A Moment with Bettina Petrone

Here at Bettina Management, we recently celebrated our 25th birthday! We sat down with our director, Bettina Petrone, to find out more about her journey and what her goals are now for the agency.

How did you start out in the industry?

I started in the industry when I was 17 and I entered a beauty quest. I won the competition and one of the prizes was a modelling course with Suzanne Johnston, from there I joined an agency and started my career as a professional model.

How did Bettina Management start?

As well as being a professional model myself, I was also a dancing teacher. A lot of my students would always be asking me things about modelling, like how to walk, how to put on make-up and generally just wanting advice. So I decided to run modelling classes as well, which grew and grew and turned into Bettina Modelling and Deportment School.

While I was working as a model, my clients found out about my modelling school and asked if any of my kids would be interested in doing some work. So it started by helping out some of my clients with their campaigns, and like anything else, it just grew so I decided to start the agency.

In the beginning, I was interviewing new talent and working from my home office in Moonee Ponds, as we got bigger we moved to the Docklands and a few girls came on board to help me with the bookings and running the agency. And well, the rest, as they say, is history!

What were the first years like starting a brand new agency?

Every job we got was exciting, they were all firsts for us so it was a very enjoyable time for the kids and the agency. Our first campaign was for Run Scotty Run, a kids clothing label, so to see one of our kids in print was a fantastic moment.

The agency grew very quickly and we eventually opened up agencies interstate to keep up with the demand over there. We also started booking a whole new range of jobs, not just catalogues and print but TV commercials, feature films, TV series and all kinds of work. It was wonderful to see our kids were now not just models but mini-actors too.

What were your goals with the agency?

When we first set out it was just to keep up with client demand, I enjoyed helping out my clients and providing them with quality child talent. But once we really got going, our goals were also to help our kids grow as little professionals and find more new talent. We loved helping kids break into the industry and see their skills and confidence grow.

I loved working in the industry as a model myself, so getting to share that experience with young talent was a real joy for me and I love to see how we have continued that today. 

How do you think the industry has changed since you started the agency?

The industry has changed a lot with the introduction of technology. We started out with printed comp cards for each child, which could take weeks to create (and become outdated quite quickly, as kids grow so fast!). When a client would request a child, we would have to pack the comp cards into the post and wait for the client to receive them and send them back before they could be sent to another client.

We now have a sophisticated online database for our talent and access to all the industry casting platforms, which means we can submit each child to multiple clients every day (and no more trips to the post office!). The whole process has become a lot smoother and opened up so many more opportunities, as jobs can now turn over a lot quicker.

What has been a highlight for you since the agency began?

It has all been a great experience. I have loved seeing the agency go from strength to strength and continue to grow.

We have worked on some amazing campaigns from iconic TV commercials to Hollywood blockbusters and our kids have flown all over the world to work on campaigns. All of these moments have been highlights for us so it is hard to pick just one!

Ultimately, seeing the great team that we have built across Australia and the continued success of our talent is something I take great joy in.

What are your goals for the agency now?

Our goals for the agency now are to maintain our status as Australia’s top children’s talent agency. We want to continue to build and maintain our client relationships so we can attract the best talent. We will also continue to be the industry leader in educating and informing parents on how the industry really works.

 

Watch our interview with Bettina 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:

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:

Bettina Stories; Chelsea & Chloe Hall

Working with your sister isn’t on the top of everyone’s list of fun things to do, but these girls definitely make it work!

Non-identical twin sisters, Chloe & Chelsea, joined us in 2010. The bookings were slow to come in but once they did, they never stopped! The girls have taken on every job with a wide smile and a go-for-it attitude and the continue to make us proud every time they step in front of a client. As a family, the Hall’s have been everything an agent could dream of, committed, passionate and flexible!

Age: 14yrs

Signed: 2010

Clients: Target, Kmart, Myer, Moose Toys, Russell Athletics, Aldi, Lincraft, Mattel Barbie, DPI Property Developers, Bayside Shopping Centre

 

How long have you been with the agency?

