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How do I get my kid in the modeling/acting industry?

A lot of the questions I receive are very much like this one – where do you begin?

Well, it depends on a variety of things: your child’s age, where you live, etc. but the best place to start is your local area – besides TheCuteKid website, of course!

To procure agency/manager representation, you really have to live in the area (or about an hour away) in which you would be going on appointments with your child, or be willing to move immediately to where you send their pictures.

The talent agencies normally do not represent children under the age of 4 – there is no getting around that, it is a standard industry rule. I had to wait like everyone else – don’t you think I was DYING to get my twins representation before the age of 4 for acting? Absolutely! But I to had to wait, even though I live in the NYC area and have a ton of resources because of the location.

So if your child is younger than 4, you should focus on the modeling end of things for now - and whatever open calls you see from TheCuteKid website. Google “model agency your town” and start researching! Call the agencies you find, and ask questions – is there a fee to join, do they have a children’s division, where can you send your pictures?

The modeling and acting industries are hard WORK – and once you get representation, it’s even more work going on all of the auditions, callbacks and the preparation it takes. The “overnight success” phrase is a myth, spun by the media to make celebrities seem all that more intriguing.

If your child is older than 4 and you want to get them into acting, then you should start having them participate in school plays, acting camp, workshops for kids and that type of thing. Acting takes more of an investment at first than modeling does – you can get away with sending in casual snapshots to a modeling agency (even after joining the agency you can use use non-professional pictures depending on their age), but after a child is past a certain age for acting you will be looking into getting a profesesional head shot, resume, etc.

I hope this helps, the fact that you are reading this shows that you are moving in the right direction! Learn, learn, learn – knowledge is power in this industry to avoid falling into the hands of the wrong people.

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90 Comments

  • Erin

    Hi, this will be the last time I ask you this! Which one would you choose for the babytalk cover contest out of the first row?

    http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewPicture&friendID=437037453&albumId=37397

    Thanks so much! I really appreciate your help!

    Erin

  • judy

    Dear Erin,

    I can’t access the link.

    I’m afraid I won’t be able to analyze any more pictures – it could turn into too many people doing this all of the time.

    I will help you out though with any other questions you may have about the industry!

    Thanks again for your interest!

  • Erin

    Ok! I am sorry for the inconvenience! Thanks for your help!

  • judy

    Not a problem Erin!

    It’s not an easy business!!!

    Please stay in touch.

  • eric

    hi, i am a proud father who is looking to get my son started but i have no idea what to do. he’s an adorable boy with an exceptional personality. i know all parents say this about their children but my son would be great in this industry. i dont want to pay for websites anymore and just want an honest opinion of my son and where he might be able to go from here…. any help?

  • dawn

    I live close to the LA area and have a 6 mo old boy that I would like to try to get into modeling (along with everyone else haha). Can you give me a name of a reputable childs casting/modeling agency? I google and I get sooo many and I don’t want to go to some money scam/pervert place…any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
    Dawn

  • Kelly V White

    I have a 5 month old that many say should be on a billboard. I would like to know what kind of research I can do to find out about the modeling agencies im Atlanta. Do you have any suggestions for agencies in this area?

  • Claudia Batichon

    One more thing…if you are looking for nice shots and want to get it done cheap, check out your local community college or four-year college that have a PHOTOGRAPHY PROGRAM, if you have one near you and ask a professor to make an announcement a student to take pictures of your child for you. There are a lot of undergraduate/graduate photography students who are looking for photos to put in their portfolio and may be willing to take pictures of your child FREE or at a low-cost (under 30 bucks) if you allow them to use it in their portfolio. I’ve done that before and it works because they have great cameras.

  • Jennifer

    Judy,

    I live in the Reno area and am unaware of any casting calls or anything in this area. I have entered my girls in the March contest but they haven’t been featured yet so maybe they don’t have the look . What is “the look” and how do I know if my kids have it. I am not willing to relocate and am really just looking at maybe having them do some advertising work. Any advice? Or suggestions? Thanks so much for taking the time to answer.

  • Tina Boyd

    My daughter is 5 about to turn 6 and she has been asking for modeling and/or acting for about a year. We live in Orlando, Fl and I’m not sure what to do.
    We’ve had her in beauty pageants for the last 2 years and she has done really well, but I don’t think many actually go on to modeling which is what they advertise.
    We have gone to a couple of “open calls” in our area and she has been picked each time, only to find out that there was a school or another larger casting call that would cost hundreds of dollars.
    I’m not sure where to turn. I’m wondering if you can suggest anything. Is there a modeling company that will not charge? Is this standard? Can I just walk in to our local John Casablanca with a couple pics and my daughter? What would work the best? Does she need acting classes, modeling classes to get started?
    I just want to make sure that if I put money in I’m puting it in the right place. I know that the pageants were fun for her but no real place to be. Maybe a little stage experience and she’s also not afraid of a crowd or cameras etc.
    I would love to get her started as soon as possible, but I’m woefully ignorant of the good ideas versus the bad ones.
    Thanks so much,
    Tina

  • Ashley

    hello judy. I have a 10 month old daughter and everyone says i need to put her in contests and peagents. do you have an advice on where to start? thanks so much Ashley.

