Maybe it's the timing of this question, but the only thing that comes to mind is what is primary on my current agenda.
December 10 - Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway).:
Whether or not this decision I made this year was wise or not is yet to be determined. But, while in the midst of the effects of this decision, it appears our choice to pursue an opportunity has paid off.
When Nicolas was a baby we were approached by strangers and passersby who were impressed enough by our youngest child to stop, say a kind word, and encourage us to pursue modeling. We knew he had an interesting look and with his warm brown skin and light hazel eyes it was a unique combination which made him ethnically ambiguous and stand out from other children.
At the time, we were located in the best possible region to pursue such an endeavor, less than one hour from New York City. I did some research on my end, bought a book on children's modeling and took a couple of photographs. I knew that you only needed to send a candid photo, some information on the child's appearance and size, and a cover letter. I mailed out about ten or so letters to agents within the tri-state area. I received five letters of interest and invitations to audition or attend an open call.
One agency said to comeback when he wore size 2T, another agency was located in Staten Island and I just didn't feel adventurous enough to go, and another agency wanted us to sign a two year contract and that scared the crap out of me; I just didn't know enough at the time. Another agency was in New Jersey and kept our photo on file but I was not diligent in updating his pictures. We ended up working with an agency in Connecticut about 20 minutes from our home. At eleven months old Nicolas booked his first job and was a paid model.
We moved to another part of the country and put his 'career' on the back-burner, so to speak. It wasn't until I heard one of those commercials on television advertising that a talent agent would be in town scouting for new talent in our area. It was an open call. I ended up taking both of my sons thinking nothing ventured, nothing gained. About a week later we received a letter inviting Nicolas to a call-back; my other son did not receive an invitation. While I did not pursue this opportunity it did, however, reinstate that there was something 'special' about my kid and other people could see it.
It wasn't until last year, 2009, that I approached Nicolas and asked him directly if he wanted to be entered into a tween model search contest. He was open to it and agreed to do the photo shoot and participate in the contest. He's been taking acting and improvisation classes as electives throughout his elementary and middle school years so I knew he had an interest in the industry. As luck would have it he was one of the winners of the Soul Fusion Tween Model Search Contest for 2009. He won a free two-hour photo shoot and a free photo.
He completed his photo session and were were very happy with the results. It was difficult to pare down the choices for the photos we wanted to purchase. I fell in love with a picture that captured his beautiful eyes and spirit. I purchased two extra 8x10's. I did some research into local talent agents and chose two that I would submit his photo, resume, and cover letter.
And, as I do in a lot of things, I procrastinated and waited to send them out. I wanted to make sure that we were prepared for the outcome of such a solicitation, both the positive and negative. I had to map out the repercussions of what would happen if we pursued it and were successful. Would we be able to devote the time, effort, and expense? Most importantly, would Nicolas want to do it?
I bit the bullet and mailed off his package to the prospective agents on July 1st. By July 27, 2010 Nicolas had a two-year exclusive contract with a talent agency. Since that date there were many decisions to be made. Which photographer to use for head shots? What pictures to choose for his official head shot?
Was it a wise decision to pursue this opportunity that not many kids get? I guess it is fair to say 'yes' because Nicolas has his first commercial, with pay, tomorrow. Let's just say, he's on his way!