Chelsea: I’ve been with the agency for 6 years, so since I was 7 years old.

 

What made you want to get into modelling?

Chloe: I wanted to get into modelling because I’ve always wanted to see myself in a catalogue

 

What was it like going to your first casting?

Chelsea: I was really nervous going to my first casting but I was excited at the same time!

 

What do your friends say when they see you in catalogues or on TV?

Chloe: When my friends see me in a catalogue they say “OMG are you famous?”

 

What is the best part of working with your sister?

Chloe: It makes it easier because I know her which makes it more comfortable and we have a lot of fun on set

 

What things have you learnt from working in the modelling industry?

Chelsea: I’ve learnt to be friendly to everyone, be happy and be confident

Chloe: I’ve learnt that you just have to be yourself, don’t be shy when you walk through the door, just smile and have fun!

 

Watch their interview here:

Bettina Stories; Hollie Macdonald

Being the mother or father of a mini-model can be fun, challenging, daunting and exciting all at the same time! As it is so important for the little ones to feel at their best so they can perform well – it is often up to the parent or guardian to keep it all together, with a smile! Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 3.12.36 pm

Debra is the mum of one of our brightest stars & Seed Kids regular, Hollie, and she is certainly experienced in all aspects of the children’s modelling industry now, but she recently gave us an insight on what the journey has been like from her perspective.

Age: 4yrs

Signed: 2014

Clients: Seed Kids, Pure Baby Organic

What was it like taking Hollie to her first casting?

Taking Hollie to her first casting, for me personally was actually quite nerve racking! But when we got there, we found it was all fine and everyone was quite relaxed.

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 3.12.29 pmWhat did you look for when deciding on an agency for Hollie?

We were looking for an agency that would treat Hollie with respect, and put her out there to get as much work as possible.

 

What is the best part of seeing Hollie work on set?

The best part is seeing the enjoyment she gets out of it. She’s very happy on set and everybody loves her! She doesn’t even know she’s getting paid for it….

 

What is it like see Hollie in catalogues?

Seeing her photographs in the catalogues makes us very proud actually. It makes us very very happy!

Watch her interview here:

Bettina Stories; Harry Durand

It’s not often that a 13-year-old already has nearly 10 years experience working in a particular industry, but it is certainly the case with our Harry!

Harry joined us when he was 4 years old, he was a cheeky and adorable little boy whose infectious smile won our clients over instantly. At 13 years old he still has that same smile, but has grown up into an intelligent, humble and mature young man!

We recently sat down with him to have a chat about his experience working in the entertainment industry and what he hopes for the future.

Age: 13yrs

Signed: 2007

Clients: Target (print & TV), Just Jeans, Myer, Westfield, Bardot, Dimmeys, Russell Athletics, Emirates Spring Racing Carnival, Lincraft, Offspring TVS, Bossini, Loreal Fashion Week, Childhoods End TVS, The Entertainment Book and many more!

 

Harry Durand_Target_Nov15(3)How long have you been with the agency?

I’ve been with the agency since I was 4 years old, so nine years!

 

What was your first job?

My first job was working for Westfield, it was a massive catwalk with a lot of kids

 

What has been your favourite job so far?

My favourite job so far was working as the Emirates Ambassador at the Spring Racing Carnival because I got to miss three days of school, which was awesome! I got to go to Fashions on the Field and my family were also featured in the newspaper for that which was pretty exciting.

 

Harry - Just Jeans 4What is your dream job?

I definitely want to get into more acting roles now, so would love to start doing some TV work.

 

What things have you learnt from working in the modelling industry?

I’ve learnt to be confident, because if you’re confident you’re obviously going to get a good shot and most likely to be chosen for a catalogue.

 

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

You have to be passionate in everything you do, and be happy while you’re doing it! That’s the most important thing.

