Michael is seriously cute. I think we can all agree on that. Seriously, it surprised even Trinity and I how cute he came out, with those big eyes, the ready smile and that curly hair that all the girls loooove. So, even though I didn’t really see Michael doing it for the long term, I figured, heck, why not? So I signed him up with a modeling agency.
Jet Set Babies, which is the baby branch of Jet Set Models, is based in La Jolla, closer to San Diego than Los Angeles, but most of the work for their models seems to be for LA. Michael was a Jet Set Baby for less than a year, but it was an eye opener for his mom.
Mikey was six months old when Jet Set finally wanted to sign him up. I’d been sending them pictures when they put out calls for African American babies, but I do realize he looks more Asian. At any rate, the cute is all that matters, and they immediately asked for more pictures of him without his bibs. After I did that, I got a welcome packet that included information about how much time babies can be working, by law, work permit forms, and other stuff.
One of the first things I had to do was put together a photosheet for him. Since I’d taken all the pictures, and Trinity could easily put together the photosheet, this was the easiest thing. Check it out.
Then, I had to set up a Coogan Account for him (I chose First Entertainment FCU, but we never got to deposit anything for him in this account, so its now closed) and get a work permit for him from the Van Nuys courthouse. Then….we were ready to go on auditions. And more auditions. And more auditions.
I gotta tell you, having a child working in the industry is not for those with regular 9-5 day jobs. Trinity and I were only able to do it because we worked odd hours during that time period and were able to swing it. There were days when Jet Set would call midday and say, “can you get to Santa Monica by 4…?” So unless one parent stays at home or works at home, or both parents work odd hours, this is probably not for your child.
Mikey did score one job. The actual shoots were not too bad, although it seems we didn’t see any photos from the second shoot (to which Trinity took Michael). But the audition and especially the callback? That was hell. I was a ball of stress the day of the callback, and it had nothing to do with Michael. At any rate, they liked him, even though when he got in front of the photographer, he looked at the camera like, “and what would you like me to do?” Check out what came out:
The Europe-only campaign came out in late December. I exhorted several friends living in and traveling to London to try and find the print catalog, but they were unsuccessful. Oh well. My baby was a model…for a couple of months.
By the way, the most inconvenient thing about this whole experience was actually how long it took to see payment for this work. The work for Michael was not bad at all — he was only needed for about an hour, but he was paid for three — but payment took nearly seven months from the date of the first shoot. Is that normal? I have no idea. And don’t worry — after the agency took its 20% cut, half of the check went into Mikey’s savings account, and the rest is paying for his new convertible car seat. So, basically, it all goes to him.