Managing Expectations

It’s no secret that working in the entertainment industry is the ultimate rollercoaster. Soaring highs and crashing lows are part and parcel of working as a model or actor. As adults we have (mostly) come to grips with life’s twists and turns, and can take a bit of rejection and disappointment on the chin. But how do we manage this when it comes to children?

Every day we have kids being driven off to castings, they sit in the back seat of mum or dads car filled with hope and a little bit of nerves, and maybe some unrealistic expectations. For a lot of kids this might be their first ever casting, so of course they are not going to know what to expect. They will then pop into the studio to meet with an unfamiliar face (or a few!), and be asked questions and may be prompted to read a script or act something out for the casting director. It will all be over in the blink of an eye, and then the waiting game begins.

Most experienced actors and models will be able to manage their expectations professionally, and not allow their thoughts and desires to run away with them. While they would LOVE to book that job, they know that it is anyone’s game!  So how do we teach this wisdom to children?

A lot of this will come with experience, and the best way to show your child the in’s and out’s of the industry is exposing them to what a casting may be like, attending workshops and talking to them about what to expect (you can get this info from your agent) will set them up with the right expectations.

It is important to explain to your children how the industry works and be totally honest, tell them that even if they attend the audition that there’s no guarantee that they will get the job. All they can do is try their best and have fun! Kids should treat each experience whether it be an audition, casting, callback, wardrobe fitting or shoot as a fun and enjoyable activity, and not place the focus on booking the job.

Bianca, our National Casting Manager, shared some great wisdom with us in regards to how to manage your child’s expectations;

Being requested for a casting is a huge achievement in itself.  This means that your child has been shortlisted out of possibly hundreds of kids, for an in-person meeting with the director, stylist or casting agent.  Being “seen” in this industry is always valuable – booking the job is a bonus!

Castings & auditions should be seen as a fun learning experience!  Any opportunity to attend a casting can only help your child be more prepared & confident for the next one.  Plus, the casting agencies will often keep your child’s details on file & may request to meet them for another potential job in the future.  Best of luck!”

So all in all, castings and auditions can be great fun for kids and it’s important to set them up with the right expectations so this experience doesn’t turn into a negative one if they don’t book the job. We want to keep our kids interested in the industry and motivated to keep trying even when it doesn’t eventuate to a booking, so keep it light and have fun!

 

 

The Entertainment Industry – Demystified

There are many myths and misconceptions about the entertainment industry and what it takes to “make it”. This industry is full of wonderful opportunities, but there is also no clear path to how to make these opportunities happen for you.

While there are many legitimate, honest industry professionals from agents, casting directors and performance coaches who genuinely want to help and nurture young talent, there are a few who take advantage of those eager to enter the industry and their uncertainty about how the industry really works. The fact is that there is no set path, nor formula for success in the industry. Because of this, it is easy to market a ‘guaranteed’ way to ensure success or create an impression that any one factor could mean commercial success, whether it be an agency, workshops, work without pay or portfolio shoots.  

Too often, as agents, we too often see people and businesses trying to “sell the dream”, making promises that they cannot realistically fulfil. The reality of the industry is that no one can guarantee that there will be work or that they can get that work going your way. There is no one who can create work or can give talent work (via agents) other than the clients themselves (being brands, production companies, advertising agencies etc).

This industry is purely based on the individual, so no matter the track record of talent booked through an agent/coach/director, there is no guarantee that this means the next talent they sign will have the same success. Be wary of those who parade only one or very few examples of past successes. You are only as relevant in the industry as your last jobs suggests, so make sure to verify the actual claims of booked talent. Essentially, look for consistent, regular work for a variety of talent.

With all of that, let’s have a look at some common myths and misconceptions, and the reality of it all

 

Workshops

Workshops or coaching is a great way to gain experience and further your skill-sets as a talent, whether it be in modelling, acting, dancing or all of the above.

However, workshops are often marketed as “exposure” to industry professionals with implied success just by attending and mingling with casting directors, producers and others there. The fact is unless an actual client has a current job needing talent just like you, there is nothing they can do to get you a job or further your career. While you will get the exposure promised, this may be true, it must be taken with a grain of salt. The truth is you should treat any workshop or coaching as purely a learning experience!

 

Audition days

Same goes for ‘audition days’ promising to give you a foot in the door. ‘Real’ clients who can hire talent, do not need to advertise audition days and ask you to pay to attend. They can look at talent for free by contacting agents who will submit suitable pre-screened talent.

