Atleast once a week I receive an e-mail from a parent asking how to get their child represented by a modeling agency here in Chicago. They’re unsure how to approach the agents and are often intimidated with that prospect. To be honest, the process nowadays is actually pretty simple and most agencies are pretty open about their signing procedures.
The first thing you want to do is gather a list of local agencies. In large cities such as Chicago, there’s no shortage of potential representation. From there, you’ll want to verify that the agencies actually have a kids/babies department. Often times, agencies only represent children above a certain age or don’t represent kids all together. Do your homework. After you’ve gathered that information, it’s just a matter of reading through and finding where/when the agencies are hosting open casting calls. Check their Facebook accounts, Twitter, etc. Today, agencies such as Lily’s Talent Agency here in Chicago allow potential applicants to submit their photos online.
One thing to note is that you should NEVER have to pay to have someone represent your child. Period.
Now with that all said I want to warn everybody here that getting your child signed to an agency isn’t the GOAL. It’s simply the beginning. Just because your child is signed doesn’t mean you can relax and just wait for the gigs to come in. Parents must always be diligent in finding work to boost their children’s portfolio (whether it be for pay or just credit). The kids that I see succeeding in this industry have parents doing a LOT of work to make that possible.
A few agencies here in Chicago that represent kids/babies: