Commercial Audition for a 10 Month Old

Updated on May 26, 2008
E.K. asks from Laguna Niguel, CA
11 answers

I am wondering if any of you, Moms, has ever heard or had any personal experience with ICA ( that’s in Lake Forest.
We were approached by somebody saying how cute our 10 month old daughter is and offered to try her for a commercial shoot.
It was exiting and flattering at first but now I’m not so sure it’s all that legal.
They claim to be a private state licensed school that sets up auditions for kids with Disney, Universal Studios, Toys’R’us and others.
But even if it is all legal, are we getting into something we won’t have control over if my daughter gets selected and “wanted” by film makers?…
We are supposed to go in for the initial interview tomorrow.
What kind of questions should I ask? What should I look out for?
I would greatly appreciate any advice or thoughts.

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So What Happened?

I want to thank everybody who responded to give me an insight and would like to share my experience.
Special thanks to Jessica who helped and supported me through the whole process.
We did go to ICA for the initial interview and learned a lot about the power of connections, how much money one can make, saw some success stories.
Then my daughter was put on camera and we were released to wait till the next day to call in for results.
During a one-on-one part of the interview they mentioned “a couple of hundred dollars” for head shots.
When I called in for results it turned out that my daughter was selected and the only thing they needed to do was the photo shoot that costs $850!!!
And you have to go through them only. That’s where I said no.
I still believe that it’s a nice acting school (not cheap though) for those who go there for classes in first place and can get a job as a bonus.
As to us - we may try to apply with a couple of agencies. If it works then great, if not – we won’t cry over it.

Best regards,

More Answers



answers from Los Angeles on

I was very active in doing commercials with my now 4 year old when she was a baby. The first and most important thing is that you do not have to pay for anything. My daughter did a few commercials and I never paid for anything!!! My agent told me to just take my own picture's of her because they have to be retaken every 6 months due to her growing and changing so much in the first two years of life. My agent even had my make own head shot sheet on my computer and just tape photo's to it. The process should only be that you are told where and when auditions are, what to wear and to bring home taken head shots with your camera on your own head shot sheet. My daughter made quite a bit of money doing this the few times that she did and when she got a nice little nest egg, I stopped! It is very time consuming and gets old very fast, although I have four children and that is what made it grow old on me quick!

If this does not pan out and you are very interested in doing this, contact Osbrink Agency in Los Angeles. Check out their website at they are the most legitiment and reputable agency in Hollywood for children, Dakota Fanning is a client of theirs for example!

Good luck, do it while it is fun and as soon as it is no longer fun, give it up, it is not something most people care to do long term!

God bless you and your sweet little girl!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

these type of approaches are fake. nice to hear how cute your kids are. i just laugh when i see them approaching folks. i say to myself "hmm they just said that to ME 5 minutes ago" anyway - there are real talent agencies. but YOU need to approach them. do some internet searches. commercials are hard to come by though - good luck.



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi E.,
I looked this up in the BBB(better business bureau) online. you should look at this company report I cut and pasted below or go to this website and see for yourself on the bbb website go to catagories , then to modeling schools (thats what this is) and clikc on international creative artist. remember buyer beware is a good rule of thumb.
Good Luck,
N. D.

Company Report
Company Report Details

Company Profile
DBA: International Creative Artists
Other DBAs: International Creative Artists

Address: 2646 Dupont Drive, Suite C-270
Irvine, CA 92612
Other Addresses: 2646 Dupont Drive, Suite C-270
Irvine, CA 92612

26481 Rancho Parkway South Building S
Lake Forest , CA 92630

Primary Phone:
Other Phone Numbers: ###-###-####

Primary Fax: ###-###-####
Other Fax Numbers: ###-###-####

Primary Contact: Helene Goldnadel
Owner Other Contacts: Helene Goldnadel

Website: Other Websites:

Company ID: 13170948
Business Start Date: 1/1/1992
BBB Created Record on: 4/10/2002

Nature of Business:

This company's business is providing modeling and acting training services.

Bureau Membership
Join Date:

This company is not a member of the Better Business Bureau. This fact does not disparage the company in any way.

