Radio Ads Offer Hope Of Child Stardom

By: Jodi Baker Email
By: Jodi Baker Email

The channel that launched the likes of Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus is clearly a hook from the beginning: “If it's your kids’ dream to be in a movie or on the Disney Channel then listen up..."

Omaha mother Julian Adair is skeptical. "A lot of the things that you hear, I always think if it's too good to be true it probably is."

Her daughters, 6-year-old Collett and 9-year-old Camille, have been modeling for nearly five years. "Having that confidence is really, really wonderful,” as she smiled, looking at one of Collett’s shots.

"You know they're earning money for college and they realize it's part of a process." Adair likes the work ethic the process is instilling in her girls, but could there be a short cut to stardom?

The ad states: “This weekend a world famous agent will be in your area…" It goes on to say the first 200 callers will have the chance for their children, ages 6-17, to audition for that agent.

Local talent agent Brad Luchsinger of Select Model Management said the ad brings up some issues parents should consider.

"You've got to live in that market to work it. I mean guess what, there's kids in LA. There are kids in New York. If they're coming out here, what are they really looking for?"

The company also makes clear in an e-mail to Channel 6 News it is "not an agency, casting company or management firm." It says "we provide the opportunity for parents and kids to learn about the entertainment industry and to network with dozens of industry professionals at world-class resorts"

It says it hosts events at two Disney properties in Orlando and that among other things, it awards cash and prizes to top performing "talent of the week."

It says nothing about fees, however that’s an area Luchsinger says parents should always be leery of. "Avoid anyone that wants money. As a legitimate agent, the only way I make my money is getting people work and I take a commission, 15 percent."

He said his agency incurs the costs of photography, styling and marketing materials. “I invest in them. So, I’m looking to get my return over the long-term.”

Toward the end of the ad, the announcer gives one last pitch. "Can you imagine your kids being on TV? How amazing would that be?"

"If your kid is a 'star,' then things are going to be happening for them in other areas," said Adair. Happening, she said, without the need for radio ads and traveling agents.

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