November 11, 2005 (written for Smart Parenting e-group). Last edited: December 7, 2010. Originally posted at partypalamuti.multiply.com
Hello Stage Parents. I am Mommy Jazz, I’m writing this long article because of the overwhelming response to my Stage Mom Blues Blog (TY). I try to answer all queries, personal and forum emails, but same questions kept coming from different Smarties. I hope you find this article (sorry for the length) interesting and enjoyable. Most of the parts are my replies to other Smarties (Smart Parenting e-group members). I also hope other parents who are into modelling business and those with more casting experience can input more reliable info. I also need to add that I am not a talent scout, I don’t have any connection with any advertising company, any agency or inside connection with anyone in this industry. I hope this blog can help you get your kid into commercial modelling YOURSELF not through me. I am just a Stage Mother who would like to share my own insights on commercial modelling. With my workload as a freelance writer and a fulltime mom, I can not grant request to view online albums or links to images to see if their child is fit to model. If you think your child is and has the will, please go get an agent.
A concise article I wrote on stage parenting can be viewed at this schoolkid.ph link. It states 5 questions you need to ask yourself before getting your kid into modelling.
Now let’s go directly to the big question:
How can I make my kid a Commercial Model?
First of all, ask your child if he/she wants to be one. Let’s face it, we’re all frustrated models in our younger days so we want to achieve the same dream for our little ones. Let’s not get too pushy or worse, get angry if he refuse to cooperate, can’t get her act together on cam or doesn’t get chosen. If all’s well, get an Agent.
It is very important that your child has a good set of teeth or at least the front teeth. If there’s a need for improvement here, better build a good relationship between the child and his/her pedia dentist. Otherwise, wait for the permanent teeth to grow. Remember, on product VTRs (or commonly known as “audition for TV commercial”) your child will be like competing with other kids for the role. Those with better teeth have better chance. This is why modelling/talent agencies only take talents with good set of teeth. I remember once, a son of a well known celebrity did a VTR for a fastfood but didn’t make it inspite of his popular surname. The casting crew got dismayed when he smiled for the camera.
How can I get in touch with Agencies?
Below are tel nos of Casting Agencies in Makati. I personally do not like to recommend any agency. I’m happy with my agent but some people I know aren’t. There are also some agencies I wouldn’t recommend but I’ve met talents of that agency who are OK with them. If there’s a perfect agency out there, please let me know. I haven’t completed details of agencies below and found only few with email addresses. Before you take your child to their office, Call them first to know schedule of VTRs for kids. Some agencies have certain scheduled days for kid applicants, usually Saturdays. Special thanks to nadinecamille_candy for agencies I added.
Call any agency and say you want your child to be their talent or you want to get your child into modelling and ask them their schedule and requirements. No need to feel shy or beat around the bushes. Talent agency people get these kind of calls everyday.
ACES Entertainment & Talent Agency Co.
Rm. 507 Fedman Suites 199 Salcedo St., Legaspi Village Makati
Tel. no. (02) 759-3241
Ad Management Team, Co.
2018 Cityland Herrera Tower
98 Herrera St. Salcedo Village, Makati City
Tel. no. (02) 753-1698, 7531699
Fax No: (632) 817-1293
Davao City, Davao del Sur, Philippines
Telephone No: (6382) 221-2251
Fax No: (6382) 221-7201
UG18 Cityland condo, Calle Estacion, Pio Del Pilar, Makati
Landline- (02) 894-0667
Fax- (02) 894-0667
rm. 410 makati executive center, rufino st. cor. Leviste st. salcedo vill
Unit 1601 BSA Mansion
108 Benavidez St. Legaspi Village, Makati City
Tel. no. (02) 884-2812 to 13
ARM CASTING SPECIALIST
Address: Zeta II Building, Makati, Metro Manila
2003 DOMINGA ST. Brgy. 47 Pasay City
Cal Carrie’s International
suite 1514 herrera tower 98, rufino sto. Salcedo vill
Tomas Morato, 1103 Quezon City
(632) 9257896/ (632) 5464110
Cosmopolitan Promotions & Casting Agency
http://www.cosmo-talents.com, Rm. 41, 4/F Matrinco Building, 2178 Pasong Tamo Makati City
Tel. Nos : (632) 817-2460 • 892-7921 • 812-8214
Discovery Modelling Agency
S-8a 2nd Floor Makati Cinema Square, Chino Roces Avenue, Makati
2210 Suite cityland Pasong Tamo Tower
Pasong Tamo St., Pio del Pilar, Makati City
Tel. no. (02) 812-1976; 812-1970
Elan Models International
Unit 230 Milelon Bldg., Amorsolo cor. Herrera Sts., Legaspi Village, Makati City
Tel. no. (02) 890-9025
Cel. no. 0917-300-ELAN
Fax (02) 840-2316
EUGJHER Modeling Agency
unit 1116 cityland shaw tower cor shaw blvd, st. francis st, manda
Faces Model Agency
Ph27 Yulo Olaza, Don Bosco St. cor. Pasong Tamo, Makati City
Tel. no. (02) 816-7455; 893-8518
Cel. no. 0917-537-1961
Fax (02) 893-8518
FACETS MODELS INTERNATIONAL
Unit 416, Makati Terraces 3650 Davila Street Makati City
+632 896 9606
Fazemodel Mngt –
2f corinthian plaza condo, paseo de roxas, mkt
Unit 225 Cityland Dela Rosa
Dela Rosa St., Makati City
Tel. no. (02) 812-4078; 813-1739
Cel. no. 0917-949-1886
Fax (02) 812-4078
Gallery Casting –
suite 43-a zeta II bldg, 191 salcedo st, legaspi vill, mkt 8
Salcedo Vill, Makati -
Icon Int’l. Modelling Agency
Suite 502 SEDCCO Bldg.
