Sharon McCarthy is from International Talent Showcase, an annual event in Florida that helps aspiring actors, singers, dancers and models to make industry contacts and see if they have what it takes to break into their chosen field.
Sharon, how did you get involved in the International Talent Showcase?
I started my modeling career when I was a teenager at a local agency and was fortunate to sign with an agency in NYC while I completed college and law school. Upon graduation, I opened a local agency for models and actors. I recognized the struggle for new talent that wants to learn and extend their options beyond their local market. After collaboration with the many contacts I had made in the industry, International Talent Showcase was launched to find talent from local markets all over the world and connect them with industry professionals. The showcase allows talent to learn about the industry in a safe family-oriented environment with guidance from our team of coaches that help each attendee prepare for their attendance at the International Talent Showcase.
How long has it been in operation for?
International Talent Showcase began in 1986.
How do you decide who is invited?
ITS has a team of National Scouts that hold auditions for aspiring talent in local markets throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Africa. After the audition, callbacks are selected and a coach is assigned to assist in the preparation, educate them about the industry and guide them as they prepare to perform and showcase in front of the industry professionals. Local agencies also attend the event with their talent to allow their talent to connect with Industry Professionals which allows local agencies to maintain the representation of their talent and become Mother Agents as their talent are signed with national and international agencies.
Do attendees get an advantage over other industry hopefuls?
There are many ways to break into the talent industry, and International Talent Showcase is certainly not the only way but it is a safe, family-oriented event that has proven results and success stories.
Attendees have an advantage over other industry hopefuls since they are being educated and presented to top industry professionals that are attending the event all under one roof to find new talent for their agencies. It alleviates talent having to travel to different cities and visit agencies which can be costly. Attending this event takes the guesswork out of what agencies they may be suitable for and how to be best prepared.
Do the people who attend typically “make it”?
Past Showcases have calculated that approximately 84% of the contestants received at least one callback from an Industry Professional. A “callback” indicates interest from an Industry Professional. It may become an offer of representation, a referral to another Agent, Manager or Casting Director, or a callback may give you advice or indicate future interest. Our supportive network of Industry Professionals share our mission of teaching and assisting aspiring actors, models and entertainers. Even if you do not receive a callback, ITS offers Speed Networking. All but a few of the Industry Professionals participate and many contestants with great personalities, photos or an impressive resume receive offers from Industry Professionals who did not initially call them back.
Many of those who do not choose acting, modeling or entertainment as a career go on to successful, local, part-time careers. When they are back home, they are ready to work. They have superior skills to their local actors, models or entertainers who have not had the intense and unique coaching of ITS. Still others, who received encouragement from the Industry Professionals, will work hard to better themselves according to their suggestions: perhaps to participate in local theater, to improve their appearance, to get different photos or a new headshot, to work locally to increase their self-confidence, or to improve their audition skills. The desired contract may indeed come later.
For teens and children, an exciting “fringe benefit” of involvement in this industry is a large boost in self- esteem. Students become leaders in their schools and among their peers, instead of followers. They know that excellent attitudes, conduct and grades are the standards in this industry, and they work to among the best.
Is the International Talent Showcase attended by many industry professionals?
Many Industry Professionals eagerly attend to see the new talent that has been discovered and developed from all around the world.
There are many different Industry professionals that attend, most of them are:
- feature film casting directors and producers
- fit modeling agents, Latino acting agents, managers and casting directors.
- lifestyle modeling agents
- fashion modeling agents from Tokyo, Taipei, London, Paris, New York, Milan, Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, Chicago, L.A., Montreal, Charlotte, Nashville & San Paolo
- network casting directors
- plus modeling scouts
- record company representative
- singer’s managers
- television commercial casting directors and agents
- theatrical casting directors and agents
- traveling productions, tours and shows
Thank you Sharon for sharing your thoughts!
You can follow up with Sharon McCarthy at http://www.internationaltalentshowcase.com