Rising above the hate and negativity

Rising above the hate and negativity

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.”

The industry : from the Sproutlings Perspective

The industry : from the Sproutlings Perspective
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 for Taylor Swift so 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!

How much is your child worth?

How much is your child worth?

Can I ask you something ?

Do you work ? If not does your husband , wife , aunt , uncle, or friend ? I’m sure someone in your household works or you wouldn’t be able to pay for the internet to read this blog. Would that person work all day out of the kindness of their own heart? Would they work 6, 8, or 12 hours for no paycheck ? Would you ? Probably not. Neither should your child!
This industry has taken a turn. In a lot of ways it’s been for the better but in one way it’s taken a nose dive! Social media clients, small brands who mainly operate on FB and IG expecting your child to work for free. This subject is one that makes fire come out of my ears!! I realize all of you want your child to grow their following, but is it worth ruining the industry ? Is it worth doing this one shoot if it causes the client to hire kids for free instead of paying them? This was unheard of years ago ! A child that was a signed model would never shoot for free ! It just wasn’t an option .
Let’s not forget your child has value just as you do. Your time is valuable and so is theirs. Think of your little model as a brand. They are a professional child model , they have experience , the look, the following . All of that has value and should not come free of charge. Did the photographer get paid? Did the stylist ? Did the makeup artist ? You bet your but they did! So why should your child who does all the work make nothing in return ?? The simple answer is they shouldn’t !

Let me explain it this way. If there are 10 clients that come to Florida and they have a clothing line they want to shoot, typically they hire a photographer, hair and makeup artist , stylist , some times art director , and always models. The shoot wouldn’t work without the full team right ? So typically they would pay each member of the team and if they couldn’t afford to they might postpone the shoot for a time when their budget is higher . So let’s say they hired 5 kids at $500 a day plus agency fee. Now the child made their money and it was worth their time to take off school or a potential play date with a friend. The agency was able to make a fee and help keep their doors open and so did the rest of the team. Now times that by 10 clients a year. That’s a significant amount of money lost for the children and the Agencies . This is on 10 clients and we all know their are thousand upon thousands doing this! The industry is losing and your child is losing! All for what ? A couple followers if your lucky.

My thoughts are this. If you want a child to work for your campaign for free you can hire a friends child or a child playing at the park. If you want a certain esthetic for your line which entails a professional child model than you need to budget for it. That simple! Again , you wouldn’t work for free and neither should a child. Let’s not forget the element of burning your child out either. I mean if I photograph 5 or more kids a day I’m tired and I get burnt out just like anyone would. So does your child! Do you want to run the risk of them getting burnt out on the industry because of a few free shoots?

I know next I’m going to hear… “ but what about the smaller clothing lines that don’t have a budget for models?” My simple answer is wait until you have the budget like the good old days where you had to grow a business for it to be successful. Just this week I shot a brand new clothing line they had a limited budget and I knew that, but instead of having them go to another photographer and not pay the kids I gave them a starter rate for new clients and they got a full shoot with models for a very reasonable price. I would rather do this then ruin the industry. For smaller brands there is also the option to photograph a few of your favorite pieces on models and the rest on mannequins to save some money. There are plenty of options but everyone wants something for nothing, and we are prepared to give it to them .

Please guys help me help you ! Let’s start a MY KID WILL NOT WORK FOR FREE REVOLUTION!! If we join together we can fix this!

“When we stand up for what we believe in—for what’s right—there is always a chance that we risk the very things we fight for: our safety, our lives, our freedom. But if we stand down, the risk is definite.” 

The Art Of Letting Go

The Art Of Letting Go

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.

How does an agency ACTUALLY work ?

How does an agency ACTUALLY work ?

I realize some of the parents reading my blogs have never had your child in the modeling industry but your curious about the process. The information that is out there is great, but times have changed. There is so much contradicting information, and it becomes a bit too much to process. Here is my simplified guide on how an agency actually works, with no extra fluff, and no scare tactics. This is the honest truth on how an agency really works.

When do I pay?

