- 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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