I signed my daughter Ashley with a manager when she was six weeks old. I really didn’t know what to expect. What would auditions be like? How long would it take for her to get a job? How many kids would be competing for the same job?
Her first audition was for a commercial for Cabbage Patch Kids when she was 7 weeks old. It was a cold December day, and I had just gotten her out of her snowsuit and hat when they called us into the room. She was videotaped and I was asked to say her name and age on camera while they taped her face. The whole thing took less than two minutes. I remember going back into the waiting room to wait for the actual audition. I didn’t realize that we had already auditioned until a staff member came over to me about 20 minutes later and asked why we were still there. I received a call the following day that she booked the commercial! Her very first audition resulted in a booking for a national network TV commercial. Our next audition was for a print job for Carters, and she booked that one too! Our third audition was for a Gerber baby food commercial, and she landed that as well. Boy was this easy. All we had to do was show up, and she got the job!
Then a funny thing happened. We went on an audition, and she didn’t get it. And then another one. And another one, and I found us going on audition after audition with no successes. An entire year went by with no bookings. And then another year. My entire family and friends told me to give it up; I was wasting my time and Ashley’s. I refused to give up. I was still having fun, and more importantly, Ashley was still having fun. She liked the car rides into the city, and she liked playing with the other kids her age when we got there. Four years went by without a booking. Everyone laughed at me and thought I was completely crazy for not quitting at this point.
Then she turned 5 and booked a commercial for Burlington Coat Factory. And the following week she booked a commercial for Mass Mutual Insurance. That year she booked 21 commercials and 31 print jobs. From the time she was 5 until she turned 16, she booked 62 commercials and more than 500 print ads. Guess who was laughing then!
Being a manager, I have seen this occur more times than I can count. Some kids book right out of the gate and some take a little longer. Even the best bookers have slumps. Just keep the faith and keep on going. Because you never know what's just around the corner.
Jackie Reid owns and operates L’il Angels Unlimited, a talent management company, which specializes in young actors for placements in film, television, theater, commercials, voiceover, and print media. She works extensively with agents in New York and L.A. She possesses an excellent eye for talent that both casting directors and agents value. She understands what it takes to support young actors as a stage mom to two children, one of whom currently plays Sinjin on Nickeldeon’s hit series "Victorious." Follow her on Twitter @LilAngelsTalent and like her on Facebook.