Monday, March 31, 2014

Success. How Bad Do You Want It

Do you want to Succeed as bad as you want to breathe?
ET. The Hip-Hop Preacher talks about what it takes to succeed in your career and goals.

Employment of Minors Child Labor Act

Employment of Minors Child Labor Act

The Department of Labor and Industry, through the Bureau of Labor Law Compliance, is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Child Labor Law (Act of 2012 P.L. 1209, No 151), and the Regulations Governing the Employment of Minors in Industry (R-1).
YouthRules! (Federal Child Labor Regulations)
The Child Labor Act provides for the health, safety and welfare of minors by:
  • prohibiting their employment or work in certain establishments and occupations;
  • under certain ages, restricting their hours of labor;
  • regulating certain conditions of their employment; and
  • requiring employment certificates (general or vacation) for minors under the age of 18.

Summary of Minimum Age:

Minors under 14 years of age may not be employed or permitted to work in any occupation, except children employed on farms or in domestic service in private homes. No minor under 14 years of age may be employed on a farm by a person other than the farmer. Under certain restrictions, caddies may be employed at the age of 12, news carriers at 11 years of age, and juvenile performers in the entertainment field.
For individuals who are under 16 years of age, a written statement by the minor's parent or legal guardian acknowledging understanding of the duties and hours of employment and granting permission to work is required. This downloadable form is one way to satisfy that requirement.
For the employment of any minor under 18, in compliance with the Pennsylvania Child Labor Act in a performance where a minor models or renders artistic creative expression in a live performance, radio, television, movie, Internet, publication, documentary, reality programming, or other broadcast medium that is transmitted to an audience, please download the Application for Minors in Performances.
If you wish to request a waiver from entertainment provisions of the Child Labor Act, please fill out theSpecial Waiver Request for Entertainment Performances and send it to the Bureau no later than 48 hours prior to the time needed for the waiver to be acted on.
For additional information regarding employment certificates, record keeping, hours of employment(including night work), prohibited occupations, and penalties, please download a copy of the LLC-5, Abstract of the Child Labor Act, Revised 1/13. Form No. LLC-5 (ESP) (1-13)
The Bureau of Labor Law Compliance is responsible for the administration, education, and enforcement of labor laws. As such, it provides employers and employees with educational outreach seminars, conducts investigations and resolves disputes when complaints are received.
Please direct your questions regarding Child Labor Act to the Bureau of Labor Law Compliance, with offices in Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Scranton.

TAXES/W9 Information:
So the good news for underage models (that means if you are under 18 years of age), is that the whole tax issue will be your parents’ responsibility. That means that you parents out there have another additional item to remember to include when tax time comes around.

If your child is a model—this includes baby, child and teen models—then chances are your child will be making some income from their modeling gigs. All money they make during their modeling career must be reported to the IRS for each tax season that your child is working in the industry. As an independent contractor, your child will receive his/her own tax forms in the mail. That means when tax season rolls around, you can expect to deal with two forms: the W-9 and the 1099 tax form. 

In order for your child’s modeling agency or your child’s clients (if you freelance) to accurately prepare their tax documents and send you a 1099, a W-9 must be completed by you on behalf of your child. When you fill out the W-9 form you will need to provide your name, your child’s name, address and the EIC (Employer Identification Number). In this case, the EIC would typically be your child’s social security number.

You’ll usually be asked to fill out the W-9 form when your child first begins modeling. Parents of freelance child models may or may not be asked to fill out a W-9 from each client they work with. That particular situation is a difficult one to explain—as it varies from client to client and the amount of money paid—so your best bet is to address this occurrence with your tax advisor.

Next, if your child grossed over $600 in that tax year, you’ll receive a 1099 tax form from your child’s modeling agency in the mail when the tax season starts. If your child is a freelance model, then you will receive 1099 tax forms from clients they have done paid work for, which may result in getting more than one. Of course the process is much easier if your child has an agent because then you only have one tax form to account for. The 1099 form basically states the amount of money your child has been paid for the tax year. 

When you get ready to file your taxes do not forget to include the 1099 form for your child. Neglecting to do so may lead to an audit and penalties later on down the line.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Are You Doing YOUR Part? How To Be A Better Asset

Actors you dream of being on television and in the movies. How fantastic! Now you need to train and become the best actor you can be. You also need to take acting classes that help you get auditions. Any training won't do. You should have the best. So Los Angeles actors, I am going to make choosing your acting classes very easy for you. Below is a list of the 10 Best Acting Schools in Los Angeles from Backstage Magazine. And Pittsburgh Actors and Models, im going to list your best options as well.  If you want Casting Directors to take you seriously, you need to have many of these on your resume.

    There are many things in this business that are out of your control. Whether you get called in for an audition, whether you land the part, if a series gets picked up, or cancelled. But the training you get and put on your resume is 100% within your control. A resume filled with school plays do not give Casting Directors the confidence that you have been trained well and know what you are doing. If they recognize the teacher, they can infer what kind of training you likely got. Their confidence in the teachers can bring you in the door. They need to have that confidence in order to call you in for an audition, especially if they don't know you. If you are new, only your training or demo can convince them to take a chance on you and bring you, an unknown, into an audition room with them. So choose your classes wisely and don't think you can get ahead in this business without major training classes and credits.

