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Randi Mollo on Child Actors
by Misti Dawn Garritano
Child actor on the rise? Perhaps you, your child or your friend's child is interested in breaking into show biz. So, where do you start? What do you need to do to make this happen? I recently spoke with Randi Mollo, Partner of Mollo Management, who represents children, to find out what a kid and their parent(s)/guardian(s) really need to know to break into the business. She gives more than just the basic run-through, she gives you her heart and more than 30 years of combined experience.
So when can a child start acting? According to Randi, although she states a child can start at any age, she also believes it's a hard question to answer. She doesn't recommend forcing a child into the business; it has to be ingrained in their personality. That, she says, is identifiable and established after the age of 4. Personality, along with demeanor, is key and parents must know how their child will react in front of a camera and casting directors versus in front of people they already know. Will the child clam up or be themselves no matter what?
Once a child actor herself, Randi is concerned about those in the business and tries to keep it in a positive light as well as realistic. Often kids change their minds and she urges parents to be sensitive to what their child is communicating in that respect. She says she almost discourages those who want it so bad and are blinded by other factors and gives a dose of reality. If she doesn't--who will?
-- Be prepared to read a commercial script
And when the time does come to take headshots, find a photographer who charges a reasonable rate for a child's session. Again, children are constantly changing.
Randi's nurturing side as a manager is apparent as she does her best to look out for her client's interest. Because of her own experience working as a child actor, she is sensitive to the needs of the child actor. "The impact of rejection can be detrimental--terrible and it is important for children to be right for the business because they are still developing their personality. A lot of kids do it for a while then burn out. It's more important to grow up in a healthy environment then be a child actor."
As a manager, Randi plays a large role by presenting opportunities to guide the young actor in the right training and finding representation through agents. She states, "The agents job is to negotiate the best deal for the talent. Management looks out for the actor's personal needs from the beginning; guiding and developing."
Find out more on Randi Mollo, Partner, at MolloManagement.com
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