  • LIsa

    hi judy ! my daughter(Stormie) turned 4 mar.7i put her in the ck contest 4 mar.09 i see she is in the sneak peek winners does that mean she can’t win for mar.? i summited 3photos of her & 1 of my son(John)he is 8. i jus moved to atlanta i put Stormie in a mall photo contest the everyone (including the photogr) said i should really try to do more with her (iv’e always been told this)but i dont know where to start! iv’e been reading alot on it (online,sag,BBB etc..)iwish you could take alook @her and give me your honest opn! can you please give me some advice?! thank-you Lis!

  • judy

    Hi Dawn,

    The way you figure out if an agency is legitimate is if they’re trying to charge you any money, they are NOT legit!

    Then check out and see if they need a license for your state, and ask if they have one.

    Also, any professional pictures that are requested for babies should be another warning sign – baby pictures should be pictures you take yourself, because babies change so quickly.

    CESD, LA Models and Abrams Artists in LA are great! Call them up and see if they represent babies.

    Good luck!

  • judy

    Kelly V White,

    For agencies in Atlanta and more information on the modeling industry check out my other blog:
    http://blogs.thecutekid.com/judy-goss/2009/02/16/how-do-you-know-if-a-modeling-agency-is-legit/#comments

    Good luck!!

  • judy

    Hi Ashley!

    Please read this blog again – there is all of the information you need! Start doing your research (read above) and send in no more than 3 pictures – 2 head shots and one body shot.

    For more information about the modeling industry you can also buy my book “Break Into Modeling for Under $20″ on Amazon.com:
    http://www.amazon.com/Break-into-Modeling-Under-20/dp/0312372604/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1238427982&sr=1-1

  • judy

    Great idea Claudia!! Thank-you for posting!!

    But as always, this is for older children (not babies).

  • judy

    Hi Lisa!

    You can still win for March, that’s just a random selection of photos for our “sneak peak” picks to offer even more exposure for our members! The judging for March will be announced the 2nd week of April, and you will get entered again in April for FREE whether or not you win for March – those are the rewards for being a “sneak peak!”

    Here is a link for info about Atlanta and more info in general:
    http://blogs.thecutekid.com/judy-goss/2009/02/16/how-do-you-know-if-a-modeling-agency-is-legit/#comments

    Thanks for posting!

  • Nicole

    My problem is a little different…My son just turned 9, has had an agent here in Arizona for over 3 years. He had a couple agencies in LA offer representation… Unfortunately they wanted us to move there or come out for a few months and live to see how he does. We didn’t come out mainly because of financial reasons…but now concerned it was the wrong choice, since really there isn’t much here and he continues going to acting classes, but wants to do more. My son has a few commercials out and print ads as of right now, and I would say we are in a financial place to come out for a while, maybe even with another family to share a place. So I guess My question for you is…is there a website or a great agency, manager, we could start with to get us going out there in LA or one we could just keep contact with and come out for big audition projects like movies or the pilot season. We just don’t know which direction to go now and I feeling stuck.
    Thank you,
    Nicole

  • judy

    Dear Jennifer,

    99% of the acting/modeling business is rejection, so you’re going to have to get used to it, unfortunately! You can’t just enter your kid’s picture into one contest and if they don’t get selected, give up.

    Getting into modeling or acting is HARD WORK and lots of persistence is needed. It sometimes takes years for someone to get representation, then after one gets an agency, it’s even harder work going on endless castings and sometimes not booking anything for months and months.

    First you have to Google “model agency Reno” and get a list of agencies in the area. If your child is a toddler or baby, you have to call them up and see if they represent kids this young. Then, send in non-professional pictures for now, until you get representation…you will find out if your child has “it” by marketing them in this fashion.

    The key is to NOT pay for anything, keep trying and trying, and handle the rejection by learning for next time! If you don’t get any response the first go-around, try again in 3 months.

    Good luck!

  • judy

    Hi Tina!

    Here’s a good idea – do NOT pay for a modeling school!! Just send your daughter’s pictures in and see the response – legitimate agencies PREFER non-professional pictures (for proof of this check out Elite, Ford, NY Models websites – they request NON prof photos)

    And for the acting…classes are really up to you. Personally, I would try to get representation first, then you can get class suggestions from that agency. By the time a child is 6 or 7, and they are serious about acting (or their parents are) they should start looking into workshops or classes.