120 Rada St., Legaspi Village, Makati City
Tel. no. (02) 894-3048
Ideal Model People Management
Suite 2A LPL Towers
112 Legaspi St. Legaspi Village, Makati City
Tel. no. (02) 840-2101
IMAJ Production Motive
Suite 411 Cityland III Condominium
V.A. Rufino St. (former Herrera St.), Legaspi Village, Makati City
Tel. no. (02) 810-9106
Item Talent Manila
Philippine Stock Exchange Bldg., Suite 907, West Tektite Towers, Pearl Avenue, Ortigas Commercial Complex, Pasig City
Tel. no. (02) 634-5992
Metro Episode -
7687-a st. Paul St. San Antonio Village Makati
email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Model Shop Casting Studio
433 cityland pasong tamo tower, 2210 chino roces ave, mkt
8170554, 8170751, 8125644
Unit 304 Richbelt Tower
17 annapolis St., Greenhills, San Juan
Tel. no. (02) 722-5651; 726-2392
Cel. no. 0920-904-8021
Fax (02) 723-1769
Unit 201 Sarmiento Condo.
177 Yakal St., San Antonio Village, Makati City
Tel. no. (02) 888-5386; 844-2556
Mukha Models Int’l
Wackwack Road, 1501 Mandaluyong
632 664 2650
+63922 836 8636
5f right wing mahogany mansion, 1061 san rafael st, manda
Profiles in Motion –
417 B bulalakaw st. plainview manda
Reco Modeling Agency –
Unit Rm 4B Gervacia Center, 152 Amorsolo St. (near Pasay Road) Makati.
Saga Casting and Production
Address: Angolo Building, Mandaluyong, Metro Manila
Telephone: 7277765, 7214271
LGF 16 palm tower b, st. paul rd, san antonio vill, mkt
unit 606 greenbelt mansion 106 perea st, legaspi vill, mkt 8943317
Rm. 100 Cabrera Bldg. 1
130 Timog Ave., Quezon City
Tel. no. (02) 411-8881
Upstyle Agency –
suite 1101, 11th flr equitable bank tower, 8751 paseo de roxas st. salcedo vill, mkt
Victor Rio –
1121 city & land mega plaza bldg, ADB ave cor Garnet Rd. ortigas center, pasig
W Talent Management
Unit SX-C, 3rd floor The Gallery Building, Amorsolo street, Legaspi Village, Makati City
click here for more agency listings outside Metro Manila.
Most of the agencies mentioned are in Makati. If there’s an agency close to your area, they will still send you to Makati for product VTRs since most Casters, Production and Advertising agencies are in Makati. If you want to send your child’s picture by email, call the agency first should they have any requirement you need to comply with. If the agency on this list doesn’t have an email, call and ask. I heard that the Talent Agents Organization requires all agencies to have email addresses. I just don’t have a complete list of that yet.
May bayad ba mag apply as model?
There are Agencies who charge the cost of making the set cards (photo portfolio) to their talents. Some agencies ask for the talent’s own set card. Most agencies, including the most popular, established and respected, do not ask for any fee whatsoever. My POV, why pay when there are dozens and dozens of other agencies that are more professional, efficient and friendly and doesn’t charge their model a cent? Other agencies offer workshop for a fee. Please read on.
