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 🍋!
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!
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 .
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 🙂
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!
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:
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.
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 !
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.
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.
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 .
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 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 ?