    Google a list of agencies (see above blog post) and start your research!! The only thing you should be paying for is possible acting head shots AFTER you get an agency – not before, and certainly not for someone to “help” you get into the industry.

    I was a modeling agent for several years – agencies look down on people who charge to get into the industry, and modeling schools as well, they just won’t publicly admit it.

  • judy

    Dear Nicole,

    I’m not sure why you are feeling “stuck” – you are in such a great position!! Your child is getting invaluable experience in Arizona, and you can use that to get an agency in LA! I know MANY people who would trade places with you in a heartbeat

    I don’t personally know any managers out in LA, but you can start with an agency and go from there. I believe LA Models represents kids your son’s age, and CESD Talent is a GREAT reputable agency, along with Abrams Artists.

    There’s a start – now go and get him representation, and move on from there!!

    Good luck, please keep in touch and let me know what happens.

  • Jennifer

    Thank you Judy, I am fine with rejection. I know with so many beautiful children out there that it is very competitive. I was just wondering if there is a way to know if your child has what it takes as we have never done this before. I did what you said and have an interview at an agency next week. But I am fairly sure they are going to ask for registration money and try to convince me to put my girls through classes with them. You say we shouldn’t have to pay up front. So what do I say to them? That if they are really interested then they will take her without payment? Or should I just thank them and leave if that comes up? I feel like a lot of these places tell you what you want to hear so you will spend a lot of money. Thanks for your advice.

    Jennifer

  • judy

    Yes, Jennifer – a lot of so-called “agencies” will try and get money out of people by cashing in on their hopes for stardom.

    That is NOT the way the business works – I assure you!! I was an agent at NY Models as well as FORD NY for several years, and this kind of thing is disgusting.

    The modeling biz – do not pay money for professional pictures, especially if your child is younger. No money AT ALL should be charged up front – if they ask you, then leave.

    Acting? It’s like I told you – classes are up to you, but they should NOT be required to join an agency. In other words, they should not be telling you that you have to buy classes, etc. to join an agency – it just isn’t true. Headshots are a different story – you need prof headshots AFTER you get representation at a talent agency, but they should be letting you shop around, and suggest several resources of where to get these pictures, and/or acting classes.

    In the end, if you have the money and want to spend it, it’s up to you, but it is not necessary, and it is not the way any “agency” should be doing business.

  • Nicole

    Thank you Judy!! I will send pictures to the agencies you suggested.
    I have another question for you. Is it okay to send the Professional pictures I already have or do I need to take some snapshots? I really don’t want him to be turned down just because of his pictures.

    I just ordered your modeling book of amazon.com too. Looking forward to reading it.

    Thanks again Judy and I will keep in touch!

    Nicole

  • judy

    Hi Nicole!

    It’s fine to send professional pictures, as long as they are recent…the only reason I keep telling people to send NON-professional ones is because I don’t want them to spend the money on prof. ones as a new face, and 99.9% of the population do not already have professional pictures (which I’m assuming your son does and that is what you are going to talking about).

    Don’t forget to let me know what happens!!

  • Michelle

    What about the Detroit area? I have a 5 yr old daughter and have done some research online. Not real sure how to determine what is legit. Any suggestions for this area?

  • Steffanie

    Ms. Judy,
    I have a couple of questions… First, I have a 14 month old son who I am interested in modeling. It does not have to be major modeling right now, maybe just local store ads or what not. How do I go about this? Do I approach someone at the store? Or how would I find the right person to contact? Also, I know you are very busy, I was just curious if there is any way to get a personal opinion from you on my son? If not that is totally understandable. (It’s always worth a shot to ask…right?)
    The second thing I am curious about…is that I have wanted to model since I was little, I just didn’t have the confidence. Recently, I submitted my photo to an agency, they called me back and I went to their modeling/acting school…at an extremely high price of over $3000! Now that I have read some of your comments…I feel really stupid. You said that agencies that are legit do not ask for money up front. WOW! They got me good! I didn’t pay all at once, actually, I am still making monthly payments. What do I do? Do I confront someone? Or did I just do a foolish thing? They are acredited to an extremely high agency (Elite). Please help me. I think I have just taken all the confidence I have built and crushed it!!! If you could email me back, it would be greatly appreciated! Thank you ma’am, have a beautiful day, and God bless!!!

    Steffanie (Cincinnati)

  • judy

    Hi Steffanie,

    Don’t be so hard on yourself!! Mistakes are only learning tools, if you look at it the right way. If we never made mistakes we would never learn, right?