I was told by a talent scout that my child should undergo a workshop under their agency.
Some modelling agencies offer workshops for their talents. This is with fee. Again, ask your kid if he/she is interested, don’t force it on them. Modelling workshop, like other summer activities like sports or theater can greatly improve a child’s talent. Just make sure that the class is handled by an instructor with good background in acting and theater and a good workshop scope so your kid can benefit from it for his future. As of now, there is still a greater number of kids who appeared on TVCs who didn’t take any workshop than those who did. Besides, the talent will be given a workshop by the production agency the day before the commercial shooting. What we’re discussing here however, is workshop to improve a kid’s talent so he can be chosen for the project, not when he is already chosen.
Workshops does not guarantee that your child will get the part. It also doesn’t come cheap. My advice to first time stage parents is to give your child a feel of what this industry is.Do not commit to a workshop yet. Get any agency that does not offer workshop and no exclusivity. Your kid will still experience getting VTRd, attend go-sees and all. Practice makes perfect. Don’t expect that you’ll get the gold on your 1st, 2nd, even 3rd casting. Try coaching him yourself.
I’m a kuripot Mom so if you want my kuripot advice, do the workshop at home yourself. Record TVCs of kids and make your kid watch that and act the same on your own videocam and watch it together. Notice flaws, improve expressions and acting. I notice kasi na pare-pareho nalang ang pinagagawa sa kids on VTRs. Saying their name and age loudly for the camera, looking to the left (side view), and to the cam and smile, then to the right…Diff facial expressions, pretend drinking or eating and say “ummm,yummy” or sing and dance holding the product. This DIY workshop however, can not be compared to the expertise and professionalism of those who are in the industry for many years.
After several VTRs and you think your good looking, talented son or daughter still has something that’s needed to work on which is beyond your coaching skills, then that’s the time to sign them up with an agency that offers workshop. Remember, to say that your child is talented enough or not is one thing only you can tell. Not some agent who judge them on a low scale just so they can make money. To workshop or not to workshop? It’s your call.
How does this business work if they don’t charge their talents?
Modelling agencies are sent a request by a caster or advertising agency on the kind of models they need for a project. The Modelling agencies will then send all their models who fit the description on the request. Now, who ever gets the part, the agency of that model gets 30% commission from the client. This is how modelling agencies make business. They earn only when their in-house models gets to be casted. That’s why they need to pool lot of models or applicants & keep a VTR & photo of those models in their file. The more models, the greater chance for the agency to get commissions.
What do you do on VTRs?
For applicants, you come in on a scheduled day (although most agencies accepts walk-in anytime). You will fill up an info sheet, they will take a video of you standing and talking about yourself a bit (name, age, hobbies), they’ll take your picture whole body, 1/2 body and close-up. This they will keep for their file and make a ’set card’ which they will present to other agencies or clients. If an ad agency or caster is in need of a character with your looks, the modelling agency will call you up for a casting along with other qualified models. A schedule and place will be given for this “audition” and there, they will again take a video of you, sometimes, with a script. You will find yourself in competition with other models to get that part. Mas matagal ang casting call kasi parang audition yon eh. dami niyong nakapila, all from different modelling agencies.
Can babies be models too?
Babies can model too. You can tell by the number of baby products advertised on TV and print. Baby talents however, are not as highly in demand as child talents so don’t feel bad if your baby doesn’t get casted. It could only mean there aren’t many projects needing them. Portfolios need to be updated with your agent every 6 months because they grow and change looks fast.
On product VTRs, they’ll video them with training cup, in diapers, in specific clothes, whatever the script requires. In most cases for kids, there will be a dialogue like “Wow Mommy, ang sarap!, or “Mommy, wala bang fried chicken?” .For babies, usually they just make them sit and see how they react with bubbles or with each other. The producttby the way, is not revealed during the VTR phase.
The caster needs a few days to review the videos of the audition to select their models and they call only the chosen talents. It will not be professional if you keep calling your agent, more so if you get directly in touch with the caster to ask if your child got picked. This is the frustrating part, the anticipation. I call this the “Don’t call us, we’ll call you” part. So when you get a call, good for you. If not, there’s always next time.
Who else can be a model?
