Once you have decided to enter this wonderful industry the next step is to decide whether to go it alone or find an agency. The decision depends both on the ambitions of your child and the type of work they will be trying to get.
Modelling jobs for children are almost exclusively to be found through agents. Advertising agencies and casting directors are too busy to advertise and hold open castings for every single job. They will either look first at the agency web site or they will go straight to an agent with a description of the type of children they need.
From that description, the agencies will look through their models and draw up a list of children who fit the requirements. The casting director or photographer will then liaise with the agency to arrange times and locations for castings. It would be virtually impossible to find modelling work without having an agent.
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Stage schools, local drama groups and youth theatres might provide useful contacts in the business. It is possible that an unknown child will spot an advertisement in The Stage, and will go along to an open audition and land a major role, but agents are invariably the first to find out about such auditions and will ensure that their clients get to meet the producer or director.
Agents will also be the first stop for production companies who are hiring people for extra work in films and television. An agent will be told the number of children that the production company are looking for. If the agent is trusted and has a good relationship with the production company the children will be sent along to work on the day without an audition being required. This is called a direct booking.
What are the advantages of having an agent?
Many agents have a central talent directory (website)
Agents have the necessary contact
An agent provides you with security
An agent is the mark of your professional attitude