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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

DO I NEED A DEGREE IN ACTING?





TODAY'S ACTOR QUESTION: SHOULD I GET A BFA in ACTING? 

HERE IS MY ANSWER: The younger you get into the business the easier it is. Kids ages 4-18 have the easiest time breaking through. As you get older it gets more difficult. Your training and being an EXCEPTIONAL actor is the leverage you need to beat out the competition and get the jobs. You have to be the best in your age category and type. Most actors needs exceptional training to become great actors. Some are natural born talent with no training. What is the TRUTH about your skill level? You must get honest with yourself.

Whether you get a degree in Acting, or not doesn't determine your skill level. Hard work and training with excellent teachers in -or outside- of a Degree Program is very necessary for most actors. Some actors train in degree programs and are technically good actors but have no understanding about how the business work so they never make it.  Others have strong Business and Networking skills and aren't the best of actors but they understand how the game is played and they are well liked. They often work.

An Alternative Degree idea is a Degree in Business as this is Show BUSINESS and understanding business is a MUST in this business for SURE. No one can tell you what path your life is going to take or where you are going to get your acting jobs from. You may produce and star in your own short films or webseries or feature and win awards of never get noticed. 

You can get a degree in Theater and still not work much. You can have no degree and work a lot. Nothing is set in STONE. There are exceptions to every rule. I have seen actors win or fail with and without degrees. This business is based on LUCK, Preparation, timing, talent, training, charisma, and the ability to take directions and give people what they need. Team work, perseverance and an unwillingness to quit are your best assets. 

There is a lot to learn at film school, things that will make you great at your craft and the technique of film making. I just suggest if you do go to film school keep auditioning for short films and try to meet casting directors and build relationships even while you are in school. Submit to projects through Backstage and Actors Access and Casting Networks. Don't wait until you graduate to start your acting career. This business is always easier to get into the younger you are, Also use the resources and students around you to collaborate on every single project you can and create your demo reel and a webseries with YOU in them. Get the degree if you want it, but don't wait until you have the degree to start building your resume and contacts. Do short films, go on auditions, network with filmmakers and casting directors. It's the journey. 

I interviewed Actress Tierra Peters who sharec her experience, "Everybody is different and they need to figure out what is right for them. After high school, I got my degree in Acting, and for me, it was the right thing. I wouldn't change it for the world. In those 4 years, I learned independence, commitment, drive, how to deal with rejection, work ethic and a hustler's mentality. I accredit all of those skills to my college days. I personally wasn't ready to make the jump from high school to L.A. College was a nice transitioning period for me. However, I know some people who were ready to tackle Los Angeles right out of high school. So it really is a personal choice that everyone has to make for themselves. But regardless of if you are in LA, college, or a small town, you should also be creating, and building your resume. Just because you are in a small town town doesn't mean you have to think small.

I agree with Tierra, You have to determine what is right for you. Pray and ask your higher power what His Plan is for YOU. The answers will come from within if you know how to be quiet in mediation and listen.  

Stay close to me!

Http://www.secretsofahollywoodtalentmanager.com/


Wendy Alane Wright
Talent Manager
WAW Entertainment

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

11 Steps To Prepare your Kids for Commercials. Advice from a Talent Manager.



This morning I met with one of those excited parents who want to get their kids into show business for modeling and commercials. She carried her 4-year old daughter Lila into my office and the mother said, “This is Lila, say hello to Wendy.” The child refused to look up or say hello to me. They sit down and the mom asks her daughter to say hello to me again. Lila refuses.

Great start. I can already tell this doesn’t work, but I indulge her and ask the mom, “So what can I do for you?” Mom replies, “My daughter did a glitter photo thing with my friend and I wanted to see if we can get her into print work.
Well first of all,” I said, “I need to see if your daughter wants to be here. And I need to ask her some simple questions and have her answer them. That way I can hear how she talks and see her expressions. I also need to see if she can follow directions because on the set of a commercial or photo shoot she will get lots of directions from people other than mom that she absolutely has to follow.”

So the mom sets the child down off her lap and into a chair next to me. She turns her daughter to face me and I ask sweet little Lila 3 simple questions – How old are you? Do you like having your picture taken? What is your favorite color?
Before, during and after each question, Lila fought to get out of the chair, worm her way to the floor, whine, turn her back to me, and completely avoid talking. The mom put her back in the chair several times, told her to sit still, answer Wendy her etc. Of course, the child was having none of that.

I said to the mom, “She isn’t ready.”
During the rest of the conversation I had with the mother the child was argumentative, wouldn’t listen to what her mother said and the sweet mother laughed her daughter’s behavior off and didn’t make her daughter follow any of her own directions. Hmmmm. My assessment- Lila is a very pretty, precocious, energetic, and a stubborn child. I can see she has a great look and cute personality but at this time she is unmanageable and out of control.  Her mother doesn’t know how to discipline her or enforce what she says. I asked if it was her only child and it is. I assumed that.
Her mom still wants to know what she can do to get her daughter into commercials if indeed she is going to pursue this.

So many parents think their child is ready for show business. It is just not true so I gave her the facts. The kind of children we are looking for have the basics: They can look you in the eye and say hello, proceed to a chair they have been asked to sit in, and answer simple questions politely. The ones we really love do all of that with enthusiasm. Then when we ask them to stand up and move in front of the camera to a spot on the floor with an X – of course they can do that too.

11 STEPS TO PREP YOUR CHILDREN AT HOME FOR COMMERCIALS & PRINT WORK
I sent this mother home with 11 steps she can take to prepare her child for work in Print and Commercials. You can do these too!

