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 !
Cómo convertir el sueño de tu hijo en realidad: actores y modelos infantiles de habla Hispana
Guía para principiantes Por donde sea que miremos, hay anuncios y comerciales promocionando algún producto o servicio. Si prestas atención a los carteles publicitarios que inundan las calles o a los comerciales de televisión, te darás cuenta que hay una enormidad de niños actores y modelos que trabajan en estas campañas.
Si estás leyendo este blog, seguramente quieres saber cómo hacer para que tu hijo ingrese en el medio y se convierta en la cara de una de estas empresas. Aunque puede parecer un sueño inalcanzable, la realidad es que si tienes un chiquito extrovertido y talentoso que le gusta actuar acá en el sur de la Florida existen muchas oportunidades de trabajo siempre y cuando logres meterlo en una buena agencia que lo represente.
Si tu chiquito además habla español fluido entonces tiene aún más posibilidades de triunfar ya que son cada vez más los clientes que buscan talentos infantiles latinos (de entre 5 y 12 años) con buen dominio del idioma.
Es por esto que Sprout Kids Agency, la principal agencia de talento infantil del Sur de la Florida ha decidido expandirse con la apertura de Sprout en Español, un sector que cuenta exclusivamente con niños y familias latinas.
Sprout no busca niños ni familias perfectas, sino personas talentosas y reales que representen la diversidad del mundo en el que vivimos. Así que si tu hijo o hija siempre soñó con estar frente a las cámaras no dudes en mandar su aplicación y recuerda que muchas empresas como Disney buscan familias reales para sus comerciales. Así que esto se podría convertir en un gran negocio para toda la familia.
Te estarás preguntando: “¿ dónde y cómo aplico?”. Tranquilo que es muy sencillo siguiendo nuestra guía.
Primer Paso: Busca en internet una agencia en tu ciudad o en alguna ciudad vecina que te guste. Mira su página web y redes sociales para conocer bien sus trabajos anteriores, cuales son las marcas con las que ha trabajado y qué tipo de niños representa.
Segundo Paso: Envía tu aplicación. Si quieres formar parte de Sprout en Español ingresa a www.sproutkidsagency.com. Ahi llenas el formulario y en aproximadamente una semana estarás recibiendo una respuesta si estamos interesados en trabajar contigo. Si no fuiste contactado, puedes volver a mandar tu aplicación con nuevas fotos para ser considerado nuevamente. No se aceptan solicitudes por Instagram ni facebook.
Tomate el tiempo de mirar la página web. No sólo para conocernos en cuanto a experiencia y trabajos, sino también para asegurarte de que somos lo que buscas para representar a tu hijo.
Lately we have had so many parents turn down AH MAZING potential castings/bookings, which is a H U G E no no. While we have been digging deeper to find out why our talent has been turning down jobs we found that most of not all turned down opportunities could be worked out. Want to have your cake, and eat it too? Here’s how.
Availability check: what does it mean?
So your agent just let you know a client reached out and wants to check if your child’s available December 11-14 ( for example). Your only available the 13th and the 14 do you decline ? Do you confirm ? What are your next steps ?
First things first, Let your agent know your available! Nope just because not all dates work, it doesn’t mean we can’t let the client know.
Here is what we recommend saying. “ Hey agents name, We are available just 2 of the 4 days. Can you check with the client if that’s ok?”
That’s it! It’s never good to decline an availability check as a lot do turn into bookings. Most agents get really frustrated if all they hear is not available, we rather work around a schedule then hear no.
The same goes for a client.As long as your up front with the client,if they like your child they will work around their schedule to fit your child in to their shoot . So it’s a win win . Just make sure you let us know know any known conflicts before you are booked.
Wanna know what you shouldn’t say when an agent is doing an availability check?
What time ? What location ? Or a million questions!
Argghhh it just drives me mad even typing the words lol . 🙈
99% of the time when we are asking availability the only info we know is the dates. If we have any additional info (rates, location, etc.) we almost always include it. We don’t ever hold information from talent if we have it.
Another reason to keep your response short and to the point is, We are also on a time crunch getting this info back to the client as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Think of it this way,
a client isn’t going to have their schedule ready before they book the kids they want so most likely they won’t have a time yet .
All your Agent is trying to find out is … is your child available the said dates. Yes or no.
