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Unread 04-07-2009, 07:36 AM
 
460 posts, read 1,205,007 times
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Default child modeling/acting agencies in Maryland??

We have a 2 1/2 year old that is very outgoing and gets along with everyone --- we have thought about maybe doing some local talent opportunities with her to help fund her 529 plan for college.

Problem is, I have no experience (neither does my husband) in this field and I am scared to death of the horror stories one hears about the entertainment business. Does anyone have first hand experience with agencies in the MD/DC/Baltimore area and could recommend some?

Also, does anyone know if this is like modeling - where if a reputable agency thinks you have the goods, you do not have to pay for anything like classes, photos, etc., to get started. As some agencies make their money off of selling classes to people to get them to think they are going to become 'stars"
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Unread 04-07-2009, 08:29 AM
 
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Please don't fall for the Robert Haft(sp) baloney................................... It's a total ripoff!!!
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Unread 04-07-2009, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Sherwood
4,822 posts, read 6,154,375 times
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I know a little about the industry. You can contact Taylor Royall Taylor Royall - Talent agency, on-camera, print modeling, voice overs, great talent or Central Casting in DC. The offices don't look particularly fancy IMO but these are reputable agencies that can get your child work. I'm not sure how the unions would work for a child actress/model, but they can explain all that to you, as well. Central has open calls and they will tell you if little Timm-ette will stand a chance in the acting world. She may be uncastable and they will be honest, so you may want to prepare for that. Also materials such as composition cards and headshots may cost you a couple of hundred dollars to prepare. You can make them up yourself or you may be able to contract with the agency. Good Luck!
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Unread 04-07-2009, 01:58 PM
 
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Kinky,
this is exactly what I needed - a DC and a Baltimore location and best yet, they have open casting calls to tell us if we are wasting our time.

Thanks so much!

Do you happen - or anyone else happen - to know of a book from the library that may be a good comprehensive read on this subject?
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Unread 04-07-2009, 02:35 PM
 
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There are 2 major child talent reps in the area. The first, whom I would highly recommend, would be Suzi Young, with Camera Ready Kids. The 2nd would be Linda Townsend Management.

I worked with Camera Ready for years, and was very happy with them. I started at age 6, and it was something that I REALLY WANTED. IMHO, 2 is a bit young, simply because the business is very hard, and can be a very traumatic experience for a child that is not ready for it or does not have a burning desire to do it. I have a lot of friends who never really wanted to do it, but their parents insisted, and believe me, they suffered emotionally for it, and some still do to this day.

Taylor royal is also a good agency, but they are not kid specific, so I don't think they would be as good a fit.

Central casting is not a talent agency, they are a casting agency. They have open calls from time to time, but they quite often call the talent agents to find their talent.

You should not be required to buy into classes or other baloney like that, but you can expect that headshots will be required if you child has talent, and they will run 150-500 depending on the quality of photographer. My local photographer is retired, but he still works with previous clients. The best photographers IMO are in NYC.

Also, be aware of the ENORMOUS expense of it all. I spent thousands in travel, and in 3 months made it all back by booking a national commercial spot. Had I not booked that spot, I would have had a very brief and unproductive career.

Also, a talent agent is not going to shell out the dough from their pocket for the childs headshots, especially for a 2 year old. Those costs are the responsibility of the parent/child. There are tons of parents with adorable kids trying to get them hired, and agents would go broke fast that way. Also, If the agent forces you to use a certain photographer, be very wary. You should always have the right to choose your own, and there are a lot of scammy groups that advertise on the radio who make their money this way. There are upfront costs for travel to NY for high profile auditions, headshots, even just the cost of gas in and out of DC for local auditions, so be prepared to spend some money if you're serious. Talk to a talent agent first and have them evaluate your child. Give CRK or LTM or TR a call, they're legit, and should be honest with you about what sort of potential your child might have

Last edited by TeamBenya; 04-07-2009 at 02:44 PM..
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Unread 04-07-2009, 09:28 PM
 
Location: Sherwood
4,822 posts, read 6,154,375 times
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Thanks TeamBenya, I never knew you were a child star! That's more specific info than I have but I would like to really SECOND that the entire thing is expensive, and your kid will have to get a lot of big time jobs to make sure the expense is worth it. I think the agent will be able to give you a good idea of what your child's chances will be like. I would say pls listen to them. If they indicate that success is a long shot, then you may want to find another avenue for your kid's sparkling personality.
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Unread 04-07-2009, 09:32 PM
 
250 posts, read 903,078 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kinkytoes View Post
Thanks TeamBenya, I never knew you were a child star! That's more specific info than I have but I would like to really SECOND that the entire thing is expensive, and your kid will have to get a lot of big time jobs to make sure the expense is worth it. I think the agent will be able to give you a good idea of what your child's chances will be like. I would say pls listen to them. If they indicate that success is a long shot, then you may want to find another avenue for your kid's sparkling personality.
Shhh... keep that child star nonsense quiet, I've got a reputation to maintain here!
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Unread 04-08-2009, 06:45 AM
 
460 posts, read 1,205,007 times
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TeamBenya,
Thanks for the information - very, very helpful. I am definitely the type where I will listen to the reputable agencies - if they say there really isn't anything there, we're fine with that. We just figured she is so easy going and sometimes acts in ways that make us forget that she is only 2 1/2, that maybe there is something there that could be utilized to help pay for future college expensives - since we have a lot of time to let compounding interest kick in!

Thanks again, and I'm going to be putting a post up here soon with a completely unrelated topic that my hubby and I want to get into - real estate investing. Hopefully you can help advise!
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Unread 04-08-2009, 03:55 PM
 
2,282 posts, read 3,564,071 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeamBenya View Post
Shhh... keep that child star nonsense quiet, I've got a reputation to maintain here!
....wait,......could it be?....................Beaver Cleaver?...............
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Unread 04-10-2009, 05:51 AM
 
99 posts, read 334,977 times
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Of course not! Clearly Punky Brewster.
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