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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Ab
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