Friday, January 15, 2016

Advice for Parents from Talent Manager Wendy Liles of WAW Entertainment

Wendy Liles, Talent Manager 
WAW Entertainment, Los Angeles

Wendy Liles comes from a background of working with children. After graduating with her Bachelors Degree in elementary education, she taught kindergarten for a few years before returning to The School of Visual Arts in NYC where she studied Graphic Design, Marketing and Branding, critical skills needed for today's actors. Both paths merged when her daughter displayed signs of being creative in the arts and won Best Actress at IMTA in Los Angeles where she met Hollywood Talent Manager Wendy Alane Wright. After working with Wendy and WAW Entertainment to advance her daughter's career, soaking in every aspect of the extensive knowledge that Wendy Alane openly shared, she began taking an interest in helping out in a professional capacity. Being a mom of a young actress herself, she has insight into the essential elements of laying the groundwork for a successful career as a young actor. She has personal experience about what it takes to develop a career from ground zero and she passes that information on to her clients. Liles works closely with parents and guides them and supports them on the somewhat treacherous and action packed journey to building a child's career in the entertainment industry. She has a very calm and nurturing personality, and is able to help parents navigate the ins and outs of the business, based on her personal experience of what works and what doesn't work, which ultimately helps the actors to be able to just do their job and be the best they can be.

Let me begin by telling you a little bit about myself. My daughter is 9 years old and we have been in LA for several years and have been through all that you will be experiencing.

My daughter and I have gone from knowing absolutely nothing, to now she is the lead in an independent feature film Prodigy and has been on an episode of a top Nickelodeon show and a major FX show! I will be able to give you advice from my own experience as a mom of a child actor. 

             The Cast & Crew Of Prodigy

You will definitely want a car out here. Everything is really far away from everything else and the bus service is not as great as it is in cities lie New York or Chicago. You just have to be careful to read the street signs and meter signs because the cops are ticket happy. There's always lots of back street parking which requires a fair amount of walking, so good shoes are important.

I personally enjoy showing up an hour early for auditions and exploring the different areas of the city that we end up in. It's an adventure. Bring a sock or small purse full of quarters for the meters, extra headshots and resumes along with water a snacks.

As far as headshot photographers go, we highly recommend Fly Girl photography and Olesja Mueller-Astraukas, Alex Kruk, Thiyani, Kenneth Dolin and Marc Cartright. Some are more expensive than others, of course, so call around until you find one that fits your budget. (pictured Savannah with Alex Kruk)

    I homeschool my daughter and we use Bridgeway Academy, which provides books rather than all online. That works best for my tactile kid. But a lot of parents use K-12 or Connections Academy. You should check with whatever school your child is in now to see who they recommend. There might be a program that their school will accept grades from or who they work well with that will allow them to go back to school they choose.

There are also a couple of acting schools that offer daytime ACTING classes for homeschoolers. These are Actorsite and Lisa Picotte's Young Actors Studio. Both are very good. Actorsite is more affordable for beginners and offers a monthly rate for unlimited classes, which you won't find too often. My daughter loves it there, so we supplement the more expensive classes with that. Most classes will be between $50 and $100 per 1.5-2 hour class.

At Actorsite, you can take about 5-6 hours a week for something like $250/month. I can't remember the exact amount. Google awesome acting club or Actorsite (they are the same thing). They also offer online classes for when you aren't in LA. I hope this information is helpful. This is an exciting adventure. Enjoy the journey!

Wendy Liles
Talent Manager
WAW Entertainment

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