I applied to seven colleges. One was early decision; I was deferred to regular decision. I remember the day decisions were to arrive. I drove to the post office, opened my family’s box, and sat on the heater across from the boxes waiting for the letters. We lived on a hilly road on which mailboxes were always taken out by snow plows, so this was my version of sitting in the window waiting for the mailman to arrive. (In case you’re wondering, I was accepted to five, wait-listed to one, and flat out rejected to another. I don’t have issues about that at all. Nope. None.) Ok, so let’s bring it back to modeling. When you send out submissions, there is no magic “date” or time-period for notification. My advice now is “set it and forget it.” And get used to it. Because you are going to have to do that every time you get a casting or a hold. (Vocab lesson in the future.) The agency responses ended up filtering in over the course of a month or so.
When you get contacted by the agencies, they ask you to come in for a visit. We were invited in to four of the five to which we submitted. It was a little odd: two of the agencies wanted one-on-one face-to-face meetings with agents, one informed me they were moving offices and they wouldn’t be able to meet for four months (!?!) and another invited us to a “request open call” which meant the agents would be seeing multiple children at the same time. This happened to be near the holidays (and right before that crazy October snowmageddon that ground the Northeast to a halt for daaaaaaayyyyyyyssssss) so the meetings ended up getting spread out. Ultimately, the meetings got spread out from November to February. I keep making parallels to the college admissions process, so I will again: I viewed this as that sort of process. Apply, hear back, go on visits, make your decision…weigh your options…choose.
The meetings are pretty brief. The agents want to see your child’s demeanor. If your child is friendly, well-mannered, and outgoing: great. But we all know that with the younger ones, all bets are off. Just try to get your kiddo in a good mood. Whatever it takes. (This just gave me the idea that I need to devote a post to bribery. If you are opposed to child bribery: stop reading because this is NOT the industry for you.) My daughter was two and a half: fortunately she had a pretty good personality at the time so I wasn’t too stressed about that. (She’s kind of a beast now. Anyway…) The agent will go over the responsibilities of the parent and how the industry works…essentially making sure you’re ready for the commitment. Then it’s time for you to ask questions.
Here is where I want to shake you up. A lot of moms go into this process nervous and eager and just hoping the child “gets a contract” (more on contracts in the future!)…maybe a little overly eager. And overly nervous. Kind of like a job interview. Here’s the thing. Yes, it’s an interview…but not really like a job interview. Yeah, show up prepared, have a clean kid, be professional. But YOU are interviewing THE AGENT. You’re hiring the agent. Not like and “I’m the boss of you!” hiring (and really, do NOT be that way, because you will be kicked out) but a “can you work for the best interest of my child?” kind of hiring. Now, you’re also hiring the agent to work WITH you. It’s like hiring an expert designer or architect for your renovation project. You want someone who knows his or her stuff and can deliver a great outcome. You have to work with that person on a regular basis, though, so you need to be able to mesh and communicate with each other. This could potentially be a long-term relationship, so you need to get some “gut instincts.” All of the reputable (there’s that word again) agencies get the same jobs, each maybe has a couple of exclusive clients, and they pay within a reasonable time period. That stuff is probably something you can put aside worrying about for now. You need the FIT. Honestly, beyond that, I don’t really know what to say about making your choice. I would say that more of my model-mom friends (who are amaaaaazing! Shout out!!!!) than not have probably switched agencies at least once in the quest for the best fit – whether within the first year or even several years in. Don’t worry much about that now either; I point that out so you realize that you are not name shopping right now. I’m going to say it…I’m trying to hold myself back…ughhh, I cannot… I’M ALL ABOUT THAT FIT, ‘BOUT THAT FIT… (And yeah, it’s VERY clear I ain’t no size 2!)
|All dressed and ready for the first agency interview.|