 

Agents

An agent is your best bet in the industry. A lot of clients will only engage talent through a reputable agent, due to the complexities of coordinating castings and bookings. It also allows clients to view a range of talent and have the peace of mind that the agent is there to handle majority of communication and coordination, so being signed to an agent will give you the best exposure to the industry’s clients.

However, you must choose wisely. Look for an agent that is upfront about the reality of the industry, if they guarantee that you will get work through them, or give you a percentage guarantee (eg. there’s an 80% chance you will get work), then tread carefully. NO agent can guarantee work to anyone, as they are not the decision makers.

An agent’s role is to build and maintain relationships with their client’s, so they can give their talent the most and best opportunities possible. They should also provide realistic career advice and assist in the professional management of your castings and jobs.

At the end of the day, you should always give your best and take up all opportunities that come your way, but it is wise to be considerate and careful of where you invest your time (and in some cases, money!). While no one can give you a guarantee of success, there are those who can give you realistic advice and help along your journey.

 

2016; The Year That Was

We’re all about celebrating successes here at Bettina Management! So we thought we would recap the crazy, fun, whirlwind year that was 2016, and some of the amazing things our little stars got up to in the last 12 months.

 

img_4026WALKING FOR FASHION ROYALTY

Telstra Perth Fashion Festival is one of the biggest nights on west coast for fashion. It was a Bettina first when we got a request for our very own kids to walk for luxury children’s fashion label – Mischka Aoki, who’s gowns have been worn by many mini-superstars, including none-other than Beyonce’s daughter, Blue-Ivy.

Three lucky girls made it through the casting process and were awarded a spot on the runway for the big night. Keara, Emily and Scarlett did us all proud and worked the runway like they had been doing it their whole lives! With our Perth Talent Coordinator, Gloria, cheering them on from the sidelines it really was a night to remember!

(Photo Credit: Stefan Goslati)

 

 

screen-shot-2016-03-16-at-11-20-03-amALLEGRA’S BIG BREAK

Miss Allegra is the hardest working 6 year old we know! She has been working away with our friends at Wellcom Worldwide shooting for Target Australia’s catalogues for the past year, but she always kept her eyes on her big goal – a spot in a TV commercial.

Well one day in February we got a very exciting request, a casting for Allegra for a Target Easter TVC! Allegra and her mum Chelsea popped along to see our friends at Casting Sugar, and then we patiently waited for the good news. Thankfully the good news came and Allegra’s dream came true!

We asked her mum Chelsea what this year has been like for them, here’s what she had to say:

“Allegra has loved working with Target this year, as well as a few other campaigns she booked throughout the year. It can always be a challenge to juggle school and other commitments but Allegra really enjoys working on set with the whole team and it is always great to see the final product. She was also lucky enough to achieve one of her goals in booking a TV commercial, it is always wonderful to see your children work hard and be rewarded. She was over the moon that her dream became a reality and it was an overall amazing experience for the whole family!”

JET SETTERS

 

12841239_996869440392306_5869253557699833700_oWho doesn’t love an all-expenses paid holiday! While it wasn’t all lounging by the pool for our talent this year, our kids had some amazing experiences shooting interstate and even internationally for some incredible global brands.

Matching talent can be a casting director’s most difficult job, but sometimes the stars align and everything just falls into place. One of those moments was when a Westfield TVC brief came through for a child version of Australian model, Yaya Deng, and we knew we had the perfect girl. The only catch was – she wasn’t in the right state! But after weeks of casting and no luck, we suggested our girl Achok, and as we already knew, she was perfect! Achok and her mum were flown to Sydney for a few days of shooting, and the end result was simply incredible.
Isn’t it every little girl’s dream to model for the one and only Barbie brand? Well, one little girl’s dream came true when she was cast as the Australian representative in the Barbie – “You Can Be Anything” campaign, and this was just image5the start of the good news. Not only would our Maya be part of a truly special campaign, celebrating young girls aspirations and dreams, but she would also be flying with her family to Bangkok, Thailand to film the campaign! Maya travelled with her whole family and our own Talent Coordinator, Jess for a jam-packed week in Bangkok.

The final product speaks for itself, there were certainly a few tears in the Bettina office when we saw this for the first time.

 

 

FAMILIES WHO WORK TOGETHER, STAY TOGETHER


screen-shot-2016-08-24-at-12-09-33-pm
This year was the year for families. We had so many kids and parents working on set, killing it as
a family unit. Our clients are always looking for real people and genuine connection and what better than a real family to produce this.

The Gerritsen family, originally from Holland, worked for multiple clients and brands, including Australian Country Spinners, Britax Australia, Target and Cengage Learning. They are truly a superstar family; workable, fun, creative and charismatic, all the qualities that we look for and our clients love!
We also had several families booked for regular clients such as Cengage Learning and Britax. A big thank you to all the parents who stepped up to the plate and participated, we know it wasn’t exactly what you signed up for, but you smashed it nonetheless.

