Getting Started: How to Ace an Agency Interview

Getting Started: How to Ace an Agency Interview

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Me and my newest Mocha Baby (7 months old) meeting an agent for the first time!

If you have been following my Getting Started Series, than you know how to get great photos, submit to agencies and book jobs on your own! But what do you do when the agency wants to meet your Mocha Baby? I recently moved to a new city so I included a few recent pictures of me and the boys from our visit to The Paris Chanel Agency in Memphis, TN!

FAQ: I submitted my baby/kid to an agency and they want to meet her! What do I need to know to ace the interview? 

A: Congrats! Agencies get tons of submissions every day so a call back is a good sign. It means they see potential in your child’s photos and she probably fills a void in their roster. Your child may be just the right look, gender, age, ethnicity, size, or all of the above! Remember that this is a business after all and they want to sign kids they know they can work with. They often want their models  roster to represent a mix of looks, so if they have 2 or 3 other kids that fit the same description as yours, they are likely to pass on adding you to the list. But a callback means you’ve made the first cut so take time and prepare yourself and your child for the first agency appointment.

What you need to know

Before: The agent will most likely send you a confirmation email about the appointment that will include the date, time, location, contact person, how to dress your child and what to bring.

Print out the email and pay close attention to all the details included. Make sure you pack a bag especially for your child as well, complete with snacks and activities.

During: When you arrive ON TIME – be expected to fill out a talent sheet, get measured and take a few digital photos. Be clear about your schedule and flexibility and be honest about the amount of time you have to commit to castings, fittings, and bookings.

Remember, the purpose of the meeting is for them to see if they like you, but also for you to see if you like them! Interview them! Ask questions and get to know them. Do you feel like they will have your child’s best interests in mind? The agent should make you feel as comfortable as possible and be open to any concerns you have.

If they are interested in representing your child they will give you a contract. Ask them to explain it to you. How much do they take for commission ( 15-20% of  the job is typical) What other fees do they require? Remember they work for YOU! They send you on castings. They prepare you as best as they can and then your child attends castings and tries to book the job. If and ONLY if your child books a paid job does your agent get a percentage. That is how the agency makes money. If they pressure you for money or to sign the contract immediately…RUN!

After: Take your contract. Look it over or have a lawyer do it for you if you have questions. Call around, get references, read reviews and make an informed decision about whether or not you want to sign. Think about the commitment and the opportunity at hand and then decide within 48-72 hours if you would like to proceed. If not that is ok too. Just let the agency know in a timely fashion. If you decide to join – congratulations! Your child is one step closer to becoming a working model!

 

Have a question for me? Email mochababymodels@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

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A New Year Gift for You!

A New Year Gift for You!

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Happy New Year Mochas!

I hope you all had a great holiday with your families and little Mochas! If you are anything like me you were planning and attending get togethers, wrapping gifts, baking cookies, visiting family and spent at least one (or two) days in your pajamas!! How I wish the time went by a little bit slower, but I am grateful for a chance to decompress, reflect and focus on what is really important to me….my faith and my family!

Since it is the first Monday of 2016 I want to share that my main goal this year is to plan and organize my chaotic life a bit better. I thought you may also have a similar goal so I created some checklists to help you jump start your Mocha Baby’s modeling career.
I will continue to add new resources for you to download throughout the year! Have some suggestions you would like to share or information you would like to know? Email me at mochababymodels@gmail.com or leave me a comment. Get your free downloads here!
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Mocha Baby Modeling 101 – Launching The Mocha Tips Series

 

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I know why you are here. You have the cutest baby in the world, (duh). It is only natural to want to see your baby in a magazine, on TV or heck maybe even on the big screen…but you don’t know where to start and how to avoid being scammed. You want to know how to find an agency, what to do at an open call and how to book a job.  You want to know exactly how much do these babies make anyway? (Because , Peanut needs a college fund, hellooo!)

So guess what? I’m here to help you! Look, I have been there…heck I am still here. I had 2 cute babies and looked for work, I booked many jobs on my own and agencies helped with others. I have been on short shoots, long shoots, paid and unpaid.  I know the good and the bad of what it takes to get your child booked. And here’s a little secret…guess who ends up doing most of the work – you guessed it…YOU!

Trust me. It isn’t going to just happen. Babies and kids are rarely discovered and modeling is a business and you have to treat it as such. You must research, interview, prepare, market, position, diversify, promote and sell. Do you see the glitter and sparkle fading? Good. That means you are also realistic. Manage your expectations and think of this journey as something fun to do with your child. And when it stops being fun be ready to move on!

To help you along the way, I am launching my Mocha Tips series. This will be a quick, easy, and fun way to learn the biz. Okay I’ve made you wait long enough. Here goes my first Tip (cue drumroll):

Never pay anyone who promises to get (1)

 

It is as simple as that. Yes, you will see me repeat this over and over. Many of my posts will reiterate this point. That is because scammers can see you coming a mile away. And they want your money. All of it. Do not give it to them. The legit people will NOT ask for money on the spot and force you to sign up for any packages, or force a contract on you.

