Instagram #Werk

As agents, we LOVE IT when kids get work, no doubt about it. But we’re also passionate about kids being treated fairly and professionally in the industry. Children earn the right to be paid for their time and use of their likeness in campaigns. Increasingly, we are seeing the rise of small brands and boutique labels scouting for models via Instagram call outs and open casting calls. Again, we love it when kids get work, through whatever avenue it comes from. But as agents and experts in the industry we’re here to inform you as parents on what you need to look out for when applying for these open call outs.

 

Payment

Kids should be paid to work on set. Brands will often try to get around paying talent by offering product or vouchers in lieu. This is fine and perfectly legal, but the truth is, your child is a talent in the industry and is entitled to be paid for their time. We understand that a lot of boutique brands may not have the budget to pay for talent, and we always encourage children to take advantage of all opportunities that come by when they are starting up in the industry, but it’s important to be thoughtful about always agreeing to work for free. Negotiation is key and this is where your agent can help you (if you have one). If you are doing this on your own, setting boundaries about what type of work you will accept and what budget you are willing to work with can give you a framework to work from when liaising with potential clients. For example, you might be totally happy to have your child shoot for a boutique brand for 1-2 hours on an online campaign, but anything beyond that you would need to charge for time on set and usage of your child’s image.

 

Image Usage

Your child should not only be paid for their time on set but also compensated for the usage of their likeness in the images used for advertising. This always depends on the length of time the image is going to be used for, and what medium it is being reproduced in. Often usage for up to 12 months in standard catalogue/online advertising is included in the shoot fee, but anything beyond that should attract an extra fee. The reason talent are paid for usage of their image is to compensate for the possibility that they will not be able to work for a competitive brand for a certain period of time. Agreements on usage terms and fees should always be made in a written agreement signed by both the client and the talent (or the parent/agent of talent), even if there is no fee involved. This is important to protect both parties down the line and ensure that all involved are clear about what they are agreeing to. Usage agreements should be signed by both parties BEFORE any shoot takes place.

 

Child Employment Permits

All shoots involving children must comply with relevant child employment legislation in its respective state. Depending on the state, the client/employer must apply to the relevant organisation for a child employment permit. This must be approved prior to the shoot and relevant information provided to parents. In many cases, there will be forms to sign by the parent prior to employment taking place. It is very important to check what the employers obligations are in your state and ensure that your child only participates in shoots that comply with the regulations. To check up on what is required in your state you can visit the following websites:

VIC – Business Victoria

NSW – Office of the Children’s Guardian

QLD – Business Queensland

 

Other Top Tips

  • Always check that the person contacting you is working for a legitimate company. If they claim to be from a particular company, and you are unsure of their legitimacy it is a good idea to contact the company to verify. Never send photos or videos of your child until you have done a thorough investigation.

 

  • Talk to your agent! If you have one, your agent can assist you with all of the above negotiations, that is what they are there for.

 

  • If the person contacting you asks for payment for anything – RUN! There is absolutely no reason for you to pay someone to give your child work.

 

These opportunities can be a wonderful experience, but being wise and savvy about how you handle them is important to protect your child’s career and wellbeing. Teaming up with an agent that has your child’s best interest at heart will make this process much smoother and provide you with expert support as well.

Families who work together, stay together!

What you may not have noticed in more recent times is that a lot of the TVC’s, advertisements and even TV series you see around are made up of real, genuine families. The request for REAL families or REAL siblings or even the odd cousin or grandparent is rapidly increasing in the entertainment industry. Previously it was much more common to manufacture a family during the casting process, by mix and matching talent to look like a real family. But the problem was, you can’t manufacture a genuine family connection. A real mother and son will always be more believable on camera than two relative strangers, and with acting skills or experience not always necessary for some campaigns, we have seen this trend grow at a rapid pace.

Vivienne & her mum for Hippy Australia

The idea of family advertising has become a prominent symbol in advertising and is used by marketers to increase profits. According to sociology, it is argued that these families influence the way that behaviour and attitude towards society are portrayed. Nonetheless, families are used as a functional advertising tool – increasing profit as well as building a strong reputation with their consumers. Who would have thought your little family would be the reason a business makes a turnover.

Using real families in their campaigns also allows a brand to become more relatable because when you look at these advertisements, your subconscious tells you “hey, these people are just like me!”.