Master Jack shines bright for Target Australia

Not long ago the Bettina team were blessed to be introduced to young Jack Radford, his infectious smile and warm nature quickly won us over and we were very pleased to have him on board.

But nothing compared to our excitement when he was booked for his first job with none other than Target Australia! We sat down with Jacks mum, Natalie, recently to have a chat about her experience working on set with Jack and her hopes for him in the future.

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 9.42.34 amTell us a bit about Jack!

Jack is 3 years old and the baby of the family being the youngest of 5. Our Jack was born at 35 weeks after suffering a stroke in utero at around 33 weeks, he was born with cerebral palsy mostly affecting his lower limbs and moderately in his left  hand.

Jack is a very charismatic and loveable kid with a cheeky smile (but I am biased), we are very blessed to have him in our lives… He has already overcome so many obstacles to do what he can. My husband and I were told right from the early days that we should not expect that Jack would ever do much at all, meaning he may never talk, walk sit up and possibly be plagued by many other conditions that can be associated with having cerebral palsy. Our family has always encouraged Jack with early play therapy and interventions to help him achieve goals..we have the mottos of “never say never” and “expect the worst and hope for the best”.  We focus on what he can do. Jack has taught himself to sit up in the last month and hold a sitting position, he commando crawls & and of course can talk and hold a conversation like a married magpie. Jack is also now the first proud owner of the first infant power chair in Victoria called a Wizzybug made possible by Yooralla for which we are so grateful for as it has given him so much independence. Jack has also taken on his role as spokes-kid for Wizzybug quite seriously as he stops everyone he meets and tells everyone about it.

 

Why did you decide to get Jack into modelling?

In November, Jack was asked to be the Christmas appeal child for Yooralla to help raise money for more Wizzybug power chairs, the photoshoot went so well the pictures were stunning and of course Jack loved smiling and showing off for the cameras. It had been suggested to me that Jack would be great at this kind of thing because of his nature, and of course we saw the Easter catalogue with the young man in his frame posing with the Easter eggs, which reaffirmed that yes Jack can do this. Having a “differentability” should have no boundaries…I really want society to see all people as being special and unique and Jack has a voice, so as long as Jack is happy that makes us happy. On a side note, equipment for Jack is very expensive and we are doing our own personal fundraising to help with the purchase of a wheelchair accessible vehicle so every little bit Jack makes from modelling will go back into a lot of his needs.

 

Did you have any expectations when you first applied to the agency? Have things turned out differently than you expected?

I did some homework on reputable agencies and came up with Bettina who have made the experience fantastic so far and have embraced Jacks condition. I will admit I really wasn’t sure as to what to expect, prior to coming down to Melbourne for our initial interview, I was a little concerned about all the what ifs… But I should never have worried as Bettina have made the process very easy and have gone out of their way to give Jack the greatest attention.

 

Jacks first job was with Target. How did you find the whole process?Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 4.04.46 pm

The initial shock of getting a job for Target was so exciting! The Bettina girls were great, they explained things to me well, looked into my queries about disabled parking everything was smooth and well planned. No hidden surprises and being a toy catalogue that made it even more special. The feedback from Jacks photoshoot was so encouraging and positive and Bettina relayed the feedback it validated that we had made a good choice in letting Jack “have a go” .

 

What did Jack think about his experience on set?

Oh my!!!  Jack was in his element. I think he thought he was some kind of celebrity, he had the photographer and stylists laughing and playing with the basketball & was even having his photo taken with the photographic team. Jack was made to feel very welcome and looked after very professionally. I loved the way he was given such a fantastic experience and he fitted in so well.

 

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 9.42.41 amHow do you think working in the industry will help Jack in his life?

Firstly, if Jack said to me tomorrow that he didn’t want to do it anymore, I would respect his wishes because Jack has a voice. But that is what I want to foster in Jack “that voice” that says he can and so can others. Modelling can also act as a therapy in that it keeps his mind and body active and let’s him speak to others about being different but being treated with dignity and that our society should be accepting of all our differences regardless of disability.

