Speaking Point: P.T. Barnum is often credited with saying “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Scam artists prey on these suckers in all industries. In Hollywood, those seeking fame and fortune for their kid, often fall prey to various “industry” scam. While the “dance” may change, the “song” remains the same. Susie Mains, the go-to expert on ShowBiz Kids and Young Talent will tell you “How to Avoid a Hollywood Scam.”
Speaking Point: LISTEN. One step is to really listen to your instincts. If it feels shady, it probably is shady. What seems too good to be true, usually is.
Speaking Point: RESEARCH. Researching every company and person you are going to work with is of paramount importance. Use Google and check the names of the businesses as well as the names of the people you meet. Ask other parents. Ask for references.
Speaking Point: LOOK for red flags like being approached in a mall, family store or other public place; name dropping such as “a casting director from Disney or Nickelodeon logos shows; seeing an ad on Craigslist for an “open call” or “star search.”
Speaking Point: REMEMBER predators are nice. If they weren't, they wouldn't get their prey. Are they are attempting to make your child feel "chosen" or special.
Speaking Point: NEVER pay an agent or manager anything up front. Talent representatives work forward and they only get paid if and when an actor works.
Speaking Point: No one can promise you a job. An agent or manager can promise you auditions but never employment. It is up to the actor to get nail the audition and book the part!
Speaking Point: BEWARE. Talent Conventions are confusing because they pop up all over the country advertising that they can make your kid a star. Research these carefully. The legitimate ones will have lots of agents, managers and casting directors in attendance, and will have genuine success stories. They are usually super expensive and last several days. It's not the only way to be discovered by any means but it is one way. Other conventions appear in small towns and do not deliver anything they promise and are definite scams and are outlawed in several states.
Speaking Point: There is an easy and no cost way to get noticed by a Hollywood agent or manager- email them your child's picture and resume or even a short video intro of your child by your child. Agents and managers are always on the look out for exciting new talent!