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How to make your child a star

Want to boost your child's confidence by giving them a start in showbiz? Here are a few tips on how to get started.
  • Encourage child to be themselves. Casting directors will spot if the child is being fake.
  • Take lots of pictures of your child. Practice makes perfect!
  • Be prepared to spend money - but be aware of scams. These may include agencies who:
  • Ask for money up front
  • Offer expensive 'modelling' classes.
  • Get you to pay them for photographs - you should always pay the photographer directly, not a go-between

Lee McDermott spent her life modelling before starting up her own agency, Bambini Models Australia, 16 years ago. Here are her tips on how to make your child a star.

  • Gauge the child's temperament and personality. If they're shy, they won't be taken on. It's not fair on the child or client.
  • The child must be the correct size and developmental level for their age group.
  • Ensure the child wants to do the work. If they're resisting it will be obvious.
  • Be realistic. What a client wants is the final word and not every child is suitable.
  • The child doesn't have to be classically beautiful to get work. Quirky-looking kids are also often in high demand.
  • Identical twins are popular for longer shoots. Legally, children can only work up to five hours at a time but twins can alternate, so when one's sleeping the other can be on set.
  • To get TV work, kids over six are encouraged to take drama classes.
  • Get the kids involved in extra-curricular activities such as soccer or ballet. A client may require certain skills.
  • Be prepared to do the legwork. Parents need to keep the child's details, such as measurements, up to date, as well as drive to castings, recalls and shoot locations.
  • Research different agencies. Check client lists, reputations and how long each has been around.
  • Be prepared to pay for the child's professional photographs. General cost is $500-$600 per year.
  • Payment for each job varies. Generally, a photographic job could be $95 per hour, extra hours could add up to $1800, a television commercial could pay $25,000 and a Hollywood movie around $48,000.

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