This is also another reason why sometimes agent get a bad rep, we aren’t trying to be short, we just have to be. When we are clearing hundreds of kids.
Nothing takes more time than trying to get everyone cleared, and a project perfect for a client.
Do your part in making this process smooth, and we promise we will do our best in getting you in front of our clients!
13 years in this business has taught me a lot . It’s taught me humility, gratitude, and patience in particular . Some days I have more patience than others I must admit .
Most of all I have watched the tides change . I have watched kids go from booking nothing to being a super star booker. I have watched super star bookers dry up and just completely stop booking.My point is everyone has their time in the sun but with it comes the shade . You can be on the highest of highs for one year and the next season it can call come crashing down.
My point in saying this is we have all seen the kids that go into the business and magically start booking right away.
The parents go from being the humble grateful parents to the entitled parents in about two seconds flat.
They start demanding more hours from clients, asking for booking times to be changed, or asking for full or half day rates to book their kids.
I have seen this time and time again and every time this becomes where the child peaks then takes a nose dive within the industry. Parents can be a child’s biggest sore thumb.
Don’t become too big for your own good that you stop being grateful for what you have been given. There are so many parents wishing to have the 2 hour booking your child was lucky enough to get and wouldn’t dream of asking for any type of accommodations. Remember your CHILD is making on an hourly bases about 10 times more than minimum wage for most adults. Have gratitude.
I realize many of you take off work for your kids to be involved in the industry , you move things around, and your other kids need to be picked up by family members or friends. Trust me I get it ! You made the choice to involve your child ( in turn yourself ) into the industry and with that comes some sacrifice.
With that sacrifice come a huge return. My son plays hockey he’s at the rink more than he’s home.
I pay way more money than I would like to for him to be involved ,and I spend way more time than I would like to at the hockey rink. It’s sacrifice.
We sacrifice as parents as much as time allows us for our kids. Unfortunately with hockey there is NO RETURN on my investment unless maybe god willing my son plays for the NHL one day and he can start paying MY bills woot woot lol !
This is one of those great hobbies that you can actually make more money than you invest.
Actually a lot more, And your lucky enough that your child has what it takes to be signed by an agent.
Remember about 1 out of every 150 kids that submit to me gets signed.
So it’s a privilege to be represented and should be treated as such.
Chances are your child’s day in the sun will come to an end and it will be on to something new. So enjoy it while it’s here, be grateful for every opportunity, and you can never thank your agent too much.
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.
Have you ever been to a casting and just felt some major evil eyes on your kid as soon as you walked in the door? Have you ever felt like this industry is an arrow and your the bullseye? While I am proud to say that Sprout Kids has some of the most unified and supportive parents I’ve ever come across, this is not standard. We do try to keep the peace, and stray away from any outside drama.
This is a field of mamas who are drama mamas and a business with a lot of jealousy attached to it. The second someone starts making moves, people start to notice, and then start to talk. In this industry Negative Nancys, and Bitter Bettys sipping on an extra strong doses of haterade are just waiting on the next person to contaminate with some bad juju. Again, their reasoning is how dare their kid not get every booking they casted for; Or how dare this agent change the status quo. We were all so comfortable the way it was, and I can’t always blame them. There can be a sense of superiority when you’ve been doing this for so long. To see a newcomer come in and try to steal the crown… it hurts. People notice and react. Some more gracefully than others. It just comes with the territory. The bigger the threat, the more people cannot handle it. Letting go of the throne isn’t easy for anyone.
All empires eventually fall, and to expect to be the greatest of the great forever and always is delusional. Change is necessary. It’s unrealistic to assume that your child possesses every quality for every booking every single time. It’s unrealistic that in a world that’s forever changing that the industry won’t change with it. I’m a strong believer that everyone has a season, some do last longer than others. Some will not easily be defeated. If there is someone who is breaking boundaries, and catching the right attention, people with the wrong intention will try to knock you down behind your back. Some will smile in your face, and If you’re lucky they won’t.