1) ARRANGE MOCK PHOTO SHOOTS. Take your own child’s picture. Tell your child you are going to do a “photo shoot” today. Set out 2 outfits, have your child help pick their favorites. Go outside to the side of your house. Put your child in front of the camera and take her picture. Tell her to stand still, turn to the right and hold it, turn to the left and hold it smile. Bigger smile, great. Now a serious face. Then change into the next outfit and do it again. This gives your child practice in front of the camera in a structured way. You can do this once a week. (As you advance look at department store magazines and have your child copy some of the poses the other children pose in )

2) TEACH THEM TO SIT STILL. Have your child sit still for short periods of time at home for no reason, just because you said so. This is important if you have a child who has a difficult time taking direction. If they can’t sit still for you just because you said so without any discussion, complaining or temper tantrums, how will they be prepared to do it on the set? Habits are formed early. Just get your child in the habit of following your commands. In this business following direction instantaneously is CRITICAL and REQUIRED. If your child can’t do that they will not be able to work professionally until they can.

3) TEACH THEM TO ANSWER QUESTIONS IN COMPLETE SENTENCES. Because little kids can’t read yet, casting sessions for small kids usually entail the casting director asking children a few simple questions so they can see their personalities. They are looking for kids who answer questions in complete sentences.

For example, “what is your favorite color?” A bad answer would be, “ blue.”
A good answer would be, “ My favorite color is Blue because blue is also the color of the sky and my favorite shirt.

You can practice this at home with your child. Ask a specific question and teach them to answer you in full sentences WITH an explanation: "My favorite TV show is Spongebob because..... It will take prompting and redirection at first but eventually they will get in the habit of doing that. Be sure not to criticize or yell at your child if they don’t do this correctly. Just re-direct them to do it. The last thing you want to do is make them feel bad for not speaking up. This will only hinder them further. VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure your child practice speaking clearly and enunciating their words. So many kids mumble and sound like they have marbles in their mouths. Mumbling children do not work in Commercials.

4) TEACH THEM TO REPEAT LINES. In auditions, small children will be asked to repeat lines with enthusiasm. I LOVE Jello Pudding. It feels good in my tummy. At home you can work with your child by having them her copy sentences. You tell them to repeat after you; "I love honey nut cheerios." Mom can I go play at Jimmy’s?, What time is dinner? Mom, Billy was playing with my truck and he broke it. “No one makes Cool Laid like my mom.”

To get more ideas watch TV commercials and listen to what kids your child’s age are saying. Write down some of the sentences have your child repeat them.

5) TEACH THEM TO STAND ON THEIR MARK IN FRONT OF A CAMERA. Put an X on the floor with big thick tape. Have your child stand on the mark …and stay on it. Give you child 2 lines and have them memorize them. Then ask them to say them to you – while standing on the mark. Have them stand still and help them stop from fidgeting, pulling on their clothes, swinging their arms etc. Encourage them to speak up, say the lines with enthusiasm, smiles and lots of energy,

6) PRACTICE TAKING PICTURES WITH PHOTOGRAPHERS. Find local photographers. Call local photographers and ask if they want to shoot your for their book. Also ask local photography students. They need models and experience and your child needs experience in front of the camera and taking direction form a non-parent. 

7) FIND LOCAL TRAINING. When kids are little (under 5) there is not much you can do for training. The most useful training you can give them to prepare and build their skills the ways I mentioned above.  But if you can find a local little dramagination class for kids doing improvisation or little plays at your local theatre company or church do that would be great. It will give them practice speaking up and some little performance experience.

Your child may be already putting little shows on at home. Make a big deal out of this give it your full attention. Everybody in your house can stop what they are doing, take seat in front of the child and watch their little show. You can even invite of few of your friends to watch. Tell your child they can do their “show” at a certain time. Let them know it’s coming up in 2 hours, then 1 hour, then ½ hour. Help the child pick put an outfit. Make some popcorn, relax and enjoy! NO criticism. Only applause.

8) GET PROFESIONAL HEADHSOTS When you want to get an agent or Manager for your child and you need headshots. To get started you can send shots you take yourself if they are good. BUT PLEASE!!! Don’t waste your money on professional headshots, especially if your child isn’t able to behave yet. They are kids who are very talented but can’t take direction. There are kids who are less talented and can take direction and are easy to work with. The ideal situation is a very talented kid, who can take direction AND is easy to work with. If you have a talented child at home who you can tell loves performing, singing and dancing, help them develop the discipline they need to translate that into the business world of show. When their behavior is up to snuff and they can stand up in front of casting directors, photographers, managers and agents and follow directions, speak up clearly and express themselves with enthusiasm then your child is ready for professional headshots. Go shot them! Wear solid primary colors without logos – red, blue, purple, green. Choose a happy, smiling big energy shot and a serious more soulful shot. Upload the pictures to ARGENTUM.COM and have 8x10’s printed out with your child’s name on the front and mailed to you.

9) CREATE A RESUME. You need a Resume to go with your child’s headshots. Your child’s resume will have your contact information and information about your child’s skills, experience, training, hobbies etc. Yes, even children have resumes. Albeit they are fairly blank when the child first starts, but they grow along with your child. You will put every acting class, dance class, commercial and print work they do on their fledgling resume.

Cut the resume down to 8x10 to fit perfectly behind the 8x10 Headshot, and then put one staple at the top and one staple at the bottom.

10) FILM A 1-MINUTE VIDEO OF YOUR CHILD’S PERSONALITY Technology makes it easy to communicate with agents and managers. You need a 1-minute video to capture your child personality. You will email this video to talent agent and managers along with your child’s headshot and resume.

To make the video: put your child in front of a blank wall (not in the bathroom, cluttered kitchen.) Use a well-lit room. Put the child on an X on the floor, have them stay on it, say their name and age and have them talk about their favorite friends, Disneyland, a funny story what they like about school, or their favorite TV show, etc.

Upload that video to You Tube and mark it unlisted. When you are ready to submit to kids agencies or kids management companies, you can send the You Tube link in your emails ALONG with their headshots and resume.

10) Create an LA Casting account and submit her yourself - to print stuff.

11) SUBMIT TO KIDS AGENTS AND MANAGERS After doing all of this wonderful prep work at home with your child for a year or so, your child should have some discipline, know how to speak up, stay on their mark, look at the camera when they talk, answer in complete sentences- these are the kinds of kids that do commercials and print work.