Licensing and Bonding Information

For information on registration as a vocational school, contact the Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education program. To verify registration, you can visit or call ###-###-####. Depending on the program offered, students may have cancellation rights up to 10 days. Also, any school registered must have at least 50% of the students that have graduated or received their high school equivalence.

BBB Comments and Analysis
These companies advertise for talent with ads that imply that by responding you will have started on your road to stardom. If you answer an ad, they will often tell you outright that they will help you obtain acting or modeling employment. The catch is that everyone who responds needs lessons or training to go before a camera or down a runway, they say. This training is really what these companies are selling, and their courses can obligate you for thousands of dollars. In reality, they cannot guarantee you employment, and you will not find such a guarantee in their written contract.

California law contains certain requirements of advance-fee talent services and prohibitions against certain practices. If the company promises you auditions or employment, or if they even ask you for a fee in advance, a talent service is considered to come under the provisions of this law. Under the law, they are not allowed to charge you, for example, to provide photographs, filmstrips, audition tapes or videotapes, lessons or training.

By law, you are entitled to a refund of anything you pay to an advance-fee talent agency if you do not receive the services you were led to believe would be performed. The refund is to be made with 48 hours of your request for it.

Additionally, you have the right to cancel your contract with the agency for any reason within 10 business days of the date of the contract. If you cancel, your payment is to be returned within 10 business days.

If your written contract does not inform you of your right to a refund or to cancel, you may demand your refund or cancel your contract at any time, without regard to these time limits. If your money is not returned within the 48 hours or 10 days, respectively, the company is required to refund double your money.

Despite the law’s protections, if you are not dealing with a reputable talent service, you may find it difficult to enforce your rights.

Complaint Closing Statistics
The following grid displays the number and responses to complaints over the last 36 months:

No. of Cmpl Type of Response
1 Making a full refund, as the consumer requested
0 Making a partial refund
2 Agreeing to perform according to their contract
1 Refusing to make an adjustment
1 Refuse to adjust, relying on terms of agreement
0 Unanswered
0 Unassigned
5 Total

Complaint Experience
Complainants allege dissatisfaction with the photos and the classes offered. Some complainants allege they were led to believe the company was an agency. According to these customers when they arrive for the appointment, they discover that the company is offering photos and classes which require a fee of some $1,000.00. One complainant alleges the company used high pressure tactics to talk her into signing a contract and paying a $3,075 deposit. Although the customer cancelled the contract within a few hours, the company still charged a $500 registration fee and only refunded $2,575.

The company responds to complaints by stating the customers entered into a legal contract and services were provided in accordance with the contract. In other cases, the company responds by issuing partial refunds, less the non-refundable registration fee as indicated in the contract.

Government Actions
We know of no government action taken against this company.

Advertising Review
No question about the truth of this company's advertising has come to our attention.

Other Considerations
We know of no other matter or practice relating to this company that may assist you in your consideration of this company.



answers from Los Angeles on

I would watch out...they are trying to sell a service, not get your child a job. I have watched as their "scouts" hang out in the toy section at Target and approach multiple moms. I too was flattered when they approached me, until I heard the same spiel given to every mom down the three isles they were "shopping" on.


answers from Los Angeles on

whether or not it is legal is slightly different from whether or not it is LEGITIMATE.

first off, if they want you to pay for ANYTHING, any amount at all, WALK OUT OF THERE. if they really want your girl they will pay the photographers and for acting classes, etc. otherwise they are trying to scam you.

dont worry about losing control as long as you can control yourself. showbiz is hard to crack into and even harder to keep going. you will always have control unless you sell it to someone. and of course you cant do that without knowing it, as long as you thoroughly read through contracts!

that brings me to, DONT SIGN ANYTHING WITHOUT READING IT THROUGH A FEW TIMES, and if you have any questions or are unsure about any contract agreements you need to ask them to clarify. even see if you can think it over for a few days before signing.

i havent gotten any big breaks myself, but this is advice i have gotten directly from professional models and agents.