    First of all, I don’t know what you mean by these people being “accredited” to Elite Models, I would have to know in more detail what exactly that means. The former owner of Elite Models – John Casablancas – started his modeling schools a long time ago (decades ago), so they may be playing off of that fame, I’m not sure. I highly doubt that the Elite Models I know these days would participate in a modeling school…it’s just not what reputable agencies do.

    If you want to stop making payments that is up to you – again, I can’t tell you exactly because I’m not there with you, but it may be too late. You can try and cancel your credit card, if that is how you are paying, but I don’t know what you signed saying that you committed to that price.

    The thing to do now is MOVE FORWARD!! Don’t beat yourself up over having done this, if you really want to try and model, follow the steps in my book, and start sending pictures into agencies yourself.

    And the same for your son, he needs representation at an agency – Google “model agency your town” and see who is out there that has children’s divisions and do not charge money. They should also not be requesting professional pictures for a baby, because babies change too fast.

    Good luck!! I think you should send pictures out of yourself to agencies, and don’t take no for an answer. :)

  • Kish

    Hi Judy,

    Is it required by all agencies that a child under 16 has a work permit? What is the average percent an agency should get for booking your child with a client? I am in the research phase and came across these things on model agency websites, my daughter is 17 months and we live in Chicago, IL. Any advice, suggestions on agencies in the area is much appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Kish

  • Kish

    Also, approximately how many agencies should consider sending photos to?

  • judy

    Hi Kish!!

    Yes, children need work permits, but your agency will let you know how to go about doing that – it’s really easy.

    You may not need a permit for a 17 month old if the jobs are modeling (print work) though, you have to speak to your agent about that.

    Modeling agencies take out 20%, talent agencies %10, managers 10 – 15 percent.

    In Chicago, Ford Models is great (you have to see if they have a children’s division) and Lily’s Talent looks good, although I don’t know anything about them – just saw them on the internet.

    Just don’t pay ANY money to ANYONE to get an agency!!! Especially since your child is SO young – she does NOT need professional pictures at this point.

    Your final question – how many agencies should you send pictures to? As many as you can!!! And if you don’t hear anything for 3 or 4 months, re-take the photos and send again.

    Good luck, let me know what happens!!!

  • judy

    Hi Michelle!

    I’ve heard of Traque Talent, but I haven’t personally dealt with them – you should try them first.

    The way to tell if they are legitimate is if they force you to pay any money up front, they are not. Acting head shots are an investment, but at 5 years old they should be able to start you without them if they really want to represent you.

    Check the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org), Google agency name for any comments or rip-off reports, and find out if your state requires a license for modeling/talent agencies. Your Consumer Protection Agency will be able to help you with that.

    And just common sense – if something doesn’t feel/sound/look right, go to the next agency!

  • Jamie

    Good Afternoon Judy!

    I am so excited to see all of the comments and questions surrounding baby modeling, and to read your answers and suggestions. I am totally new at this. My only child (so far) has just turned 1. I am told by complete strangers every day that I need to get him into modeling and pictures. He’s been called the Gerber Baby several times! I really want to make a go at this and see what happens, as my son just loves cameras. I know you have mentioned that the agencies you would suggest are the agencies that do not charge up front. I respect that advice, because I would have been right up in the front of the line with my credit card! I wanted to ask – do you suggest any particular baby modeling agencies or companies? Are they different in each city or state? Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated, as I do love to read all of your blog entries. Thank you so much in advance and have a wonderful day!

  • Heaven

    I have a 2 and half yr old daughter. She is beautiful and has a great personality. I want to enter her into photo contest but I hear all the time not to pay money. I created a profile on the cutekid site. I was contacted by an elitemodeling. They wanted my number so they could call me. I never recieved a call from them. They left me their number in my email. I called and left them a message on the answering machine. I still havent heard anything from them. I would love to get my daughter into modeling or just anything along that line. Could you please lead me to the right path. Thank You, Heaven

  • Tina

    Hi Judy!
    Thanks for your advice before! I have started to research agaencies in my area. i just had a couple of more questions. All the agencies I’ve checked have said no sending pictures by email. They have listed mailing or open calls late in the afternoon. What would your advice be? Is there a good choice between the two? I’m a little worried about taking my daughter there so late in the day, so that she’ll be her best. She’s only six and I don’t know if there will be a long wait after she has been at school all day. The open calls don’t specify adults and children and I’m wondering if they have adults and children come in together. Does this sound right to you? Does she have better luck in person? I do know she usually gets great comments about her personality and energy. I’m just worried this could be hours waiting. Should I just wait 2 more months til school is out? I live in the Orlando, Fl area and I found BMG models. The name is familiar- do you know anything about them? In my area do you know how we could get seen by Disney, Universal etc.
    Thanks so much again,
    Tina

  • judy

    Hi Jamie!

