So , this is a tough one for me. I recently asked all of you to give me ideas what I should blog about and the most common topic asked was “ how do I get signed with your agency “?
I think there is this common misconception that if you submit your child to an agency, you just get signed. Well, for scam type agencies that’s true. This is because they charge a fee to sign your child without the guarantee of booking your child on a job. Then they scam you for 1,000-$3,000 for a portfolio that they profit from. So yes of course they will sign every child that walks in their door. If I made $4000 every child I signed I would be rich ! Would I be ethical ? Heck no !
Here is the truth behind agencies. We cannot guarantee you a single booking. Not one. We are not the client and we cannot determine which children clients are going to book for their campaigns. So I feel it’s unethical to charge you a signing fee when I can’t guarantee you a thing. Now, do I think I have a great eye for what clients like. Yes. Do I only sign children I think clients will book? Yes! Could I be wrong ? Sure. All I can do is market your child to my list of clients and put them in the absolute best position to nail that booking. The rest is up to the child and honestly the parent ( make sure you have great digitals).
With that being said. Because I do not take a fee to sign children I’m very particular about who I chose to represent. The last thing I want is hundreds of unhappy parents who were excited to be signed and now terribly disappointed their child hasn’t booked a job. That doesn’t help me or you. So I limit the children I chose to a very select small group of kids that I believe clients will book. This doesn’t mean anything negative towards your child. It’s just he/she might not be what I’m looking for at that time.
I do get quite a bit of messages that say “ I submitted my child and didn’t hear anything back “. I assure you I look at every single child that submits to me. However , I only have time to respond to the children we are interested in. If you did not hear back within 2 weeks , we are passing on representing your child at this time. You are free to submit to other agencies but be careful you do not get scammed. Don’t sign long contracts , if they force you to use only their photographer run , if they charge you a sign on fee run. All of these are red flags. Don’t be too anxious for your child to be signed that you ignore the signs of a scam .
So how do you improve your chances of getting signed?
Great pictures is key ( preferably professional) find out who the agents other models use and use that person.
I really hope this better helps you understand the process and answers all your questions.
I gotta be honest… this week was not one of my finest. It was one of those ALL CAPS kind of weeks. I was on a rampage. I’m my own defense my frustration was justified (at least I think it was lol ). Let me explain why I was so upset so you guys avoid making the same mistake with your agents.
The reason for my frustration was that I had two kids on hold for two different jobs. Both of the clients these kids were on hold for are last minute type of bookers. They hold the kids for weeks and don’t typically book until the day before the shoot day. FYI this is super typical in the industry, so if you can’t move your schedule last minute, this industry definitely isn’t for you. Back to my point. So, I had two kids on hold. If you don’t know what a hold is , a hold is when I client likes your child and is still deciding who they are booking and your child is one of the finalists. They hold your child for the shoot dates and ask if the hold dates are confirmed . This is your ONE AND ONLY TIME TO LET THE CLIENT KNOW WHICH DAYS YOU ARE NOT AVAILABLE. For instance, if the client is holding your child from the 25-30th and on the 28th you have a birthday party scheduled, you need to tell your agent to tell the client your available all days but the 28th. If you confirm ALL the days you MUST be available ALL the days ! I had two children confirm holds on two different jobs. Last minute they both booked trips and now forced me to tell the client they were not available. This makes me see RED!
I need all of you to remember this is your agents’ livelihood. This is not a hobby or just something fun to do. This is a business and it’s how we put our food on our tables. So, when we have to go back and tell a client that a child they planned for and scheduled for ( that they placed on hold for a reason ) is not available anymore, it makes a client furious. Rightly so , what would be the purpose of holding a child for a date if now the child is unavailable. The sole purpose of a hold is to HOLD THE CHILD FOR THEIR SHOOT. In the end they don’t blame the child they blame the agent. The parents unprofessionalism effected every child that could have worked for that client in the future if that client now won’t work with that agency . I understand that this is a hobby for you. Something fun you do with your child. However, your agent works their tush off 7 days a week to make these clients happy so they continue to work with their agency. One child not being available for a hold that was previously confirmed can jeopardize everything that agent worked so hard for!