    Also actors with college degrees in Theater, I am sorry to tell you this, but the training you received in your college theater program is not going to be enough. Casting Directors want to see professional training, not just scholastic. So get right back into class, even if you have just graduated. And out of state Actors, again, your training in Georgia, or Colorado will show you have been consistent in your desire to act. But, it will not show you have had LA based training, which LA Casting Directors want to see if they are auditioning you for LA based films and TV shows.

    As an actor & model, your training should never stop.  There is always something to learn and something new to pick up that you haven't perfected.  Times change and with that, standards for auditions change as old Casting Directors retire and new, younger Casting Directors step into the primary roles.  There is a reason there are many different Casting Directors who are used by specific Production Companies.  Its because each one, has a different way of working, a different method of casting and a different vision.  

    1. NAILED IT!; with Alan Lee. Every month I offer a workshop called, “Nailed It" for brand new actors & models which will help you begin to understand the business and start to develop a plan of action for your success. In these classes I cover everything from the business side, to how to audition properly, runway walking, taking a good headshot and more. Often i'll bring in some of my top industry friends to teach as well.  You will learn so much information in this workshop from top people in the business who are all committed to your success! I have been acting and modeling since i was young, and I have been coaching actors & models for years, and I know new talent need a mentor and professional guidance, so if you are new to this business I highly recommend this workshop. It will give you the "inside" information you need and it will put you miles ahead of the hundreds of other newcomers that arrive in L.A. every year. Having cast major motion pictures, runway events and more, i know exactly what the Casting Directors and other agents are looking for.  At the end of this 3-hour seminar with us you will have a game plan for success. The cost is $179 and it's worth every penny. Visit my website and sign up today for the next workshop. email for more info. 805-2-GET-FAR

Additional training classes I recommend are:

    1. Acting For Film and Theatre; with Jill Wadsworth. An ideal class for beginning students or actors with no formal training. Over a 16-week period, you will work on two contrasting monologues from established playwrights and screenwriters.  Donna Belajac Casting 109 Market Street, 2nd Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412-488-CAST

    2. Acting for the Camera Adult Workshop; with Jillian O’Neil. This two day, intensive adult acting workshop is structured for scene study, in depth character creation, and fine tuning your craft in front of the camera. Blackbird Studios 3583 Butler Street Pittsburgh, PA 15201 (412) 621-1160

    I suggest when you get started with classes in LA you take 4 classes, one from each of the following groups.

Choose One! Commercial Class with: Judy Kain, Terry Berland or Carolyn Barry, Hey I Saw Your Commercial.
Choose One! Scene Study Class with: Larry Moss, Leslie Kahn, or Margie Haber
Choose One! Improv Class at: Groundlings, IO West or UCB
Choose One! Audition Technique Class with: Doug Warhit, Brian Reise or Scott Sedita.

You must take 1 of each. It will help casting directors see that you are well trained because they TRUST who you studied with. It will also help YOU get great training, so you can become more competitive and book more jobs!

Below other classes. I agree with every recommendation on this list and additional recommendations of my own for you.

Best Cold Reading School: Margie Haber is the Los Angeles authority on cold reading and on camera audition technique. Her book, "How to Get The Part Without Falling Apart" is one of the best books ever written on the subject, and Haber was also the winner of the 2009 Backstage West reader's choice award for best audition workshop. If you are interested in studying with Haber, she hosts a free new student orientation from 1:30 to 2:30 PM every Monday at 971 N. La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069, or call 310-854-0870.

2. Best Commercial Acting School: Carolyne Barry's workshops are highly recommended by agents and casting directors, and "Backstage West" magazine awarded her the honor of best commercial workshop in 2009. Barry offers three levels of her commercial training classes. Her acting school also offers classes in various other subjects. She is also author of the comprehensive acting career guide "Hit The Ground Running." Carolyne Barry Creative may be contacted at or by calling (323) 654-2212.

3. Best Private Coach: Judy Kerr is author of the acclaimed actor's bible, "Acting is Everything". Herself an accomplished actress, Kerr was also the dialogue coach for NBC's longtime hit, "Seinfeld." She offers one-on-one audition coaching and career coaching. Kerr may be reached through her website at

4. Best Improvisation School: The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, usually referred to as UCB, began in New York, co-founded by SNL alum Amy Poehler. UCB was awarded "Best Improv" by Los Angeles Magazine and offers a wide variety of classes in the difficult craft of Improvisation. The company members perform nearly every evening. 5919 Franklin Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90028. (323) 908-8702

5. Best Youth Acting School: Gary Spatz of The Playground has been working with children and young adult performers for over 20 years. His former clients include Keri Russell, Hilary Duff and Academy Award Nominee, Maggie Gyllenhaal. Spatz not only gives young actors the tools they need to succeed, he also helps their parents understand the industry. 1801 Ave of the Stars, Suite 611, 6th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90067.

