The modeling world has gone through a major facelift in the last decade or so. In fact, now there are many more opportunities in the world of modeling especially since the advent of the internet. This has also opened doors for child models who can work on commercials over the internet, on television and even in the print media. There are several companies who sell only children related products and they require children for modeling of their products. Apart from such companies, there are many more modeling avenues for children.
Child models are required in different industries like education, baby and child accessories, clothing, music, pets, swimwear, child fashion, health and medicine, toys, and much more. So there is always a requirement for child models although it might not be as often as it is in professional advertising. Today, the industry even requires children for modeling on the ramp. So there are several changes that have gone about making the modeling industry different but parent who have aspiring child models need to be extremely cautious because there are several fake agencies out there who just want to rip you off.
The question is how you can distinguish between a real agency and a fake one. After all, no one would say that their agency is a fake and most agencies looking for children for modeling work almost in a similar fashion. Here are some Child Actor LA Scam prevention things that you need to remember:
A legitimate or real agency will never ask you for money or any type of advance payment. The norm is that agencies will check the portfolio of all child models and send it ahead to an advertising agency or directly to the client for an audition. If you child gets through the audition and gets an assignment then you will need to pay the modeling agency a mutually agreed percentage. If the agency is a fake modeling agency then they will charge you money in advance for creating a portfolio or for modeling classes or even to get an audition. Never fall for that trap!
The second most important fact is that agencies don't conduct modeling classes nor do they try and sell modeling classes. A fake agency will try to impress you by saying that they will get your child into a modeling class so that they are better prepared for the audition and the probability of getting through is also higher. You need to understand that companies looking for children for modeling work don't require your child to have any previous modeling background or education. All they need is a child who is smart, cute, charming, and who can carry a big and innocent smile. So if an agency tells you that they will enroll your child in their modeling classes, and then put your foot down. This is definitely not the modeling agency that you are looking for.
Last but not the least, a legitimate modeling agency will not try and sell you photos. If you get photographs of your child clicked at an agency then pay directly to the photographer instead of the agency.
Today we explore your new "agent" and their hidden fees. We must place the term "agent" in quotation marks because the word "agent" can be used (and abused) in many different ways. All agents do not operate the same way. Reputable agents charge nothing up front, make money only from commissions from their working actors, and offer valuable career guidance and advice.
Then, you have the other "agents" who will gladly represent you-for the right price. Those prices come in different ways and at different amounts. Some come in the form of an expensive product or service. For example, an agent may force an actor into taking mandatory in-house acting classes prior to representation. Some agents accept actors into an agency, only to charge them for expensive, unnecessary photo sessions and portfolios. And then there are the hidden fees....
Here's the set-up. You submit your acting headshot and resume to an agent. You perhaps have been passed over by other local agents in the past and you hope that this time you will finally achieve representation.
A few weeks after submission, you receive a letter. You've been accepted! This new "agent" agrees to represent you. The agent then raises your hopes by claiming that many of his/her actors have been working steadily, and you can too! He just needs a small monetary investment from you in order to get you started. He may, for example, ask for $49.95 upfront to put your headshot on a website. With that "investment" he claims, the agency will be able to market you more effectively to casting directors in town.
The $49.95 seems a small investment for you, especially since you now believe you have an agent. Believing you are on your way to becoming a full-time working actor, you gladly pay the small fee.
With money in hand, you never hear from your "agent" again.
While the $49.95 they scammed from you may not seem like much, just imagine if 5,000 other hopeful actors were snookered the same way.
Below is Child Actor LA scam prevention advises for you:
Also read: Acting Scams Prevention Advice
Child Actor LA Acting Institute with exclusive placement with top Hollywood agents, who come in weekly to conduct workshops within our educational facility. Children currently working as series regular on General hospital, Modern family, Cristela, Fresh Off The Boat, Nickelodeon and top national TV commercials and print + movies. Personal growth, location in Irvine, and soon in Culver City!
If you have been wondering if your child would qualify for the film, TV industry, just know that a visit to us at Child Actor LA would allow you to find out if your child has what it takes. Our children come mostly from the word of mouth after all these years.
