You see them all around. Cute, cuddly babies. Adorable, laughing kids. Teenagers with gorgeous faces and big, innocent eyes.
These kids are on billboards, on television, even on stage and movies.
These children are living the life of what most of us only dream of – the supermodel lifestyle.
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Born a Star
Each and every one of our children is beautiful in his or her own way. Each person has their own set of skills, talents, and gifts. Some may be skilled in sports while others may excel in their robotics classes. Other kids may be mathematical geniuses while others display outstanding abilities in linguistics. Some may be scientists in the making, while others simply stand out for their creativity and performance abilities.
When your child displays tendencies to be a stellar performer, then you would naturally wish that they would pursue a career that will bring their talents to light. Those who have children that are blessed with beauty, brains, and character may consider trying out the world of modeling.
Parents who are keen on letting their kids delve into the modeling universe will naturally have a million questions. They may want to know the requirements, or how to be discovered by a modeling agency, or what are the things to expect. To answer that, here are five of the most burning questions in every parent’s mind about the child modeling industry:
1. What does my child need to be a model?
Having a pretty face does not guarantee anyone to be a model. For your child to be a model, it has to be a combination of things. Especially for babies and very young kids, being cute is not a sure formula for being cast.
Being a model should mean being beautiful inside and out. It’s a plus if they have the physique of a model but it will definitely help if they also have a confident, resilient personality. They should be able to work with a lot of different people, stand long hours of shooting, and be able to take directions. Tantrums can happen, especially with babies and toddlers and are expected to some degree, but diva-like behavior will not be tolerated.
They should also be fit and in good health. This is also for their protection as there may be times when pictorials or tapings can be lengthy and tedious and can take a toll on them.
2. At what age can my child be a model?
Kids as young as newborns can be cast as child models. Depending on a project, the age range can be from infants to teenagers. One of Australia’s most reputable child agencies represents child models from 3 months to 18 years.
3. What is an agent?
In the entertainment industry, an agent will be your child’s representative. They will be working on your behalf to make sure that your child will receive the best possible work conditions. This includes organizing contracts and work permits, dealing with potential employers, negotiating pay rates, and ensuring that all the conditions and guidelines regarding working with children are met.
In exchange, your agent will be taking 10 to 20 percent of commission out of the wage they have negotiated for your child, depending on the type of work. They are not your child’s employer, but they act as a mediator to make sure that your child finds work and has the best working environment.
It should also be noted that your child can only be represented by one agency at a time.
4. What is an interview?
When a casting agency calls you for an interview, this means they are interested in casting your child to be part of their pool of models. This is an opportunity for them to discern if your little one is suited to do the work of a child model. This is also a chance for them to meet the parents or guardians and make sure that you understand all the requirements.
This will also be your opportunity to ask questions or find out more information regarding your child’s modeling career.
Interviews are usually held at the casting agency’s offices. If you live away in the outer areas or far from the office, then you should be aware that traveling might be involved.
5. How often will my child get work?
While we all wish for work to be on a consistent basis, there is no guarantee that your child can get work all the time. The demands of the clients vary and their requirements change depending on the project.
Being affiliated with a reputable and experienced casting agency, however, may increase your child’s chances of being booked for jobs. Since employers already know and trust the agency’s work ethics and quality of talents, the hit rate is very high.
A Stellar Career
When your child has all the needed elements to be a child model, then there is a possibility that he or she will attain superstardom. Coupled with your guidance and the expertise of a respectable casting agency, your child can become one of those lucky kids whose careers have soared to skyrocketing heights.
Adam Jacobs is the Managing Director of Bubblegum Casting, the longest running agency specializing in babies, children and teen talent in Australia. Bubblegum Casting works with some of Australia’s biggest brands, media properties, and agencies to secure talented children to work in Television, Film and modeling roles.