It’s essential that you spend some time on this task as it’s possibly one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your child’s fledgling career.
What you’re looking for is a well-established agency with a solid reputation for taking care of the kids on their books. They should also have a client list that includes companies, brands, and productions that you recognise.
A client list shows you that the agency not only has a good relationship with casting directors and photographers, but they’re also an agency that brands trust and keep coming back to when searching for talent.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it should be an agency that both you and your child feel comfortable working with.
Finding an agency that checks all the boxes can be tough, so this is where the help of your friends and family can come in handy.
Recommendations from friends combined with research can point you in the right direction as there’s no substitute for genuine first-hand experience.
However, not everyone has a friend who has worked with an agency, so what should you do then?
We suggest checking some industry-related forums and perhaps even social media groups. Look for reviews online and read as many as you can find.
Just keep in mind that social media posts and online reviews may not always be a true reflection of the agency. There will always be one or two disgruntled parents who feel that an agency didn’t do enough for their child, but when there are more negative than positive reviews, it could be a genuine red flag.
If you do find an agency that you think is worth a shot, then bear this in mind before signing up:
- An agency should be a registered business
- They should have a bricks and mortar address
- Always arrange a meeting before signing
- Both you and your child should attend in person
- Trust your instincts (if it doesn’t feel right, walk away)
- Never pay to attend an interview (or auditions for that matter)
- How you are treated at an interview speaks volumes
- No agency will sign a child over the phone
While each of these points are important, the last one is something you should pay close attention to.
As the industry has grown, so has the number of fly-by-night agencies looking to make a quick buck.
These less-than-reputable agencies are often in it for the registration fees, and will often try anything to get you to sign up and pay over the phone or through email.
A genuine agency will always want to meet you in person so they can determine whether or not your child is a good fit for the industry.
In fact, the best agencies turn kids down quite often for this very reason,but this isn’t them telling a parent that their child isn’t cute enough. It’s a decision based on their experience and many other factors that are often totally unrelated to appearance.