Category Archives: Kids and Teens Models and Actors

My new cover for Circus Magazine

‘Tis the season!  Beautiful Hannah is a tween model on the rise, working for Geox, Esprit, Next Directory, just to name a few.  Love those freckles on this natural beauty!

Photography by Allana Wesley White   www.allanawesleywhite.com

Hair and makeup by Colleen Stone of Blush and Beyond   www.blushandbeyond.com

Styling by Laura Taylor   www.laurataylorstylist.com

Model is Hannah from Soleil Kids

Let’s Celebrate!

I want to wish you all very happy holidays and a wonderful new year!  Let’s celebrate families, however they come to be “family”, and what that means to each of us.  

All my best wishes to you and yours; xo  Allana

Photography by Allana Wesley White    www.allanawesleywhite.com

Hair and makeup by Colleen Stone of Blush and Beyond   www.blushandbeyond.com

Styling by Laura Taylor  www.laurataylorstylist.com

Gowns and skirt by Swedroe by Ariel  www.swedroebyariel.com

Models are twins Price and Wesley with Elite Models Miami,  Alecsa and Dylan with MP Mega Model Management Miami, and twins Kylie and Hannah with Soleil Kids.  And sweet Fina, the giant schnauzer.

Industry Insights with Kids Model and Actor Management “Taylor Made Talent”

So many parents dream of breaking into the modeling and acting industry with their little ones and teenagers, believing that their kid is the cutest, funniest, hammiest, most talented child around.  Being informed about the business and understanding the various markets for child acting and modeling is vital.   You have to know what your goals are and be ready to deal with the realities of the business.  Aligning yourself with good representation and industry experts can make all the difference.

Taylor Made Talent headed by Meredith Blackwell, sat down with us to share her expertise of the business, particularly the South Florida market, for child models and actors.

How did Taylor Made Talent come about?

Taylor Made Talent came to be after managing my own children in the modeling/tv/film biz for more than a decade.   My daughter, Taylor, who is now 15 and who the company was named for, started modeling as a baby and over the years, I learned the business from the ground up, making lots of silly mistakes along the way but always learning and evolving.

I decided to start my own management company because I wanted to help others get into the biz and teach them what I learned from my years of experience with my four children doing it.   I also think it’s important to have someone on your side who truly believes in you and will fight for you and help you get your foot in the door.   Looking back, I wish I had someone like me to help me navigate and figure things out because you WILL make mistakes and you WILL go through dry spells and it’s nice to have someone to encourage you and tell you to stick with it! 

The South Florida modeling industry uses kids from infancy to teens.   What age range do you represent?

I represent babies (typically 6 months and sitting on their own) all the way to teens.   Sometimes I will need a newborn but usually it’s better if the baby can sit independently.   Of course there are certain ages and sizes that work more than others so there will always be periods where you are super busy and then others where there’s not much work for you.  I always tell parents to enjoy and take advantage of the busy times because it could all come to a crashing halt         tomorrow.   When it’s slow, that’s the time to update your photos, or take some acting workshops and classes.   This business is always about growing as a model and an actor.   Whatever parents can do to help their kids is invaluable!  

There are so many model and actor kids in this market.   What type of kids do you look for to represent, who you think will stand out and find work?

I look for something special or unique, whether it be big blue eyes, or red hair and freckles, or a bi-racial child with light eyes and an amazing fro.   Just something special that stands out to me! Sometimes it’s their personality, sometimes it’s their look and often they have both!!   I think it’s important that the child has something that speaks to me, whether it is emotional or physical!    I usually know right away if I am interested in representing someone.   Obviously they have to have a nice smile and like taking pictures and have the personality for it.   You can have the cutest kid in the world but if they hate taking pictures or cry and get clingy every time they go to a casting, it’s not going to work and they probably aren’t suited for this business.   I also look at the parents because if they are not professional or don’t treat this like a business, I don’t want to work with them.   I will not work with stage parents, no matter how adorable the kid is!! 

Can you provide prospective models and actors a breakdown the South Florida modeling and acting industry?

The Miami market is very diverse.   We have clients coming from all over the world to shoot here.   Everything from European and American catalogs to editorial shoots for magazines and internet.  Because of our close proximity to the Orlando area, there are also jobs for theme parks, resorts and hotel chains, and even some tourism jobs that require travel to Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Mexico, etc. 

What kinds of bookings and castings can parents expect here?