Remember if you are put on hold that means you do not travel or do anything that would compromise you being available for your potential booking. If you are wanting to travel and you have not heard from your agent please email your agent letting him/her know that your wanting to make plans and to politely ask the client if your child is still on hold or if he / she can be released BEFORE YOU MAKE PLANS DURING YOUR HOLD DATE. If another client wants to book your child during your hold date it is your responsibility to let your agent know you are already on hold with another client. The agent will then check on your hold and see if the client is going to book or release your child. If the client releases your child and later changes their mind and wants to book your child the fault now lies in their hands not your agents and no one can get penalized.
So please Remember : if you’re on hold and confirmed the dates you MUST BE AVAILABLE ALL DATES YOU CLEARED unless you email your agent asking for permission to release a day or your hold entirely.
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 🙂
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 !
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.”
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 🙃”
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. 💯”
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. “
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❤️❤️”
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. “
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!
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 !
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!
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 !
So you are interested in submitting your child to an agent?
What’s the best way to go about it?
Let me start by saying that I do not accept social media submissions. I also cannot represent a child based on your description of them over the phone.
We need photos, even if they are not professional, in order to get a feel for your child. Every day I receive at least a DOZEN of DM’s on Instagram and Facebook, combined with countless phone calls telling me all about your gorgeous children.
When I see DM’s on Instagram my first thought is… this parent hasn’t even been to my website, let alone read my bio.
You’re submitting your child to someone and you didn’t take the time to look at what I’m all about?
Our agency specifically spends so much time educating, and writing these blogs.
Almost always, and I’m saying almost so no one comes back to say it’s not true lol, all the questions that are asked in the DM’s are answered in our blog.
The majority, if not all agencies have a submission process on their website.
It’s so important to take the time and follow directions, so that you aren’t overlooked because you annoyed the agency before even getting a proper chance. Submitting on social media is a sure fire way to get your child overlooked as 9 times out of 10 we won’t go to your child’s Instagram profile.
How to submit
So take a pause if you haven’t checked out our website, and then come back here if you think we are the right fit for you.
Sprout’s submission form is under the Info. tab and you simply click “Grow With Us” .
That’s it, super easy right?
Once we receive your application it takes about a week for us to get back to you IF we are interested. We have been receiving an influx of applications lately, so please be patient. If we do not respond in a week, you are always welcome to take new photos and resubmit.
Please take the time to explore an agent’s website and find out a little about them and what their submission process is before you call or use social media to connect.
Not only because it’s important to show you know how to follow directions, but you need to make sure this agent is the right fit for you. Picking an agent shouldn’t be taken lightly and we encourage you to take the time to do your research. Find out everything you can online before reaching out so you are as informed as you can be.
Agents are busy bees 🐝. We are navigating hundreds of parents, clients, talent, billing, social media, and let’s not forget, our own families.
I’ve said it before, every time I’m so proud I’ve clear out my emails a new stampede of emails come through.
It’s just like the scene out of the Bruce Almighty movie.
When the phone rings countless times a day with a parent on the other line ready to tell us all about their child, it takes time out of our hectic schedules to explain that you just need to go to the website.
This is not us being rude, we love that everyone is so enthusiastic about joining.
As we always say, this is a co-working relationship. If you do your part, our job is soooo much easier! Let’s create a solid foundation for your child, and start this off the right way.
Show us that you’re an informed parent who takes this business seriously.
We’ve talked a lot about the inner workings of the business, the do’s, the don’ts etc.
We thought it was about time to hear directly from the kids who are at the center of it all.
We posed the same four questions to a few Sproutlings of all different ages to get their varying take on being in the industry.
You know what they say….OUT IF THE MOUTHS OF BABES!