answers from Los Angeles on

HI.. i think your gut instinct will come thru. i am a mom of grown daughters now... and had one in modeling school john robert powers in northern california. which they ran like a money was money for this photo shoot and more money if you want the elite pkg.. it was a be prepared and they should freely give references and maybe you can take a worker on the side and get information out of them on how they do business.



answers from Los Angeles on

I have personal experience with this one! They are Licensed through the state of california. I can tell you it isn't a scam but there are no guarentees. You will learn that all.
I went last week with my two boys to the initial evaluation. What will happen is there is an orientation type thing with Helen (the owner) and she goes over what they are all about and that they are not an agency they are a school but at the end of the first 10 week class she presents your child to agencies (she has connections with most of them from LA to Burbank to San Diego). Then you will go in individually to meet with one of the staff and they put your child on camera and have them say a line or whatever. Being that your child is 10 months old I am sure they would do things a little different, but for sure put her on camera. Then they go over it and have you come back the next day for the final evaluation and thats when they will tell you either your child is accepted into their school or not.
They say they will not accept your child if they have any doubt that your child will get signed with an agency and make money. Both of my boys did amazing (sure did surprise me!) at the final evaluation and they both start their first class tonight. She was really excited about my boys. We'll see!
Just ask all the questions you have no matter if you think they are relavent or not. Like the cost and what her opionion on if your child really can do well in that industry or not (she is blunt so she will tell you straight up). She may answer most of your questions before you ask them. She made me feel really comfortable with her and I trust her. She said that my boys will not need anything further then the first phases of classes and there are 6 phases I believe, so that made me feel comfortable like she wasn't just trying to sell her classes. It is a risk I took and she kept reasuring me my boys will get work and have fun with it.
I would like to hear from someone who she has told to come back in 6 months or flat out say their child just isn't accepted to her school.
I will keep you posted on our experience if you would like. I would love to hear how your evaluation/experience goes. Now your child may not need classes since she is only 10 months old. So it may not cost much of anything but cost of head shots. That would be nice! :) Keep an open mind but make sure you listen to your intuition and don't do anything you don't feel right about. worst case you leave there with lots of information and are much more educated about how it all works. Education is key.
There is no obligation and lots of free advice so soak it all in :)
J. B



answers from Los Angeles on

A school is different from an agent - they might tell you your child "needs" lessons. An agent is paid after you get work. We used someone who was recommended by a friend so this response is based only on that experience, but you should not have to pay anything- usually you pay after a job. We paid our agent 10% after we got paid. You will be able to turn down or accept a job according to your schedule so it is under your control, but someone who is usually available will be called before someone who says no a lot. As a precaution, take another adult. Maybe check them out with the Better Business Bureau. And there is no reason under the sun that they need to be alone with your child. That would be a big red flag.
Good luck! It was a lot of fun for us!



answers from Los Angeles on

If they ask you for money, get out of there. Don't sign any kind of contract until you have read it and truely understand it. Check them out on line and find out if they are legal. Good luck to you. Hope it all works out for you.
A. Willhite



answers from Los Angeles on

I've been in the business off and on for most of my life. Do not sign up for classes. Acting or commercial classes will be helpful in a few years, but not now, and not from an "agency". NEVER pay for anything. Don't get talked into professional pictures unless you want them for your personal use. Legitimate agencies work from Polaroids since kids change so much at that age.
I know nothing about that company, but don't get suckered into their "sales" talk. Read their Q & A page. They admit they are NOT even an agency. If you want your child in the business, look for an agency that's SAG (Screen Actors Guild) affiliated. That way you know you are dealing with people that actually get people into commercials and movies. Even if you are looking to do print work, this is a good gauge to work off of.
No doubt your little one is beautiful. Just trying to steer you in the right direction. Or better yet, off the wrong one.



answers from Los Angeles on

i would be very careful, maybe you could call the better business bureau or disneyland offices since they mentioned them. Hope you will get good advice on this. Hopefully it is on the up and up but you never know. Watch for high pressure that envolves telling you she will be a star and tou have to pay for some acting classes. They make you feel guilty like your letting a career for you daughter go if you don't go along with their program. Many places use this way to get you to go with them. God bless you and be very careful.


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