The Manning Family for Vineyard Vines at Target

I’m happy to help you decide if the industry is for you. I often get emails asking if there is a cost to join my agency , or asking me to represent a child that I haven’t seen, or what exactly am I looking for in a child ? As a whole most LEGIT agencies follow a similar format. There are some minor differences but if your submitting to a reputable agency you shouldn’t EVER have to pay a fee upfront. If an agent is requesting up front payment, you need to contact other agencies. This is not the norm. As an agency we can never guarantee your child is going to book a job. We generally have a good idea of what kids have a high probability of working but in the end it is the client ( Target , Carter’s , Old Navy etc. ) who picks the child for their campaign NOT the agent. We can only do our job by submitting your child when we believe they are the right fit for the job. Everything that happens past the point of submission is completely up to the Client and Casting director (so please don’t get mad at us if your child ultimately does not book), Because agents can’t guarantee your child is going to book a job agents typically don’t take a fee upfront. Where we make our money is from commission. We only get paid, if your child gets paid. If a child books a job we take a commission from that job. Commissions can range according to agency but they are typically between 10% union jobs (SAG- the jobs everyone wants) to 20% non union jobs ( Most Print jobs). When you sign your paperwork with an agency you should be advised of the commission structure of that agency. MAKE SURE YOU READ WHAT YOU ARE SIGNING. I haven’t seen an agency take more than 20% so I would say 20% is the “norm” in the industry. The commission is taken out from your child’s check at the time they are paid. So again nothing is coming out of your pocket in advance. Payments are made AFTER the client pays the agency. So if you have to cover any expenses (travel, lodging, outfits) at the time of the booking, take that into consideration as well.

How to submit

As far as the submission process goes, all agencies should have a submission form on their website . Sprouts is in the “grow with us “ tab under the info button on our website. There is a form where you submit your child’s photos and your contact info. Please check an agencies website before you call or contact them for how to submit. An agents phone is constantly going off, email alerts are buzzing by the second. You do not want your first impression with an agent to be the wrong impression. Follow the agents specific instructions on how to submit. As a general rule DO NOT SUBMIT VIA SOCIAL MEDIA. If you DM me via social media I’m going to direct you to my website to submit, if I have time. There are times when simply there are not enough hands to respond to social media inquiries. Most agencies do not prefer being contacted via social media for representation and it’s easy for your message to be lost in the internet world. Calling on the phone describing your child to me is also not the best way to get your child signed. I cannot sign a child I have never met or seen and again it’s very time consuming answering these types of calls throughout the day. Please just take the time to check the agents website for their submission process. Most agencies will only get back to you if they are interested in possibly representing your child and setting up a meeting. We do not respond to submissions if we are not interested in meeting your child. No one likes to hear that your child is not the right fit for an agency, and it’s even harder being the person to deliver that news. Generally no response is a response. All children are beautiful, and amazing in their own way. Not every child is going to be the next star. Which brings me to my next topic.

What am I looking for ?

Sprouts Jennesa for Primark

That is such a broad question. I’m not looking for a certain ethnicity , hair color , or eye color. There is just something about a kid that grabs my attention. I’m not always sure what it is but there is something. It’s the “IT “ factor. The first step is submitting a photo. Some agencies require your child to take professional photos to even be considered. This is at the discretion of the agency. I have recommended photographers that I like to use as do most agencies. Please read my prior blog post about headshots for further info on the importance of great headshots. Once I have seen your child’s photo and or a resume if they have one I decide if that child would be a good fit for Sprout. That is why it is so important to submit photos that show your child in their best light. No topless photos, babies in just diapers, photos of your child eating, photos of your child on the toliet etc. As silly as this seems, you have no idea how many crazy submission stories we have. Once again, make sure that these are photos that make your child look their best, and not overly posed. If I feel they would be a good fit I set up a meeting to meet the child in person. I never represent a child I haven’t seen in person .This is my policy and doesn’t pertain to all agencies. In my opinion I can’t in good conscience recommend a child to a client I haven’t met so I always meet the child in person. This helps me determine where the child belongs in the agency. Some kids are a better fit for print,some are a better fit for tv, and some are great for both TV and print but without meeting your child I can’t determine the best way to represent your child. Our agents have a special gift in really seeing the potential of a child just by having a conversation with them. Once we see where the child belongs, we give them the tools they need to further their career, and skill level. If I was a parent looking for representation I would only work with an agency or manager that has an interest in meeting my child as I don’t feel they could be properly represented without a formal introduction. If they don’t know who exactly your child is, and what they are capable of, then how are they submitting them properly? Make sure if you haven’t yet, meet your agent!

