Ten years ago, when Pamela Sindler's two daughters were 1 and 4, she began looking for ways to get them into commercials and modeling. After a few wrong turns, she hired a consultant and the girls began working.
Now Mrs. Sindler has started her own consulting business, Act Now, to help others avoid making the same, costly mistakes she made.
"My kids have worked in films, television, commercials, voice-overs at conventions and in the theater," Mrs. Sindler said. The girls are members of the Screen Actors Guild and, after 10 years, their college educations are paid for, she said.
Getting there takes the right steps, she said, "and that's what Act Now does: walks you through those steps."
She takes her clients through setting up a wardrobe, getting headshots, writing a resume and cover letter, and putting together a submission packet for agents. She explains about hair and makeup and what to do once you have an agent. The fee is $225 for six weeks.
Mrs. Sindler said many people mistakenly think a portfolio is a series of photographs taken by a professional photographer. Actually, she said, it is a collection of "pictures or tearsheets from newspapers or magazines of work you have done and been paid for." "A portfolio is a continuing resume, and it takes time to build up."
Many parents think their children have to go to special schools and that the schools will find work for them, she said.
"Parents looking to get their children in the business go to places expecting them to be agents, but instead they find out they are paying money for just lessons and classes," she said. "If you have a natural ability and the personality, you shouldn't have to have a bunch of lessons. My kids haven't had the first lesson."
Another misconception that people have, she said, is that they have to pay to have an agent.
"You don't pay to be with an agent," she said. "The agent gets a percent of the jobs booked for you."
Florida, she said, is a good place to start a career in commercials and modeling because it's a right-to-work state. Agents, however, have to belong to the Screen Actors Guild.
"People don't realize the potential that Florida has," she said. "There are casting directors and agents right here."
One of the most important steps in the road to starting a career, she said, is getting the agent submission packet in the right format.
"Agents look at hundreds of submissions a day, and they throw away the ones that aren't set up right," she said. "It's a matter of doing these things right and hoping for the best."
When not working on Act Now, Mrs. Sindler works part time as a dental assistant for Dr. Robert Hearn in St. Petersburg. Her husband, Mike, works at the VA Medical Center at Bay Pines.
The Sindler girls are Jadi, 11, a fifth-grader at Rawlings Elementary School, and Jennifer, 14, a ninth-grader at Seminole High School. Mrs. Sindler, a St. Petersburg native, graduated from Seminole High in 1983.
Mrs. Sindler operates Act Now out of her home in Seminole.
Her pager number is (813) 303-1161.
second bakery outlet
Entenmanns' second bakery outlet in Pinellas County has opened in the Oxford Square shopping center at 9418 Seminole Blvd.
The new outlet carries all the Entenmanns breads and baked products, as well as Arnold and Thomas breads, rolls and muffins, Boboli pizza and Lender's bagels, said Julie Napier, the company's area supervisor.
"Customers can expect to save at least half (the regular store price) on most of the products in the store," Napier said.
Entenmanns, which has been in the baking business since 1898, is owned by Bestfoods Baking Co., based in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.
The company's other Pinellas outlet is in the Allen's Creek Shopping Center at 17964 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater. No other outlets are scheduled to open in Pinellas, Napier said, but one is to open sometime this year in Tampa.
The hours of the new Oxford Square store are 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday, closed Sunday. Phone is 394-8358.
Two sales associates
Dawn Schultz and Alfredo Vega have joined Century 21 Real Estate Champions, 4350 Duhme Road, as sales associates. Both plan to specialize in residential sales.
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