Remember when you meet with agents and managers don’t bring sick kids, reschedule, make sure your child has plenty of sleep the night before, don’t bring them tired or hungry to meetings, put them in clean clothes, with shiny squeaky clean faces and hair brushed. Always bring crayons and a coloring book in your purse so children can occupy themselves in a calm way that doesn’t wreck havoc on the offices you are visiting.

You can learn tons of information about getting your children started in TV, commercials and print in my new book “Secrets Of A Hollywood Talent Manager; How To Break Your Kids Into Show Business” available on my website. www.secretsofahollywoodtalentmanager.com

We are always looking for talented kids. Give your young child the best chance for success by preparing them well. Good luck!

Wendy Alane Wright, Talent Manager WAW Entertainment






Sunday, October 5, 2014

Start Your Acting Auditions WHILE you are in College. Dont wait to gradutate!





Wendy Alane Wright is a Hollywood Talent Manager with WAW Entertainment. Her clients have appeared in numerous national commercials, movies, webisodes, short films, and on television networks such as ABC, NBC, Comedy Central, BIO, Lifetime, plus many more. Previous to being a Manager and a Talent Agent at Burn Down Entertainment, she assisted many high profile Managers, Agents and Publicists in the careers of Neil Patrick Harris, Johnny Galecki, Sarah Michelle Geller, The Four Tops, The Bee Gees, Meatloaf, Whoopi Goldberg, Steve Guttenberg, The Cranberries Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand, Kenny Rogers, and Neil Diamond. Wendy is also a Recording Artist, Actress, Author and Music Producer all  giving her a 360-degree perspective of the industry.


Hey college students! You want to be an actor so you enrolled in college and are taking acting classes or you are majoring in theater. You are probably thinking when you graduate college that's when you are going to start your acting career, right? But let me tell you something that will really help you- Professional acting is the kind of business that works better the younger you start. By the time you graduate college you will be 4 years older other actors will already have professional credits and those are the actors you will be competing with for the same roles.

So here is my very important advice for college students in or around Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Dallas

1) AUDITION FOR FILM AND TV WHILE YOU ARE IN COLLEGE
While you are studying in college, its is important that you are also auditioning for film and TV in NYC or LA at the same time - or the closest big city that has casting directors and auditions.

You need to start meeting casting directors as soon as possible so they start to get familiar with you and your work. Do NOT wait until you graduate. Get an agent, go on auditions and start doing some professional work in commercials, TV, film and theater DURING the years you are in college. I'll say it again, you do NOT want to wait until you graduate to start building those relationships. Start as soon as you can while you are young. Do BOTH school and audition at the same time.

2) TRAIN. TRAIN. TRAIN.
Even though you are taking acting in college, you need to take a professional acting classes to develop your cold reading and audition skills. Once these are strong you are ready to get your first agent and start audioning for casting directors.

3) ALWAYS BE ACTING

Do theater productions at college and in the community. Take acting classes in audition techniques, acting, scene study and on camera. Some of your classes will be at collegeand others at professional schools. There is no reason you can't take an acting class in the closet big city 1 or 2 days a month. You need this professional training and so does your resume.

4) SUBMIT YOURSELF FOR PROJECTS

Create an account on Backstage.com upload your picture and create a resume. You can submit yourself to all kinds of acting projects like webseries, student films, short films, and commercials. Do it. You need to get experience and you need the credits on your resume.

5) BUILD YOUR RESUME

You should be building your resume while you are in college by adding a new acting class to it every year, AND by adding acting jobs that you do in short films, commercials, webseries, theater productions, and small roles on TV show etc.The reason I tell you this is the older you are the harder it is in this business. By the time you graduate college in 4 years you want to have at least 2 or 3 TV co-star or guest star credits on your resume.

What is a Co Star Credit?
A co-star is usually one day of work on a TV show with 5 lines or under.

What is a Guest Star Credit?
A guest start is usually 3-5 days of work on a TV show.

6) GET INFORMED ABOUT HOW THE BUSINESS WORKS

Read my book "How To Be A Star Right Where You Are." You can find it on my website SecretsOfAHollywoodTalentManager.com

When agents and managers are looking for new clients, we typically start with kids ages 7-19. They are easier to get auditions for. When you become an adult you will be comptering with actors who already have some TV credits. So YOU need to get some too! That makes agents fell more comfortable signing adults. So get some TV credits and build your resume while you are still in college.

Good luck!!!!!

Wendy Alane Wright
The Hollywood Talent Manager
SECRETSOFAHOLLYWOODTALENTMANAGER.COM
wawentertainment@yahoo.com

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Is IPOP worth it? The TRUTH from a Hollywood Talent Manager (25,996 views)


Wendy Alane Wright is a Hollywood talent manager and the president of WAW Entertainment. Her clients have appeared on television networks such as ABC, NBC, TNT, CBS, Comedy Central, BIO, Lifetime, and more. They have booked TV shows including “Modern Family,” “Blackish,” “Extant,” “The Colony,” “Animal Kingdom,” “My Haunted House,” and “Henry Danger,” as well as hundreds of commercials for major spots including Shutterfly, Mercedes, Visa, Taco Bell, Honda, Legos, Hot Wheels, and many more. Prior to being a manager and a talent agent at Burn Down Entertainment, Wright assisted many high profile managers, agents, and publicists. For 20 years she was a recording artist, actor, and music producer, and is now the author of five books called, “Secrets of a Hollywood Talent Manager.” Wright teaches the business of acting all over the country and is on the faculty of schools including the New York Studio for Stage and Screen in North Carolina and LA Acting Academy in Phoenix, Arizona. For years she has appeared in numerous magazines, and on radio shows and talk shows including “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”
 Wendy is also a Recording Artist, Actress, Author and Music Producer all  giving her a 360-degree perspective of the industry.

Is IPOP worth it?

YOU WANT THE TRUTH? My name is Wendy Alane Wright and I am a Talent Manager at WAW Entertainment in Los Angeles (www.wawentertainment.com)  I attended iPOP and there were 700 kids there to see. I signed one AMAZING child from it. I am working closely with her and her parents to build her acting career.

iPOP itself is a very legit event.  Yes, they do put actors and models in the room with legit Talent Agents and Managers. I can personally vouch for that. In the managers and agents rooms where we all gather between events there are some HEAVY HITTERS in there. If you have the money and it causes you NO Hardship...then go for it!

