LEGIT ACTING CLASSES AND TALENT AGENT SHOWCASES
As a Talent Manager in LA I am always looking for new faces, and talented kids for TV, Film, Print and Commercials. All over the country reputable Talent Agents and Talent Managers are at showcases to look for new faces, talented actors and committed parents to help kids get started on TV, Commercials and Films.
I attend showcases throughout the country looking for future stars (or potential working actors) who have parents who are 1000% committed to helping their kid take on the many responsibilities required when getting kids into show business.
Parents do MOST of the work when their kids enter show business. It becomes a 2nd full-time job. Parents pay for headshots, online casting websites, acting classes, workshops and take their kids to hundreds and hundreds of auditions. It's costly, competitive and a lot of work. For a handful of very lucky and talented kids there are HUGE payouts for this investment. For the majority of kids, there are smaller paying jobs here and there, but still everyone gets a taste of the limelight nonetheless. It's fun, it's exciting and for me it's addictive! Nothing thrills me more than helping a kid follow their dreams and seeing them succeed.
BUT, there are sharks in this business who will take your money and make empty promises that drain your bank account and feed on your child's dreams and your commitment to being great parents.
Who is for real? Who is a scam artist? How can you tell? It is hard to tell. But I can tell you this - these showcase companies you hear about on the radio or in the malls are in the business of taking YOUR MONEY and as MANY kids as possible into their showcases to parade them around in front of agents WHETHER THE KIDS ARE READY OR NOT.
And Agents and Managers DON'T sign kids that are not ready.
We are looking for kids who are confident, can speak, up and speak clearly. Kids who make the scripts believable. We want kids who have taken acting classes, on camera acting classes, and improv classes. We prefer kids who have had theater experience and have acted in their school plays or community theater. We sign kids whose parents are willing to work on their kid's business like a 2nd job.
AGAIN, Showcase companies will take a lot of kids that are not ready to be there. They are in the business of making money off of you. The training they offer is often not good enough to compete with kids actors who are in LA. And those are usually the kids who book jobs on TV. That's why you should take acting classes OUTSIDE of the showcase system as well. Extra training won't hurt your kiddo. Every state has acting classes, especially the big cities. And anyone can SKYPE coach with LA acting teachers. Just call LA Acting schools like Actorsite and see who can Skype coach your child.
Also LA MANAGERS and AGENTS usually only sign kids who will come to Los Angeles for 4-8 weeks in the summer or during pilot season from Feb-March. Thats why' it is important to have an Agent in your OWN state to be getting you out on auditions in your local market.
Start building your kids acting experience right where you are 1st and see if they even like it or are any good at it - before you pay thousands of dollars for showcases.
And when you are doing a showcase research who is attending. Every prent should invest in IMDPRO so you can do your research. IMDbPro is a professional, subscription-based network to get deeper insights and invaluable information into the Showbiz industry, which you wouldn’t be able to find from some place else. With the monthly subscription you can find out exactly which AGENTS have clients, which clients are working, which agents are reputable. All you have to do is type in their name and read about them. When you are approached by a company offer training and a Talent Agent Showcase at the end, ask them who the agents are that will be attending. You can look those agents up on IMDBPRO.
You may ask will every child be signed at a showcase? The answer is no. Noe can predict who agents and managers will sign. It depends on if the children are well trained. If the children have had acting experience in school plays or community theater. If they are very confident, can speak clearly and be easily heard. Many children will be signed but not all. Some kids are more ready than others. It takes time.
CAN YOU SUBMIT DIRECTLY TO AGENTS AND SKIP SHOWCASES AND ALL OF THAT EXPENSE?
Yes, you can submit to agencies directly. Many kids get signed that way. You just send an email with your child's headshots, resumes, acting clips DIRECTLY to agencies and interested agents may call you in for a meeting.
Can you tell me the names of some talent showcases?
iPOP, IMTA, Barbizon, John Casablancas have been doing showcases for years. I have signed kids from them. My concern is they are expensive ways to give your children exposure and opportunity for representation - but in rural regions you may not have other options and access to industry people.
Some talent showcases are much more affordable like the Model and Talent Expo, Global Stars Network, Big Talent Showcase and Talent Development Showcase - which I HIGHLY recommend. No matter where you go to be seen remember Agents almost always will want you to be in the city their agency is in. They can't do much for you if you are planning on staying in your home state after the showcase.
To learn more about what Agents and Managers expect if your child gets signed click HERE
That's why it's important to go into any showcases with realistic expectations. AGENTS AND MANAGERS ARE LOOKING FOR talent is taking their career seriously enough to move to the NEXT level. That means the talent needs to come to the agent or manager and move to the bigger city OR be in the bigger city for 3-4 months at a time.
ALSO - Your child will be competing with thousands of kids they have seen that year at every event they have gone to. Do your child is only going to be as good as their training. If your child has zero experience and very little talent not much is going to come out of any show case you do, except maybe a fun experience for your kids. Natural talent is a great starting point, but kids needs training and lots of it. Remember Agents and Managers are looking for the best out of any group of kids. They will not hesitate to over look yours if they are good enough yet. That is not the fault of the showcase system. You as the parents are responsible for getting your children into as many acting classes as you can BEFORE you spend outrageous amounts of of money on showcases and wishful thinking.
Some Showcase systems offer good training and others do not. When you are just starting out you may not know the difference. So to be safe and smart always have your children taking classes OUTSIDE of the showcase system as well. If you hear nothing else I am saying... hear that.It is really important and that is why I have said it twice!
Every year I put on the California Stars Talent showcases that bring in top teachers, casting directors, agents and managers. California Stars Talent Showcases often have a 100% Callback ratio.
Our latest showcase was no exception. I want to thank you parents for bringing your amazingly talented kids to our 3 weeks of acting classes and my Industry showcase!