When the Seeds are Planted…

When the Seeds are Planted…

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As a momager for over 9 years, when it comes to the modeling and acting careers of my kids you may be surprised that I have had to do the lion share of the work  and it has been all behind the scenes. I always try to warn moms and dads of this, but I know what they see…the end result. They see the “BOOKED!” posts, and the ads and campaigns and think “How hard could this be? My kid is soo cute!” .

They may send a few pics to an agency, or go to a casting and get frustrated when their child isn’t in the latest Gap ad. They ask me all the time how they can get started and after sharing the basics I tell them – like everything in life, anything worth having and the road to any success requires, time, dedication and persistence.

I don’t post all the background stuff because often there is no time to take a photo during the madness. But when a gig is booked…and you are on set, you take a picture! And when the work is spotted, months and sometimes years later…you share on social media. It looks easy and fun! But the reality is much different and even still the work that goes with this #momagerlife is not what this post is about.

This is about planting, sowing, and growing a dream. It is about the fact that many of the seeds that me, my family, all the teachers, and of course my sons have planted over almost a decade have started to sprout. My oldest son Caleb has been in front of a camera for over 8 years, taken acting classes  for 6 years, dance for 5 years,  and voice for 3 years. He has been submitted on hundreds of castings, and been through hundreds of hours of rehearsals. He has appeared in 6 theatrical productions and countless commercials, print ads, and web campaigns. And he has had wins big and small over the years – sprouts of success, here and there. 

Caleb Thompson as Young Simba
Caleb as Young Simba in the Lion King

As a result of Caleb’s dedication and commitment he booked 2 dream roles back to back this year. The first being the role of Young Simba in the Stage Door Productions The Lion King Jr. If there were ever a role made for him..this was it. Everything about the experience was amazing and it gave us all the confidence and assurance that he had truly found something he loved, and he was in the intersection of passion, talent, timing and hard work.

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During the rehearsals of his play, he found out that he had been cast in an even bigger role that would take him around the world.  He recently booked an international Broadway tour! He is going to be playing the role of ‘Young Lola’ in the Tony Award winning play Kinky Boots!! We head to NYC for rehearsals in a few weeks and then it is off to China for 3 months! 2018 is just halfway through and we are starting to see exponential growth and opportunities unfold for Caleb! Things that we thought may happen years from today are happening now!

There will be much more to share once we get to China but for now…there is more work to do. From passports, visas, and flights to manage for my family (and extended family that want to visit.) to contracts, employee paperwork, work permits, taxes, etc. I am up to my neck in paper!

Oh…and then there is school! He will be away when school starts and he will miss the entire first quarter. So…I am in the process of enrolling him ( and his brother) in school online. It’s a whole new world to say the least and we are figuring it out as we go.

And while I am going bonkers trying to figure out life, taking a leave of absence from work and all of my income opportunities and plans – he is counting down the days ’till he boards the plane! I feel like I am running out of time and for him time can’t move fast enough! Oh to be a kid again!

Caleb Thompson as the March Hare
Caleb at 5 as the March Hare in Alice and Wonderland

But while I am stressing now, I know once I board the plane with my little star, I will breathe, and relax, and enjoy. And yes…post and share our journey. And it will look like the trip of a lifetime…which it will be of course!  However, I will be reflecting on the very first casting at 5 months old and his very first solo in a play that I didn’t even know he had until I heard his little voice on stage, and all the nights he went to bed wondering if his audition was good enough for the part he wanted, and all the nights I stumbled into bed exhausted from managing his schedule and driving all day and night.

And though this is just the beginning of his professional career, it is so nice to know that when the seeds are planted, watered, and nurtured, the harvest will be abundant. It will not be overnight. It will not always be pretty or easy. It will sprout when we least expect it to. And we will have more to tend to, and manage when it does but if we are smart we will not only take a picture, we will stop to smell the roses and enjoy the fruit of our labor and God’s grace. 

Booking Blessings,

~Tichanda

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Mocha Baby Modeling Workshop!

Mocha Baby Modeling Workshop!

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Are you in or near the Memphis Area? Do people tell you your child should model? Curious about the industry and how to get started? Do you think your child was born for the camera?

Come to this one day workshop and get your questions answered by me!!

Some of the topics covered will be:

  • What is child modeling and how to get started
  • How and what to submit to an agency for consideration
  • How to research and land an agent
  • How to take photos that will make your child stand out
  • The do’s and don’ts of wardrobe, styling, lighting and location
  • Professional photos vs digital shots
  • How to find jobs on your own
  • How much money do kids REALLY make?

Each attendee will leave with an info packet complete with agencies as well tips, resources, checklists and worksheets.

All attendees will also get a coupon code for a free download of ‘5 steps to Child Modeling” or a discount for a one on one coaching session!

Event Sponsor – Incrediblee Wee Photography will be offering all attendees a discount on a mini photo session!

Seats are limited! Register today for only $20!

 

XOXO ~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

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!
Mall Modeling Scams – How Interface Played on the Dreams of Parents and Children

Mall Modeling Scams – How Interface Played on the Dreams of Parents and Children

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If you have a child and you have been to the mall you most likely have been approached by a model scout who thinks your child has what it takes to be a star. Have you ever wondered if these companies are legit?

Check out this undercover investigation about Interface Talent from ABC’s 20/20 Confessions series. Watch as a mom and daughter go through the process of being scouted in the mall and get a crash course on how easy it is to be emotionally lured by fame and stardom despite feeling uneasy about sky high charges and countless (and often empty) promises.

View: Part 1 of this investigation –
http://abcnews.go.com/video/embed?id=30096841
ABC Breaking US News | US News Videos

View Part 2 : Former Interface Employee Says Many Parents Felt ‘Blindsided’
http://abcnews.go.com/video/embed?id=30096923
ABC Breaking US News | US News Videos

Take Away* If you are asked for money upfront to get work – whether it be for photos or classes or “exposure” – buyer beware – Agencies get paid when they get YOU work…not the other way around. Put your checkbook down and decline!

via How Interface Played on the Dreams of Parents and Children Video – ABC News.

How to get your child a modeling agent: Take great photos!

How to get your child a modeling agent: Take great photos!

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When submitting your child to modeling agencies, try to capture your child’s personality in your photos! Here is my son Bryce hamming it up for the camera at only 3 months old!

So you are ready to give modeling a shot – but you don’t know where to begin? Here are some tips from the pros to get you started.

Take Pictures!!! You are in love with your little one, so take pictures – lots of them!

  • Digital cameras work best. You can see the pics and delete the ones you don’t like. Some cameras have a setting for Kids and Pets that give you a quicker shutter time so you don’t miss the shot! Cell phones have also gotten extremely good at capturing professional worthy shots.
  • Make sure the baby is awake and SMILING. Baby should look friendly and happy!
  • Take headshots and body shots to submit to agencies
  • Try photos inside and outdoors. Baby should be awake, sitting, standing or playing. As long as they are looking at the camera and appear natural and comfortable you should get a good photo.
  • Dress baby in solid colors that complement the skin. Darker skinned babies look great in bright, lively colors!
  • Make sure photos are clear and in focus
  • Avoid photos with baby eating, in the bath tub, drooling with a wet mouth or wet clothing
  • Keep family members out of the picture
  • Avoid a cluttered background
  • Have fun! If baby tires out or won’t cooperate, save it for another day!

Some Examples:

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Want more ideas on how to take great photos of your little one? Visit our Pinterest board and look for helpful tips and posts by children photographers!