I have been told by several photographers over the years that Miami has the most professional kids in the country and I think that’s because they work year round.   We have such beautiful beaches and parks and scenery that clients come from all over the world to shoot here.   Kids in the Miami market do a lot of print work for catalogs, web, in store posters, and also editorial work for magazines such as Vogue Bambini, Parenting, etc.   There are many European clients who come here to shoot their catalogs so it’s very common for kids to work for Italian clients, German clients, English, French, and others.   There are also a number of US companies like Walmart, Toys R Us, Carters, Target, etc., that repeatedly shoot here so it’s a nice balance.   There is also a lot of commercial work in Miami.   My models and actors have worked on SAG national commercials such as Royal Caribbean, Nintendo, Volkswagon, etc., and have also worked on smaller non-union projects.   There are also TV and film jobs.   Until recently, we had several television shows filming right here in Miami such as Burn Notice, The Glades, Charlie’s Angels and Magic City.   We are lucky that we still have Graceland and a new Netflix series shooting here, so hopefully those will bring more opportunities for my child actors.   In the fall, we had several local kids work for the feature film Dolphin Tale 2 which comes out in Sept.   That was a lot of fun!   Hopefully the state of Florida will give more film incentives that will draw more big feature films like that to our area.

Typically, how long does it take for a “new face” to get going as a model or actor?

That depends: some kids are lucky and book the very first casting they go on, but for others it takes time.   It is not unusual for a child to go on ten auditions before they book something.         I always tell people to be patient and just enjoy the ride, and it will happen for them if they are determined, dedicated and devoted to their craft.   You really get what you put into it.   If you don’t get professional pictures done, and you don’t go to any castings and you just sit around and wait for the jobs to come to you, you won’t be successful in this business.   You need to take the initiative and make things happen.   The “new faces” that understand that and realize that investing in nice photos or spending that gas money to audition will only benefit you in the long run, are the ones who are successful. 

What advice can you give to parents in pursuing both print, and tv/film work?

Again, that depends on the kid.   I have some kids who are strictly print and others who are strictly TV, and some are lucky that they can do both.   It really depends on their personality and their goals.   Some kids are shy but take beautiful photos so they might not have that larger than life personality to be able to book TV commercials and film.   And some of my TV kids are character actors who love to act and have no interest in modeling.   Each kid is different so I try to cater to their needs and wants and see where they might fit into the biz. 

Where can we see Taylor Made Talent kids appearing?

Everywhere from the movie Dolphin Tale 2 which will be in theaters in September, to all sorts of national commercials for companies like Royal Caribbean, Nike, EpiPen, Volkswagon, catalogs such as Chasing Fireflies, Carters, Next Directory, Walmart, Toys R Us, and JCPenney newspaper inserts and mailers.  Also magazines like Vogue Bambini and Grazia, to several web series that will be debuting on you tube this summer, to student and independent films.   As you can see, there are so many opportunities in South Florida and really something for everyone! 

For all the Taylor Made Talent booking news, please follow my Facebook page called Taylor Made Talent.   I am so proud of all my kids and am always posting their exciting bookings for everyone to see!   Regardless of whether or not they book, I am super proud of each kid that I manage for their professionalism and dedication to this very competitive business.   The most important thing to me is that the kids have fun and put away a little money for college, and if I can make that happen, then I feel I have done a good job!! 

 

Meredith Blackwell and her family, living the South Florida lifestyle.

For instructions on submitting your child for consideration see the website:  Taylor Made Talent 

Follow Taylor Made Talent on Facebook to see recent campaigns and work from their models and actors.

William Valdes: Latin Actor, TV Host and Singer

Mix together equal parts James Dean, Frankie Avalon and Ryan Seacrest and you will come up with today’s hottest young latino star-on-the rise, William Valdes.  Triple threat host, actor and singer, William is on the fast track to becoming a recognizable face on spanish language tv where he interviews the biggest latino stars,  in telenovelas and series, and on stage.  The Latin market is famous for turning out heart-throbs and here is the latest, all set for his big break and ready to take on Hollywood.
 
 
 
How old were you when you first got the acting bug?
  