You must always be confident in who you are as a parent, a person, and your child’s abilities. My greatest advice in staying away from the negativity is to stay quiet. Keep it all to yourself. Is your child on hold? Don’t spread it all over. Humble bragging only gives you more hate. Followers preying on their downfall. Succeed in silence. Is another Agency getting a little attention? That’s o.k., it doesn’t mean yours isn’t good. Be and lead by example. People will mock you, when in reality they want what you’ve got. They will laugh, and then try to imitate whatever it is you are doing. I always tell my kids: “There is only one you, and that, my dear, is your super power.”I could give someone every tool I had to create/discover on my own. I could give them the formula I used to open more doors… and they will never get the same result. Not because they aren’t great, but because everyone possesses their own unique greatness within them. They key is to discover, or in many of our cases, help our children discover their own greatness. This isn’t a competition of who books the most jobs in one season. It’s not about being the greatest, and the only. There is far more greater things to be concerned with. For parents, It’s just a future memory your child will hold with them for the rest of their lives. Make the journey a beautiful one, a genuine one. Not one of an anxious parent complaining about gossip that will seem so minuscule when you look back 20 years from now. Be peace, be the difference.
Any negativity, any closed door is just a detour to get you to the destination meant for you. Let those unexpected storms water your roots, not drown you. Even when you are the negative voice in your head, and in your child’s head always remember a rainbow of blessings awaits you. What is yours can never belong to someone else. ️
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
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!
A blog entry by Sprout Kids Agency owner Shaina Miller on how, when, and If to let go.
About 2 weeks ago it was one of my least favorite days….REMOVAL day.
During off season before a new season begins I typically go through my talent and determine which kids I’m keeping for another season and which kids I need to remove. This is one of the most dreaded weeks.
Honestly, there is no easy way to tell a parent their child didn’t make the cut. I hate this part of my job with a passion and typically I don’t talk about it.
I read Brandis Ohlsson’s ( from Ohlsson Models ) post in regards to this and it was EVERYTHING! It inspired me to blog about it myself in hopes that you guys can understand as Agents we are people too.
We don’t want to hurt anyone and we really truly wish you the best when we say goodbye . My poor assistant Emily had sweaty palms and an increased heart rate when I told her I was emailing a few parents to remove their kids from the system. She literally said “ Can’t we just remove them and not say anything? “ half joking of course. She says this for two reasons.
1. She truly feels for these families the way I do. We are rooting for your child every day since we sign them ,we want you to succeed , and nothing hurts us more than when it just doesn’t work out.
2. Social media . I have a big love hate relationship with social media and one of my biggest faults with the internet is when I’m simply doing my job and I upset a parent by releasing their child which causes them to leave me negative reviews.
Believe me, I don’t want to release your child, I want them to work. I want them to thrive in my agency but sometimes a child just doesn’t fit. Instead of holding on for dear life to avoid a bad review and hurt feelings it’s only fair to give you a chance to pursue other options. I’m only trying to be fair to you and your child.
Sometimes I have a child in my system that goes through a dead season. The industry changes every year and the type of kids clients are looking for varies from season to season. So,I could have a kid that goes through a dry spell but I realize it’s just the industry right now and it’s not permanent. When I believe that’s the case I will talk to the parent telling them “ not to quit and don’t be discouraged your time will come”. I mean this when I say it. I have watched kids go 2-3 years with very minimal bookings and the next season become a booking machine. It’s the nature of the business it always comes in waves.
I just want you to remember as Agents we are human too, we have feelings, we understand your frustrations and we never want to say goodbye to a talent. Remember that before ego forces you to leave a bad review or you get angry we let you go. We truly wish you the best . After all when you succeed we succeed.
This blog series is dedicated to how a mom with kids in the industry understands not only the struggles of fellow moms but agents as well. It will serve as a guide to help navigate your journey in the entertainment industry with eyes that have seen both the parenting and agency side.
I wasn’t always a working mom. I was a mommy mom. I was the type of mom that only shared about my kids on Facebook (well, still do). I was all about my mommyhood and never strayed from my official “mom uniform” of black compression leggings and a highly knotted mom bun. I’d tote my infant in his baby carrier and toddler in her way overpriced stroller to all the castings I received. I was a typical stay-at-home model mom: bored out of my mind, just looking forward to the next casting.
Ok, to be honest , I was borderline obsessed! My manager even had her very own, very distinguishable ring/text tone, and you better believe those emails were marked as VIP. (Not that she really needed it because I refreshed my emails religiously every other minute.) I, too, was in a daze by the flash of all the photos taken of my “perfect” children.