 

AGENCY NEWS

img_3227Along with the successes of our wonderful talent, we also made a couple of other leaps and moved premises in two states. After nearly a decade in Alexandria our Sydney agency turned over a new leaf and shifted premises to lovely Chippendale, whilst our Melbourne agency & Bettina HQ moved from Docklands to Southbank; settling into a beautiful building in the creative hub of Melbourne, with many other neighbouring creative agencies, production houses and studios.

What a wonderful year it was. Thank you to the tireless efforts of our Bettina team, our talent, the parents that make it all happen and our clients who have given our talent some amazing opportunities throughout the year. 2017 is shaping up to be even bigger and better! 

The Bettina Team XX

The What, How and Why of TFP

TFP (or time-for-print) is a term that is thrown around a lot in the entertainment & creative industries, it refers to arrangements often between photographers, stylists, hair and makeup artists and talent (models/actors), who exchange their time for good quality images to use in their portfolio, rather than for monetary compensation. In a true TFP shoot, no one involved will receive a commission or hourly rate.

As a parent, we know that your child’s wellbeing is paramount and that the idea of taking part in a TFP shoot with your up-and-coming little star may seem intimidating. But TFP work can be a wonderful opportunity! TFP shoots can be a great way to build your child’s portfolio and confidence in front of the camera, as well as build a network of valuable connections in the industry. Having said that, it is important to be selective with the TFP work you chose to take part in so that it truly benefits your child. It is one of the scariest things in the world to think your child may be taken advantage of, which is why we’ve created this simple list of “Dos” and “Don’ts” when it comes to TFP work for your child:

 

The Dos:                                                   

  • Be very clear with your expectations BEFORE agreeing to take part in the shoot.

Don’t assume anything. Make sure everyone involved is aware of your expectations by putting them in writing. When it comes to your child’s wellbeing it’s always best to have this in writing, rather than trying to arrange everything verbally.

 

  • Be a delight to work with

If everyone involved in the collaboration enjoys working with you and your child then, as well as building your child’s portfolio, you’ll also be building a professional reputation. We all know that positive word-of-mouth can be your biggest asset when trying to book jobs. Often times clients who book your child for a TFP shoot may go on to work on larger, commercial projects, so these connections can be invaluable.

 

  • Learn how to say NO

You should always be strategic with your child’s project choices. Never feel pressured to say yes just to be polite, if you don’t think the exchange will benefit your little star then don’t take part. Be selective and save your energy for the jobs that you and your child are truly passionate/excited about and that will add to your portfolio in a positive way. However, it is important to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible, as these building these experiences are what makes a great career.

 

  • Credit all involved when sharing TFP images

TFP shoots are all about experience and exposure, for all parties. Social media is a very powerful tool in the industry, so when sharing your child’s images on any platform, it is important to credit all people involved in the TFP shoot. This includes photographer/videographer, hair and makeup artist, stylist and agent.

 

The Don’ts:

  • Don’t cancel on short notice.

While your child is not getting paid, your professionalism is still on display and you have others that are counting on your involvement. Don’t commit to a TFP shoot unless you’re sure you can make it because if you pull out in the last minute you will likely jeopardise the whole shoot. It’s safe to say that those involved won’t be recommending you to any of their friends in the industry or wanting to work with you again if this happens. In the same light, if you are punctual and professional, you will be top of the list!

 

  • Don’t sell TFP images.

If you are presented with the opportunity to make money from the images you acquire from a TFP shoot make sure you get permission from everyone involved in the project and be prepared to share the profits.

 

Remember, when it comes to TFP work the experience and exposure your child can achieve by taking part can far outweigh the lack of compensation for that single project and can even result in a number of paid jobs! At Bettina Management we are here to help you every step of the way and want to see your child succeed just as much as you do. So don’t be afraid of TFP; think of it as an incredible opportunity that is a stepping-stone to getting your child the experience, exposure and connections required to thrive in the industry.

Bettina Stories; Miika Schmidhuber

Having your young baby working in the industry modelling for catalogues and TV work can be fun, challenging and at times a bit of a whirlwind.

Little Miika joined us when she was just 4 months old, and has been a little star from the beginning. Clients were captivated by her gorgeous eyes and flawless temperament, and her work has been plastered across in-store billboards and online campaigns. We spoke with Miika’s mum recently about her experience working with her baby in the industry, and why she decided to join the industry in the first place.