    First of all, thank-you so much for being a fan of my blog!!

    Secondly, I need to know where you live to suggest agencies – there are thousands across the nation.

    Thanks, and have a great day yourself!

  • judy

    Hi Heaven,

    I’m not sure what “elitemodeling” is…Elite Models? What was the phone number?

    I would like to find out what office it is, they have agencies all around the world.

    You have to be careful of scams that play on popular modeling agencies’ names…I’m not saying that’s what this is, but I would love to have the phone number to see exactly what is up.

    If you like, you can email me the number to: judy@thecutekid.com

  • judy

    Hi Tina,

    Yes, open calls are always best, but if you have any doubts about your child not being ready, then definitely wait until school is out. You only have one chance, then you have to wait a few months before going back. It looks like BMG DOES look at children at their open calls…I don’t know them personally, but it looks like a legitimate website. They are MANAGEMENT though, not an agency, so there will be a management fee plus what the agency takes out that books the job.

    And the best way to get into Disney, etc. is through a legitimate agency.

    Also try The Diamond Agency, I DO know them personally and they are GREAT!!

    Good luck!
    And thanks for posting. :)

    I

  • Shawn

    Hi Judy..
    My Daughter absolutely loves America’s Next Top Model. I would like to know if there are any modelings clubs in or near the Washington, DC area?

  • Travis

    I read above about the boy from Arizona who has representation. I am wondering, as I research phoenix agencies, if you or anyone else knows of reputable agencies for babies? My daughter just turned 7 Months and I would like to get her in print. We have tons of very good pictures, my wife is an amature photographer. Thank you for any advice. Have a great day.

  • Amber

    Hi Judy,

    I don’t have any questions… just a comment to let you know that I think you are truly awesome! You are taking so much time and concern to provide guidance and true advice to parents pertaining to getting into and maintaining their children within the industry! I just had to applaud all of your efforts!!!!

    I am a very proud mother an a 10 yr. old actor/dancer/model/rapper/singer. I whole heartedly agree with you, that this industry is HARD WORK (even for the most gifted children)!! It’s hard work for them and for the parents, and it very time consumming. But, it’s what he loves to do and I truly enjoy supporting his career.
    I provided my son’s website in the website section if you want to take a peek, but honestly, I just had to take a moment to once again applaud your efforts! I think that if parents just read some of your responses, they would have so many answers to their questions already. The main thing in starting out is research and trying to learn the language of the business, which you can find by researching the internet. Anyway, thumbs up Judy!
    All the best to you and your 2 beautiful children in their careers!
    Amber

  • Steffanie

    Thank you for your response!! The school I went to was John Casablancas Cincinnati!!! And I pay them monthly payments… but I am not sure how that would work because they took it through a finance thing. I suppose they are using the name then…

    Also, thanks for the advice for my son… when I find some agencies…do you mind if I run their names across you to see if you may be familiar with them?

    Thanks again!
    Steffanie

  • judy

    Hi Shawn,

    What is a modeling “club?”

  • judy

    TO EVERYONE: I’m so sorry if your comments were not posted immediately, we have re-structured our blog and some of the comments are waiting in line to be posted – DON’T GIVE UP!!!

    I TRY TO ANSWER EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU :)

  • judy

    Dear Nicole,

    If you are reading this, can you tell Travis of any great agencies in the Phoenix area?

  • judy

    Hi Travis,

    I just left Nicole a post to see if she knows of any agencies for you(she’s the one that previously posted about having her kid represented in Arizona)

    Ford Models in Scottsdale is great, if you are near there!!

  • Janell

    Hello, I had my daughter (who is 5) in what I thought was a reputable acting/modeling school here in Denver, CO. They just recently closed thier doors. I was wondering if you could give me some insight on where to go from here. I have a portfolio that we have paid for already. I have access to all the pictures that was taken of her. Could you let me know of who I could start sending her pics to? Or to call? Thank you so much in advance.

  • judy

    Hi Jenell,

    What agency was it?

    Try Donna Baldwin Talent (www.donnabaldwin.com) or Maximum (www.maxtalent.com) – but I don’t know these agencies personally, so you will have to research to see a) if they have a kid’s division, b) if they charge anything upfront to be with them.

    Let me know about these agencies – would love to refer them to other people if they are good!

  • Tina

    Hi Judy!
    Thanks for your time! I have 2 main agencies I’m looking at in my area as I said in my previous note. One is a modeling and management agency. Can you tell me the difference between this and a straight modeling agency? I know they do take a percent. What for? Are they a better place to be? Do they have more conections, etc? Do you have a preference?
    Thanks again!
    Tina

  • Judy Goss

    Hi Tina!

