I’ll admit it: before I had kids, I laughed at moms who said, “I want to get my kid into modeling. It’ll pay for her college and everyone always stops me to ask why she’s not in magazines anyway.”
Then I had a kid. And people kept saying that! And I wondered ... could I get in on some kind of child-modeling payday?
And yeah, I did. I entered the Gap contest last year. I’m not proud, but I’m not ashamed either. I had gotten some free snapshots through a local studio, and I wanted to show them off. In the end, I was too embarrassed to ask people to vote for her and figured they’d choose her if they loved her.
I also checked with friends in the business and got my child-modeling reality check.
Plenty of people will take your money and provide you with photos, but remember the rude awakening Teresa Giudice got on Real Housewives of New Jersey? The photos she paid for were useless -- too much makeup, and too “pageanty.”
In the end, it almost doesn’t matter how exquisitely beautiful your child is (and I agree, that kid has a face that would launch a thousand ships. I’m not even kidding). It’s about whether they’re docile, easy to manage, and willing to sit still for a reasonable period of time. And even then, the pay is in the hundreds, not the thousands; the real money is in TV ads, particularly national ones. Anything less isn’t going to help with college costs.
When I worked at a popular kids’ TV show, the first round of auditions consisted of them putting the kids in a playroom with the moms firmly elsewhere, where they couldn’t be “stage moms,” and just seeing which ones were naturally sociable and willing to take direction. A pal of mine who brought her daughter in was really irritated that the kid had an off day and didn’t make the cut. Bummer!
That being said, it sure can’t hurt to go for it with Gap. There’s prize money, not to mention bragging rights. And even if you don’t win-win, you can mobilize your social network to get a ton of votes and at least get the fan favorite prize. You've only got until October 24 to enter the Gap Casting Call for this year.
(There’s even a casting call iPhone app. Why is there a casting call iPhone app?!)
Are you going to enter your kid into the Gap Casting Call?
Image via The Gap