MY ISSUE WITH iPOP is IT IS VERY, VERY, VERY EXPENSIVE and that is why  I typically do NOT RECOMMEND IT.

There are other ways to meet the exact same agents and only pay $1000- $1500 for a showcase and BELOW I WILL TELL YOU ABOUT THEM. I don't believe ANYONE on this earth should be paying $5,000 - $15,000 to meet agents. No one. That is my personal opinion.

As a Talent Manager in Los Angeles who signs actors every year, I know for a fact you don't need to do iPOP, IMTA or any other expensive showcase like that to meet legit Talent Agents, Modeling Agents, and Talent Managers.  (although I have found some FANTASTIC clients at these events.)

Every single day actors and models get into this business without ever spending that kinds of money. I would say...be very concerned of showcase systems that have BIG Hype, Lavish expensive Hotels because that  means you are paying for lot of frivolity that has nothing to do with a one on one meeting with an Industry Pro.  You don't need any of that to get discovered and signed to a great agency.  So settle in, relax and let me explain what you can do instead. I have several suggestions:

The first is called SCENEBOT. It is something you can do right from your home, starting today, without ever spending a PENNY! It's Legit, actors get exposure, they get signed by Agents and Managers and have booked Pilots and had major auditions just from being seen on SCENEBOT.  I have signed several clients myself who are on SCENEBOT.



WITH SCENEBOT THE EXPOSURE IS FREE, That's right I said Free.
I am so excited! It's real. There is a 100% FREE app called SCENEBOT. It allows actors to sign in, choose a scene, learn it, practice it and UPLOAD it to SCENEBOT. And the people who watch them are REAL Talent Agents, Talent Managers (like me) and Top Casting Directors. Many of the exact SAME Industry Pros you would have paid $9,000 to see at any expense showcase system. It's that amazing? The man who invented it is married to legendary kids casting director Krisha Bullock - (she has cast Henry Danger, Sam & Cat, Victorious, ICarly, True Jackson, Drake & Josh etc.) Actors who have uploaded scenes to SCENEBOT have gotten Agents, Managers, Auditions and cast in projects. Anyone in the world can upload scenes from anywhere in the world. Actors upload scenes regularly, they have monthly contests. You can download scenes to practice for awhile, work on them with your acting teachers and when you feel the scene is really good upload it to SCENEBOT! You can upload scenes ongoing to the monthly competitions.

  Jace from Henry Danger talks SCENEBOT!

WATCH WHAT SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE ACTORS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT SCENEBOT



Now here is more information about how Agents and Managers find new talent. 

HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Agents and Managers go to workshops ALL year long, all over the country. I see the same Agents and Managers at every event I attend. Sometimes I see 30-40 Agents and managers at an event, sometime 5 or 10. It's a small tight knit community. We know each other and we all talk.

When Agents and Managers attend these events we are typically paid for our travel, airfare, accommodations and $100-$250 stipend for food, our time and energy. The reason we go is to find new talent. WE DON'T CARE WHERE WE FIND THE NEW TALENT. It can be at iPop, IMTA or at an elementary school play. We don't care...it's the SAME THING FOR US. Hear that...It is the SAME THING for us. Wherever we spot talent is irrelevant. What we do next is exactly the same...we ask to speak to the parents and

These are most important things we care about:
1) Does the child have a great personality and can they speak up and talk for themselves clearly?
2) Does the child have a great attitude?
3) Does the child want to act or is it the parents pushing them?
4) Does the parent understand it may take the child 200 auditions before they book 1 tiny small student film?
5) Do the parents understand they will be running all over LA taking their kids to auditions year in and year out with no guarantee that their child will book a job?
6) Do they realize that there is a LOT of competition...seriously 2,000 kids are submitted for every single role, even 1 line on a TV show?
7)And that LA Agents and Managers will want the kids to be in Los Angeles for 3-4 months at a time so they will be available to go on the auditions IN Los Angeles and that LA agents and managers set up in LA.
8) LA Agents and Manager work in Los Angeles and the jobs we get our clients audition in LA. We don't look for jobs in New Hamsphire or South Dakota. You and your child have to be here in LA. 

9) **Out of state kids can be submitted on Tape for Films and TV Pilots but your child has to be as good, if not better than the THOUSANDS or HUNDREDS of kids that casting is seeing for each role in person in Los Angeles.

Also the HUGE SHOWCASE SYSTEMS typically offer inadequate acting training that does not really prepare a child for the competitive nature of show business. It's more like a glamorous fun event usually held at a fancy hotel. It's exciting for the kids, but only a handful of kids find agents there. The rest go home without.

But BIG SHOWCASE SYSTEMS will take your money either way, after all they are in the business of putting together fancy expensive events that take your money and give some children a chance to get an agent. I calculated that if each parent spends $5,000 to attend iPOP and there are 750 kids that's.....3.75 Million dollars. And last year I learned that families from NEW ZEALAND were paying $14,500 per child. HOLY COW!!!!!!! I was told they had 23 families signed up for iPOP. Good Gracious, I could be a zillionaire if I was interested in ripping people off. But I can't, I have a conscious.


WARNING: There are vultures in this business preying on the dreams of parents and children who are entering show business. You can rely on me and my blogs to always guide you in the right direction. I would also like to suggest you get your information from these reputable sources as well:

CHILDREN IN FILM, BIZ PARENTS and HOLLYWOOD MOM BLOG.


WHAT I DO LOVE ABOUT iPOP and IMTA is how it gets SO MANY decision makers into the same room, 40-50 top agents and managers and we are ALL looking for great kids. We get to see a lot of kids & teens at one time, so we can weed through them and try to find some good ones.