 

Would you do it again?

Jack has already asked when the next one is. So of course I hope that one day branch out from modelling to maybe tv but all in good time and only if he wants too.

Finally I really want to personally thank Target for choosing Jack to be in the upcoming catalogue we can’t wait to see it. I thank you for letting Jack show the world what is possible and that its all kids that play with toys and wear clothes regardless of disability and we look forward to working with you again.

 

You can read more about Jack’s journey here:

Latrobe Valley Express

Go Fund Me – Jack’s Independence

Source Kids

Tom Morgan wins a trip to Hollywood

                

TOM MORGAN | 15 | MELBOURNE

 IF YOU WERE AN ASPIRING TEENAGE ACTOR, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR BIGGEST DREAM?

Sixteen days shy of his 16th birthday, Tom Morgan became one step closer to his.

On an unsuspecting Saturday morning, Tom and Mum Jo-Anne attended a Casting Seminar presented by Lilly Dawson under the impression they were due to attend an audition afterwards. The ‘audition’ was cleverly crafted to ensure Tom’s attendance at the event amidst a planned presentation by Lilly and Bettina.

Lilly Dawson, from Lilly Dawson Casting and Hollywood Immersive, said Tom was chosen for the prize based on his brilliant attitude, talent, great look and ability to take on a challenge. ‘He is not afraid and tackles everything with enthusiasm and excitement regardless of his limited experience. It was a very emotional moment for Tom and his Mum and I think I may have even shed a tear or two myself!

Hollywood, in the district of Los Angeles and globally renowned for its thriving entertainment industry and cultivation of celebrity careers, will be Tom’s destination in January as he packs his bags to jet off for a week long intensive Hollywood Immersive Acting course. The all expenses paid trip and course is courtesy of Bettina Management, the Kids in Showbiz Program and Hollywood Immersive. The experience will thrust Tom in the limelight to meet with key Hollywood agents, producers and directors.

 
Mum Jo-Anne, Bettina, Tom and Lilly

Mum Jo-Anne told us yesterday that ‘it was absolutely surreal, this is a dream come true for Tom.’

We caught up with Tom after the excitement of the weekend to find out more about him and how he was feeling about the looming trip and future acting ambitions.

How are you feeling about Saturday, was it anything you could have ever imagined?

No, it’s not. I was completely surprised and shocked at what happened.’

How did it feel telling your family and friends?

‘It felt good, mum told all my family but I told all my friends and most of them didn’t believe me so I had to show them proof!’

When did you first realise you wanted to be an Actor and Model?

‘I’ve always loved acting because I love watching movies and TV shows, and I also realised that modelling leads into acting and if I was to be in the modelling industry it would improve my chances of being in the acting industry as well.’

Being an Aspire Entertainment student, Tom says that participation in professional classes have helped with his confidence in reassuring him that putting in the hard yards will ultimately be rewarding.

A seasoned rover, having travelled to New Zealand, Thailand, Indonesia, Fiji, South Africa and Hawaii already, Tom will be making his debut on the American mainland. He says he is most looking forward to see how professional actors go about things and also being able to experience what it would be like living in LA. ‘My biggest goal is to become a professional actor, similar to actors like Angelina Jolie who do humanitarian work for underprivileged people.’

Tom’s advice to aspiring actors and models is to ‘not be put off by the thought of being rejected in order to get where you want to go, you will most likely be rejected many more times than you are accepted.’ While acknowledging many dream big and large, Tom says that exposure to the American acting industry would be an ideal outcome, but says he is happy to simply come back to Australia knowing much more about what it takes to be a professional actor.

Tom exudes calmness and determination even when wrapped up in the excitement of this life changing prize. Lilly admits ‘Tom wants this dream – there is no doubt and it shows.’

Look out, Hollywood!