If you’re thinking about introducing your child to the wonderful world of modelling and acting, then you’ve probably heard that the one thing your child will need above all else is a good talent agency. Now, we may sound a little biassed here, but that is quite possibly the best advice the parent of a budding child model or child actor will ever get. Yes, it’s really that important.
Now, don’t get us wrong, while it is certainly true that you could possibly succeed in the industry without a talent agency, it’s a lot of hard work and we’ll get to that later. But before we do, let’s talk about the one question that’s probably on your mind right now…
What is a talent agency?
A child talent agency is an agency that helps children find work in the acting and modelling industries and the entertainment industry in general. The agency will usually be staffed by several agents who will have experience in the industry and some of whom may even have worked as child models or actors themselves.
In a nutshell, a talent agency facilitates your child’s success throughout their acting or modelling career.
So yeah, like we said, it’s kinda important to have one.
What does a talent agency do?
Okay, so now we know what a talent agency is, let’s take a look at a talent agency’s responsibilities.
But before we go any further, there’s something super important that we have to mention — A talent agency does not work for you or your child. They work together with you to help your child book work. As we’ve said many times before, your child’s success is a collaborative effort between you, your child, and the talent agency.
A talent agency will promote your child to industry professionals within its network. The agency will also put your child forward for acting roles or modelling assignments that they are suitable for. Briefs for these jobs will usually come directly to the agency from a client, production company, or a casting director.
Those are the basic responsibilities that all talent agencies will provide. But the truly great talent agency will also offer support, advice, and guidance for both you and your child. After all, if you’re new to the industry, it’s tough knowing if you’re actually doing what’s best for your child and their career. This guidance can come in the form of guides for parents or audition preparation tips such as those that we share here on the Bubblegum Casting blog.
This is why we always advise parents to have a look and see what kind of resources and support a talent agency offers before applying to join.
Do talent agencies charge a fee?
They do indeed. Talent agencies in Australia will charge a membership fee that covers an entire year of representation. This fee will cover the general administration tasks associated with representing your child. This is standard for the industry here.
The agency will then also charge a commission on any work that your child secures through the agency. Again, this is standard and all agencies charge this commission. This particular charge covers all the work the agency does to promote your child such as searching for suitable opportunities, contacting casting directors, and negotiating a fair rate of pay for any work.
As tempting as it may be to decide not to sign with an agency to avoid those fees and that commission, we strongly advise against it. This is because there really is a lot of work involved here. An agent will understand the industry and have plenty of contacts that could lead to them seeing a brief for a role long before it’s released to the public. As a parent, you won’t get that kind of opportunity. In fact, many briefs don’t even get released to the public if they are immediately filled by an agency.
How to get signed to a talent agency?
So now you know how do talent agencies work and what they do, but what about getting signed by one? Many parents simply assume that they can call a child talent agency and simply join up, and, to be honest, we totally get why they think that. But the truth is that it’s a little more complicated than that.
If you want your child to get signed to a talent agency, then there’s a process that you’ll need to follow:
Apply to join.
Attend an interview either in person or via video call.
Sign a talent agreement.
While that seems pretty straightforward, it’s worth noting that not all kids can make it through an interview and some may not even get that chance. That’s because a good talent agency that has the best interests of its talents at heart will not keep signing kids just to beef up the numbers. Instead the agency will take a more calculated approach and ensure that they have a diverse book of talent. For example, a talent agency may already have a large number of talents aged 8 with blonde hair. In this instance they may pause applications for kids of this age and ask them to reapply at a later date. This is a sign of a great talent agency as they are genuinely interested in giving their kids the best chance of success.
If your child does get an interview, it’s very important that you take it seriously. While it’s usually an informal, friendly chat, it’s also an opportunity for the talent agency to see how your child handles a scenario that is a little like an audition. The simple fact is that if they can’t handle the interview, then they may not be able to handle a genuine audition. Of course, this won’t be much of an issue for babies or very young children but for those who are a little older, they’ll need to be chatty and polite.
If the talent agency feels that your child is a good fit, they’ll make an offer and send through a contract for you to sign on behalf of your child. And that’s all there is to it, you’re in!
As we said before, it’s entirely possible for you to represent your child and possibly make a little headway in the industry, but it will take a lot longer and a lot more work on your part before you enjoy any success. So if you’re interested in joining a reputable agency that checks ALL the boxes, why not apply to join Bubblegum Casting. We’d love to hear from you and your child and talk with you about your goals and ambitions.