Get to know Aria Blue (13) IG @therealariablue
Q: How long have you been acting/modeling?
A: Since I was about 7 so for more than half my life! My first job was forTaylor Swiftso that was really exciting.
Q: Do you prefer acting or modeling?
A: Hmmnn. Well, they are really different. I like both but you get a little spoiled with modeling because of hair and makeup and all that. With acting you have to put in lots of work. There’s classes and self tapes and you have to understand that you probably won’t hear back on most of the bigger auditions you do. It’s exciting but it really is hard work.
Q: What would you tell a friend who wants to get into the industry?
A: I would tell them 2 things. You have to do what your team asks even if if you don’t feel like it because it is a business. I would also tell them to have fun and not to get discouraged if they aren’t getting jobs right away. It should be a cool experience and not something that stresses you out. We really are lucky to get to have these opportunities so you might as well enjoy it all.
Q: What’s the high and low of being in show biz?
A: The high is definitely all the friends you make, travel and craft services! The low is sometimes not getting a part that you really loved. Also, sometimes you are really busy and other times it’s like crickets!
Get to know Giada Rae (10) IG @giada_rae
Q: How long have you been acting/modeling?
A. It’s been just a little over a year now professionally and I love it. My first job was a Disney commercial.
Q: Do you prefer acting or modeling?
A. Well I really used to like modeling because of the clothes and stuff but now I like acting more because you get to be on set, meet more people and actually be interactive.
Q: What would you tell a friend who wants to get into the industry?
A. I would tell them it would be a really fun thing to do but you have to know if you want to concentrate on – acting or modeling or both. Acting is like a magic 8 ball – you shake it and you never really know what’s doing to happen. It’s like life, kinda random.
Q: What’s the high and low of being in show biz?
A. I’d have to say the best part is being on set. Every time I get on set I make new friends and I feel proud because I worked hard to get there.
Auditioning can be hard because they can be far away from your house and self tapes have to be done even if I’m tired or whatever. To be honest, I’m not a fan of auditioning but it’s totally worth it to get to the part I love which is being on set!
Get to know Daisy Flores (4) IG @justdaisy_
Q: How long have you been acting/modeling?
A. For like, a long time, like all day. Since I was a baby.
Q: Do you prefer acting or modeling?
A: I like to do commercials. I can play pretend with toys and I have so much fun.
Q: What would you tell a friend who wants to get into the industry?
A: You can’t be distracted. Pay attention and have fun. Take a nap.
Q: What’s the high and low of being in show biz?
A: Sometimes it takes a longggg time. I hate waiting. The best is when my friends see me on the TV!
We couldn’t have said it better kiddos: have fun, work hard, make friends and take naps!
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!
Frequently asked questions of every mom in “The Biz”
As many of our readers know by now, we love to share information you can’t get anywhere else. We may not have all the answers, but we do try to get them. We have reached out to Top Miami Casting Director Lori Wyman with questions we get asked everyday. Questions we can typically only answer from an agencies perspective, thankfully today we can share the answers to the most frequently asked questions of parents with children in the modeling/acting/ entertainment world.
Who is Lori Wyman?
Lori S. Wyman, C.S.A., one of the most prominent Casting Directors in the southeast, has been casting films, television shows, and commercials in South Florida since 1979. Lori attended the University of Miami and she graduated with her Bachelors Degree in Speech and Communications and her minor in Education. Upon graduating from college, she aggressively pursued a casting career and immediately started working for ACT I Talent Agency. At the time, ACT I was the biggest talent agency in the State of Florida. Quickly building a reputation as one of the most outstanding talent agents in the business, she was asked by the company that was handling the Miami Vice casting if she would be one of their staff casting directors. While there, she worked on the Principal casting for “Miami Vice” during the 2nd and 3rd seasons. At the end of the 3rd season, she was approached by the producer of “Miami Vice” and asked to come work for them directly and head up their entire casting division. She did that for the duration of the series. When “Miami Vice” wrapped, she was immediately asked to head up the casting offices of the Burt Reynolds series, “BL Stryker” and to cast the Florida episodes of Stephen J. Cannell’s “21 Jumpstreet” and “Wiseguy.” Fast forward to the year 2012 and Lori obtained her Master’s degree from NSU in Interdisciplinary Arts with a concentration in Drama Therapy. She went after this degree in order to help actors overcome audition anxiety. Lori has cast some of the biggest projects in Florida. When you think the film industry and casting, Lori S. Wyman, CSA, always comes up. She is an 8 time Artios Award (Casting Society of America’s most prestigious casting award) nominee and a 2 time winner. She is also an Emmy nominee.
