If you want your kid to be a star, the process starts early. It would be a wise thing to firstly see if your cute kid wants to be in the spotlight. Some kids gravitate to this naturally while others grow with the experience of being out there and up in front of people. Trying to push a naturally shy child into the spotlight is not a good idea and can be like trying to feed steak to a Vegan…..somebody is going to get hurt. A kind and loving parent doesn’t want to build resentment between them and the child, especially at such a young age. So being patient, kind and intuitive is the key.
How Serious is Serious?
So you’ve got a kid that just wants to be the next Justin Bieber or Dakota Fanning…..you just can’t stop them…now what? Do you simply mortgage the house and go on the road……really!! I don’t think so. The first thing you may want to consider is finding out how resolved your child really is. Is their present determination to be famous just a by-product of peer pressure and the influence of the “Me Generation Syndrome” where every kid believes they deserve to be a star just because they were born….it’s their birth right you know…..just ask them. Or do they really have talent “and” determination and want to make the world a better place by earning lots of money and having people worship them.
Starting Out in the Industry on the Right Foot
Prepping them for an online photo competition is a good place to start. It requires only a little work on your part and demands very little from your child but it will take some co-operation on their part. You will have to get them to sit still for a good picture and you will probably have to take a few to get the right one. You may also want to do some staging or costume changes. All require a co-operative child. If they are not willing to do these small things then you may have a “Prima donna” on your hands. A kid who want something for nothing and has an attitude about it as well. You better nip that behavior in the bud before it becomes a monster that will devour you and end up consuming ever ounce of life in you. This is where you can test their resolve to a small degree…..baby steps. Ok…you have a child that is willing to sit still and play ball so to speak. Making work fun is always a good policy and a paradigm for life in general.
Doing it for Love…. the Cash is Good Too!
The Cute Kid Competition is one of the biggest and most reputable online photo contest providers. They require a simple registration, then you upload your best photo(s) and enter the contest. It’s that simple. They also award $5000 every month to the kid that is voted “the cutest kid” for that month and a Grand prize of $25,000 at the end of the year. It’s a great place to start and who knows, you may even earn a little cash on the way. The Baby Gap also holds a “Baby Gap Kids” contest annually in search of future models and stars as does the Gerber Corporation, Pamper, Huggies and a whole slew of Kids Product providers. Do an Online search on these companies for details.
These competitions are also associated with talent agencies and talent scouts. Modeling agencies are constantly pouring over the applicants pictures online, trying to find the next best thing. You can imagine how important a single picture is in these circumstances. So make sure you take the time to do it right. Even if you need some outside help to get your child’s picture looking as “cute” as possible.
So you are starting to realize that you can’t cure your child of the “Fame Virus” and no amount of demands put on them has deterred them. What can be your next step. You may at this point want to consider some professional portfolio pictures (Headshots). Don’t simply go to the family portrait photographer. They may be good at their job but lack the industry insights necessary to make all the difference. What a sad thing it would be for your cute kids pics to be overlooked because they didn’t look “Industry Worthy”. Don’t forget the other “life Paradigm”…..Negotiate everything! You can spend a fortune on this step but with a little shopping around you can get away with a good set of headshots for the price of a dinner for two.
You Have a Handful of Cute Pictures…Now What?
Once you get your kids Headshots, it would be a good idea to get Industry opinions of your child’s Pictures. The biased opinions of family and friends are not good indicators of the quality of your child’s headshots. We’ve all seen the “American Idol Auditions”……..you get the point. Also, don’t go looking for compliments. You can stay home for that. You should be looking for blind truth in regard to your child’s chances at getting into the industry (modeling | commercials | magazines ). The sooner you come to terms with the hard core truth the sooner you can get down to the business of fixing what can be fixed and progressing in the real world and not drifting in that dreamlike “Happy Place” with pink skies and chocolate covered everything that some people live in. Must be nice! Put on your toughest skin and seek only to listen and then to act on what those in the industry tell you. It may come as a surprise to some people but they may actually know what they are talking about. Being obstinate and holding on to deeply intrenched delusions helps nobody. Especially your cute kid. The Modeling agencies opinion of your child’s headshots is no reflection of your child’s worth or is even a good indicator of your child’s true looks. It is simply a reflection of current industry tastes. It is those tastes that will get your child employed in the industry. Be careful what you wish for! We’ve all seen the super slim, pasty white models slinking down the runways. Are they a true reflection of beauty?…………you be the judge.
Article Written by Martha Henderson
Martha is a regular contributor to www.babygerber.org
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