This is Our Story

We're the Sprayberrys and we moved to Los Angeles about four years ago to have our go at Hollywood. When we met the folks at Children In Film, they thought it would be a great idea if we documented our story. After all, our failures and successes (hopefully more the latter than the former) can be your lesson book.

So here you have it - Dylan and Ellery working through the ups and downs of being child actors - their mother and I working hard every day to ensure their success not only as actors, but also as well-adjusted members of society.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Finding an Agent

For those who journey to Hollywood without an agent or are living here attempting to find an agent, you will find this a challenging and often frustrating path, one that requires great willingness and patience.

We immediately learned to resource industry friends with potential contract and to follow-up on each of them. While one lead may not yield an agent or manager, it could lead you to another path that does get results; this is a process within a process.

Without a doubt, coming here with an agent and manager will get you out of the gate much quicker. Arriving here without representation is tricky, and when you arrive you must remember that finding representation should be your number one goal, before you even worry about auditioning and booking roles.

In our many conversations with parents, we have found that a great headshot, a resume and a professional reel are all key.

There is, however, no easier way in than an industry referral. When you combine that with a great headshot, a proper resume and an awesome reel, you're more likely to seal the deal.

You may be saying, "well if I don't have representation and my focus isn't on roles, but rather finding representation, then how would my child have a great resume and reel?"

It's that old, "What comes first, the experience or the job,' question. I'd say, the job (ie getting an agent) comes after the experience, but in this case you need to open your mind and expand your horizons for what experience actually is. If your child is in a play, it is experience. If your child is taking classes, it's experience. If your child volunteered to dance at an event or won a beauty pageant, it's experience.

For the "foot in the door," networking is key. Go to events, meet parents in the industry, sign up for classes - anything to meet people. Be genuine, smile, and make sure your kids are polite!

We have successfully connected friends with agents and managers and are very respectful to both parties in that we qualify each recommendation with great thought and communicate with accuracy and reason.

There are many excellent managers and agencies; the trick is to find a comfortable fit for your family, and that "fit" will work both ways. This is why the agent/manager interviews are also important. Let your child speak when appropriate specifically when questions are asked that he knows how to answer.

Like so many experiences in life, we grow and learn by trial and error. The path of finding the best match for you can be long, educational and often lonely, but it is doable. We never gave up or lowered our expectations. If you want this, we encourage you to do the same.

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