What happens after your child is signed ?

After we sign a child they are registered into our system(s). The sign-up process is usually lengthy, and there are steps you need to make sure you take quickly. Agencies move very fast, you want to make sure you turn everything in at a timely manner, and not forgotten. If you don’t have headshots right away, schedule them. A good headshot photographer books months in advance. Once the contracts are signed, the profiles are created, the stats are entered, the headshots are uploaded, you are finally ready to be submitted. Usually clients know exactly what they are looking for. They will send us a breakdown for each role, and what specifically each child needs to be/have. They will send us some thing like “looking for a 5 year old boy, with dark eyes, hispanic, that can ride a bike” then submit the children that fit what the client is looking for. After all the kids that the clients request are submitted the client or casting director picks the children they would like to see in person . Your child attends the casting , they take a quick snap shot or video if it’s a commercial , they might ask a few questions , or might fit the child in clothing. After the casting is over the client picks the children they would like to book for their job. At times their are callbacks or holds, but thats something I can explain at another time. Clients contact the agency once they have made their final decision and we contact you to book your child. Sometimes clients will ask you to bring wardrobe choices, or has special requests. So if they are booked, make sure you are able and ready to accommodate last minute requests. Most of this business happens on short notice. If you can not work with last minute castings, and bookings you might want to rethink getting representation. Nothing makes an agent more upset than talent who make us look bad with a client because they cannot make a booking. So make sure you go to your booking on time, have fun, and enjoy the experience. Once you have completed a booking you can expect a check around 90 days, sometimes sooner, sometimes later. The agency will take out the commission for you, so there is no extra work required.

Separating Fact from Fiction

Sprouts Kids Agencies Mia and AJ for Carters

I think there is this common misconception that child modeling can be sexy, very serious, or the child is layered in makeup. People tend to compare it to how superficial the adult modeling/entertainment industry is at times. This is NOT the case, with kids. In most ads there is little to no makeup on the children. If makeup is used, its just to smooth the child’s complexion. The kids are never dressed sexy or inappropriate. Most of the time when you see ads of kids looking ridiculously happy, its because they are. Their are crew members whose only job is to make sure the kids are having the best day ever! Our clients range from Target, Carters, Old Navy, Children’s Place, J Crew, Pottery Barn Kids, Gap Kids, Disney, Nickelodeon, and many more. These are all fun happy kids conscious brands letting kids just be kids. Professional agencies will never allow a parent or child be put in an inappropriate situation. The children’s modeling and talent industry should be a fun experience for you as a parent, and especially your child(ren).

I hope this has helped you further understand the industry, and serves as a guide in helping you decide if this is something you would like to pursue, or continue pursuing!

Be sure to subscribe to all our social media profiles for the latest news, and information!

Headshots, or no shot.

Headshots, or no shot.

A little insight on the importance of having proper headshots from Sprout Kids Agency Miami owner, Shaina Miller.

Today, I want to talk about importance of having great photos on your profile. This is one of those things I hardly ever talk about. Reason being that I am a photographer and I am always overly cautious about not mixing my Agency and my photography. However, this week I received a project of kids from a New York Agency. As I looked through the project, I thought to myself WOW every child has an amazing portfolio. Not one of these kids has a snapshot their parent took, not one is dark and hard to see, not one was unbookable because of their photos. If I was a client I would be booking kids with this Agency all day!