Honestly, we see way more unprepared kids than prepared kids. We see kids that have no business being in show business. You should BE AWARE....I believe,JRP's take the money whether the kids have a real shot or not. They are offering a little "training." I say "training" very loosely along with below industry standard headshots.  They don't turn down money. Dreams are big business. They are in the dream business. YES THEY DO put your kids in the room with real opportunity... but NO guarantees. The money you spend is gone. You can't expect anything for it.

WILL MY CHILD GET AN AGENT IF THEY ATTEND A BIG SHOWCASE? TRUTH...
No one can tell you your child will get an agent at iPOP. No one can tell you your child will work in TV, Commercials and Print. No one knows that. We take chances and sign kids, then submit them to Casting Directors and SOME kids get called in while others never do. WE don't even know how casting will respond to kids. We guess, based on years of experience. A kid could book the very first job they audition for or not book a job for a year, or ever. We don't know that either. Anyone who tells you differently is lying.

COMPETITION
Parents please understand this: Casting Directors receive about 2,000 headshots for every single role. We don't know who CD's are going to pick to audition. We do know the kids who have an outgoing personality, can speak up clearly, have tons of energy and can act have a MUCH better chance of getting an audition and an agent or manager.

GET YOUR KIDS GREAT TRAINING
So I think parents MUST BE SMART AND ABSOLUTELY MAKE SURE YOUR KIDS ARE GETTING OUTSIDE TRAINING -  make sure your kids are taking additional acting classes outside of the showcase system to get the best preparation and bank for their buck.  Don’t spend your last money on ANYTHING like JRP, BARBIZON, JOHN CASABLANCAS. These are systems that makes tons of money. The kids who succeed in this business are very few. These organizations are good to get a little start. To see if your kid likes the essence of it all, maybe to build a little confidence and there is certainly NOTHING wrong with that. Just have realistic expectations.

HONEST TRUTH
You could spend less money flying to LA, getting real headshots done with www.flygirlphoto.com or www.Alexkruk.com Creating a resume (see below) and emailing your child's headshot and resume directly to the same exact agents that show up at iPOP or IMTA.

My suggestion - come to LA for 2-3 weeks and attend the local LA Showcases that are held ALL YEAR LONG for $1,000-$1,500. Really. Same agents, same opportunities. I talk more about them below.

I always suggest to parents and kids who are new to the business to understand these fundamentals:

GET REAL TRAINING Kids over age 4-6 should have improvisation based acting training. Kids ages 7+up should take acting classes, scene study classes, on camera commercial audition classes and improvisation classes BEFORE they pay thousands of dollars to attend ANY Showcase. Your kids need to be READY for the opportunities. So many parents just throw their kids into situations they are not ready for and they throw the money away because agents and managers doesn't sign untalented or unprepared kids.

If you can afford to do a $5,000 - $15,000 to do a showcase and get your child semi trained and prepared for iPOP YES you will have the luxury of meeting with 30-50 agents and managers at once. That is AMAZING, all in 1 room at 1 time. You will also have access to people you would not otherwise get access to, especially in rural areas. That's valuable. But don't go broke doing it. I learned a woman and her son were living in their car because she used the rent money to pay for a showcase. DON'T DO THAT!

Either way it’s a all luck of the draw whether you spend $2,000 or $17,000 on a showcase system. Becoming an actor takes way more than attending a showcase and getting an agent. Even after you get an agent there is SO much you have to do to have a career. Your kids agent might get you an audition and they might not. But one thing is for sure if your child isn't prepared well s/he won't book it anyways. Realize that having an agent doesn't mean you have a career. The biggest complaint all actors have about agents is that they aren't getting enough auditions. Even when you have an agents you still need to be submitting yourself or your child and you will get the majority of your own jobs.

ALTERNATIVES:

Here are 3 OTHER less expensive ways to get your child an agent that doesn't cost you an arm & a leg.

SUBMIT BY MAIL LIST Send 3 pictures of your child in front of a Blank wall, dressed in a solid bright color, include a 30 second video of them talking excitedly and clearly about their favorite toys, sports or food, friends. You can film that on your iphone and upload it to YOU Tube. Make sure the link is marked unlisted and just send the agent the link in your email.

If the agent likes the look of your child or their personality they may call you in for an interview in Los Angeles. The first thing they will want to  know is are you going to be living or staying in LA for 3-4 months at a time.  Very few agents work with kids who live out of state since the auditions are here in LA. Simply send your child’s headshot and resumes to Agents and Managers for .35 postage. So you see there are

HERE ARE THE BEST AGENT FOR KIDS IN LA
Abrams Jeremy Apody jeremy.apody@abramsart.com
CESD Phone: Call and ask (310) 475 2111
Daniel Hoff Anna Leigh annaleigh@danielhoffagency.com
Coast To Coast Meredith Fine mfine@ctctalent.com
Osbrink Cindy Osbrink contact@osbrinkagency.com
AEF Milton Perea milton@aeftalent.com
Savage Stella Alex savageagency@gmail.com
Media Artists Group Robin Nassif robin@mediaartistsgroup.com
Howard Talent West Lynn Eriks htwcomm@pacbell.net
Jaime Ferrar Agency Joey Robson Joey@jfala.com
Don Buchwald & Associates Julie Buchwald julia@buchwald.com
Bloc Talent Agency Jennifer Musgrove jennifer@blocagency.com
First Class Talent Cynthia Barry firstclasstalentagency@gmail.com
LB Talent Jackie@lbtalent.com
Philip Marcus Clear Talent Group philip@cleartalentgroup.com


2) DO AFFORDABLE SHOWCASES
All year long I put on AFFORDABLE Showcases.
Kids train for 3 weeks with me in cold reading, audition techniques, on-camera commercial acting, scene study, I have top casting directors giving your child exceptional training and we do a parent orientation. At the end of the 3 weeks we have a great AGENT Showcase with 5 Top agents from the list above! BEST PART: I only charge $600.

My next workshop is July 11- August 1 in LA with 9 classes on:



1) TO SIGN YOUR CHILD UP email me for a registration information form at wawentertainment@yahoo.com. Then use this Paypal link to pay for the session WITH Agent showcase.
I look forward to teaching your child everything they need to know about auditioning 
and introducing them to great AGENTS from TOP AGENCIES at the showcase!