The De Paula siblings for Britax

So with all these benefits to brands, what are the benefits for your family to venture into this world of modelling and advertising? Well, not only do you get to feature in a national campaign (and be paid for it), but you get to spend quality time with your family and have a unique experience that you will all remember for a long time. You also get some gorgeous professional photos to help you remember it all!

In just the past few months, we have been asked by several different types of companies for real siblings to cast in their latest TVC or shoot. Some examples are Arnotts, Myer and Riviera Australia. Families have been requested by realestate.com, P&O Cruises, Allianz, NSW transport, Guardian Funerals and even Tourism of Fiji. Some families have scored all expenses paid for holidays by clients for their work, and on top of it, they get paid for their time as well!

Bettina Management has recently launched their Bettina Families division, available to Bettina talent. If your child is currently represented by Bettina Management and you are interested in joining Bettina Families at no extra cost, please contact families@bettina.com.au

 

 

2017 – The Year That Was

We are so proud of all of our talent for all of the hard work and efforts they have gone to this year! Here are some of our favourite achievements of 2017 and a recap on the crazy year that was. 

Telstra Perth Fashion Fesitval 2017

Runway Ready

In September Bettina Management had the honour of attending the Telstra Perth Fashion Festival, one of Australia’s premier fashion events. Bettina Management hosted a model search competition and in just 2 days received almost 500 entries. From that we narrowed it down to 20 kids for the runway finale and from that we crowned our 2 winners – Josh, 13, and Jamilla, 7.

 

 

The boy who did it all

Mack, at only 1 year old is taking the child modelling industry by storm!  Just this year Mack has booked shoots and TVC’s for Pumpkin Patch, Seed, Bonds, Mitsubishi and Myer.

 

 

 

International Jetsetters

Some of our Talent has been lucky enough to shoot overseas this year. Phoebe was flown to Bali for a Fila Kids shoot, and Brodie went to Malaysia for a Vicks shoot. These kids along with a parent had all flights and accommodation paid for, spending money for food while they were there and they were paid for the work they did whilst they were there too!

 

Lead Role Scorer

One of Bettina Management’s very own, Celine, landed a lead role on a new TV Series on ABC Me, Mustangs. Mustangs was a comedy-drama about girls abandoning the sidelines and starting their very own all female team, their local club’s first. The girls juggle their new soccer commitments with the rollercoaster that is teenage life. The whole series is now available online to watch on ABC’s iview.

 

 

 

Bettina Families Division

This year there has been a serious increase in demand for families, siblings, cousins and even grandparents. So we have decided to open up a whole new families division, currently complimentary to all families who already have a child on books. Recently we have had real families booked for several of our clients including Cengage Learning, Hippy Australia, Britax, Elevit, Bank of Melbourne, Johnson & Johnson, Target Australia and more.

 

Global News Sensation 

Shilah is one of only about a hundred people in the world known to have Uncombable Hair Syndrome (UHS). This is an extremely rare genetic disease, characterised by straw, white or silver blonde frizzy hair that cannot be combed flat. Over the past few months Shilah has become the latest global news sensation, with articles in the Daily Mail, Mirror, Pop Sugar, Global News and made one of the cover stories for That’s Life Magazine. To top it off Shilah and her Mum were on Plus 7’s The Morning Show! Shilah has completely embraced her unique look and enjoys being an inspiration to others to be proud of who they are.

25 years of Bettina Management

Bettina Management celebrated their 25th birthday this year! To celebrate being a quarter of a century old, we visited our clients in all states and brought along cupcakes and goodies with us. We received lots of thank you notes from our clients who thought it was a lovely gesture. We also held a competition for all new applicants of our birth month that gave them the chance to win a $250 Target Voucher. A little celebration at the Bettina Management HQ was held as well, with some cupcakes of our own and party poppers!

This year has been one full of excitement and chaos! We can’t wait to do it all again next year.

Working Holidays – Kid Models go International

It is no secret that there are some pretty serious perks of working in the entertainment industry. One of the biggest perks of this industry being able to work internationally. This may be all flowers and rainbows for an adult; to be classed as a jet setter, bragging on Snapchat and Instagram about the cool place you get to go next or what you’re up to today. For a kid model, however, there are other factors to consider. There is the obvious, will the parents be available to take them, if they work can they get the time off, etc. However, there are several factors that need also to be considered.

