While I feel like we’re just starting this journey and are far from experts, I’m often asked how this all started for Elizabeth. I always try to help those who ask in any way I can, but I only know what we’ve experienced. So hopefully this will help you and your child, if he/she has been showing an interest in acting.
The answer to how she got started is pretty simple. We met with a local agent, and he signed her.
Elizabeth is primarily represented by Heyman Talent Agency. Since we live in Louisville, and they have an office here, it worked out great for us. What she DID NOT do is go to modeling school or pay for classes through them when they signed her. That is SO important to emphasize. They are legitimate agents who have relationships with casting directors and clients (national & regional companies) and are in charge of finding talent for print, online and television advertising. They are also involved in finding the right talent film and television roles. When Hollywood comes to shoot locally, they use Heyman. Elizabeth has had huge auditions through Heyman for major films with A-list actors. She’s yet to book a huge film role, but she’s 7-years-old, and she has plenty of time for that later. Right now, she’s a little sponge, and she’s loving soaking up any experience she can get.
A little more about agents… What legitimate talent agents are not: They are NOT the people who set up booths at the mall and approach your child, trying to sign them. Those types of organizations are generally scams. They will charge you an outrageous amount for “modeling” classes and headshots through “their” photographer. I don’t claim to be an expert on this, but one of those “agents” approached me at a mall when I was in college. We went in to hear what he had to say, and it was a complete scam. You needed to purchase a $500 photo package with “their” photographer who had supposedly photographed Madonna, etc. etc. Needless to say, we walked right out.
Below is an early headshot of Elizabeth. I know she’s still little now, but I miss that sweet, baby face!
I have a few more things I’d like to talk about, so I feel you are fully informed before you decide if you want take your family on this journey. It isn’t as simple as “audition and book the role.” There’s a whole other side to it, like getting experience in local theatre, and there’s the travel involved with working and auditioning. Early on, I don’t think we were fully prepared for the travel (and the expense of it, which is on the parents) that goes along with it. I’ll explain more next week.