We also maintain a presence at local events and at times, we will spot a child whom we feel has potential and is within a good age group, at a local place. Agents years ago, and I mean top Hollywood agents, may have approached you about your child at let’s say, the Beverly Hills Mall, and brought you for an audition. Then they would give you a list of schools to visit in order for your child to get training. It has been a long time since agents don’t scout in such way, and will consider kids with training only. They hardly open up package inquiries through the mail. The agents who visit us weekly come in to conduct educational workshops themselves, and emulate the auditioning process. By coming in to train our children, they get to meet our amazing families and our children, who are Shakespearian trained and trained in modern, improve.
Be wary of schools whose entire business is based upon stopping you at local places. We may at times spot your child at a mall or the beach, actually, but some fly by night institutes or long term scams, and there are such too, may bring anyone and everyone indiscriminately, as long as the parents are willing to pay for classes, or pay for a pretense pay per play seminar with supposedly “agents” going in. We work mostly from the word of mouth, once again.
Also local schools have their kids in little plays and they advertise potential opportunities for the children’s talent, which don’t exist. It is easy to spot, as you would see kids on their company sites perhaps in costumes, or just in class at their school, but never on anything which ever aired anywhere. Their cuteness may not make up for the lack of achievements. You may read about one of their kids having obtained a role somewhere, but check out the show/commercial. Then ask the school to produce the child’s file and see if it all connects. Hmm... I’m just the Face book lady, but I’ve heard it all.
Classical training mixed with modern improv’ goes a long way towards the children’s success!
Some scam prevention advice.
Child Actor LA scam prevention advice is here for you. Found on a site on which a local stage oriented place which claims they have agents going in, advertise. Ironically, they don't have agents' visits apparently, and are trying to spin that. But some of what I read made sense.
“““You answer a casting notice, get approached in a mall, or even get a phone call after filling something out online. The sales person pretending to be in the industry and posing as a casting director, agent or some other title tells you your child is “perfect” and would like you to audition for some part.”””
What they are spinning:
*A casting director will not approach you at a place of gathering. They communicate with agents and the agents send your child to an audition. As you found out reading above, agents will not scout you either, and want kids who are already trained. It’s okay for someone to approach you, but they have to announce that they are a tuition based institute. NOT misrepresent themselves! *
“““Excited you go to the audition with your kid in tow. Once there you realize that there are 100’s of others there and that it is not a “real” audition. There is no part to fill, script to memorize or production company there. It is a sales meeting and you are in the audience. Someone goes up and reads a pitch to all the excited kids and parents. They tell you your kids were chosen to be a part of the showbiz industry. Sometimes, they pull you and your child into a room and make your child read a couple lines for them. They do this to make the entire experience seem more legit. The reading is meaningless because there is no real part you are reading for.”””
What they are spinning:
* A seminar/cattle call: (100 kids!). Everybody is beautiful and talented out of the 100 kids invited, 100 kids get “accepted”. They usually operate out of a seminar room, rented at a hotel. They often bring assistant agents from small agencies, who get paid to be there, and have no decision making power. They ask you to pay $7K or $8K for the chance to meet agents. Your child “performs” in front of them. They never received any training and hence, are not actors, but it’s okay because the “agents” are not real either like I just indicated. You should not have to pay to meet agents. A reading of lines which is not for the purpose of evaluating your child to become part of a legitimate institute is meaningless, because your child would never get picked up randomly to audition for a job without agent’s representation!
That is not an evaluation that is a fake audition, and the people you are dealing with may have misrepresented themselves as managers, or casting directors. They are just people who misrepresent a “pay per play” type of situation, and will announce to you a cost to move on to meeting actual Hollywood agents. Needless to say that the top 5 to top 35 agents who come to us to conduct workshops and meet already highly trained kids in such way, do not participate in the scam events described above!
NOTE: Child Actor LA scam prevention tips also include, never pay to audition. Real casting directors would never stop you and offer you a job. They work with agents. Then agents would not offer you representation, if you pay for:
“““Expensive, inferior classes, worthless acting workshops and poor quality portfolios.”””
*Simply because the law does not allow agents, nor casting directors to offer any services. They can only work on percentage basis. Do not believe anyone who approaches you to offer you jobs for your child. Legitimate schools may approach you at places of gathering where they maintain a booth space for instance, or as they are shopping for themselves, and consider your child to become part of their institute. But then your child has to go through an evaluation process. ANYBODY who offers you A JOB and not an opportunity to visit an institute is misrepresenting themselves, and certainly their title. They are not agents! Besides, acting demands skills like everything else. No one will just “hire” you or your child!*
Thank you for reading!