I stared working in spanish entertainment when I was 15 years old. I was in the cast of “Grachi” for Nickelodeon Latin America.  Grachi became to be the most successful series Nick L.A have ever made. So I’m very happy that I was part of that amazing tv sitcom.  
How did you win your first hosting job and how did you learn how to approach stars on the red carpet and on TV shows?
I got my first tv hosting job when I was shooting Grachi here in Miami.  One day on the set a producer approached me and he asked if I would like to do a casting because they where looking for this young guy for a segment in a huge spanish gossip tv show.  I went forward and did the casting, and they told me right there that I was what they where looking for.  I spent three years interviewing many famous artists like Justin Bieber, Serena Williams, Paulina Rubio, JLo, Pitbull and many more big spanish stars. I guess being able to host every day it showed me how to approach an artist.  I always have a great connection with the artist – I don’t ask them the questions they typically get asked.  I have a lot of fun while doing the interviews and that makes it more fresh… 
Do you prefer acting or hosting?
I would say I prefer both: why? My biggest passion is acting, as it allows me to be someone else.  I can express so many emotions while acting in a role.  For example in “Grachi” I was 416 year old wizard trapped in a 16 year old’s body.  Imagine how fun it was too shoot all of that, the action scenes and the special effects, while I’m not a wizard, but just a regular kid. Now, when I host, I’m being myself.  I get to express what I think and I say what I feel like saying.
Most memorable experience as a TV host:
 
I had so many memorable experiences while hosting and interviewing artists, but I will never forget the day I had to interview Emilio Estefan.  He was releasing his new monster headphones and we sat down and they said “in 3-2-1…” and from there a big friendship grew.    After the interview was done he said to me, “where have you been kid?”  It’s really amazing when someone like him congratulates me whenever I finish hosting. So I was honored to hear something from him.
 
 
What are your ambitions: more hosting, acting on TV or film, or acting on stage, or singing…?
My biggest ambition and my goal is to get to Hollywood and make movies.  Right now I’m building up my name in the spanish market.  Once I have a strong name in that market I will consider to crossover to the American market as a latino actor. 
Favorite film: Favorite music: Favorite food:
My favorite film is a sequel and stars the actor I look up most to, Johnny Depp, is Pirates of the Caribbean.   I like to hear any kind of music and I am very open to all of it but I really love pop.  My favorite food of all time is pasta – I am in love with Italian food. 
Do you see yourself acting on a telenovelas in the future?
Yes, I love doing soap operas in spanish – it is so much fun.  It’s a lot of work because it’s not filmed like a regular american tv sitcom.  In the spanish market, the work is intensely long hours and you will film probably 40 to 50 scenes a day.  It’s really fun. 
Dream assignment: (acting with a particular actor, or singing, or whatever you like)
That’s an interesting question, never though of it.  But now that you put it out there I would love to be in a film with Natalie Portman and Johnny Depp – that will be a dream come true. 
 
Where can your fans find you? 
My Twitter: @williamvaldes https://twitter.com/WilliamValdes
My Instagram: @IAMWILLVALDES http://instagram.com/IAMWILLVALDES

Kirby Johnson: New Reality TV Star of “The Drama Queen”

Kirby Johnson is about to dance, sing and act her way into the Hollywood universe.  Years of training and competing have prepared her for the jump from local Florida dancer and actress to one of the featured stars of the new E! reality show “The Drama Queen”.  A freckled-faced, ginger-haired beauty who harkens back to the stars of an earlier era, Kirby lights up the screen and stage.  She is destined to be America’s newest sweetheart.  Stay tuned!  She is just getting started!

How long have you been modeling and acting?

I have done a few small modeling jobs when I was younger but I didn’t start seriously modeling until age 14.  I have been a competitive dancer since I was 11 and acting since day one!

What is your favorite type of shoot?  Dance or fashion, studio or location?

I honestly don’t have a favorite!  Every photo shoot is unique and fun it its own way.

Stage or screen: which do you like better?

I love stage acting but my goal is to become a screen actress.

Tell us what it is like to be on a reality show as a principle:

It is really strange to be on a reality show!  I’m super nervous to see myself on TV but really   excited at the same time.

What sort of travel and adventures have you had in your career so far?

I have flown to Las Vegas, California, and New York multiple times for dance competitions, modeling, and filming for the reality show “The Drama Queen”.  

The reality show you will be a part of airs soon – tell us about the show:

I am going to be on “The Drama Queen” which airs November 17th at 11pm EST on E!  It is based on the granddaughter of Lou Costello, Marki Costello and her family life, her employees and her new kids talent management division in LA.  I am going to be one of Marki’s new       talents.  My Mom and sister are also on the show with me.  It should be filled with laughs and lots of drama. Tune in to find out!

Tell us something about yourself that not many people know:

I named my cat Avada after a spell from Harry Potter, and I still have my baby blanket!  LOL

Describe your support system and how it is helping you to achieve your dreams:

I have the best support system ever!  My mother, father and sister are so supportive in everything that I do!  My Dad is hilarious because he always tries to give me his acting advice and I wouldn’t be anywhere without my sister pushing me to do things and helping me find           auditions, and my Mom is my best friend 🙂

Where can we follow you online?