Why would you not take the time to make sure your child’s profile is perfect ? Like any sport or hobby there is somewhat of an upfront cost. If your involved in hockey you need a stick , pads , ice time . If your child dances you pay for dance class , leotards , dance shoes. In modeling you pay for a proper headshot. The great news is, with that headshot you have the potential to earn back the money you spent and then some. What I can promise you is without a great portfolio your child will not book a fraction of the jobs they could have booked with a kick butt one!

The modeling world has changed. We have now entered the digital age. Years ago,when I was first in the industry you didn’t really need a professional photo as clients would hold “open castings.” There was no way to digitally send kids photos to a client. So, an Agent would either send a bunch of comp cards via snail mail to a client or the client would hold a giant “open casting.” Every child and their mother would show up, it would take hours to be seen , and 90% of the time your child wasn’t the right look the client was searching for. Now we are lucky enough to be able to digitally send your child’s portfolio to the client ahead of time . This makes for much smaller castings , kids are requested from their photos, and in turn your not waisting a day at a casting your child’s not the right fit for.

Today a great headshot is VITAL ! Your child will not be seen at a casting if their headshot does not stand out next to 50 others. YOUR HEADSHOT IS YOUR BUSINESS CARD. Take the time and do it right. I honestly believe you get what you pay for. If you want mediocre headshots for a value price you will be lucky to be requested on a mediocre amount of castings. If you invest once or twice a year on a great portfolio your number of request castings should greatly improve. Remember your child is being picked from their photos. If you don’t LOVE your child’s photo neither will the client. As an agent it’s hard to hear a parent complain about their child not getting as many castings as another child when the parent hasn’t done their part. I have heard time after time we will start with this photo and if he does well we will invest in a great headshot. This is backwards thinking. You can’t put your child in soccer and if he is doing ok then buy him cleats. He will never play to his full potential if he’s sliding all over the field. The same goes for our industry. Your child won’t play to his/her full potential without the proper materials. The good news is their is a chance for your child to make a return on your initial investment. How many other hobby’s can you say that about ?

What makes a great headshot ??? Great question lol! In my opinion the cleaner the better. No props , nothing distracting in the background, nothing distracting in the hair. The photo should be about your child and your child only. The best photographers use makeup artists that are great at making it look like there isn’t much makeup on. Remember, these are children and they need to look like children.

Commercial Headshots:

I believe the child should wear bright colors and the personality should show in a photo. I love a good serious look but clients are typically booking happy kids so you want your child to seem happy and easy to work with in their photo. See below examples:

Acting Headshots:

A film headshot typically has a darker background and a more serious look to it and again nothing distracting in the photo. It’s all about your child. I would stay away from trees , flowers, or anything that can distract from your child. See below for an example:

There are a lot of great photographers out there. Always ask your agent who they recommend if your looking for guidance. I hope this helps. If you have any questions please comment on the post on Instagram and I will answer to the best of my ability .

“If your not going all the way, why go at all “ -Joe Namath

Sprout Spotlight: An inside look with Top Miami Casting Director Carlos Rojas of Universal Casting Miami

Sprout Spotlight: An inside look with Top Miami Casting Director Carlos Rojas of Universal Casting Miami

We had such a great response from our last post that we could not delay this one any longer.

If you ask anyone in the Miami entertainment scene, they have heard of Universal Casting.

Universal casting is definitely a leader in casting offices in South Florida.

Casting Director Carlos Rojas, and his partners are definitely doing something right.

They have casted some of the biggest projects to reach South and Central Florida.

Not only do they cast, they also offer training at their sister company Universal Acting.

Universal acting Classes are led by industry professionals/educators and provide students with comprehensive curriculum and programs.

They have locations in Fort Lauderdale, and Miami.

Who is Carlos Rojas?

