. It makes your agent look bad, and you probably ruined your chance of ever being booked by that client again.


Zoom/Skype
Step 1: have your Skype and Zoom accounts created and ready to go.
Simple as that lol.
Some clients ask to have your Skype account listed one your Casting Networks profiles, so have that done before your agent even asks.
“Your very own at home Casting Office”
Some people don’t see this as important, but as an agency we believe it’s soooo important to have this upper hand.
When you go into a casting office you almost always are in front of a backdrop, have bright lights in your face, and have a camera set up in a tripod (for video) , or a photographer on the floor getting the perfect angles.
While it may be Virtually (pun not intended) impossible to recreate something it took casting professionals years to learn, and perfect… you can do our best to show them you take this seriously.
Here is a list of our Virtual Casting must-haves:


Backdrop
Blue is industry standard for Self-tapes, and Videos while white is more standard for Print. Determine which is your niche and buy accordingly.
Superior Seamless Photography Background Paper, 11 Royal Blue (53 inches Wide x 18 feet Long) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078P6T3TN/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_nL73Eb68BGMPY
Huamei Seamless Photography Background Paper, Photo Backdrop Paper (4.4×16 Feet, Arctic White) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FD2P4FW/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_6L73EbAYJZYYN
Backdrop Stand-
Emart 8.5 x 10 ft Photo Backdrop Stand, Adjustable Photography Muslin Background Support System Stand for Photo Video Studio https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FY4TVKH/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_NM73EbEWPCD9J

Lighting
We recommend a simple ring light. Most ring lights feature a built-in Tri-pod for your smart phone.
You can add some box light for even more lighting but that’s entirely up to you!
Neewer Ring Light Kit:18″/48cm Outer 55W 5500K Dimmable LED Ring Light, Light Stand, Carrying Bag for Camera,Smartphone,YouTube,Self-Portrait Shooting, Black, Model:10088612 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LXDNNBW/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_oO73EbH6SBA27
MOUNTDOG Softbox Lighting Kit 20″X28″ Professional Photography Photo Studio Light Equipment with 2pcs 95W E27 Socket 5500K Video Lighting Bulb for Filming Portraits Shoot https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07G3423NQ/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_VO73Eb9H1XGF0
Mic-
Being that we focus almost primarily on children, we know houses with kids get a little noisy.
These microphones work great to cancel out any noise.
Video Microphone with Adapter – Unidirectional On-Camera Microphone for iPhone – Directional Cardioid iPhone Microphone for Video Recording https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FDYXBQZ/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_aQ73EbZ7JPCS6


Preparation/filming
We always recommend ongoing training.
Many coaches are offering virtual classes. Make sure to contact your agency for recommendations.
Less is always more when it comes to what casting directors/ clients look for. Like we always say, if their are no character/wardrobe instructions, be as blank of a canvas as you can. Let your talent speak louder than your outfit. Simple everyday clean attire (no pj’s though lol ) is usually expected. Extremely light to no make-up.
Camera should ALWAYS be horizontal when filming any video/ Skype/ Zoom unless specified.
Sides-
If you have sides. Have them memorized. It’s important to be engaged and not reading them off a paper. Make sure your reader also is prepared, and expressive.
You should not make direct contact to the camera if preforming sides. You should look slightly off camera.
Slate-
Your slate should be at the front of your tape.
Usually you include:
Full name
Age
Height
Location
Agency
Some projects will request specific information to be included.

Be on time! Always! If your Casting Director is not on time, be prepared the entire wait time as you would at an in person casting.
Try to minimize any distractions and outside noise.
Make sure you read notes for any props, or information you may need.



It’s going to take time for anyone in the industry to even imagine going back to normal, and until then it’s up to you to do your part in making the new normal, ok.
It’s not ideal for anyone, but together we can create new opportunities, content, and memories.
2020 is definitely one for the books. By following our guide you will have a much higher chance in securing a spot in a Casting Directors book. Together we will get through this. We can’t wait to see your home office set ups! Be sure to tag us once you have yours complete.

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 !