Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dance Moms

Most of our readers have seen us post things about our kids from time to time and the various activities in which they participate.  Last night Cloudy wanted to watch the season finale of Lifetime's Dance Moms.  This week the company was in LA preparing for a competition.  While there one of the mom's contacted an agent and the agency immediately set up a photo shoot for this young dancer.  Hollywood has a way of portraying things in a light that makes things look so easy when in fact they aren't.  Our children are all beautiful...mine...yours...but to simple call up an agency and get a shoot is not how things are done.  On top of that they took pictures of this young lady that were more like glamor shots than head shots and there is a big difference.

Now this may have been how it happened for her because she was already on the show and maybe the shoot was for something else entirely, but I wanted to explain how this thing typically works.

1.  There are a lot of very scrupulous characters out there and no doubt you have heard some of them on the radio advertising talent searches.  Please remember you NEVER pay an agent to represent your child.  In small and large markets you may have to pay for web fees for them to be on their website.  You will also have to pay for head shots.  Traveling to auditions in usually your responsibility as well.

2.  Research the agencies on line.  If you have friends in the industry have them make some recommendations to you.

3.  Don't be afraid to start local.  Both of my kiddos started local and for the most part have remained local by our choice.  It is a good stepping stone though for later in their career and it is usually not nearly as overwhelming as a big market.

4.  Submit what they ask you to and how they ask you to do it.  Remember that if you are submitting a child specifically a girl they don't expect to see make up on them.

5.  They will contact you if they are interested.  Waiting is painful especially when your children are involved, but wait.  I've waited as much as six weeks to get information.

6.  If they request a meeting with you go and be professional.  This is the agent's profession and ultimately how they get paid.  If your child is younger bring something to keep them entertained.  This is a way for the agent to also see how they will behave on set.

7.  If you are offered representation read your contract thoroughly!  Take it home and research the agency.  Understand as well that a lot of shoots are during the day so you will need to find out your state's policy on how many days a child may miss.  This was big for us because with the several shoots Kaiden does throughout the year plus times we would miss for hockey travel it could add up to quite a bit.

8.  If you are not offered representation don't dwell on it.  It's hard because we think that our kids are beautiful and they are, but remember that an agent may be full on that type of look.  For example Kaiden's blonde hair is pretty common, but Cloudy's bright red hair is much more unique.  Mothers of girls also have to keep in mind that the number of girls who attempt to model is VERY high versus the number of boys.

9.  Most agencies contracts are non-exclusive which means you can work with other agencies as well.  There are some out there that are still exclusive so if that is the case make sure you are comfortable with that.

Well I am not a know all when it comes to this, but I wanted to share my advice and experience from the past.  Since we just moved back to Kansas City we will be going through this process somewhat again with Kaiden, because he never modeled here.  I am including a couple pictures of the kids to this post.  One is of an actual shoot that Kaiden did for a company and one is a picture of Cloudy from her "look" shoot that her agent wanted.  If anyone wants to add comments or suggestions please let me know!


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