The Avenue prides itself in the fact that being open and honest with it's talent is the only way to successfully build lasting relationships in the entertainment industry. However, as we frequently help get new talent started, it is crucial for them to realize that although the modeling and talent industries can be glamorous, the journey to ultimate success can be challenging and overwhelming. Hence, we have asked some of our most serious talent to write about their experiences from getting started to maintaining their careers. They were instructed to be candid so as not to hide any of the "tougher" moments. The following letters should enlighten you to not only the fun parts of entertainment, but hopefully some of those not-so-fun moments behind the scenes by which a dreamy-eyed talent could be unprepared or shocked. We want all of our talent to be fully equipped to handle their careers, and like any other career, they must be able to balance the good with the bad.
Some letters from our clients and associates:
[The Avenue's] professionalism is unparalleled in this town [Nashville, TN].
--Caroline Wooldridge, Belmont University/Actress/Coach
"I wanted to say how much I admire your dedication to your clients. I'll just start at The Avenue for talent before looking elsewhere . . . "
--Calvin Key, producer
"Thank you for your guidance. I'm so thankful to have an agent with your work ethic, support, and kindness. In case you haven't heard, I really appreciate when I have an audition and you say at the end of the call, "Go be wonderful!"
--Elisa Aldridge, actress
I have been around the modeling industry for the better part of a decade. In that time I have been to a number of talent searches, agencies, and other unproductive endeavors. I had pretty much written it off as a viable endeavor because of a general lack of progress in what I would consider a feasible direction. In the spring of 2003 that changed when The Avenue approached me. They started out by suggesting I shoot a new comp card, which I felt was a step in the right direction and showed initiative and interest on their part. The modeling industry is plagued by a mass of agents, scouts and others that will promise you the moon and drag you around for a while and make no progress or in some cases just show a total lack of interest all together. That interest is what separates The Avenue from every other organization that I have been a part of. Melinda take[s] a personal [and] active interest in your career development. Since last spring I have been on a wide variety of castings and landed several jobs in the process. In each interview or audition you learn more about the industry and a lot about yourself. Since I have been with The Avenue I have landed about a half a dozen jobs with clients ranging from Pfizer to CMT. I would really recommend the experience that I have had at the Avenue to anyone. I chose to work with Melinda because they made it clear in the first meeting with me that they were approaching this industry with integrity. This is a rare quality in this business and one that I feel fortune to have in a business partner. This is all a lot of fun but also a lot of work. If you are willing to work hard, you will never find better teammates.
-- Dan Crosby, Model/ActorMy first experience started in February, 2004. I went to Miami for one month where I worked closely with Deco Models. While down there, I went on about 3-4 castings per week and also did a test shoot with a former model and photographer of Ocean Drive magazine. As for the future, I will be attending another trade show in July for two days in Washington, D.C. The show will be for Hitachi Electronics and will include me speaking about new equipment and generating leads. I am very grateful for all of my previous experiences in this industry and look forward to many more!!
-- Ashley Ryan, ModelI started out about a year ago with THE AVENUE Model & Talent Agency under the direction of Kathy and Melinda. My first job was at Rivergate Mall in Nashville, TN. I was asked by these particular women if I would be interested in doing a runway fashion show within the mall. Without any experience, I said yes. Kathy and Melinda made me feel confident enough to do it and assured me some fun - and that it was!! Some months after that I had my first photo shoot and got my first comp card. THE AVENUE shopped me around and found me some work in Tampa, FL. I went to Florida for one day to audition for the work not knowing what I was really auditioning for. When I got there, I realized that it was for a NIKE fashion show! I got the job and was excited. The job was a week long. Four of the days consisted of rehearsals; the other three days were various fashion shows. Every show had about 1,500-3,000 people as spectators. Kathy and Melinda called to check with me on a regular basis to see how things were going and that everything was moving smoothly. I told them not to worry. Being my first time to work out of town, it was an overall success and NIKE was glad to have me and said they will probably be in contact in the future. I also had the opportunity to meet in Memphis, TN, a representative of ELITE. We had brief conversation and he had the chance to meet Tommy English. Meeting R***** was a pleasure and I hope we meet again. I plan on going as far as I can in the profession and represent THE AVENUE not to make a name for only myself, but to make a name for THE AVENUE and their staff (co-workers) as well!
-- Tommy English, Actor/ModelWould you like to know the secret for being successful in the acting industry? Do you want to give yourself the best chance for success? The secret in this field is like any other. You are only as good as you have been educated to be. Not meaning that you need to be in a collegiate level acting class, but you do need to know how to sell yourself in auditions. Acting schools are available all over that can teach you basic skills, but if you really want to know what a client is looking for in talent, you should ask the casting director. We found Moore Casting to be an excellent education source. Regina Moore offers classes for actors of all levels. The Audition workshops are excellent resources and the improv classes challenge your imagination and provide you with skills to improve your on camera reactions. Not only did we learn exactly how to present ourselves, but Regina gave us inside information on what clients like to see in the talent. The classes give you the tools you need and it is also an excellent opportunity to prove your skills to Regina. An important point to be made here is that it is the casting directors goal to keep the clients satisfied. Doesn't it make sense that if Regina knows you and believes in you and your ability, she will recommend you to the client? The classes have made a difference for us.
-- Sonda McEver Parent of Narissa & Teagan
The work shop I attended was an eye-opening experience. I was not aware of the different techniques used in front of the camera as opposed to acting on the stage. The instructor kept the workshop fun, educational, engaging, using each scenario in the classroom to share vital information. I highly recommend this worthwhile class, and I encourage all who are serious about their career and their craft to attend and use this opportunity to take their acting to the next level.
--Alice Raver, Talent on Regina Moore's Master Auditioning Workshop
**For more information on Moore Casting opportunities of instruction, visit their website at http://www.moorecasting.com**