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Help my son become a model
July 28, 2009 8:15 PM   Subscribe

We just saw the proofs for our 6-year old son's head shots. We've signed up with an agency in town that doesn't charge a fee and only makes money when our son gets a gig. What else can we do to help our son launch his modeling / acting career?

Ever since he was an infant everyone has told us to put our son in modeling or acting. We were told by those who have their own kids who did modeling or were in the industry themselves that he has the perfect temperament and was damn cute to boot. But we waited until we knew it was something he wanted to do. It's clear now he wants to be a performer.

So we went and found a reputable agency and got some great head shots. We've started to take him to some commercial shoots (but without compensation, so there's no pressure) to get him accustomed to whats involved in being a model. If at any time he wants to quit, we quit. We're not going to push him, or do the pageant thing, but we want to be as supportive as possible. We hope to use any money he makes from modeling to build his college fund and start him in acting classes outside of school.

What's next? Are there important websites we should list his head shots on? Precautions we should take?
posted by IndigoSkye to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
There's a great deal of useful information and discussion in the Backstage message boards: http://bbs.backstage.com/groupee You'll find quite a bit of guidance there if you read a bit and ask specific questions.
posted by blaneyphoto at 8:32 PM on July 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


check out "A Minor Consideration," www.minorcon.org, which is dedicated to protection of child performers
posted by JimN2TAW at 8:41 PM on July 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Have a lawyer look at your contracts, etc. Be aware you are putting your kid to work.
posted by xammerboy at 8:46 PM on July 28, 2009


read this previous mefi thread and realize that this is not only happening to girl models and that it can certainly start before the teen age years.
posted by nadawi at 9:36 PM on July 28, 2009


Since you say you've been on commercial shoots already, I'm sure by now you've realized that the people who think child modeling = a path to rape and/or an E true hollywood story are just as crazy as the pageant moms.

Really the only advice I can give is to find a reputable agency, because reputable photographers & producers with reputable clients don't go finding talent on craigslist (or really any other avenue). The agency should be able to recommend photographers to shoot tests with, and it should be obvious from their portfolio and client list whether they are "for real" or not.

Other than that, only do it if your kid is having fun. I have worked on lots of shoots with kids and have never run across overbearing stage parents or children who didn't want to be there, and you seem pretty sane, so I guess that goes without saying. I worked a shoot today with a 4 and 5 year old who had a blast. Good luck.
posted by bradbane at 10:53 PM on July 28, 2009


Thanks bradbane. That's pretty much what we figured. We'd be pretty happy if he gets one assignment a month to start. Then if he wants to do more, we'll figure out what the next step is (probably move back to Los Angeles).
posted by IndigoSkye at 4:35 AM on July 29, 2009


Modeling is hard, boring work, so don't be surprised if he gets sick of it. Wanting to act or sing isn't necessarily the same as wanting to model. Good luck to you all.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:02 AM on July 29, 2009


It's not want you want to hear, but my 2 cents: for a few years 2 of my kids have done movie and commercial work (starting when they were 8 and 11) because they thought it would be fun. It didn't really work for them: it's long, boring days on the set, they had to miss a fair amount of school so catching up on what they missed was nightmarish, and they honestly couldn't stand the other "actor-y" kids. Lots of posturing and name dropping. Auditions are absolutely gutting: you're just quickly dismissed for no real reason. The stage mom mafia is alive and well and it's a highly toxic environment.

There's a TON of rejection (and my kids had very successful careers, but still, there were plenty of parts they didn't get). No kid wants to be rejected.

They decided to call it quits and they're much, much happier.

I would sincerely and strongly advise against this path for any child: if your kid wants to get into this when he's older and is capable of making these decisions, then let him him do it then.
posted by dzaz at 11:29 AM on July 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


sorry; one last thing. A six year old may say they want to be a performer, but his perception of what that means versus the reality will be a very painful lesson for him. He really doesn't understand what it is. It's no fun.
posted by dzaz at 11:30 AM on July 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


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