Any age and looks can be a model. You see print and tv ads w/ lola, maid, construction worker, fat people, kids, etc. Minsan nga, like Mommy Jesica said, sabay ang casting call ng kids and Moms kaya pati ang Mommy na chaperone lang navi-VTR din. Yung email nga sa akin ni Mommy Jesica, nauna pa siyang nagka break sa anak niya hihihi. Jesica by the way is Ella’s Mom. Ella’s a GMA talent who played the young Nadine Samonte on Super Twins and the young Angel Locsin on Majica. She’ll also play the young Marimar. I’d recommend Moms to be presentable when taking their kids to VTRs because sometimes, there’s a need for Mommy talents as well. You could just be “it”.
Exclusive or freelance model?
Some agencies will let you sign a contract of exclusivity meaning, you are not allowed to be represented by other agencies. They will be your only agent til the expiration of your contract, you can not do freelance with other agencies. Signing exclusively to 1 agency can make you lose opportunities with other agencies but, you can be prioritized should there be projects from clients exclusive to your agency. So before you ink your name on the contract, make sure that the agency staff are friendly, professional, has a good standing in the modelling agency business and good feedback from other talents. Otherwise, you’re stuck with them. If the contract is short, say 6 months, it’s worth the try. If you like them, then you can renew your contract. Freelance models has its perks too. Note that exclusivity doesn’t guarantee projects. The least the agent can do is to get their talent into as many castings and opportunites as they can.
I want my child to be a freelance model and signed with several agencies. Now I got a call from 2 agencies for the same project. Which agency should I sign under?
Once you get to the VTR location your agent told you, you will sign your talent’s name, age, info and agent’s name on a provided sheet. The talent’s name will be called according to the number on the list. Problem sets in when you have more than 1 agent who called you for the same VTR, so under who’s name will you sign-in now? What I do is to commit to the 1st one who informed me of the VTR. To other agents who text me the same, I professionally reply that I already committed to another agent who texted earlier. It may build ‘tampo’ but it’s better that way and better for them to know that you’re already ‘taken’ than to find yourself in a situation on a VTR day in between 2 agents. I remained with 1 agency although I didn’t sign any exclusivity with them. I just keep myself updated with other stagemom friends of any raket or projects my agent is not connected with. I will then get in touch with their agent only for that project. This way, I get more opportunities for my child without offending my own agent.
We auditioned so many times, they don’t pick my kid.
Same here. Eto yung nakakainis na part. Because if you don’t get a call for final casting in a week or two, it means your kid didn’t get the part. Try again next time. It’s not your agent’s fault. The most they can do is to inform you of as many opportunities/casting calls there are. In VTRs, I see children more articulate, more bibo, more goodlooking and some are even kids of known celebrities. Nakakapanliit specially if you are just starting. But also in many VTR experience when I get a call for final casting for my daughter, hindi namin kasama sa final yung mga batang kinaiinggitan ko. It only means that everyone’s chance is the same as yours.
It is the Caster, Director and Ad Agency’s client who picks the model. They have the “eye” for the talent they are looking for. They also know the role and characters of the cast they need, which is not known even to the talent agency kasi confidential yun. The Caster can only tell Modelling Agencies to send kids of a certain age with certain looks. Pero yung script and role, sila lang po nakakaalam nun.
No matter how good looking and talented your child is, when it comes to VTRs, specially at a final casting, they should fit the script, character, looks (pairing with Mom and Dad and brod and sis models, kung meron) and the product that only the Caster and the Director can judge. This is beyond my child’s talent kaya at this point, I pray that they pick my daughter. If they don’t, I just tell her that she did well and they are looking for a girl with different looks.
“Palakasan” is an over-used word. I tried it many times, it didn’t work for me. I also got over agents who assures me na malakas at kilala nila yung Director, etc, but then, who doesn’t? In this industry, everyone knows everybody and it’s vital that that they have good working relations. It’s hard to say who’s preferred and who doesn’t get a chance. A lot of Stagemoms in modelling and local stagemom forums can share their stories of how their kid got a break the 1st time they tried VTRs. They don’t even have any idea how the business works when they started but it was their call. Who’s to say may palakasan nga? Let us all be professional stage parents and handle rejection in a cool, understanding manner.
It’s tiring and most of the time, frustrating to go to auditions. Being a stage parent is not a walk in the park. For those who are working, they have to go on leave or half-day if there’s a scheduled VTR for their child. That’s a day’s pay sacrificed in exchange for a chance for your child to be a model. Sometimes you get a text for VTR 2x,3x/week. It’s tough if you live far from Makati, but for those excited and proud parents, no mountain is too high. Remember, it all starts at 1 small step and all models start this way.
