The entertainment biz is a mission.
At least that’s the way Actors, Models and Talent for Christ (AMTC) feels. The non-profit ministry is holding auditions for their education program Saturday, June 15 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at GALLERY one – A DoubleTree Suites By Hilton Hotel in Fort Lauderdale.
The “C” in AMTC used to stand for “Convention” stretching back to 1982 when AMTC was a secular business. After years of success, the Atlanta-based company began converting to a faith-based organization in 2010.
“The first 25 years what we specialized in was teaching people and developing what they need to know about the entertainment industry,” says Adam She, executive director and scout for AMTC. “The vision now…we want to see that the great commission of Jesus Christ is fulfilled in acting and music talents onstage and in film and modeling. And they can be of a greater influence when they are in the most influential field in our world today, the media. Everyone is affected by media.”
Over the years, AMTC – through their SHINE and Bridge training programs - has claimed a hand in the success of everyone from “The Voice’s” Taylor Beckham and “American Idol’s” Tim Urban to “So You Think You Can Dance’s” Stephen “Twitch” Boss and “Les Miserable’s” Julian Silva on Broadway.
“AMTC has been a blessing,” says Bettis Richardson, who grew up in North Lauderdale and has appeared on season two of “American Idol” and in the Broadway show “Bring It On.”
“We did a bunch of training and it was awesome,” Richardson continues from his home in Los Angeles where he has appeared in music videos, Fox-TV’s “Glee” and last week’s Tony Awards broadcast. “They guide you. They prep you. They were very motivational and supportive. They really helped move my career along. I had four agents and a manager within a year of moving out here.”
Entertainer and model conventions have no oversight from the government. There is no difference between an agent and a manager, neither of which AMTC claims to be, when it comes to Tallahassee.
“According to Department licensing policy, we do not differentiate between talent agents and managers,” emails Samantha Stratton, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Business & Porfessional Regulation. “Anyone who books or attempts to book an engagement for an artist falls under the umbrella of ‘talent agency,’ which is the type of license we regulate. In regards to the modeling and acting convention coming to South Florida, a license from the Department is not needed as long as it is just a meet and greet situation. A license would be necessary if any of the attendees or officials chose to further a job opportunity (i.e. sign a contract).”
Section 468.01(1) of the Florida Statutes reads: “Talent Agency” means any person who, for compensation, engages in the occupation or business of procuring or attempting to procure engagements for an artist.
Neal Bredbeck, president of Las Olas Models & Talent in Fort Lauderdale, says getting signed with an agency can be simple.
“Just email some pictures with a brief intro,” explains Bredbeck, who regularly books models with the Billboard Latin Music Awards, Calder Race Course and the International Boat Shows in both Dade and Broward. “We just need…[them to] include their measurements and what they are hoping to do in the modeling world.”
But he is quick to add that, “It’s better to get an agent. More likely than not, they will steer you in the right direction. They won’t charge you for internet [placement]. They won’t overcharge you for expensive portfolios.”
AMTC’s She agrees, saying, “We talk to kids all the time that have problems with talent development out there that just aren’t ethical.” He adds that they haven't been to SoFlo since 2006 and 2007 because “…there’s been a lot of market saturation and a lot of different talent companies…and some of them haven’t done things with the highest integrity. They put a bad taste in people’s mouth.”
There is no fee to audition. Those that received a callback from the audition will have the opportunity to attend the Bridge training and the SHINE event. Package cost ranges from $3895 to $4995. Fundraising, financial aid options and scholarships are available. For more information, go to AMTCworld.com.