You’re going on a holiday!

There are some major benefits of working overseas. The most obvious reason being that your child, will get to experience what can feel like a whole new world. Soak up the culture, try new foods, buy eccentric things, and experience a completely different climate. Generally speaking, the client will pay for the child plus one parent’s flights and accommodation. They usually also receive a daily amount of money each day to spend on food and other incidentals, or food will be provided for them. Keeping in mind each client is different!

Maya working in Thailand for Mattel

You’re gaining even more experience!

  • Getting cast for something is great for so many reasons:
  • Your child gets to make some pocket money or start an early savings account
  • They are doing what they love
  • They get to meet new kids in the industry who could potentially end up being life-long friends
  • They have an opportunity to get some insight into the industry and gain real-life experience on set.
  • Most importantly, they get to have fun!

All these things all still happen when you work overseas, but it adds some even cooler perks:

  • Pen pals! If there are other kids on set, they may not have come from the same place you did. With the way social media and the internet has taken over, there are ample ways for the kids to keep in touch and stay updated on each other’s lives.
  • Even more experience, not many kids can say that they were flown to another country for a photo shoot. This not only builds their professionalism on set, but it also allows them to understand diversity and learn how to adapt to different situations.
  • Exposure is a massive perk of international work. If your image or TVC is going to be aired overseas, it widens your child’s demographic in the industry, while also increasing their reach in future potential work.

It’s not all shopping and sunshine.

At the end of the day, you are not in a different country purely for a holiday. Whilst you may have scored some time off work to get there, you are still required to be present the whole time your child is on set. Technically, you could almost think of it as a business trip for you and your child. Depending on what the job is will depict the length of stay at the chosen location. For example, one of our talent, Brodie, filmed a TVC in Malaysia, where he stayed for 5 days. On the contrary, another child of Bettina Management, Phoebe, went to Bali and only stayed 2 days for her shoot.

But what an experience!

While you should treat these opportunities as a working holiday, they will provide amazing memories for your family and is an incredible experience for your child. We have had lots of children travel overseas to work for amazing brands and the feedback is always glowing! So make sure you are prepared but most of all, enjoy the experience.

“We received a text message to alert us that an urgent email was sent on the 28th april. Not thinking anything of it I checked and found out that Phoebe was shortlisted for an international photo shoot in Bali for FILA Kids Korea. The smile on her little face was priceless and she was super excited. She loved the experience and is now in love with Bali” – Phoebe’s mum (Bettina Mgmt)

 

 

MEDIA RELEASE: Bettina Management Model Search at Telstra Perth Fashion Festival

Over the weekend of September 8th – 10th 2017 Bettina Management had the privilege of attending the Telstra Perth Fashion Festival. Being one of Australia’s premier fashion events, the festival included several different community, industry, and runway events for people of varying ages and styles. It is a great opportunity for Western Australia to showcase some of its most creative talent and designers on a global stage.

Photo by Stefan Gosatti

Throughout the festival weekend, Bettina Management were lucky enough to be invited to host a model search competition in hope of finding two new junior stars that had that ‘something special’.

Bettina Management recently celebrated 25 years in the industry, and can proudly say that they are Australia’s industry leaders in the placement of talent in TV commercials and series, film and photographic work. 25 years in the industry has earned Bettina Management access to platforms and contacts that give their talent the best exposure to the industry’s clients. The lucky winners would be exposed to a vast array of Australia’s biggest brands such as Target, Myer, Kmart and many more. On top of this talent represented by Bettina management are also afforded opportunities to audition for major TV series, feature films, live production and more. The winners will receive 12 months representation with Bettina Management, photographic studio sessions, talent development workshops and more.

In just two days Bettina Management received almost 500 entries, with many travelling to the festival just to sign up for the Model Search. From this Bettina Management were then given the hard task of selecting just 20 finalists to walk in the Finalist Runway Show on Sunday afternoon.

L-R: Jamila, Josh & Breanne

At the conclusion of the show, 7-year-old Jamilla Whitcombe and 13-year-old Josh Scott were crowned the winners of the Model Search. These two bright stars will now begin their journey with Bettina starting with their first photo shoot to make their profiles. Bettina Management also awarded a Development Prize to Breanne Alone (8 years), who they felt possessed a fantastic enthusiasm for the industry and have offered to support her in developing her career.

