I get this question EVERYDAY, sometimes multiple times a day: "How do I get my child started in the industry?" Although I love assisting where I can and helping people navigate the process, I can't answer everyday. So I hope the steps and links below help a bit! Please READ READ READ and RESEARCH on your own as much as you can. There is a wealth of info online. You'll be most successful that way. Much more successful than if I told you OUR exact steps in OUR journey. Everyone's journey is different, so find your right path and stick to it. There is no limit to what you can learn in this business. Even we are still learning every single day!
A few steps to take if your child has an interest in acting or modeling (no guarantee for success but this is a good approach):
1) Make sure you are close enough to the major modeling/acting cities and readily available to travel to them for auditions and jobs: NYC, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, and Atlanta
2) List of agents and managers: http://www.taylordior.com/agentmgrlist.htm <---(this focuses on NY area, but some in FL, CA, GA, PA are listed too)
For other states, you can also visit these sites:
3) To be safe, type the agent's name and the word "scam" together in google to see if they have ripoff reports about them. Also check them out on the Better Business Bureau. Generally, you should NOT have to pay ANY agent/manager upfront fees. They get paid once your child books a job. That's it. You also DON'T have to use their photographer. If they make you use their photographer, they are probably getting something out of it and probably over-charging you anyway. If they seem pushy about trying to SELL THEIR CLASSES to you, don't do it. Again, they are not running a good practice by selling acting classes to their clients. A great agent/manager RECOMMENDS A LIST of photographers and acting coaches to you if you need it.
4) Once you've identified reputable agents/managers in your area, visit their websites to see how each agent/manager accepts submissions (regular mail, email, or via their site). Also find out what ages they represent and what they specialize in so you know if they fit your child's type. Again, that requires READING. Familiarize yourself with their business. Afterall, you are hiring THEM to represent your child, so you dont want to send your child's pics to just anyone!
5) Once you've narrowed down your list to all of the agents/managers in your area that you are interested in, send your child's photos, resume (which includes professional experience, training, and special skills), and demo reel if they have one. Don't forget to include your contact info so they can contact you back if interested and include your child's stats (bday, sizes, etc)! CLEAR GOOD SNAPSHOTS ARE GOOD FOR SUBMISSIONS. NO NEED TO GET PROFESSIONAL PHOTOS BEFORE YOU GET AN AGENT.
6) Prepare your child to meet with all of the agents who call you back. Get there early. Come prepared with whatever else they asked you to bring. Ask questions on your interviews. Questions to bring to mgr/agent meeting
7) Review contracts AT HOME (pressure free and gives you time to really understand it) and maybe even with a lawyer if you can.
8) Make your final decision on an agent/manager by choosing who was most enthusiastic about working with your child and most eager to get them out on castings.
9) Once you have your new agent/manager, they will start sending your child out on castings when they get some (it's called a "go-see" for modeling work and an "audition" for on-camera work).
10) A good agent/manager makes sure you get sent out on as many castings that fit your child's type. It's up to you and the casting director to actually get booked for the job.
Good Luck and God Bless!!!