ATTEND OTHER AFFORDABLE SHOWCASES

There are several other great LA companies that also do AFFORDABLE Agent Showcases.

ACTOR TRAINING IN LA
ACTORSITE
3-2-1 TALENT.

Whether its MY showcase or THEIRS ...we all invite the exact same agents to our showcases so any of these alternatives will be good for your child... and your wallet.


3) SUBMIT TO ME DIRECTLY
My company WAW ENTERTAINMENT talent management in Los Angeles is always looking for talented & beautiful kids ages 6-14 for Film, TV, Webseries and Commercials. If you live in Los Angeles or plan to be here for 2-3 months between Feb-July and/or Sept-Nov. submit headshots and Resumes to wawentertainment@yahoo.com

Please include: Photos of your child, age, height, weight, city and state you live in and a 30 second video of your child talking about something important to them. Sports, friends, school, food, movies etc. You can record the video on your iPhone, upload it to You Tube, mark video as unlisted and include the link in your email to us. If we are interested we will contact you. We want to get an idea of their personality. We look forward to reviewing your submissions.

4) I HIGHLY suggest every parent learn the facts about breaking your kids into show business by reading my 75 page e-book:"How To Be A Star Right Where You Are" (for parents outside of Los Angeles) or "Secrets Of A Hollywood Talent Manager" (for parents in LA):
That way YOU can make SMART choices about how to get your kids started in commercials, film and TV the LEGIT ways available on my website and save money and time.

http://www.secretsofahollywoodtalent.manager.com.com

And so you know I am not trying to "Scam" you here is a $6 link to purchase the book which is normally $21. https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=7RRQQCW3S333W

 Once you have downloaded it SAVE it to your desk top and read.

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=ZZQDDEENHD97U    https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=7RRQQCW3S333W

You just got THE REAL DEAL about how to get your kids into showbusiness.

Wendy Alane Wright
The Hollywood Talent Manager
WAW Entertainment
http://www.secretsofahollywoodtalentmanager.com

Saturday, June 21, 2014

How Do I Make Money If I'm just a kid?




Wendy Alane Wright is a Hollywood Talent Manager with WAW Entertainment. Her clients have appeared in numerous national commercials, movies, webisodes, short films, and on television networks such as ABC, NBC, Comedy Central, BIO, Lifetime, plus many more. Previous to being a Manager and a Talent Agent at Burn Down Entertainment, she assisted many high profile Managers, Agents and Publicists in the careers of Neil Patrick Harris, Johnny Galecki, Sarah Michelle Geller, The Four Tops, The Bee Gees, Meatloaf, Whoopi Goldberg, Steve Guttenberg, The Cranberries Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand, Kenny Rogers, and Neil Diamond. Wendy is also a Recording Artist, Actress, Author and Music Producer all  giving her a 360-degree perspective of the industry.

Often kids say to me I don't have the money for acting classes or headshots...so there is nothing I can do. WRONG! I have good news for you kids. There are LOTS of things you can do. The first thing is to stop waiting for your parents to do things for you. Successful people figure out how to do things for themselves. 

There are plenty of ways hard working kids can make money so they can afford acting classes and headshots. Here is a list of job ideas for kids:

  • Tutoring
  • Babysitting
  • Dog Sitting
  • Dog Walking
  • Shoveling
  • Raking Leaves
  • Create a Landscaping service
  • Swimming Lessons
  • Web design
  • House Cleaning
  • Teach Guitar or Piano

Create and hand out fliers around your neighborhood, offering you to do things such as gardening, yard work, filing, babysitting, cleaning -- anything you are good at and willing to do.

Ask your school principal to hand out letters to parents around your school, or post them somewhere you know is safe, so that you know your customers are trustworthy.

Arts and crafts maker? You may be able to make money selling your items at craft shows or consignment stores.

Learn calligraphy so that you can provide handwritten invitations and thank you notes to prospective wedding parties, birthday celebrations, etc. Seek out clients through wedding planners at nearby churches and temples. A starter calligraphy kit usually runs around $20 and anyone can easily pick up this skill. The going rate is usually $1 per hand addressed item. 

Personal Assistant
Would you like to run errands, do laundry, clean, and do odd tasks for a family? You might be able to find a busy mom needing some extra help. You might post a flier or two at a grocery store in the affluent part of town. You might type something such as "Needing help with laundry, errands or general housework? Reliable and Motivated Teen is Willing to Work For You!" You will need to set your own rates, it is probably best if you start your rate at minimum wage.

  • Lemonade stand
  • Bake sale
  • Car wash (in your driveway)
  • Yard sale
  • Selling their outgrown toys and video games on eBay or Craigslist
Put on a music concert in your back yard and charge an entrance fee.

MORE TEENS JOBS
amusement park employee
fast food restaurant team member
grocery store cashier / bagger
lifeguard
summer camp
skating rinks
surf shops / skate shops
shoe shops
butchers
night packer at supermarkets
check out dude (supermarkets, retail stores
washing dishes in restaurant
mail room person in large business
porters in hotels
caddy at golf course
farm hand
receptionist or administrative assistant
movie theater attendant
parks and recreation departments
Go to the library and look at the book "100 Jobs for Kids & Young Adults" by Eva Marques  for some ideas.

Get it? Now you can get on with it YOUR goals. Make your OWN money.

Wendy Alane Wright
The Hollywood Talent Manager
http://www.secretsofahollywoodtalentmanager.com








Friday, June 20, 2014

My Parents Do NOT Support My Singing Career! What Do I Do?

 

My Parents Do Not Support My Singing Career! What Do I Do?


I received this note on line today. See if you can relate....

"Hi Wendy,  I'm a young singer and I was wondering if you can please do a video about parents not wanting there kids to be singers. Cause my mom today was like "I don't get it.  I never here you sing the songs your voice teacher teaches you, and now your singing random songs"

In my head I know I can sing whatever I want but my mom thinks I can't, she always doubts me. I know one day when I become a good singer that she will be like "I was proud to see her become a good singer and take around places to perform it was stressful but I knew she would do it one day." 

