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Come & join me in general chat all you patents of performers - be it dancers, actors, singers or musicians

(320 Posts)
Picturesinthefirelight Thu 29-Aug-13 13:07:52

There are quite a few if us onhere though I know done if you from NAPM & Balletcoforum too

Here we can have a general chit chat about what our children are up to so we don't clog up the threads on specific topics

So Sparkly, Katy, Cory & loads more. Come chat!

saintlyjimjams Mon 11-Nov-13 22:06:07

I think had I taken ds2 we might have been better prepared grin DH rushed out the door - and well - is dh so doesn't plan. Mind you we did expect him to go straight out first round (see my above 'I'm always stunned') so hadn't given much thought to an extended stay. Otherwise I would have left instructions.

Now we take a packed lunch then stress about whether we look presumptious bringing it (so hide it) grin

eightytwenty Mon 11-Nov-13 23:05:42

Ds is currently quite confident after getting 2/2. However we didn't tell him about a possible cast for a film (not called) and he knows he was out forward for an ad and again wasn't called. Your point about looks etc. is a good one. I also wonder if it also counts in his favour (normal looking) as does the fact he's quite well behaved and we're all quite reliable.

Dh wonders about getting him an agent. I think that the head of the young theatre is being approached for enough parts and is putting ds forward which to me is enough. Don't think we can cope with more and not sure we'd gain anything. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

Another question - he has received small honorariums. A few hundred pounds per play. We deduct a little as a token contribution to our additional expenses and we also buy my mother some flowers from the pot. Anyone else do this? Are we mean or are we teaching him a good lesson?

saintlyjimjams Tue 12-Nov-13 09:46:30

We went through the 'should we get an agent' question recently. We live a 4 hour train journey from London (where realistically the good agents are - although there are a few in other major cities). Last June I sent ds2's details off to a well regarded London agent. We were contacted about 10 minutes later and asked to arrange a meeting & for ds2 to prepare a monologue.

It was a total waste of time. I had made clear when contacting them where we lived but they seemed completely surprised when we turned up and mentioned it again. On meeting I asked what would be expected of us and was told we would be expected to go to London at short notice up to four times a WEEK to audition for commercials. I said we couldn't do that because of where we lived, and we were more interested in going for film/TV (they didn't really do theatre) than commercials because commercial casting is such a lottery we couldn't justify time off school for it. Anyway that went down badly grin but I didn't see any point in lying. TBH I just came away feeling we weren't on the same wavelength at all and I really didn't like them. DS2 didn't like them either; found them a bit severe.

I don't regret meeting them because it really helped me work out what we wanted. Agents are great if you a) live in London or near the agents base and b) want to make money. A LOT of the serious child agencies place children for commercials - because those pay extremely well (and agencies are first and foremost a business). We weren't really interested in commercials (although if a local well paid one came up we wouldn't say no!). And we're definitely not up for schlepping to London all the time.

A local friend has managed to find a London agent for her child who agreed to not submitting for commercials at all and often suggesting to CD's to use video for first rounds - so they are out there. And if we found an agent like that we would be definitely interested, but I think those are rarer than hen's teeth!! So we haven't bothered applying for any more.

In ds2's case he currently wants to go into acting/musicals/singing. So for him things like NYMT/NYT or joining local high quality theatre groups when older are more useful than an agent. The other advantage of not having an agent is you can apply for what you want to. There's no pressure to apply for roles you're not keen on (advertising a product you don't agree with for example), but nothing stopping you applying for things your agent might want to submit a better match. So in ds2's case because he plays down a lot we can submit him for roles that an agent might want to submit someone younger that they had on their books. We can also apply for things that don't pay very much or at all without worrying about pissing an agent off by making him unavailable for paid work.

Having said that if you want to audition for most TV work or big budget film you will probably need an agent.

What I have done is got ds2 a kids casting call pro page. I think it helped him get the film (I submitted it to the director & producers). A lot of NAPM-ers have Starnow pages as well, but we haven't done that yet.

In terms of earnings I think it's fine to do whatever you want with it! DS2's has gone into a savings account and I suggested he might want to keep it to potentially pay for further education in the future - especially if he wants to go to drama school as it's so expensive. He is going to to take some out to pay towards a laptop this xmas (we will pay the rest - but usually a laptop would be too £££'s for a xmas present).

eightytwenty Tue 12-Nov-13 23:08:56

Thanks saintly. That is all super helpful. I've had two offers from agents but not convinced by either. Not in any major hurry tbh and also he is one of five. So don't want the rest of the family to be jumping to the demands of his commitments all the time.

saintlyjimjams Wed 13-Nov-13 09:00:39

Do be careful. Some so called agencies are little more than money making exercises. Fees for this, fees for that, 500 kids on their books.... and then the jobs they submit you for are open theatre auditions that you didn't need them for anyway.

And yes know exactly what you mean about siblings & not being able to run around after one child.

eightytwenty Tue 26-Nov-13 13:28:44

Can I ask you lot a question please?

Do your kids schools tell the other kids in their class and school that they are in a production?

Can't decide if it's strange that the class teacher hasn't even announced that he is - explaining why he is to-ing and fro-ing, or to say well done. My dm (former teacher) is furious on his behalf. Mostly I'm thinking it must be a pain to have to accommodate the disruption! If however it is unusual, would you then go ahead and ask the school?

KatyMac Wed 27-Nov-13 23:28:11

Sorry you haven't had an answer

Umm DD tells only her close friends & some teachers (but she is in high school)

eightytwenty Thu 28-Nov-13 13:38:10

Thanks. Decided to mention to the head who actually sounded a bit mortified that nothing had been said.

saintlyjimjams Sat 30-Nov-13 07:30:50

Sorry dropped off my active convos.