They will TRY to get you work so they can get paid. But all they can do is prepare you, guide you and submit you to jobs. IF you get booked THEN the agency gets a commission. However, no matter how reputable the agency, how cute the child or how fabulous the photos,  the child may or may not get work. Anyone who says otherwise should should be shown the door. Got it? Good!

Want more tips delivered to your inbox? Be sure to click the ‘Follow Blog’ button in the top of the side bar now! You don’t want to miss a thing!

Tichanda

Quick Question: Do I need to pay money for my child to get into the modeling industry?

Quick Question: Do I need to pay money for my child to get into the modeling industry?

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Quick Question: Do I need to pay money for my child to get into the modeling industry?

Quick Answer: No…you should not be asked for any upfront money for your child to be seen by an agent or casting director. However, be clear that modeling is a business and all businesses have expenses, but any company claiming they can get your child in print or on tv by selling you photo packages, modeling classes, and holding mock fashion shows for casting directors are most likely scams. Agencies ONLY make money if they get you WORK. They take a percentage of your earnings from the jobs that they book for you.

Remember, if it seems like a scam it probably is.
Have a question for me? Email me at MochaBabyModels@gmail.com

Insider Advice from the Pro’s on How to Photograph your Children!

Insider Advice from the Pro’s on How to Photograph your Children!

 

Photo credit: Sue Barr

When it comes to getting started in the modeling industry, parents always want to know if they need professional photos. I think this has also been one of the major ways scammers have taken advantage of eager parents looking to make their kids a star. They sell them a photo package with a few looks and not only do the parents end up out of a couple hundred, or even thousand dollars – the child never gets called for an audition. And you can forget actually finding representation or booking a job.

I have mentioned on this blog numerous times that you do NOT  need professional photos especially for kids under 3 years old because kids change their look so rapidly. In fact, the agencies expect updated photos every month! That could get very expensive!

But just because you don’t need to pay for photos it doesn’t mean your photos can’t and shouldn’t look professional especially with the high tech smart phones we all have. Most agency websites tell exactly the types of photos that want to receive. I came across this great article from industry professionals on how to get great photos of your kids. Their advice? Lose the Cheese!

As one of the top children photographers Jade Albert states:

 Keep it simple. Have fun, choose an activity for interaction and capture that natural moment. Talk to them as an equal, to make them feel relaxed and not posed. Make it an adventure, because kids are always an adventure. I love playing games on set, Simon Says, peek-a-boo, dancing, etc. If all else fails, reverse psychology works like a charm. Tell them not to smile, not to laugh, and they crack up in giggles. –Jade Albert

 

Photo Credit:  Joan Ford

Want to see what the other 5 experts had to say? Check out Lose the Cheese: 6 Experts Share Their Tips on How to Photograph Children.

Casting Websites and Breakdown Services : NYCastings.com

Casting Websites and Breakdown Services : NYCastings.com

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NYCastings.com is a website that I use to get castings and breakdowns for myself and my family. I have booked numerous jobs over the past few years through this site including most recently a job for Carol’s Daughter. NYCatings.com allows you to create a profile, upload pics and a resume as well as video reels and audio and directly submit that info to people who have posted modeling or acting jobs on the site..
Using NYCastings isn’t free, but it  is inexpensive and it has more than paid for itself. (It is also tax deductible)There are a number of ways you can pay – you do a trial, or pay monthly or even save with an annual subscription. With a membership – you can self-submit your portfolio to auditions, castings calls as well as roles for print, tv, film and live events. They are also broken down into categories so that you can save time and look at only the listings that are of interest to you.
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There is also a business directory with the contact info of many of the NY agencies, casting directors & managers. You can use this section to submit your profile to try to get representation for your child if you are looking for an agency or manager.
Once you set up your profile, submitting your child for jobs can be done via your computer or mobile device. Make sure you sign up for the text and email alerts so you get notified when something fits your profile. The quicker you respond, the better your chances of being seen and booked for the job.
Want more information about self submitting your child to modeling jobs? Read this blog post!
Have you ever gotten auditions or booked any jobs with NYCastings? If so post which ones in the comments!
A guide to launching your kids showbiz career in New York City

A guide to launching your kids showbiz career in New York City

6a00e5536f3be088330134866c5fbd970c-800wi Jump into show business with this great article from Time Out NY Kids[/caption]

If your kid dreams of seeing his name twinkle on Broadway – TimeOut New York Kids  has a crash course on breaking your child into showbiz. The article is packed with resources, websites, and details on how to self-submit your kid to agencies and casting directors for auditions, castings, and open calls.

Whether your child is into modeling, acting, dance or all three – this article is worth a read. There are a host of links and helpful resources.

*Update* Keep in mind this TONYK article was originally written in 2010 – however many of the resources are still just as timely today as they were then. As with anything, do your research and contact each business or organization directly.

Take Away: If you have the flexibility, the fervor, patience, and thick skin…oh and a child who actually wants to be in the biz…then give it a shot – but don’t get carried away. When it stops being fun – find something else do. TimeOut Kids has plenty of suggestions!