We wish both Josh and Jamilla the best of luck with their future submissions and castings here at Bettina Management and hope to recognise them somewhere soon! It was a pleasure to be a part of the Telstra Perth Fashion Festival and hope to again in the years to come.

 

Download our Press Release here:

Bettina_TPFF17PressRelease

Talent Images – What To Do and What Not To Do

We are all guilty of having countless happy snaps of our little ones on our phones. When it comes to creating and maintaining your child’s talent profile, it can be difficult to choose only a handful of images that highlight your child’s unique look and personality. Your child’s talent profile is not just seen by our Castings Department. Our clients also regularly view your child’s profile to consider them for upcoming campaigns. We’re here to make sure that you’re keeping your child’s profile up to date while still keeping it appropriate for the industry. We had a chat with our National Casting Manager, Bianca Birnbaum, to give you an insight into how you should be running your child’s talent profile, and how you can benefit from putting these tips into practice.

A professional head shot suitable for your child’s talent profile

From a casting perspective, there are many ways to make your child stand out from the rest when being considered for a job. In Bianca’s opinion, a professional headshot is the best image to use as your child’s default image on their talent profile. “It is a quick and easy way for our clients to see exactly what your child looks like. “Once a client enters search criteria for their project a list of suitable profiles appears with smaller images.  If your child’s primary photo is too dark, too far away or difficult to see clients may skip past them”

“Clients want to see your child in their most natural form,” said Bianca, “They want to see how they can style your child to fit the requirements of their shoot.  Filters and black and white images are not necessary on your child’s profile.” These edited photos can hide your child’s physical characteristics including hair, eye and skin colour. The same goes for your child wearing sunglasses, hats or other items that hide your child’s features.

Clear, well-lit, recent images are always useful for your child’s profile

Instead of having extremely edited photos of your child as their default picture, consider how that can look from a client’s perspective. If they are wearing make-up and their skin has been airbrushed in every photo on their profile, according to Bianca, “you are not giving our clients a true representation of what your child looks like and you might actually be pushing them out of the running for a particular job.  Clients come to children’s agencies looking for talent who appear true to their age.  They want a 10-year-old that looks 10, for example, not 13.” These types of photos are great to have on their profile, just not as the first one the client sees. “Using the professional headshot as the default image shows the client your child’s natural look, as most shoots don’t require the kids to wear make-up anyway.” If your child initially appears to have the look required for a client’s project, they can click to open all images and see your child’s personality and versatility. 

When sending a pitch of talent to a client; clear, professional headshots are ideal

In Bianca’s experience as our National Casting Manager, if you don’t have natural photos readily available for clients to view on your child’s talent profile, “the clients will sometimes ask for more natural pictures and/or selfies of your child.” Clients may ask for these kinds of photographs, however not all bother to do so, so it doesn’t mean you can disregard the advice our experts say. It can waste a lot of time going back and forth between you as the parent, the casting department and the client that is hiring to obtain these more natural photos of your child before they are even booked for anything.

We understand that you want to use a photograph of your child that you have stored on your phone as it has cool lighting or amazing scenery, “they might be good for Facebook, but it doesn’t mean that it works for your child’s talent profile.” 

Our photographers work hard to capture the essence of your child’s charisma and produce an industry standard photo for you to use on their talent profile. These “plain” looking images may seem like your child won’t stand out but they serve to show our clients what they want to see, in a format that they prefer. We encourage you to use these professional headshots for your child’s page as it is a clean and good quality image taken with the correct lighting and equipment to highlight your child’s best features.

 

The Safety of Social Media Stars

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. Although, there is 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. We encourage parents to take a step into the digital world as it is a brand new way of ‘mingling’, in a way you might at an industry function or event.

Managing your child’s exposure is a great way to get started in the industry. But how do we manage this exposure and monitor what is appropriate and what is not when it comes to our children’s interactions on social media?

Jayla & Levi Li On Wing

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, who 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, ban and make sure they never return! You do have the luxury to control 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

IG @jayla_and_levi

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 an ingrained part of the entertainment industry and beyond, so it is something that ultimately can’t be avoided.

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>>

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.