Like there is an Open Mic happening not far from where I live and I want to enter by my mom is doing nothing to help me. I'm a kid, I can't just walk up and register. But I know I might not win but I'm trying my best until I'm going to win! My parents just never in a million zillion life times would understand unless if I become someone like Taylor Swift or Jodie Foster."


------------------------------------------------------------

Wow. I DO get that. I understand exactly what this person is saying. And I have to tell you, your parents may NEVER support your singing career. Oh well. But you can STILL HAVE AN AMAZING CAREER! You have to follow your heart. It's YOUR life. Your Dream. Your skills, Your Talent, Your Goals, Your Time, Your Money. You can do whatever you want in life as long as you are not causing harm to others. 

However, until you are 18 you have to follow their rules if you live in their house. They may not understand show business, nor feel comfortable with you going it to it. It's not a sure-thing like becoming a mechanic, lawyer, teacher. The pay isn't steady or reliable for most actors or singers. In fact most performers have 2nd careers which really pay the bills. Veterinarians that sing with their local choir, teachers that act in their local community theaters, business owners who also make movies on the side.

Your parents "no" is out of care, fear and concern for your well-being. They want you to have a successful life. There are so many things you can do to create a successful, artistic life if that is who you are. I live a creative life: acting, singing, managing talent, coaching actors, speaking, teaching, writing books and blogs, and I love it. I can't see myself doing anything else... And I never could. But your parents are not the enemy (unless they are abusing you and in that case call 911 and report them) 

If they are concerned for your future that is ok, they should be. You need to respect your parents. And you can still become an actor or singer later if that is what you want to do. I'll give you 2 important pieces of advice:

1) TRAIN HARD.  In business and as an actor. It's called SHOW BUSINESS for a reason. You need to learn about the show and business. Yes study acting, read acting books, watch online acting classes, read actor autobiographies (tons of them) interviews with actors, take online classes, in person classes for acting. Learn about Business. Read business books, read autobiographies of successful business people, learn about sales and how to sell, take Business classes. You need BOTH. Being an actor means owning your own business, and YOU are the product you are selling. You need to get good at sales. 

2) Watch this: https://youtu.be/u0jy7KFP6X0

So how can you do it? In a smart way of course. I'll teach you. It's... a STRATEGY.

1. First thing. This is a must. Take care of all your responsibilities at home and at school. Do well in School. Get good grades, do your homework, be on time for school, keep your room clean, help out around the house. If this is done your parents will be happier. You will be demonstrating responsibility. They still might not support your singing career, but they would be wrong to complain about any of that. I mean if you are doing all that, you got EVER RIGHT to go sing. Okay?

Lesson 2. Get a job; babysitting, at McDonalds, dog walking, selling lemonade in the park...whatever you can do to make money, legally. Accumulate it, save it. Save up and use your OWN money to take private singing lessons. That way you are not putting ANY financial struggle on your parents for your singing career. They can't argue you with you about that. They can I suppose...but they have NO reason to. Stay calm and carry on. GET TRAINED. Training is SO critical. You must learn how to sing properly and control your voice. Take FREE lessons at your school, sing in the Choir, The Glee Club, Chorus, do Musical Theater. If they don't let you train in person with someone -look online and everyday practice with all the signing training exercises you can find on You Tube.

Using this strategic approach, you will also be showing your well meaning, but oblivious or confused parents just how mature you are! And how hard you are willing to work for your goals. Most people tend to respect people like that, I know sure do. And if your parents are still complaining, well... they ain't got no reason to complain. They just are. So you just relax and carry on, knowing you ain't doing NOTHING wrong. Okay?

Listen, kids you can trust me. I have been a singer for 25+ years. Here is a funny story. When I was in school I sang every day in my house after Junior High and High School. I sang for  3 hours every day after I came home from school and before I stated by homework, My dad didn't even notice.

When I was 19, I went to sing Kareoke in the mall after school. My dad didn't even know because he thought I was just shopping when he dropped me off:). I jot a job selling bonsai trees in the mall and on my break every day I went and sang in the Kareoke booth. I entered a singing contest in my home town and my Daddy came to see me sing. Afterward he was shocked. He said two things to me I''ll never forget. 1)"Wendy, when did you learn to do that?"

(okay...I smiled at my father but I said to to myself ... uh ...duh... every day! 2 hours a day practicing for 6 years right in front of you at home, plus 1 year of voice at college for  2 semesters... duh) But I kept smiling at my handsome daddy. I was amazed that he had no idea that I could sing living right under the same roof all my life. Geez. Okay...

Then he looked me right in they eye, smiled with pride and say mater of factly, "Wendy it looks like you belong up there." I was so happy to hear that, and of course...Yes I did belong up on stage signing. I always knew that.  I didn't wait for any parent of mine to support my singing career.

3. Get professional coaching from a working singer in your home town if you can find one or on Skype. If you work and save your money maybe they will let you pay for the classes yourself.

If acting and singing is your passion no one is going to stop you from doing it. You will always find a way to do it. When I was growing up I spent hours in my room singing to music and taping myself, then listening back and teaching myself how to sing in key by copying the notes I heard Precisely. If the note was not exactly the same tone I would do it over and over and over for hours until it was. I did that for 6 years after school and on weekends. I listened to Mariah Carey and learned how to do everything she could, and that taught me how to control my voice.

Practice. Practice. Practice.

4. NEXT and SO, SO, SO IMPORTANT. When you turn 18, or get your parents permission, you must go Sing LIVE every chance and everywhere you can. To the girl who wrote me the letter up there. Why can't you walk right up to that Kareoke and ENTER? Sometimes Bowling Alleys have Karaoke, and restaurant and birthday parties. Do it. Kids can accomplish great things. You can to. Believe me. Your parents may, or may not support your singing career. But you know its what you want to do.... so do it right where you are. Enter local singing contests. Ask your parents if you can go sing at nursing homes to the old people. Then call the nursing homes and ask what day you can go in and sing a few songs to the old folks. They NEED excitement and entertainment. Share your gift. See if you can sing the National Anthem at your schools Sports games.