Which is your favorite project to date? What made it impactful for you?
“HBO’s Recount was one of the most challenging yet favorite casting projects. The movie is about the 2000 presidential election. Many of the 80 Florida roles that Lori cast were not only to be good actors,but look like their real-life counterpart. It was a great experience for which Lori won her first Artios Award and was nominated for an Emmy.”
What makes the kids that you select to been seen stand out? What is it that you typically look for?
“At first we look at resumes to see if the child has any background. Then we bring them in to audition. We look for well behaved, memorized, professional kids. At first we look at resumes to see if the child has any background. Then we bring them in to audition. We look for well behaved, memorized, professional kids.”
When a project is submitted who picks the kids selected to be seen at the castings? Is there a specific process?
“The casting director will put the breakdown out for the characters they need. Once the agent submits the talent, then the CD decides who will come in and audition and ultimately who will be passed along to the producer and director. The producer and director collectively are the final decision.”
What is your funniest casting memory?
“Too long to write here, but there are many!!!”
What is bad etiquette that prevents someone from being chosen?
“In a nutshell, BAD etiquette is not being prepared for the audition, not having the materials (headshot and updated resume) not being on time for the casting.”
What is your biggest casting pet peeve?
“My BIGGEST pet peeve is actors coming to a casting and spending the time before the casting talking in the waiting room and disrupting everyone, when they should be going over their audition materials. “
For kids interested in taking their career to the next level, what the biggest piece of advice you can offer them/their parents?
“Keep studying, do theater, watch what the winners do! Make sure you have an Actor’s Access account and check it daily. Make sure your photos are up-to-date. Make sure you have a reputable agent and stay in touch with them.”
What is your opinion on Social Media and how it is impacting the industry? Do you take talents social media into account when casting them?
“Social Media has good and bad characteristics. The BAD – is when a disgruntled actor decides they want to vent about their agent, the casting director or a client. As a CD, if I see an actor attacking me on Social Media, I will not want them to come back into my office to audition. And rightly so! People tend to have “keyboard courage,” which can get them into a lot of trouble. The good aspects are that we may see people online and think how great they might be for our project. It is also a reminder to us that the actor is out there. I do not take into account how many followers an actor might have, but there are many other projects that do look favorably upon that.”
What advice do you give to agencies in regards to their talent? How would you do it differently?
“Dear Agents: PLEASE know your talent. Know what they can and cannot do. Please do not empty your files into all of my castings. I look to you to know your talent so that you can submit intelligently to me. If you continue to send me any actors who are not necessarily right for a role, then I eventually will not want to work with you anymore.”
If you could work with any industry professional, or any client that you have not worked with before who would you work with?
“Spielberg!!! Streep!!! Streisand!!!!”
What is your website? Do you have any social media accounts?
We asked our talent what were some of their biggest questions, and we got the answers!
Some of our Sproutlings at an Acting class hosted by Lori Wyman
Do you keep talent in mind for other projects, if you were impressed by them?
“I always keep talent in mind and I do remember them.”
Feedback! If we provided a feedback form after an audition, would you be willing to offer input to the agency on a big audition?
“It’s really hard to do after a long day of seeing dozens and dozens of actors. having said that, I would ask anyway!”
