Life's A Stage
Social media has opened the door to elevated opportunities for young wannabe actors and models. The Little Mag profiles three talent companies helping to further their dreams.
Convinced performing arts can improve self-confidence within children, Studio P founder Peta Dermatis believes children have an innate sense of adventure and imagination. “I think acting really encourages a positive exploration and understanding of one’s self. It gives kids the opportunity to play and experience the lives of others which in turn builds their confidence as well as their compassion for others.”
Presenting practical and educational workshops for young performers while providing a safe and nurturing environment for them to play, explore and develop their talents, Dermatis established Studio P in April 2018 after noticing a gap in the market in educating kids about the industry.
Currently offering monologue, improvisation and chat to camera workshops, based in Windsor, Victoria, each three-hour session is priced at $140; Dermatis also plans to add full day intensive workshops covering a range of topics in the near future.
“As well as delving into character work, I think it's really important to teach children about the industry”, says Dermatis. “Often kids go into auditions quite blind, perhaps with not enough information on how the whole process works. I ensure a big part of my workshops educate kids on what happens behind the scenes. My goal is for a child to leave with an understanding of the process and with skills to nail their next audition all the while having a lot of fun!”
Running both school holidays and school term, children (aged 5-17) of all abilities and experience are welcome.
Launching her web-based platform in January 2017, Ashlee Collova created ACTS in Perth, WA, to help parents source casting opportunities for their children without committing to an agency. An online service, parents register their child's details to access casting opportunities in the entertainment and advertising industries.
“Our service is different from a talent agency as we don’t represent the talent that register to our database”, explains Collova. “ACTS is a platform promoting child artists to companies and creatives through a website listing. Any and all work that our members obtain through our service is on a freelance basis. We liaise the details of a casting or job to our members but we do not negotiate the contracts or charge commission. The booking process is handled directly between the member and the company or creative who selected them.”
A popular choice for small productions working with tight deadlines and low budgets, ACTS also benefits parents engaged in sourcing casting jobs for their children.
“I noticed parents were becoming more involved in the process of finding opportunities for their children through casting requests posted on social media. I thought in addition to helping small productions, I could help parents find casting opportunities and promote their child to a pool of companies and creatives.”
For an annual fee of $100, ACTS talent membership includes a talent profile displaying statistics, biography, credits, training, feedback, photographs and video. Members also receive casting invitations and job offers direct from companies and creatives liaised by the ACTS team.
RPR TALENT MANAGEMENT
A TV and commercial casting agency, RPR Talent Management look for personality, diversity and that certain uniqueness in their talent.
In business since 2012, RPR Director Roslyn Rayias says diversity has made a big change to the industry.
“In the past 10 or so years, the demand for ‘everyday’ faces has increased on our screens. Audiences want to be able to relate to who they see in campaigns, so it’s less about being ‘picture perfect’ or a certain skin-tone, hair and eye colour, and more about promoting a diverse range of looks and ethnicities. This is something we promote. There is no limit as to who can be on TV or in a commercial. We represent people from all walks of life.”
Instagram and social media have also changed requests, adds Rayias. “There is a demand for children to become players in the market. Whether it be reviewing a new toy or product, promoting an upcoming film or fashion accessory - being such a huge part of the market, children are becoming more and more active on social media.”
Improving confidence and resilience with the life skills to stand up and present yourself to the room, Rayias feels, working on set gives a child the opportunity and insight into how the professional world works.
Holding regular information sessions and four open day’s a year, the Melbourne based workshops give wannabe stars, from newborns, teens to families, an intro to the world of the entertainment industry. Find out what to expect at an audition, the processes leading to an agent receiving a brief, head shots with an onsite photographer, workshop with a casting director, obtain professional size measurements with a wardrobe assistant and other tools of the trade all facilitated by industry professionals.
Written by Samantha Docherty out of Issue #2 | Get your copy of Issue #2 online now.