Oh , they were perfect. God forbid someone try to get me off my high horse and reject my child. I had my model mom bff’s on speed dial so that we could trash talk the stupid casting that “we didn’t want to go to anyway,” or the crazy casting directors, who obviously only wanted everyday kids, not my stunning child. Why else would they not pick me?!…. I mean… my kid.
In reality, I was an amateur. I was the mom who almost every mom in this business is in the beginning. The mom who just cannot handle the rejection as well as they thought they could. I used to think, “Oh, modeling will be just something else to do.” Then, it became everything!
The hardest part in the modeling business is to accept it when someone rejects your “perfect child.” I think that any parent who doesn’t think that they have created a future legend should get an award. It is normal to think that way, but it doesn’t mean that everyone thinks that way. That’s the lesson I learned from rejection.
I think that if I never got a job in the industry, I would still be like every other mom lost in obsession. The mom that no one can stand. You know exactly who I am talking about: the mom with her kids’ headshots and resume neatly tucked into a leather (or pleather for the earth conscious mommy <3) portfolio, the mom who proudly calls herself a momager on her child’s instagram account (you know, the instagram with the paid followers), the mom who congratulates her own child on social media for her kid’s booking just to make other moms jealous #nothumblebrag (don’t do this by the way), the mom who talks way too much trying to get “in” with production but ultimately just ends up annoying the crap out of them. I promise I was totally getting to that point: the point where you think your kid is a star before he really is a star. Then, everything changed.
Everything that I thought I knew about the industry came crashing down within 24 hours of getting a job with THE top manager in all of South Florida and Orlando, who is now the owner of Sprout Kids Agency in Miami, FL. #Boss This was the same manager who I was positively sure hated my guts, up until the very second before I sent her THE message: the message that, unbeknownst to me, would change my life.
It was a typical day, I was sitting on the sofa scrolling on social media making sure no other agents or managers had posted new bookings. I had time for that, even if I swore I didn’t care. Out of the blue, on this completely ordinary day of my completely ordinary life, I heard that echoing loud obnoxious ring tone. Then, I got another, even before I could stop yelling at my kids to stop fighting. I always got nervous when I heard that tone; imagine two back to back. She was either really excited about something, or I must have pissed her off.
I opened the email. Ok, she was mad, thankfully not at me. She was sending out instructions about a new agency she was working with and no one was listening. ( Little did I know, I would soon understand her frustration.) As I’m reading the emails, I get another alert. “CHECK YOUR EMAIL NOW!!” I can’t lie, she scared the crap out of me. Then, I got another all-caps message. When that 4th message came in, I got the BIGGEST urge to ask if she was ok, and it just wouldn’t go away.
I wrote and rewrote THE message maybe 15 times. I am naturally shy and very awkward, always saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, so the last thing that I wanted was to be the reason for another all-caps email. (I’d been there before, and I may have cried (she doesn’t remember this)… let’s just blame that on new mom emotions! She totally hated me…. or so I thought.) Once I finally mustered up the courage to send her THE text, I felt my soul leaping out of my body, and I now totally see this memory as an out of body experience, not even kidding. She texted me back almost instantly. She was at her breaking point, and I was too. I was tired of being just another mommy. I needed purpose, and she needed a helping hand she could trust. So that annoying ring tone rang, my heart was racing, but instead of being greeted by someone who I feared, I got a human that honestly put up with more than anyone should completely alone: to work with 13 agents, some not so nice agency owners, and hundreds of even more demanding parents. She held the weight of making sure everyone (hundreds of parents, 13 strict agents with their own agendas, and countless number of clients) was happy for 13 years, and it had become all-consuming, especially when the happiness of her kids, husband and most importantly her own expectations for joy had been met with disappointment.
In my head, I always thought, “How hard could it really be? I could do her job with my eyes closed.” #wrong SO wrong. I listened to her vent, and I offered to help her with all I could. I just didn’t think she would say yes. She did before I could even think about. She needed this, someone who would never let her down for the first time in years. For me, I somehow landed myself a job. As unexpected and organically as it could have happened, I didn’t even have time to call my husband and tell him. It was just meant to be, I didn’t just gain a job, I gained someone who I am so proud to know, someone, who I trust with my life. So did she. It was just the beginning of a beautiful and successful working relationship: Ying and Yang, Shake and Bake, Arnold and Danny.