    An agency actually books your child work, a manager does not. A manager is more of a strategizer, and they take a 2nd percentage on top of what the agency takes. In my opinion, a manager is great for acting (after your child is 4 years old), but not necessary.

    My children have a manager, and she speaks to several different agencies about what work is out there. They tend to have their finger on the pulse of what’s happening work-wise (if they are good).

    “Model Management Agency”? They are probably just using that name and only take one percentage – but you have to ask them that. For example, NY Models technical name is “NY Model Management” but they do not take both an agency AND management fee.

    It’s confusing, let me know if this makes any sense!

  • Jackie

    I have a 5 yr old daughter and everyone tells me I should get her into acting or modeling but i’m not sure how to go about doing that. We live in NC and there are several agencies in our state. But i dont know if i need to stick close to home have one about and hour away and more across the state. are open calls a good way to try to get her in.

    thanks
    Jackie

  • LaTeesha

    Hi Judy,

    I was reading through the blogs and I’d like to know what should we do if an agency required funds upfront for CompCards as well as a 3 yr. contract? However, since we’ve received the Comp Cards and contacted the agency for direction we can’t get any answers as far as who/where to send the pics. I look forward to hearing from you.
    Take care.

  • judy

    Hi LaTeesha,

    Contracts are standard for modeling agencies, but you have to make sure they are actually a legitimate agency – does your state require a license? Do they have one?

    How old is your child? Usually when you join an agency you have to get composites, but it shouldn’t be charge up front.

    If you give me the name of the agency I may be able to tell if they are legit or not.

    Thanks for posting!

  • LaTeesha

    Hi Judy,

    Thanks for responding. We live in NC, I’m not sure if a license is needed here, but the agency is Models, Inc. or America’s Top Models. They’re located in Kentucky, the wife (Diane Savoca) held a talent/fashion show during that weekend. We paid for Comp Cards and a 3 yr. contract for our kids (6 yrs. & 3 yrs. old last summer). To date, we have the Comp Cards but still no work. I wrote a letter to the company a week ago in reference to this issue. What should we do next? I can send you a copy of the contract. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Thanks,
    LaTeesha

  • judy

    Hi LaTeesha,

    What is the name of the agency? Models Inc or America’s Top Models? It sounds like a scam, honestly, but I would need more information to help you. I need their official name, and the city in which they reside. Get me that and I can look into it further.

    How much did you pay for the comp cards? They DEFINITELY should not have charged you for composite cards for a 3-year old – that to me is a warning sign that they are not legitimate.

  • LaTeesha

    Hi Judy, the official name on the Marketing Tools Agreement & Agency Agreement is Models Inc.,200 S. Vine Street, Suite 202, Somerset, Kentucky 42501 (606) 451-1778 or 800-611-3354. The Talent Agent/Scout that signed the agreement is Ashley Cook; President is Dan Savoca.
    It reads a Professional Photographer will shoot 3 rolls of film, slides or digital images; 1-3 yr web portfolio on the agency’s website (www.americastopmodels.com); 50 America’s Top Models composite cards; $1505 – 3 yr. Early Payment Discount Package.

    The Agency contract states that the agency is the legal agent and marketing rep on the world market for 3 years; Agency agrees to attempt to find employment/bookings for the talent, etc. etc.
    What can we do? We have tried several times to contact them and inquiring about any possible assignments and can never get a straight answer. I feel like I messed up BIG time, however, at the time the talent agent was explaining to us how the kids would be featured in print ads, commercials, etc. and how at such an early age they’d have a great opportunity. That was hard earned savings. I hope you can help us with this issue. In the meantime….Take Care
    I really appreciate your time and assistance.
    LaTeesha

  • Judy Goss

    Hi LaTeesha,

    I’m sorry, there isn’t much I can do for you – this is why I wrote my book, and why I’m trying to get the word out there to not pay any money to get into the modeling industry.

    I feel terrible for you, the only thing you can do is move on and learn from what happened. If they do not give you satisfactory results, report them to the BBB, and contact your state’s Consumer Protection Board.

  • LaTeesha

    Hi Judy,
    Just want to know, are they legit or not? Will the agencies you mention be able to assist in any way?

  • LaTeesha

    Hi Judy,

    Another question or two….are we obligated to this company in any way if we move forward with another agency? Should we send the comp cards to agencies (it has the ATM website info listed)? Is there a standard memo that should be included with the comp cards?
    Sorry, that was three.:(

  • LaTeesha

    I feel like…..so dumb, wasting money, false hope and promises. I am so mad at myself. It sounded so real and to think there were others that signed contracts, too.

  • judy

    I can’t help you with the legalities of your obligation – you’re going to have to decide that for yourself.