Instagram:  Kirby J

Twitter: KirbyG Johnson

Youtube Channel: KirbyDancerJohnson

Vine: Kirby J

My new cover and fashion editorial for La Petite Magazine

www.lapetitemag.com

Photography and styling by Allana Wesley White

Model: Téa Elbaz

Hair and Makeup by Colleen Stone of Blush and Beyond

Young Hollywood teen actor Taylor Blackwell twinkles like a star on the rise

If you don’t already know the name Taylor Blackwell, you soon will.

Taylor is part of young    Hollywood and a big star of tomorrow.  She is articulate, smart and engaging, and one of the hardest working young people in the business, developing her craft and skills, while going through the roller coaster ride of the teenage years.  She has “it” – that indescribable something that is comprised of so many things that go into making someone a star.  She is a story-teller by nature and whether shooting stills for photography or motion for tv and film, she brings her own idea of a “character” to the project, interpreting exactly what is needed to take the shoot beyond what is just “expected”.  I love her energy and focus, but most of all I am completely charmed by this sweetheart – and you soon will be too!

What would you say is the difference between modeling and acting?   

Modeling and acting having many similarities, but at the same time, can be very different!     The obvious difference is that in modeling, you are being photographed, and in acting you are being filmed. There is more to it than that though!  The biggest difference for me is that when you are acting, you are developing a character.

Although in modeling your wardrobe can express certain characteristics, you are ultimately more yourself. I do try incorporating acting into modeling, by playing up certain emotions in photographs. They say the eyes are the gateways to your soul, and you can easily see emotion in the eyes.  If you just look at my eyes, you can see that in some photos, I am more happy or excited, while in other photos I am more serious or subdued.

Which do you prefer to do?

I always enjoy doing both, but I prefer acting. I like exploring new characters who have had   different experiences than me.  I’m always up for a challenge, and I get more of that when I’m   acting.  A big part of acting is making connections. Already I have met some really interesting people through acting, and I hope to continue doing so!

 How did you get your big break into acting?

The biggest role I’ve had was as a series regular on the Starz Original Series, Magic City.  Magic City took place 1959 Miami, and was about a hotel owner named Ike Evans, who had to make deals with the mafia to fund his hotel.  I played Lauren Evans, the teenage daughter of Ike.     After auditioning four times for the role, I was so thrilled when I found out the role was mine! The show lasted only two seasons, but I was blessed to work with such an amazingly     talented cast and crew. They became my second family and I will always look back on the         experience with such fond memories.

 What sort of things do you like to do besides acting and modeling?

This year, I’m a freshman at a performing arts high school.  Not only do I have a passion for theater, but for all art forms.  I tap dance, sing, play the piano, sew, knit, sketch, and more! I also enjoy spending time with my family, friends, and pets in my free time.

Dream actors or directors you would love to work with one day?

If I was an actress 60 years ago, I would’ve hoped to work with Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, and Alfred Hitchcock. I love anything old time Hollywood!  However, some of my favorite actors today include the hilarious Gene Wilder, and the always amazing Natalie Portman. I would jump at the chance to work with either one of them.  I think English child actors Asa Butterfield and Tom Holland are both brilliant actors, and I would be pleased to work with them as well!

Advice for any young person who wants to be an actor? 

Rejection is a huge part of this business. The majority of roles you go for, you will not get. For all the successes I’ve had, I’ve had way more rejection. Don’t think of it as rejection though, think of it more as a learning experience. Auditioning helps me improve my craft, and make contacts, even if I don’t get the role! If this is something you want to do, don’t give up. Your “big break” will happen at the right time. Just remember that everything happens for a reason, and if you keep believing that, and work hard enough, you will be successful. Most important of all, have fun!

What would you like to do if you weren’t modeling and acting?

There are so many things I want to be when I’m older, its crazy!  Along with acting and modeling, I would also like to be able to work in other art fields on the side.  Since I’m into visual arts and theater, I think a great side career for me would be working as a costume designer.

What’s next for Taylor?

Right now, I am focusing on going to school and just being a normal teenager. I am working on a web series with some friends, and also, illustrating my first book. It’s a children’s book series written by a good friend of mine. I am fortunate enough to do all the illustrations and bring the main character of Fred to life!

Where can your fans follow you?  

My Twitter, Tumblr, Pheed, Gifboom, and Keek account is @TBTayWay

My Instagram account and Kik account is @themusicalmushroom

I’m also have a FB Fan Page!