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!
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.
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.
What 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!
It’s no secret that social media has taken over the world, and has increasingly become involved in the lives of our children. At Bettina Management, we provide full support and representation to our talent to increase their exposure. There is also nothing stopping you, as their parent, from taking control of a part of that exposure by running a social media page for them.
Platforms like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube can help young talent connect and engage with the industry. These spaces allow you to share extra content for peers and clients to view and possibly consider your child for potential jobs.
Managing your child’s exposure is a great way to get started in the industry, but how do you manage this exposure and monitor what is appropriate and what is not, when it comes to our children’s interactions on social media?
Keep It Age Appropriate
Let kids be kids! Overly styled images with a lot of make-up and mature posing are not what clients want to see. Clients are looking for kids who look like kids, so images of children playing, creating and having fun are what you want to showcase.
Heather Li On Wing is the mum of two beautiful young stars, Jayla and Levi – have worked for on numerous commercial campaigns for big brands. She runs and manages an Instagram page for the siblings and says “ I cannot stress enough to treat their page as a business page, do not let the children run their own page.”
It is important to remember that while you as an adult understand what is appropriate and the potential repercussions of what you post online, children may not have an understanding of this yet. So it is important to take control of the content posted.
Managing A Crisis
As with any public online profile, things can wrong. If you find your child’s page the subject of inappropriate comments, it is important to remove the person and the comments from your child’s page, delete, block or even report them to make sure they never return! You have the luxury of controlling your audience, so make sure you exercise that block button.
“These pages are public and there are occasionally some indecent comments. Immediately delete any inappropriate comment and block and report the user right away. My daughter has her own private Instagram account which I check every day. She uses it to send messages to her school friends and only has family and actual friends, either way, you MUST still check their posts, comments and private messages to ensure they are using social media safely. Everyone has heard the horror stories of things that can go wrong. You HAVE to teach them and watch them at all times.” Heather tells us.
Educate Your Kids
As much as taking control and constant monitoring will keep your children safe online, it is also important to teach them about online safety and appropriate behaviour. So when an issue comes up, talk them through what the best response will be and demonstrate to them how you, as an adult, will deal with the situation. This way they will have all the tools they need for when they are a bit older and can manage their own accounts.
Ultimately, social media can be a great tool to use if your child is keen to be successful in the industry. Heather has used social media throughout her children’s careers and found it to be a great way to boost their profiles.
“We use social media to try to enhance Jayla and Levi’s profile by promoting their castings, jobs and various looks on Instagram, in hopes that this will encourage big and small brands, magazines, photographers and clothing lines to work with our children. We have been given good advice in terms of exposure; basically if there is a child that goes to a casting that does not have social media versus a child that has 1000’s of followers, chances are that the child with a large following has a better chance of securing that job because that child can promote that product, photographer, clothing line or magazine to their fan base.”
As much as it’s important to be safe, make sure you have fun with your content to get the most out of your experience! Social media is now an ingrained part of the entertainment industry, so make sure you use it wisely and to your advantage.
It’s no secret that working in the entertainment industry is the ultimate rollercoaster. Soaring highs and crashing lows are part 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 at castings, they’ll be with mum or dad and 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.
When facing the prospect of rejection, we can work together as parents and agency to equip kids with the tools to be resilient and bounce back from being let down.
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 talking to them about what to expect (you can get this info from your agent). This will then set them up with the right expectations, from the get go.
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 Talent Manager, shared some great wisdom with us; “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.”
With each casting your child attends, they will grow more confident and comfortable with not only general entertainment processes and environments, but they will also be more at ease within themselves.
Castings and auditions can be great fun for kids and it’s important to set them up with the right expectations so the experience stays a positive one. Regardless of whether or not they get the job, attending castings is a great achievement and a big step in the direction of your child building a successful portfolio and career.
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 make sure to have fun!