    Please don’t approach other agencies about your problem – they can’t help, and it will only be a bother to them…just start over, send UN-professional pictures (not the composite you made with the other place) out to those agencies I mentioned and others that do not charge you.

    Don’t feel bad! It happens ALL the time – to THOUSANDS of people!! That’s why I’m trying to help people – just try to move on and start again. Your kids are young enough that you will have time to market them the correct way.

    Good luck!!

  • emma mcadam

    i would love my five year old daughter to get into moddeling she would it herself she is gegours really long blonde hair blue eyes this is somethig we would all love please get in touch

  • Acting School Los Angeles

    Your kids are very young. Let them participate in school acting programs. More and practice must necessary.

    Thanks

  • Zitiexblete

    Interesting, this was actually a very great read! thanks

  • Michelle

    Hi,

    I get comments on both my children all the time about getting them involved in modeling. But I live in Portland, Oregon. I can’t really figure out if there is anything legit in my area. Do you know of anything? Thanks!

  • judy

    Hi Michelle!
    I don’t know them personally, but this agency looks GREAT:

    http://www.ryanartists.com/submit.php

    Click on that link and submit pictures online (they do not have open calls for children under 14)

    Good luck!!!!
    I want to hear good news about your response from them…:)

  • Jennifer

    Judy,

    Do you know of any modeling agencies in the Reno, Nv area? Also is there a way to submit my children for local businesses (not agencies) for print modeling? Or do most places go through agencies for those things? Also would it be a waste of time to send pictures to agencies well out of our area? Like in the Las Vegas or Los Angeles area? You are so awesome!! Thank you for being willing to help others get good information on this career.

  • Carolyn Arno

    Just now seeing the Oct. 10th post by Michelle in Portland, OR and Judy’s response on Oct. 15th. Judy, my girls are represented by Ryan Artists. Michelle, Portland, OR is a small market but rich with opportunities. It is a great place to start a career. My girls have a growing resume and have top notch representation in LA and NY. They are 9 year old identical twins.

  • judy

    Hi Jennifer!

    First of all, thank-you for the compliments!! :)

    Envy in Las Vegas is terrific – how far is Reno from there?

    And unfortunately, yes – most companies that book children for work go through legitimate modeling or talent agencies.

    Thank-you for your post!!

  • judy

    Carolyn Arno – thank-you for your input!!

  • Missy

    Hey Judy,
    I was wondering if you know of any good modeling agencies in MD or VA. I have two beautiful little boys and I’d like to try and get them into modeling. Thanks!

  • judy

    Hi Missy,

    Yes, T.H.E. Artists is a terrific agency!

    1207 Potomac Street, NW
    Georgetown, DC 20007
    Contact: Lynda / Elizabeth McDavitt-Centenari
    Tel. 202 342 0933
    Fax 202 342 6471
    http://www.theartistagency.com
    info@theartistagency.com

    And Wilhelmina in VA:
    MODELOGIC [WILHELMINA]
    2501 E. Broad Street
    Richmond, VA 23223

    Phone:
    804.644.1000

    http://www.modelogicwilhelmina.com

    Here’s a link to help you further:
    http://blogs.thecutekid.com/judy-goss/2009/03/13/how-do-i-get-my-kid-in-the-modelingacting-industry/

    GOOD LUCK!

  • Maura

    Hi Judy,

    So excited to get to say hi finally :-)
    I was doing my research 1st.

    I have a 10 month old girl and would like to get her started, we live in NJ now 1 hr away from NYC. I am from Brooklyn originally so i know the city like the back of my hand.

    I have totally gathered that there isn’t much work for babies, and i am willing to deal with that. I am willing to jump into all of this realistically!!!
    If you know of any agencies willing to work with babies PLEASE let me know.

    I will be submitting pictures of my baby in the next week or so to agencies in the city.

    Please wish us luck!!! :-)

    I saw pic’s of your twins on FB….so cute!!

    Blessings and best to EVERYONE!!

    Maura

    [IMG]http://i44.tinypic.com/2lc894g.jpg[/IMG]
    http://tinypic.com/m/9k76uo/3

    Oh one more thing: i think it’s great that you take your time to blog here and you seem very open minded!!!

  • judy

    Well hello Maura!
    I LOOOOOVE when people take the time to research – good for you!!

    Here is a list of reputable agents for you in the city (I believe all of them rep babies also):
    Ford Models
    111 Fifth Avenue
    NY NY 10003

    CESD
    257 Park Ave south
    NY NY 10010

    Wilhelmina
    300 Park Ave south
    NY NY 10010

    Generation
    20 West 20th
    Suite 1008
    NY NY 10011

    Abrams Artists
    275 Seventh Ave
    26th floor
    NY NY 10001

    Put on all of the envelopes: “Attn: Youth Division” – very important!!

