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.” 

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Sprout Spotlight: From a model moms perspective.

Sprout Spotlight: From a model moms perspective.

We all come from different walks of life. Each of us experience life differently. As model moms it’s easy to get blinded by the glam and the flashing lights. At the end of the day we are all just moms who want the best for our kids.

This blog is about two very special Sprout Kids Agency moms who are sharing their journey and experience with our readers.

Meet Kirsten !

Mom to Sprout Kids Mia, and Jadon

I’d never considered the modeling industry for my children , ages 10 and 12, until someone approached us and mentioned they might be a good fit.

Of course I was skeptical but I decided to do my research to determine if this was a great opportunity.After signing with an agency and shooting some incredible campaigns, we’ve learned many lessons: from how to choose and partner with an agency, the ins and outs of the business and how to best prepare. Modeling and acting can be an incredibly rewarding experience for your children. It can serve as a great confidence booster for kids and the industry allows for an amazing opportunity to meet new people. We’ve enjoyed our time, my kids have blossomed and we are so grateful to be aligned with an agency who supports our children’s goals and values. Child modeling and acting isn’t for everyone but if you do your research , ask questions and remember to have fun it can be a wonderful experience !

Meet Stacey!

Mom to Sprout Kids Amaya and Lilah

I am a teacher and learning to be a newborn photographer. I am also a momager to my two girls, Amaya and Lilah. Amaya is a gymnast and Lilah plays tennis and dances and they both love to model and act

What did you look for in an agency?

Kirstin: First and foremost I was looking for someone who had integrity and a great reputation. Someone my family would be proud to align with. I also looked for someone who was willing to take the time to educate us about the industry to ensure we had a positive experience. Lastly , we looked for someone who valued diversity, someone who understood the needs of their talent and respected those needs.

Stacey: Competency, knowledge, trust and that the agency has my kids best interest at heart.

What should parents expect from their agent?

Kirstin:I believe parents should expect a partnership that includes clear and honest communication. The news might not always be positive and it’s important to find an agent who is willing to communicate both good and bad.Kirstin:

Stacey: Expect what you put into your agency is what you’ll get out of it. It’s a team effort.

What tips do you have to help new parents have a good working relationship with their agent?

Kirstin: What tips do you have to help new parents have a good working relationship with their agent?

Stacey: always be transparent with your agent. Make a concerted effort to get to as many castings as you can. Respond to your agent quickly because clients are waiting for agencies when they have to wait for a response from the talent. Always keep resumes and stats everything up to date. Put in the effort. Once your agent sees that, she will do the same for your child. It takes equal effort from the agent and talent to make your child successful in this industry.

The Industry

How did you first get your child into Modeling/acting?

Kirstin: My daughter is a competitive skimboarder and spends most of her free time at the beach. While on the beach one day we were approached by a mom in the industry who mentioned that it might be a good opportunity for our daughter. Of course , we were skeptical but after researching their agency and digging a little deeper we decided to take the leap and submit our daughter. It happened rather organically.

Stacey: My friend had her baby modeling and so I sent Amaya’s picture to the manager at the time and that kicked off her career. Lilah followed Stacey:

What surprised you most about the industry?

Kristin: One of the biggest surprises wasn’t how quickly things move. One day you are sitting on the beach, the next day you have to be at a casting. Clients are working around tight deadlines , travel schedules and even the weather, so when they need you there often isn’t a lot of time to prepare, you just have to go with the flow !

Stacey: Most things are very last minute so we have to be extremely flexible

How did you prepare your child for this industry?

Kirstin: I think one of the best ways to prepare your child for the industry is to be open and honest. Rejection is a part of the industry but it has no relation to their value. We talk a lot about this not being a sport , you don’t win or lose, but you do get to have fun.

Stacey: They were babies when they started, but as they got older, I just follow their lead. Whenever they’d ask me questions, I’d answer them. I didn’t want to give them more industry info than they were ready to understand.

What advice would you give new parents looking to get their children into the industry?

Kirstin: My advice for any new parent is to research your agent, make sure you click. They are your business partner and will play a big role in your child’s life, it’s important that you feel comfortable. Also, be realistic, there are tons of adorable kids, yours included, but don’t expect overnight success. If your child books one job a year , that is one job more than many kids. Also, have fun and don’t take it to seriously. There are many ups and downs with this business , keeping a positive attitude is critical.

Stacey: Make sure you are flexible and that your child if they want to do it. It is a big time commitment so be prepared to invest a lot of time into the industry because what you put in is what you get out of it . Most importantly, find an agency that you can trust. But, don’t just jump on the first one that gives you an offer, do some research and then go with your instinct as to which one will be the best one for your child.

What lessons have you learned?

Kirstin: We’ve learned many lessons. The biggest one is that I personally play a big role in my child’s success. I do this by supporting my agent with things like , being responsive , showing up on time and having willingness to adjust our schedule. I think in the beginning I didn’t understand how critical my role was, but by understanding the bigger picture I now know how I can best support everyone. Also, never compare always celebrate. A booking for another child does not mean a loss for yours.

Stacey:Patience, how to handle rejection, and to teach your kids to be humble and grateful for every opportunity that comes their way. Even if you don’t get one opportunity you may have wanted, there may be something just around the corner even better!

What has been the most rewarding about this industry?

Kirsten: This industry can be so rewarding. My daughter and son have both become more confident and willing to try new things. They are excited to meet new people. They have also become more mature ,understanding that being professional, polite and kind always wins.

Stacey: Building relationships with so many amazing people. Traveling to fun locations. It has also been a joy to see confidence my kids have gained from being a part of this industry which translates into all aspects of their life.Stacey:

What was your initial investment, if any?

Kirstin: The biggest investment we made was quality headshots. Headshots matter ! It’s not a huge financial investment but it was critical for us to get started. Finding a photographer who can captured our child’s personality did wonders to launch her career.

Stacey: Headshots and Casting Networks Subscription

Supporting your child

How much time can new parents expect to dedicate?

Kirstin: The time commitment really varies. Some weeks/ months are very busy with castings others are quite. I think the best thing to remember is always be ready.

Stacey: It varies. During the busy months, there can be several castings per week and sometimes more than one in the same day. Then, if your child books it, you can expect to be at the booking anywhere from 2-10 hours. It all varies so much depending on the project.Stacey:

How do you help your child handle rejection?

Kirstin: Rejection is definitely a big part of this business. We are very honest with them and always remind them that it has nothing to do with who they are.

Stacey: They understand that rejection comes with this industry and if they know they are constantly striving to improve their acting skills, showing up to as many castings as possible, and always doing their best, the rest is out of their hands. They also understand that often times, they may be “on hold” or had a callback which they find out they didn’t book and have the knowledge that it simply could come down to matching a family together or looking for a particular ethnicity. I also always tell them that when one door closes, another one opens.

What role does social media play for your child?

Kirstin: Social media has served as a great way to meet other families. We definitely don’t take it too seriously. I manage their accounts, they are too young.Kirstin:

Stacey: We have an Instagram page @amaya_lilah_sistermodels and we try to actively post on it as much as possible. But, we are still in the beginning stages of understanding the social media world in relation to the modeling and acting industry.

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!

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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!