When parents come to us with their children, they are often full of excitement. They’re eager to get started in the business and are quite optimistic about their child’s chances of becoming the next big thing. But what we often find is that mixed in with that excitement is a certain amount of expectancy; that is to say, they expect their child to start working almost immediately.
Unfortunately, that rarely happens.
But isn’t that what agencies are for?
Yes, and no.
Yes, an agency representing a child model or actor should try their best to put their talent forward for any suitable opportunities.
No, it’s not their responsibility to make sure that their talent actually lands the role or even gets a chance to audition.
Why no guarantees?
The only person that can guarantee a child performer work is the person who has the final say on their suitability for a role.
That could be the casting director, the photographer, the director, or even marketing executives for a brand. The one person who has absolutely no control over this decision is your agent.
When brands and film companies are looking for talent, the agency’s role at this point is to recommend suitable children – nothing more, nothing less. Even if we wanted to influence the final decision, we couldn’t; we just don’t have that power.
How much work can a child expect?
While an agency can do their best to put a child forward for as many roles as possible, their success is all down to the child themselves.
Take what we do here at Bubblegum for example. We help kids by coaching them in the various aspects of their chosen path. So we might teach a child model how to pose correctly for a fashion shoot or give a budding child actor some tips on prepping for an audition.
But we can only do so much.
A child, and to a lesser extent their parent, must use what they have learned to make an impression in an audition. We can help a child hone their skills and offer them an opportunity to shine, but once they enter the audition room, it’s up to them.
So while a child can certainly expect to attend some auditions, it’s impossible for an agency to predict how many jobs they will get.
So what’s the point in signing up?
And now we come to the heart of the matter. If an agency cannot guarantee your child regular working opportunities, then what’s the point in signing up with one?
There are many reasons why you should do just that, and we discussed them in great detail right here.
Today, we’re just going to mention the two that will have the most effect on you as a parent and your child’s chances of success – opportunities and coaching.
An agency will actively seek out roles that they feel a child will be suitable for, but that’s not all there is to it. As an established name in the industry, an agency such as Bubblegum will be one of the first ports of call for a casting director looking for talent. They know we have great kids on our books and so it makes sense to come straight to us.
While a parent can find work for their child, not every opportunity is posted online. Go it alone, and a parent won’t even know about those opportunities much less put their child forward for them.
Then we have the coaching and training that the more reputable agencies (that’s us!) offer all of the kids on their books. This training can be simple one-on-one sessions with an agent or model who knows the business or a workshop held at the agency. Whatever form the training takes, it’s invaluable to a child and parent looking for their big break in the industry.
When a child model or actor joins the books of a talent agency, they give themselves a better chance of landing an audition for a role or at the very least getting their portfolios in front of the right people.
What they don’t get is a golden ticket to work in the industry – if only such a thing existed!
Parents and children need to understand that it is the work they put in themselves that gives them the best chance of success. Make an effort, remain patient and who knows what the future holds. Just remember; it’s all up to you!
Do you think your child has that certain something that would make them a great child model or even an actor? Then apply now to join the Bubblegum family. We’re always on the lookout for fresh talent, and there’s nothing we love more than meeting new kids.