    GOOD LUCK TO YOU!!!

  • Jill

    Hi,
    I sent a few snap shots of my daughter to a place called model scouts inc. She is 4 years old I asked if there are no up front fees and they said no but you have to get professional pictures and comp. cards. She said you can use your own photographer but they don’t guarantee they will be able to use them with your file. The pictures will be $250. For an hour and they print the comp. cards for fee of $275. They told me no fees except that. They also said that disney is their client. I don’t know if they are a scam I am confused about this industry. Who is legit in the orlando area.

  • judy

    Dear Jill,

    To answer your question, Slate Model and Talent in Orlando is our favorite!
    It’s up to you whether you use their photographer or not – as they say! And good job asking if they charge you up front fees!

  • Sueann

    Hey Judy, do you know of any modeling agencies for babies and kids in the Orlando/Kissimmee areas that you can recommend?

  • Hiromi

    Dear Sueann,
    Slate Model and Talent is good! Good luck :)

  • Shana

    They said that they will represent one of my children. I need to have pictures done and that I can use one of their photographers if I would like. They asked that you have three looks and $145 per look, but I could use a different photographer if I would like but would need to aprove the pictures. Also I would need to pay $60.00 for orientation fee and a $29.00 800 casting online fee. Is this a scam? This agencey is located in NC.

  • judy

    Shana,
    Is who a scam? I’m not sure what you are talking about.
    Agencies usually don’t charge except for a possible website fee, they take a % of what you make.

  • GILMARIA

    Hi, I live in Miami do you guys know any modeling agencies here?? My son is now 5 and he is such a little character everyone tells me I need to get him to do something on tv or modeling but I don’t know how to go about since there is a lot of scam out there when it comes to children modeling agency. please help Thanks Gil

  • Ellie

    Hello Judy! I have three gorgeous boys, but one of them in particular is always getting extra compliments and everyone is alway telling me that I need to put him in front of a camera. I live in Port Saint Lucie and would like to know of any areas around me that I can take him to. I want to know how the process works, and if there is alot of spending involved?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  • yvette

    Hello, I wanted to aask a question I live in san Jose CA is their any legit modeling/acting agencies in my area , I have a two year old who loves the camera, loves to sing, and loves to dance and I had one more question is john Robert powers worth going to …please email me back thank u..

  • judy

    Yvette,
    The closest agency would be ones in San Francisco – LOOK Model Agency and Stars The Agency are good ones to try! And I’m sorry, I am not sure if I understand the second question…

  • judy

    Dear Ellie,
    If your boys are older than 5, try Boca Talent and Model Agency in Delray Beach! Please remember, legitimate agencies will NOT charge you anything substantial upfront!

  • judy

    Hi Gil,
    You can try The Green Agency and Deco Models Inc. Getting an agency is definitely a good start! Good luck.

  • Angel

    Hi there…. I have a 3 1/2 yr old and a 12 yr old that i am interested in getting into modeling … we are in Phoenix, Az and i dont know who is legit and who isnt…. one agency offered my 3 yr old a 2 yr contract but i needed to pay 800.00 for his portfolio and to get on their website…. they sd i could get my photos somewhere else, but more than likely they wouldnt be approved by the agency… they made a short video of both my kids, asking them questions like whats your favorite vegetable etc…. anyone have any thoughts or recomendations…. they called me last week and sd someone was interested in one of my kids..so i have an appt wednesday at 6pm..but still 800 bucks i cant afford and if they say the job is contingent on the portfolio… is that a scam? also if and when i do find an agency should the contract be exclusive or non exclusive? thank you for your time.

  • judy

    You should not pay anything for the 3 yr old, but the 12 yr old is different. Once you get w/ an agency you will need to invest in photos, etc. but $800 does seem high.
    Make sure they are a legitimate agency, one in Scottsdale that is FANTASTIC is Arizona Model and Actor Management, and the cost is minimal there, because she understands that people can’t pay a lot of money before they start working.

  • Chizu S.

    Hi Judy,

    I just moved to America from Tokyo with my husband and 22 month old son, who has catalog/print experience in Japan.

    He seems to love getting dressed up and hamming it up for the camera, so we are interested in getting him involved in baby modeling here.

    I contacted an agency called Quickbook and after reading the comments below it seems it could be a scam. We live near Tampa and would be willing to drive to Orlando. I saw you mentioned Slate for Orlando, but do you know of any reputable agencies in Tampa?

    Thank you,

    Chizu

  • judy

    Dear Chizu,

    DK Model from Oldsmar is amazing! Good luck, and keep us posted.

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