What are some auditioning mistakes you see over and over and what is the best way to avoid or overcome them?
“Not being memorized is a big one. In person, the actor has to hit it out of the park right away. Self taping, the actor can record multiple times before they get it right. In self taping, make sure the person reading with the actor is a good reader. PARENTS, if you are not an actor, please don’t try to coach your child or read with your child. Leave it to the hands of the professionals!!!”
A special thanks to Lori Wyman for taking the time and providing us with such useful information that we can share with our readers from not only in Miami/South Florida/Orlando, but really in any state/city.
Stay tuned for next weeks blog post featuring Carlos Rojas of Universal Casting Miami.
🌱If you like this post, please subscribe to our innovated blog, where we believe that educated talent is the best talent. Many more exciting, educational, and not-so-ordinary blogs to come.🌱
blog post by Sprout Kids Agency owner Shaina Miller.
Like my yellow toes ??!!
Lol, me too ! Yellow makes me happy so why not ?
Why are you looking at a photo of my feet ? Well if you know me well you know I hardly take a moment to myself. I never go to the salon or get my toes done. Not much free time for this busy lady.
However, today I decided ( thanks to my assistant and friend Emily ) to get a pedicure.
What did I do during this pedicure you ask? Think about how I can help educate all of you. My ADD brain never allows me to shut off even during a pedicure. Shaina … at your service ❤️
Why do some kids get called on castings all the time and it seems my child is rarely called?
This question seems to be one of the most asked questions among parents. To be honest there is no simple answer. I can give you my perspective and my thought process as to what I look for and hopefully it can help you better understand .
Let’s start with the casting process.
When a casting Director is holding a casting they typically hold it in one of two ways .
One, they tell an agency I have a certain amount of spots I can give your agency please send your top kids that fit the role description. Two, they say please submit all your kids that fit the role description and we will pick who we would like to see.
When they ask me to send my top kids here is where the question is asked ??
As a parent did you do your part? Did you send your child to acting classes , have you updated headshots , have you updated stats, and are you the kind of parent that will jump to take your child to almost every casting. If you said yes to these questions chances are your child is considered a top pick . You have to remember an agency parent relationship is a co-working relationship not just what can I do for you . If I know your putting in the work I will equally put in the work for you. If your a parent that is always unavailable , your stats are outdated , and your not attending any acting classes I’m simply going to choose a child who does. All in all this is a business and child who is trained has a higher probability of booking a job.
Now comes the question? If it is a submission and the casting Director is making the choice why is my child not chosen . Sometimes this can be the luck of the draw. Do you have a headshot that stands out ? If that Casting Director offers classes have you taken them so they recognize your child when they are being submitted? In other words …Have you done your part ? Sometimes you have to be exactly the look a Casting Director is looking for or sometimes the client goes in another direction .The truth is , sometimes yes you have done all of the above and you still were not chosen and let’s face it you can’t win them all . If you won at everything it might take the fun out of winning, wouldn’t it ? Enjoy the ride and savor the moments that your lucky enough to be picked as it’s a competitive market out there.
There are so many questions I know we all have for Casting Directors stay tuned for our Sprout Blog featuring the top Casting Directors in Florida answering your most frequently asked questions . We are so excited to share all their knowledge with all of you !
“Everywhere we go, no matter where we go, we are surrounded by advertisements selling a product or service. In these advertisements you see child models or actors selling for these brands. You might think to yourself, “How do I get my child involved in child modeling or acting ?” From clothing stores and theme parks to doctors offices and everything in between, we are constantly being sold to in print, on television, at the movies, and on the radio. But what does it take to make your child a star in an ad? “
South Florida’s top child modeling and acting agency is here to help you get your child into the ever-present world of advertising. The Child Talent industry is both exciting and rewarding, and we are so happy to help you get started!