The VTR place is too crowded and uncomfortable. Our turn will take forever!
Mahirap ang casting call for kids. Kasi mainipin sila. It would be best if you come earlier than the call time para kayo ang una sa list. What I do if we’ll be late, pag malapit na kami sa VTR place, I call my agent to sign us in para by the time we’re there, malapit na kaming tawagin. Some agent representatives are present on VTRs to assist their talents. I also bring toys to keep my kid busy while waiting for our turn. And please, kung pwede, kayong 2 lang ng anak mo ang pumunta sa casting call. I’ve seen so many times na 1 lang yung kid model at kasama ang buong pamilya, complete with ate,kuya, yaya at Lola! Please lang, ang hirap nang makisiksik sa ofc ng agency pag maraming bata (parang day care) mas madami pa ang matatanda, eh maliit lang ang VTR room. Ask Mommies Jesica & Jhen, we have been to the same audition for a diaper commercial at San Antonio Village, Makati, wala ka nang magalawan sa loob ng ofc at hindi na kaya ng aircon ang dami ng tao. I know it gets the whole family excited when you get that call from your agent for a product VTR. Pero please naman, wala pang contratang pag-aartistang naghihintay sa inyo, audition pa lang po ito. OK? Kami ni Hubby, we don’t tell our folks when our daughter has VTR. Kasi baka hindi siya ang mapili, madisappoint lang ang buong pamilya.
These days, it’s a common scene that there’s a thick crowd of child talents and their parents lining up for a VTR and the agency office can not control the crowd anymore. At times, there is no ventilation and airflow, the line is long with no place to sit, the kids get hungry, the crowd gets rowdy and it gets worse by the minute. Let us not overlook the safety, health and well being of our children in exchange for a slim chance to be on TV. Should this happen to you, consider these 2 options:
1) Leave the place muna. Have snack, watch a movie and come back on the last hour of the scheduled VTR. So far hindi pa naman po ako nakarining nang case na pinagsarahan na sila ng casting office. Not until they VTRd the last child in line.
2) Go home and text your agent that you backed out so she can get in touch with you if there is any extension.
Is there an easier way for my kid to get exposure?
If you have direct contacts with Ad Agencies, Marketing Executive of a product firm, Halleluiah! Please introduce the rest of us. Not only will you get priority in getting the part, you get to take home 100% of the talent fee (no agent cut). You can also join baby photo contests. Ang gusto lang naman talaga nating parents is makita sa isang nationwide circular ang picture ng babies natin di ba? Seach website of dailies and magazines on any ongoing contests. Mommy/Parenting magazines hold a monthly feature of selected entries, grab a copy to get the mechanics or login to their website.
Some local magazines are in constant search for models to depict their articles. Some give a little pay once the issue is out while some give tokens as gratuity like gift pack or GC. Contact numbers of magazines are listed and searchable on the net. Do get in touch with any Editorial staff and ask they are currently accepting kid models for pooling and what their requirements are. Some would require you to email a setcard of the child.
I suggest that you limit your pictures to 100KB max so you won’t clog the editor’s inbox and send it only once. Imagine how annoying it will be if you send it over and over. That wouldn’t earn your child a good impression besides, it’s not a contest.
write “for model pooling” as subject, send and cross your fingers. They reply only to successful candidates.
Personal notes from Mommy Jazz:
Still, kahit wala pang break ang daughter ko, somehow she benefits from the workshop the director gives on final casting. On final casting they let the selected kid models play together muna and get comfortable with the setting. Tapos pina-practice ang acting or pag-sunod niya sa instructions before the shoot. After the final casting, the client will pick the kid for the part. Wait ka ulit 2 working days for the call if you made it. At dun ako na-frustrate because we lost the part to a tisoy. This started my Stage Mom blog. But in the end, happy ako kasi ang dami ring palang Stage Mom Smarties na katulad ko, feeling ko support group hihihi. And I also got a lot of inquiries & emails from Stage Mom wannabes, veterans and still-hanging (like me).
In December 2005, just a month after I first wrote this blog, Julia got her break as the Gain Plus Girl. More about this on“The Gain Plus Project” blog.
Julia’s career had its ups and downs since this blog. She got her share of rejections too, many times. So far she has modeled for:
Smart Parenting Magazine, Working Mom Magazine, Disney’s Princess Magazine, my stagemom story and her career featured in Money Sense Magazine, modeled for Cinderella Kids, Oshkosh bGosh, Ginger Snaps for WMM, Jockey nightwear US release, Eastwood City and SM Department Store.