6. Best Acting School with On-Camera Coaching: Doug Warhit has been coaching actors for over twenty years, and his method is geared almost exclusively for on-camera performance. All classes are videotaped, and Warhit covers a wide range of subjects including commercials, cold reading, and auditioning. Each month he holds an industry showcase for his students. 8899 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90048. (310) 479-5647

7. Best Acting School Offering Daily Classes: The Acting Corps offers a four week, intensive, hands-on acting program where students attend classes daily. The program includes two days of technique, two days of cold reading and scene study, and one day a week dedicated to voice and movement work. 5508 Cahuenga Boulevard, North Hollywood, CA 91601.

8. Best Acting School to Study Technique: Howard Fine was named best acting teacher in Los Angeles by Backstage West in 2006, and he has been teaching his technique-based acting classes for over 25 years. Every student begins Fine's program with a foundation course and then may be invited to study in his ongoing classes. 1445 N. Las Palmas Avenue, Hollywood, CA 90028

9. Best Acting School With Multi-Subject Classes; Kimberly Jentzen. The "Jentzen Technique" teaches students to develop complex and dynamic characters and shows actors how to deliver consistently strong auditions. In her ongoing classes she also teaches cold reading, improvisation, and scene study. She has been voted Best Acting Coach by Backstage West magazine multiple times. Contact at (818) 779-7770

10. Best Acting School with Multi-Subject Classes; Scott Sedita. Bestselling author of the actor's career book, "Making it in Hollywood," and the internationally acclaimed comedy book, "The Eight Characters of Comedy," Sedita offers private coaching as well as classes in professional audition technique, comedy and drama. He has been voted Favorite Acting Teacher and Favorite Audition Class by the readers of Backstage West Magazine. 526 North Larchmont Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90004-1300. (323) 465-6152

    I spend a lot of time getting my clients to study with the best. As a Talent Manager I only make money when my clients book so I need my clients to have a resume that is going to make Casting Directors take notice. Not only do I know that studying with the best will make them better actors, I also know that it will give them opportunities to work they may not otherwise get. When I take on a client I look at their resume and if I don't see that they are studying with the best I won't send them to agents I know until they have taken at least 2 or 3 of the classes I recommend.

Monday, March 24, 2014

What Is Your Agent Saying?

Actors have no idea what’s going on inside their agent’s mind. And maybe that’s best. Sometimes the truth can do more harm than good.
For example, agents have a language of their own. When a client calls to ask how an audition went, I usually respond by saying, “I’m waiting to hear back,” or “We’re playing phone tag.” This really means, “I don’t have time to get feedback on all your damn auditions, so let’s just assume you didn’t get it and move on with our lives.”
See? It’s a fine line.
Assistants are also trained in agent talk. When a client calls to talk to me, my assistant will say something like, “I don’t have him right now,” or “He’s in a meeting.” Those are both lies. The truth is, I don’t want to talk to you because you’re not that high up on my list of important clients.
(Now let’s be clear. None of this applies to actors who are bringing in the big bucks. They get treated with a lot more respect—right up to the day they stop making money.) 
Agents also love to set up general meetings for their clients. These are worthless. I’ll explain why in a moment.
A general is a sit-down meeting with an industry professional, usually a casting director. There’s no reading involved. You just sit there and chat. The idea is to be memorable so this person you’ve never met will keep you in mind for a future project. This should be easy because as an actor, you’re trained to impress strangers in a short period of time with nothing more than your personality, right?
In a perfect world, the casting director has watched your reel before you arrive, but as we all know, this world is far from perfect. So why have they agreed to take a general when they haven’t even seen your work? They’re doing it because someone like me called on the right day and they needed to fill their calendar.
I’ve always felt generals are worthless because most actors aren’t that memorable. God forbid any of you ever learn how to have a normal conversation that doesn’t reek of desperation. The best way for an actor to make an impression is to audition. Sitting there and making small talk isn’t.
There are times when generals matter. Let’s say you booked the lead in an amazing pilot that isn’t getting picked up. That puts you in play, and casting executives at the studios and network will want to meet you. Or maybe you just did a live show that has received nothing but love from the critics, and you’re extending the run for a third time. Or maybe that little indie you did for no money has become the hit of Sundance. In these types of situations, taking generals is an effective way of getting your face in front of the right people. 
But if that’s not the case, don’t get your hopes up. The odds are the person you meet will forget you by the next lunar cycle.
This begs the question: Why do agents bother to set up generals? I don’t know. It’s something to do. Generals keep clients busy. It makes them think they’re special. And despite my negative view on the whole concept, these limp meetings sometimes lead to more. You just never know.
But I can promise you this. If you call me after a general to ask how it went, I will respond by saying “I’m waiting to hear back,” or “We’re playing phone tag.”

Photo Source: Pete McDonnell
Article By Secret Agent Man