Step One: Find Representation That Meets Your Focus, Location, & Goals
The first step in getting representation is finding an agency that fits the direction in which you would like to take your child. Some parents choose to use separate agencies if their child is more into acting than print or vice versa, but Sprout Kids Agency in Miami, Florida actually specializes in both acting and modeling! (Stay tuned for our next blog post which will highlight the differences and benefits between modeling vs. acting.)
You also need to make sure you find an agency in an area that is in close proximity to your home or one in a city you are willing to travel to. Some states have multiple cities that are considered ‘busy’ in this industry. Make sure you either have an agency in each of those cities, or select an agency that offers representation in multiple areas.
Sprout Kids Agency represents children models and actors through the state of Florida. Sprout Kids works with casting directors in South Florida ( Fort Lauderdale, Miami), as well as Central Florida ( Orlando, Tampa). Our talent has the choice to either work in both markets (if they are willing to travel) or remain in just one area.
Sprout Kids also offers a truly unique experience for models outside of our home state of Florida. Our Global Talent division is open to kids in other states who are willing to travel for jobs. If you are interested in applying for our Global Talent division, please click here Also, Sprout Kids Agency is always accepting applications for our Breaking Boundaries division: an inclusive modeling program that we are over the moon about! Breaking boundaries is open to kids with various disabilities or physical conditions such as vitiligo or
alopecia .You want to make sure that the agency you choose to go with always advocates and believes in your child. Beauty is not a one size fits all mold here at Sprout. Sprout Kids Agency represents children with Down Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy, Hearing Impairments, Vitiligo, and everything in between. If you have a child who is extraordinary and differently abled, please click here
Step Two: Smile for the Camera
After Identifying the direction you would like to go and the agency you would like to submit to, your next step is to get your child in front of a camera or your smartphone camera. All you need is clear, bright, clutter free photos of your child that highlights his/her personality and shows clearly what he/she looks like right now. These photos are your entrance into the modeling industry, so choose with intention! Professional photos are NOT required and will not alter your chances into getting representation. These photos should represent who your child is currently and should be taken specifically for the submission. Try to refrain from using filters or heavily editing your photos.
My FAVORITE tip: say some really silly stuff to get a huge genuine smile before snapping the photo. Saying, “Cheese!” may work for a smile, but the reaction kids get from having a genuinely good time is exactly what agents want to see!
Photos to send: Include a close up (photo that shows everything above the child’s shoulders) One full body And one photo smiling with their teeth showing (This obviously does not apply to babies who do not yet have teeth!)
For Babies and Toddlers Make sure they are fully dressed and clean. They should not be wearing hats, bows, or anything too distracting. Choose a simple, clean, everyday outfit.
For babies, a onesie is perfect.
T-shirt and jeans or a simple dress is a great choice for toddlers.
If your baby is not sitting up yet, a cute tummy time photo is a great shot to send.
Here is a great example of a baby submission photo
For Kids and Teens Everyday outfits (T-Shirt and jeans is perfect) No hats, sunglasses, or anything distracting. No makeup is necessary, but light grooming is good.
Step Three: Submit!
You can chose to submit to your top agency choice, or to multiple agencies. If the agency is interested, you should generally hear back within 2 weeks; although, some agencies may take up to a month. If you do not hear back from someone, please do not be discouraged. Research more agents, get your child into acting classes, start an Instagram account featuring your child, and/or take new pictures. Most agencies allow you to apply again in a few months. Sometimes things like missing teeth, or being “out of size” (which we will explain in our next blog post, so stay tuned!) may be the reason they do not select your child.
The entertainment industry is constantly evolving, and so are agency expectations and desired qualifications in applicants. We aren’t always looking for the most beautiful child. The kind of beauty that used to be considered ‘different’ is now in demand and sought after. It is such an exciting and revolutionary time for the industry! At the end of the day, it’s the child with a little sparkle in his eye or a pep in her step who is going to grab our attention.
This is an exciting adventure and no matter where it takes you, enjoy every step!
Make sure you follow us on all social media platforms to stay connected to our soon to be library of information for aspiring Child Model and Actors!