Age: 1yr

Signed: 2015

Clients: Pure Baby, Britax, Australian Country Spinners

screen-shot-2016-08-10-at-9-37-31-amWhy did you decide to join Miika up to an agency?

She always received a lot of attention as a newborn. So we thought why not? Let’s see if she gets any work and just for a bit of fun

What made you choose Bettina Management?

From sending through Miika’s application to the really informative interview process, the service was really amazing, very friendly and thorough.

What was it like taking her to her first casting?

It was quite nerve-wracking as we weren’t sure what to expect, but she loved it so it was overall a great experience.

What is it like seeing Miika in print?

purebaby_campaign_d2_shot09_0587-copyIt makes me very proud to see her face out there!

What is your favourite job that Miika has done?

Her latest job which was the Pure Baby summer campaign, they were gorgeous images.

Do you have any advice for parents with young babies wanting to get into the industry?

Give it a go! You never know what might happen so it is worth a shot

Watch her interview here:

Bettina Stories; A Parent’s Perspective

Kellie is the mother of two lovely twin girls, Chelsea and Chloe, who have been with us for 6 years! She has spent years driving them to and from castings and jobs, helping them in and out of wardrobe changes, coordinating school, extra curricular activities and bookings for Target, Kmart and many more!

We sat down with her recently to have a chat about her perspective on having her kids working in the industry and any tips she has for parents who are just starting out!

 

What did you look for when deciding on an agency for the girls?

We were looking for somewhere that was trustworthy and somewhere where the children could have fun and be respected.

 

How long have the girls been working in the industry? Why have you have kept for this length of time?

The girls have been working for about 6 years, we kept going because they’ve had constant jobs and work along the way so while that’s happening and they’re having fun we thought why not keep going and enjoy the ride.

 

What do you find challenging about having your children working in the industry?

Sometimes it’s a little bit difficult having twins, especially because they’re not identical. Sometimes one twin might get more work than the other, so it is a juggling act that we deal with. But we’re pretty realistic with that, and we understand that its the client who’s picking the talent.

 

What is it like seeing your children on TV and in print?

It definitely makes me proud to see my girls in campaigns on TV or in print. But the fact that they’re enjoying it and having fun is the best part.

 

In what ways has working in the industry impacted Chelsea and Chloe in their life?

Working in the industry has had a positive impact on their lives, its helped them become more confident, everywhere they go they have a smile!

 

Do you have any tips for new parents entering the industry?

Keep it simple! Be on time, listen to instructions and most of all have fun.

 

Watch her interview here:

Why do I need an agent?

The entertainment industry is one of the largest industries in Australia, and arguably the world. It is a busy, fast-paced and ever-changing industry which can be difficult to navigate for even the most seasoned professional.

While it is definitely possible to operate as a freelancer and handle all aspects of your or your child’s role as an actor or model in this industry, there are some very important factors that you should consider when deciding whether you need an agent or not, especially when it comes to your children’s career.

 

What does an agent do?

Your agent operates as the bridge between ‘talent’ and ‘client’. The client being those who require talent for their upcoming projects, whether it be a feature film, television commercial or photographic shoot. Clients may be casting agents, production houses, advertising agencies or photographers/companies themselves. The talent is YOU!

An agent’s job is to not only represent the talent, but to keep positive working relationships with clients so they keep coming back to book talent. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes with clients before agent’s get in contact with the talent themselves. Agents receive briefs daily from clients for upcoming projects, their job is to submit all their suitable talent for consideration and to coordinate castings and/or auditions as needed.

A children’s agent also needs to work with clients to ensure they have the appropriate permits (depending on the state) to be working with children and that they are aware of the guidelines they need to abide by. New clients are always vetted prior to the agent submitting talent.

Once talent have been confirmed by the client, the agent will organise forms to be filled out by the client and parent, and will pass on all relevant details to the talent for the shoot.

Agents are also responsible for negotiating rates, invoicing clients and paying talent.

 

Why is an agent important?

Your agent is your child’s ‘gatekeeper’ to the industry. They have direct contacts with clients and are able to promote your child to their client base. Many clients will only source their talent through talent agents. Agents are also there to ensure that your child is safe on set and at castings, by only working with vetted clients.

Agents are always there to provide support and assistance to talent, especially when they are new to the industry.

Bettina Stories; Achok Majak

It’s not every day that you get to fly to another city and shoot along side an international model. But our Achok was lucky enough to have this experience of a life time!

They casted across three cities to find the perfect girl for this role, and they found that perfect girl in Achok! Achok was cast to play the role of a young Yaya Deng in the Westfield ‘Own Your Story’ campaign. Achok and her mum were flown to Sydney for the shoot and Achok’s images were plastered on billboards across Australia.