At primary it used to sometimes be announced, but it doesn't at secondary. Ds2 might get included in the head's blog though & was invited to lunch with the head once. They have a 'successes' bit on their web as well & he might go in there. I don't think he'd want it announced now though although he might have when younger..

TBH the one the school (then primary) paid least (i.e no) attention to was probably in some ways the biggest deal in terms of what was involved, competition for the part & who was in the show. But he had a funny last year or so at primary. And there were quite strict rules about what could be said about that production I was relieved in some ways.

HSMMaCM Tue 03-Dec-13 13:10:18

Watching DD in Panto this afternoon. Makes it all worth while.

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 03-Dec-13 15:19:54

After a bad experience during a panto run where done kids who auditioned but didn't get in we're very catty dd chose to keep subsequent productions quiet. It was never announced in assembly or anything anyway or even out in the newsletter even when she got a leading role in a small scale tour. (Sports achievements were always announced)

She told her close friends but that's all.

saintlyjimjams Fri 06-Dec-13 13:42:23

It's a shame people get funny about it isn't it? ds2 is never going to achieve anything on a the sports field (much as he'd love to).

He had his second day of filming this week. Was really interesting (if freezing).

Am just about to print out next round of scripts for the cartoon.

Tiredemma Mon 09-Dec-13 13:32:58

Cant believe that I have come across this thread- its just what I have been looking for all over the net for ages.

Saintly I am glad that I have come across your most recent posts as I have been debating (with myself!) whether to seek out an agent for DS2. We are in the West Midlands though and its quite clear from your post that most agents prefer you to be within a spitting distance of London.

DS2 has been begging me to put him 'out there' but I really do not know where to start. He is in a stage school in Birmingham and has appeared in minor performances- I suppose I am curious as to what the step/where to go next may be for him.

Do you all mind if I join you??!!

ChestnutsroastingintheFireligh Mon 09-Dec-13 13:43:05

Hi TiredEmma

I used to work in Birmingham. Great place

saintlyjimjams Mon 09-Dec-13 13:46:38

Welcome smile

How old/talll is he? (not absolute - but some idea - it's much easier to get stage work if you look younger than you are and are under 5 foot! - very broadly speaking).

If young/small enough I'd start seeing if he wants to audition for West End tours - that's ds2's staple and he LOVES those shows. And they're nearly always open auditions so no agent needed. It's helped him get other things as well, definitely. Also maybe look at joining KCCP or StarNow?

DS2 has just been in a film - 3 boys, 1 with an agent and 2 without. The whether or not to get an agent thing came up. From talking to the mum of the boy with an agent I definitely think we made the right decision for us not to go with one - she said you really do have to go along to every audition they get for you, and that for things like commercials your child might be selected, so you have to do all the licensing etc, but there will be other children selected as well, and the director will make the final decision at very short notice (less that 24 hours sometimes). So you might have everything ready then be told you're not wanted. That's just not practical for us. However, you may well have a local agent living where you do (there are none anywhere near us) and that might be worth looking it.

Tiredemma Mon 09-Dec-13 13:54:36

Thanks for the welcome!!

he is a little dinky one! he still wears 7/8 clothes (he is 11 in july)

ill have a look at Starnow and KCc- are those wites where the open auditions would be?

saintlyjimjams Mon 09-Dec-13 13:58:30

They're often advertised there, and on notapushymum.

That's ds2 exactly - 7/8 clothes and age 11. Don't worry about putting him forward for things slightly outside his age range. I nearly didn't put ds2 forwards for one role but was talked into it, he got it, and has loved it.

Age 11 it's also worth looking at NYMT and YMT. They're £££'s but there are bursaries. Very well respected.

saintlyjimjams Mon 09-Dec-13 13:59:34

Also worth following some casting directors on twitter and facebook. Oh and screenterrier can be worth a read.

saintlyjimjams Mon 09-Dec-13 14:01:12

when I say slightly outside his age range, I mean the playing age is more important. So the thing I nearly didn't go for was advertised age 8-10, he was 11 2 days before the audition. It was fine... he's still the same height as an 8 year old anyway.

saintlyjimjams Mon 09-Dec-13 14:02:26

Actually I don't know much about starnow as I don't use it! But quite a few people have recommended it.

Tiredemma Mon 09-Dec-13 14:29:32

Thanks- really helpful advice.

will spend a few hours looking at the info you have given me.

Tiredemma Mon 09-Dec-13 14:43:50

saintly- sorry me again.

Ive seen an audition for this month in London, it asks for a CV? Do you know where I might find some examples? ( I dont want to get it all wrong at the first hurdle)

As Ds has only been in minor stage school performances would I not put these on?

saintlyjimjams Mon 09-Dec-13 15:11:23

If he's played a lead role I'd add it. Notapushymum has an example of a cv linked from their front page.

Ds2's cv is jiggled a bit depending on what it's for but it has a small headshot, his date of birth, playing age, height, eye colour, hair colour, build at the top.

Then previous experience - now I just put professional experience on the whole, but I might put amateur if it was relevant (eg something to do with singing, for a singing role)

Then training, including things like LAMDA and classes/workshops attended

Then skills and hobbies (including accents, anything unusual worth putting here)

Then school or local education authority (relevant for licensing) Nowadays I would probably add a line saying he can be licensed quickly - but again depends what it was for, sometimes that's very relevant, sometimes not remotely.

Then our contact details.

Hope that helps!

Tiredemma Mon 09-Dec-13 15:53:54

massive thanks!

last Q. Headshots- do they need to be professional pics? (obviously dont have professional ones at the moment but plan to book a photographer but no funds this side of Xmas)

saintlyjimjams Mon 09-Dec-13 15:55:41

No they don't have to be professional smile

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