5. GET MORE KNOWLEDGE OF HOW TO BUILD A SINGING CAREER. Read. Read articles month internet, read autobiographies of famous singers.If you like you can read my e-book "How To Be A Singing Star Right Where You Are." You can get it online at Paypal HERE.
Or you can send away for it in the mail it's just $10. Save your allowance and build your singing career. With that book you will have me to guide you, to believe in you, to encourage you, to support you. Parents don't always understand. And that's okay. They do they best they can with what they've got and how they were raised. But growing up means each of us finds our OWN way.

My e-book "How To Be A Singing Star Right Where You Are" is something you can do all on your own. I teach singers how to become a singer writer where you are- It teaches you how to find the right songs to sing, how to meet other musicians, how to get your songs recorded professionally and for cheap, what songs should you sing live, how to sell your songs online, on ebay, cd baby, iTunes etc. You will learn how to get booked with other musicians, how to find venues you can play, how to join or start a band, how to write your own songs, shoot your own music videos, how to meet booking agents, get a music manager, get a record deal, get your songs in film and TV. This book offers other brilliant music biz resources you can read. You MUST have this e-book. I wish I had this book when I was starting out. I had to figure all of this out on my own, but since I have already done all that, you can learn from my experience.

I have been a professional singer for 20 years. My videos have been on VH1, MTV and BET. My songs have been on the radio, in TV shows, films and commercials. I have made money singing and recorded 3 solo CDs which you can find here on CD BABY Online Store. I know how to get you started as a professional singer because I have done it too! Follow my advice, it works!


 
Me recording my CD "As I Am" in the Studio


Okay...I will give you one SECRET from my book: Super Stars know this. You need to sing regularly in public everywhere you can. 

FOR THE NEXT 2-3 YEARS GO SING AT:


  • Churches
  • Schools
  • Fairs
  • Farmers Markets
  • Nursing Homes,
  • Kiwanis Clubs
  • Lions Clubs
  • Knights Of Columbus
  • Elks Clubs
  • Fundraisers
  • Charity Events
  • Family Events
  • Have A Concert In Your Backyard And Sing For Your Neighbors, Family And Friends
  • Enter Every Singing Contest, Competition And Talent Show Within At Least A 100-200 Mile Radius
  • Colleges Or University Events. Call The Events Department
  • At Colleges And See If There Is A Local Event You Can Sing At.
  • Country Fairs
  • Art Galleries
  • People Homes At Private Parties
  • Sing The National Anthem At Every Sporting Event In Your
  • Community And Surrounding Communities, Towns And States
  • Sing At Local Corporate Events
  • Major Or Local Political Events
  • Weddings
  • Bar Mitzvahs, Bat Mitzvahs
  • New Years Eve Parties
  • Fashion Shows, Zoos, Etc.
  • Sing On Local TV Show Or Radio Stations
  • Open For Musicians Or Big Acts Visiting Your Local Town
  • Sing At Local Music/Night Clubs
  • Coffee Houses
  • Hotel Bars
  • Restaurants
  • BBQ’s
  • PTA Benefits
  • Wedding Anniversary
  • Funeral
  • Picnics
  • Halloween Parties
  • Spring Or Fall Festivals
  • Weiner And Marshmallow Roasts
  • Christmas Revues
  • Department Stores Events
  • Children’s Hospital
  • Veterans Clubs
  • Annual Christmas Dinner Dances
  • Local Circus
  • Museum Fundraiser
  • Find Out Where Your Local Open Mics Are And Go Sing At them!
  • Local events in small towns sometimes sound like this… 
  • The Annual Milk Fund Benefit
  • Auxiliary American Legion Show,
  • Rainbow Girl’s Valentine Day Dance
  • Campfire Girl’s St.
  • Patrick’s Day Lunch, 
  • Safeway Employees Association Benefit, 
  • Yacht Club, 
  • Big Time Revue Vaudeville Night…Sing at those too!
  • Put on a concert at your local church. Create flyers. Invite everyone you know. Friends, family, teachers, post them allout. Invite other people you know to sing with you, Take charge of your life.
  • Sing On Local Jingles For Local Businesses.
  • Audition for local musical theater groups and get experience
  • On stage and working professionally. Later, you may be ready to move to New York to audition for Broadway if that is your dream!
  • On You Tube
  • Audition for every national singing contests you can including: American Idol, America’s Got Talent and The Voice. Go online to their websites and follow directions. You can audition in person or online by sending in a tape."Audition may times for the same contests. Some singers get on TV competition shows after their 4th or 5th audition. Don’t give up. Don't give up your dreams. If you are good, you are good, Keep putting yourself out there. Not everyone gets on but you never know. I’m just saying…don’t try once and give up. Be persistent.
It doesn't matter what state or country you are in...singing live will give you experience, confidence, help you develop a strong stage performance, better performance skills, an ability to handle and relate with audiences and an opportunity to grow your audience and collect their email so you can inform them of upcoming dates you sing.

So kids... you are welcome to share this BLOG with all of your parents or your music teachers. It's okay to let them know what you are up to, And you always want to go with a friend (or parent/sibling) when you are going to new places. You don't need to go alone. Let your parents know what you are doing. You can ask for help. Sometimes you will get it, sometimes you won't. When you don't, oh well... you just keep doing what you love to do. SING!!

You can't sit on your behind and quit or complain if no one in your family is helping you. My parents didn't help me become a singer and I have song on over 60 CD's a handful of commercials, my music has been in film, TV and on the radio. The fact is: often other musicians will help you more than your own family, or mentors and singing teachers like me. The other ...well they just don't understand.

Remember this...no one will ever believe in your dreams more than you do. That's why they are YOUR dreams.

I look forward to working with you and guiding you to the Red Carpet, Award Shows, Recording Studio, CD Sales, and reading newspaper and magazine articles about YOU!

Believe In Yourself. I believe in you:)


Wendy Alane Wright'
The Hollywood Talent Manager
WAW Entertainment
(818) 203-6080