“Today, Carlos is proudly one of the three managing partners of Universal Casting. Since the day they opened their doors, Ginger Wortley, Eva Edlund-Borges and Carlos Rojas set out to change the face of casting on Miami Beach. Remarkably – this innovative team of individuals joined forces just six years ago. Yet today the trio own and operate the leading casting facility that services countless clients from around the world. Their high tech casting options, teleconferencing capabilities, production offices and access to an extensive talent pool has allowed them to be a driving force for some of the most exciting, humor-filled and emotional projects casted in Florida. The Universal crew makes sure that all talent are comfortable and prepared before the camera goes on and it shows. Clients know that every assignment awarded to Universal Casting will afford them with top notch talent and a friendly yet professional working environment. On any given day you can flip on the TV and find some project they helped create. The future holds endless possibilities for this clever group as they forge forward seeking out and cultivating innovative ways to make the industry grow and prosper.

Carlos Rojas has raised the standards within the casting community and it is no longer business as usual. For his competitors…Carlos Rojas – the funny boy from Colombia is no laughing matter. “

Which is your favorite project to date? What made it impactful for you?  

“Any Given Sunday / Directed by Oliver Stone /Starring Al Pacino and other great actors – First major Feature Film.”

What makes the kids that you select to been seen stand out?What is it that you typically look for? ( A solid headshot, an impressive resume? is there a “look you go for”)

“First it takes a great professional photo to catch your eye. The “look” depends on the specs given to us by our clients. A solid resume can definitely help you get seen. Each project varies – sometimes we pick who will be seen – others the client does. When we pick – we stick closely to the story boards, concept, skill set and character breakdown requested by the client.”

When a project is submitted who picks the kids selected to be seen at the castings? is there a specific process?

“Each project varies – sometimes we pick who will be seen – others the client does. When we pick – we stick closely to the story boards, concept, skill set and character breakdown requested by the client.”

What is bad etiquette that prevents someone from being chosen?

“Bad attitudes, self entitlement, lack of humility, coming off as fake or not authentic, not knowing their place in the production hierarchy.”

What is your biggest casting pet peeve?

“When actors don’t listen to the directions that are given”

For kids interested in taking their career to the next level, what the biggest piece of advice you can offer them/their parents? 

“This is a business – treat it as one. Do your research – know who you are dealing with. Read everything you sign – become familiar with industry terms.”

What is your opinion on Social Media and how it is impacting the industry?

“Be careful what you post – clients are watching.”

What advice do you give to agencies in regards to their talent? How would you do it differently?

“Make sure you actually know your talent (what they currently look like – what they can and cannot do – talent level) Make sure they are prepared for auditions:
on time, prepare/memorize scripts/lines , learn to take directions.”

If you could work with any industry professional, or any client that you have not worked with before who would you work with?

“Casting Director Sarah Finn
Casting Director
Carla Hool”

What is your website? Do you have any social media accounts?

Universal Casting

Universal Casting Instagram

Universal Acting Instagram

Carlos Rojas Instagram

Universal Acting YouTube

Questions from our kids

We asked our talent what were some of their biggest questions, and we got the answers!

Do you keep talent in mind for other projects, if you were impressed by them?

“Yes.”

Feedback! If we provided a feedback form after an audition, would you be willing to offer input to the agency on a big audition?

“Yes,if time permits”

What are some auditioning (in-person and self-tape) mistakes you see over and over?

Talent coming in not prepared.”

We hope that you enjoyed this interview with Carlos as much as we did!

We want to thank Carlos for taking the time, and really offering us a new look inside the mind of a casting director.

Make sure you follow him on Instagram to stay up-to-date on his upcoming acting classes at Universal Acting!

Like and subscribe to get notifications for our weekly blog posts!

We have one more interview with another Top Casting Director that you will nit want to miss.

Sprout Spotlight: An inside look behind the casting camera.

Sprout Spotlight: An inside look behind the casting camera.

Q&A with top Casting Director Lori Wyman

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?

My website for actors

My Casting website

Follow me on Instagram

Questions from our kids

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.🌱

Why isn’t my child being called on castings?

Why isn’t my child being called on castings?
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 !

The Ultimate Beginners Guide

The Ultimate Beginners Guide

How to Become a Child Model/Actor

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, closeup

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!