I don’t think that any parent can fathom how draining this can be. I will not say that it is not rewarding, or that it doesn’t bring us great joy; it does. That is why we do this. We live to make kids smile and dreams come true. To be a part of such a magical journey, is just that: magical. However, we are not fairy godmothers, and no matter how hard we try and push a child, there will always be a mother who doesn’t think we did enough.
Everyone thinks that they can do your job better. We have to deal with the know it all parents who “just want to offer some insight,” aka they want to tell us, “you don’t know what you are doing.” We do, and we are doing the best we can. If you want us to do better, then you can help! Follow directions, email and call us during business hours, go to your classes, keep on top of your casting sites, update your headshots without a reminder.
Agents and managers are notorious for leaving you on “read”, or not answering every question after you’ve emailed them 10 times. Let’s not even talk about the dreaded one letter response… K. I always thought she was just intentionally being mean, but I can promise you that your agent/manager does not hate you. They are just working so hard to make sure your child doesn’t miss an opportunity. Just imagine at least 500 talent/parents emailing and calling and texting you all day and night. Most parents don’t, but I have gotten daily texts at crazy hours( 3 am/ 12:30 am). The classic message starts with, “Sorry for the late text, but I had to message you now or I would forget.” What they really mean is #sorrynotsorry.
I realized then that all the years of my child being represented by her, I didn’t ever before ask her about her. I didn’t ever care. That’s just the harsh reality. It makes me so sad that I could have ever been so blind. Working moms are moms, and they’re great ones who do whatever it takes to get things done… usually neglecting their own needs. I try now to be more conscious to never be that resentful person I was again. We are all humans just trying to make it through the day. Of course my kids’ careers matter, but it’s not an obsession anymore.
I go to a casting, and I’m done. If they book, it’s a blessing, not a right. If they don’t book, it’s an opportunity to show off their skills. It doesn’t mean that the casting director is blind; it means they had a different vision already. If my kids don’t get requested and my friend’s kids do, I don’t secretly mope around all day sulking in my misery. I get genuinely happy that there are enough jobs for everyone. Once I changed my outlook, my karma started changing, and more doors opened up for my kids (all on their own, with no help from me) in different markets and here.
The most important advice I can give a new mom, or veteran mom, is to be aware and not let rejection get to you. Life is so much greater than being obsessed with a booking. Remember the kids who did book the job wanted it just as badly as you did; they worked just as hard. Remember that your agent is human and forgets things or is just tired. Remember that the casting director is just trying to do their job and make the client happy. It is not personal, but you can be a personable person as you navigate on this journey. Let your child shine the way they were meant to, and everything that was meant to be for them will find them! Let them be who they want to be.
I can rant because I have done it, all of it. I really did. I assumed her phone was off when I was “just a mom” and I sent her an early morning message.The phones are never off, never on silent. Neither is your brain. Requests come in even when our brain just prays for one second, just one second of quiet. There are no weekends, no real vacations. This business never sleeps. We, just like you, refresh our emails religiously just to make sure we don’t miss a casting, so that you don’t miss an opportunity. We always have to be ready to jump on a computer and make sure that client has everything they need so that they keep coming back to us. You better believe that if we mess up, that client will not ever work with us again. That is the last thing we want, and not for selfish reasons. We try because all we want to do is make your child’s dreams come true, too.
Here at Sprout Kids Agency, we work so hard because we are a family, and we care about your kids,too. We want nothing more than for your child to succeed. If it were up to us, every child would book, and there would be enough jobs for everyone, and everyone would be the perfect look for every client. Although we cannot guarantee that your child works, we do promise we will continue doing our very best to get them all the opportunities to be seen. We will continue to educate ourselves so that we can share the knowledge. We will be the difference.
I am so blessed, and I say blessed and not lucky because it is so much more than luck to get to do something I am so passionate about. I get to make dreams come true everyday, and I get to do it with one of my favorite HUMAN beings that has ever walked the earth since the beginning of time. Shaina, for you, I am so grateful.
“There is nothing more prestigious than a beautiful soul painting the world with his or her vibrant colors. ” ~Bonnie Koury