We sat down with Achok and her mum recently to have a chat about their experience.

Age: 10yrs

Signed: 2015

Clients: Westfield

 

Achok

westfieldHow long have you been with the agency?

I have been with the agency since November last year

What was your first job?

My first job was for the Westfield ‘Own Your Story’ TV commercial

What was it like going to your first casting?

I was excited for my first casting, it was a lot of fun.

How did you feel when you were told that you booked the job?

I was happy – and excited that I also got to go to Sydney with my mum.

What was the best part of working on set?

The best part about working on set was getting to meet everyone, especially Yaya Deng, she gave me a lot of advice and motivated me not to be nervous or shy.

What things did you find difficult or challenging on set?

It was a long day but it was fun so it wasn’t too bad.

 

Nyanak

Why did you decide to join Achok up to an agency?

She always wanted to model, so last year we decided to give it a go.

What was it like taking her to her first casting?

I was nervous but I was very excited for her.

What is the best part of seeing Achok working on set?

I always thought she was a shy girl, but when she got on set she wasn’t shy at all. So that was the best part, seeing a side in her I hadn’t seen before.

 

Watch their interview here:

Bettina Stories; Partington family

There aren’t many industries where you can work together as a whole family!

Stacey began her career in the industry as a professional dancer, from there she began to book small modelling and acting jobs. She then introduced her husband Brad to the industry, and now he gets more work than she does!

When they had their daughter Kendall (now 2yo), they thought why not get her involved as well? Now the whole family gets to work together! We had a chat with them recently about their experience working as a family.

How did you start out in the industry?

Stacey: I’ve been a professional dancer for over 20 years, and through my experiences, I was offered a lot of work in the industry. It’s been really exciting and I’ve worked on some great projects. I then introduced my husband Brad into the industry, and now he gets more work than I do!IMG_2701

What made you decide to also pursue modelling with Kendall? 

Brad: When decided to get Kendall into modelling because she’s got a really outgoing personality, she loves entertaining from a young age, she’s always trying to make people laugh so we thought we would give it a go and see how she gets on.

What is the best part of working as a family in the industry?

Stacey: The best part about working as a family in the industry is doing something that you’re passionate about and getting to share that experience with your loved ones, and being able to spend more quality time with them.

What made you choose Bettina Management?

Brad: There’s so many agencies out there to choose from, but going through Bettina’s we felt really comfortable, the agency has a lot of great clients and a great reputation, so that made the decision quite easy.

Do you have any tips for new families entering the industry?

Stacey: Just have fun – that’s the most important part! Working with your family should be enjoyable.

Watch their interview here:

Bettina Stories; Sachin Warnasuriya

The only thing more exciting for a young star than getting booked for your first job, is seeing yourself on TV!

Sachin was lucky enough to be booked for a huge TVC for Australian Super as his first job, making it through the casting and two rounds of callbacks, as well as learning multiple sets of lines before the big day. He made us so proud, receiving lovely feedback from the director – no one knew it was his first big role!

His mum, Saku, recently told us about her experience, and how overjoyed she was to see her son on TV for the first time. She also told us how Sachin has turned into a little celebrity, being stopped everywhere they go!

Age: 10yrs

Signed: 2015

Clients: Australian Super, Museum Victoria, Childhoods End TVS, ABC3

Sachin

How long have you been with the agency?

I’ve been modelling with Bettina for about 9 months.

What was your first job?

My first job was for an Australian Super TV commercial

IMG_0935What was it like going to your first casting?

I was excited but a little bit nervous

How did you feel when you were told that you booked the job?

When mum told me – I was so happy and proud of myself

What things did you find difficult or challenging on set?

Remembering my lines was hard, but everyone made me feel comfortable and I got it in the end

 

Saku

Why did you decide to join Sachin up to an agency?

Sachin and my other son, Senith, worked as extras on a TV series. We asked other parents on set which agency they were with and most were from Bettina, so we thought we would give them a try.

What was it like taking him to his first casting?

I was very nervous, but I knew he would do well!

Has Sachin been noticed out and about since he was on TV?

Yes! We were at a restaurant recently and the girl there said “Oh I have seen you on TV! Its lovely to meet you”. We were also at the medical centre and the receptionist said us “I recognise this boy, you must be on TV!”. Our friends and family have also all contacted us when they saw Sachin on TV, its very exciting for the whole family.

What do you find challenging about having Sachin working in the industry?

Working around our own schedules can be difficult, but the benefits make it worth it.

What is it like seeing Sachin on TV?

I was so proud, I couldn’t believe that was my son!

 

Watch interview here: