Hi, parents, it’s Wendy Alane Wright! I am a talent manager in Los Angeles, California. And I am sure that you have been looking all over the internet for genuine information, honest information about how to get your kids into show business
The Truth About Programs Like Barbizon & John Robert Powers
So you have a beautiful child at home, I get it. I also had a beautiful child at home who was three or four years old. So when I got her into modeling, I just loved how beautiful she was. And I just wanted her to, you know, want to share it with everybody. So I understand what you feel and what you want to do.
It’s a very competitive business. And you are going to be competing with lots of other beautiful children with parents who all want the same thing. Okay, so that doesn’t mean you don’t have to try, I definitely think you should try it and see if you like it and see if your kid likes it. If it’s fun for you both as an activity, keep going. If it’s not fun, and the kids are not happy, stop and do something else. Like you’re doing any other sport. If they don’t like soccer, you don’t make them play, you know, you might haven’t finished one season just because you’re teaching them how to stay committed, you know, keep a commitment.
But you don’t keep going and going and going on something they hate.
So you make a commitment, when you get your kids into show business, because you need to get some headshots and send them to agents and managers. Now in the very beginning, you don’t need to get expensive headshots, you just need to get some really clear, strong pictures of your child’s personality. And you can send them to agents and managers if they’re standing against a blank wall.
And then, if we’re interested, we’ll call you – if we’re not interested, we won’t call you, it’s that simple. If we have more room on our roster for kids, we’ll call you if we have no more room, we won’t call you. But that’s not really what I want to talk about.
Because you know, I wrote an ebook called “How To Break Your Kids Into Show Business” and it has all that kind of technical information in it. But, that’s not what I want to talk about right now. If you want technical information about exactly how to do it, step by step get the book, it’ll teach you how to do that.
What I want to use this time for is to talk to you about opportunities that really do make it happen for your kid, if that’s really gonna stick to this path.
Now, let’s say their schools like John Robert Powers, Barbizon, IFTA, I don’t even know what some of these things are called. But they’re programs that teach your kids, you know how to walk the runway, or how to take some little acting class or how to do a little bit of, you know, acting in front of a camera. And there’s hundreds and hundreds of hundreds of kids at these conferences. And then there’s agents and managers that show up?
Are These Kinds Of Talent Programs Worth It?
Is it worth you spending $3,000 to do that? No, not in my opinion. And I’ll tell you why. And this is, you know, I have friends who run those kinds of things, I go to those kinds of things. I am one of the people in the room looking for kids, most of those kids that are in there are not trained well enough and never get selected.
They’re running these kids like they’re running through a puppy mill. I hate to say it, but it’s like “let’s make every penny we can off these parents and we don’t know whether they make it or not. It’s all in the hands of the universe. And we’re gonna make every penny we can off these parents, they want it, we have it.”
Yes, they can pay me $150 to go sit in that room and I can look for children, and they’ll pay $150 to every single agent or manager that comes out of our office and watches for children. Yes, we hope we find someone great. Yes, there’s an opportunity that your child could get discovered there. But is that worth $3,000?
No, because you can take a couple headshots for free. If you learn how to do that correctly, and send those to a list of agents. And if the agent likes to look at your child, they’ll call you in to meet the child for free.
So do I think you should spend $3,000? No.
Invest in Better Training For Your Children
Now does your child need some kind of training? Yeah, if they’re of speaking age, they probably need some kind of training, not not any kind of training that’s going to take away their natural ability because we love that about kids being natural. That’s what we want, right?
So babies, they don’t need any training. They just get up there and they try to smile and they, you know, you try to catch them at the right angle with the product and they’re happy kids or whatever.
When your kids start to speak, and lines come into play, and now they’re responsible for memorizing words and saying them in exciting ways, even when they’re tired or hungry don’t feel like it. There’s some skill that has to be applied at this point. And they have to become comfortable with the camera. And they have to learn some basic directions, you know, and follow certain directions from the producers and the casting directors, when they’re in the auditions, and when they book the job.
So then it is important when your child’s like four, or five or six, to start finding little local schools that might have like on camera classes. Where your kids can start getting practice being in front of the camera, and get used to taking direction get used to memorizing lines.
Yes, they need to take some kind of class, you know that they can, they can learn basic techniques and get used to being in front of the camera and learn practice lines and go and say them, that’s a great thing to do. If you’re expecting that from John Robert Powers, then that’s all you should expect from them.
They might be able to give your kids a little experience. But they’re not going to make your kids a star. Although there may have been some stars that got their start there.
But that’s not the norm.
So I’m not criticizing the organization, because I love any organization that gives kids an opportunity to be in the arts, or to model or to act. But I want you to have a reasonable understanding and expectation of what you’re going to get out of it. Your kids going to get some experience
JRP and Barbizon On Your Resume Doesn’t Impress Casting Directors
And it doesn’t impress casting directors on a resume if they’ve been to John Robert Powers, or Barbizon, or John Casablancas. That’s not what we look for in the business.
Most kids start in like little acting classes, and little school plays. They’ve taken a little bit of on camera classes here and there. Maybe they’ve attended one of those schools. All of that is just so that we can see if the child’s in the room. Are they shy? Or are they outgoing? Do they speak up? Or are they under their breath? Do they know how to project and bring a big personality? Or are they quiet and not confident?
If the school’s Barbizon, John Casablancas, John Robert Powers gives your kids confidence then it worked, because what we’re looking for when they walk in the room is confidence factor, they’ve got to come in strong.
So I go to this particular event every couple of times a year, I love this woman, her name is Diana Horner. And she goes around giving kids opportunities all over the country to take classes with her development company. And then she brings a whole bunch of talented managers and agents into the room to watch the kids.
And kids do get signed out of that situation. You know, there are five kids, I saw this time that were adorable. And they were full of life and energy and cute and they made the room so excited. And we probably were all excited about the same kids.
So, can your kids be one of those kids that the manager and agent gets excited about? Yeah, but you gotta be realistic about it. A lot of those kids are not really prepared.
Focus On What’s Best For Your Kids - Not You
They need more training, but their parents are so anxious, they want to get them going, you know, we’re gonna look at it very realistically, we’re not attached to these kids. We’re gonna sit and if they come in mumbling – no, the answer’s no. Right off the bat.
If they don’t have the confidence, the answer’s no. If they’re looking down. The answer’s no. If they’re not speaking up, the answer’s no.
We’re looking for some very specific skills.
So any kind of training that you can give your children at a young age to help develop those skills will help a manager or an agent be interested in representing your child.
When I was a kid, my dad sent me to John Casablancas School of modeling. I was so proud that he believed me enough to send me anywhere, you know? I didn’t do any major modeling from that experience, because I really wanted to sing at the time.
But it was a fun experience, and they teach you about makeup and they teach how to walk the runway and they take photos and this and that, but it didn’t teach me how to become an actor. Okay, later on, I went to Lee Strasberg theatre Institute where I learned how to become an actor.
But was that a little part of it? Yeah, that was a little piece of the puzzle. You know, in your life. You put all these little pieces together a little bit of acting class here, a little bit of modeling school, there are a little bit of class acting in the theater locally, a little bit of acting at college, a little bit of Theatre and Film school when I was 20.
So all of that leads then to a career later. So I just want you to have a realistic expectation. If your child is cute and adorable, if they do a big workshop with hundreds of other kids, they’re going to get discovered. Who knows?
Look at this, realistically, it might give your kid a little bit of confidence, it might give your kid a little bit of experience, if you can afford to lose $3,000, because it’s not going to net anything necessarily go for it. If you can’t, don’t do it.
I talked to this woman in Ventura earlier this year, and she had spent every penny she had on a $3,000 workshop, and couldn’t afford her rent and was getting evicted.
No, if she had met me one one month earlier, I’d have said absolutely not. Take some pictures of your child against a blank wall. You know, get your kid in a local in acting class for kids, test them and make sure that they can act in front of anybody you put in the room. Give them things to memorize and see if they can do it in front of people.
See if they can speak with confidence, and project and smile. And once they can do all that, then you send your picture for 36 seven cents on the stamp to an agent and let the agent decide if they want to bring your child in no $3,000.
Come on. It was very sad for me. Luckily, she just got a new job. And she was going to be able to like, get another place. But I mean, the reason we make these mistakes is because parents have no idea what to do.
So consider me like America’s talent manager. If you want to get your kids in the business and you want an honest, truthful person to come to to get real advice and real information, you can look to me, I put it down in all of my ebooks, I have one for adults, I have one for parents, I have one for children who want to become singers. And I have one for kids who want to become models in commercials and print.
So you don’t need to be confused. Okay, there is someone out here in LA, who actually cares about you in Oklahoma, Nebraska, New Jersey, wherever you are, who is not going to pull the wool over your eyes, and my book is $21. That’s a whole hell of a lot different than $3000.
And it gives you all the information that you will ever need to decide whether or not you want to get your kid into this business. And like I’ve said before, if you’re completely broke, I will email you, you know what, I’ll email you a link for half price. But you know, don’t take advantage of me, because I didn’t spend all these 25 years of this business, learning all this stuff, just to give everything I know away. I give plenty away in my videos, as you well know.
So do me a favor and buy my book and get the information you need to make your child successful and to make the right decisions. Okay, I hope I answered some of the many questions I get. I swear I got at least 15 emails today from parents who want to get their kids in the business. I’m not going to contact every one of those 15 parents, you know, I say get my book, learn what you need to learn.
Then if you have any other questions, we’re going to be speaking on the same level, because you’re understanding what I’m talking about. I may be willing to have a conversation with you then. But I’m not gonna have a conversation with you until you read it because you don’t have any idea what you’re talking about. And so you won’t understand me and you don’t understand the business.
That’s like a doctor trying to talk to someone in Doctor language when you didn’t go to med school. I mean, a doctor can understand a doctor. In this case, a parent can understand a manager if you’ve read the book. Okay, I’ve said all I need to say right now.