For models and actors, the road to success is all about dedication
By JUDY ROYAL
The film and modeling industries can be rough for those trying to break into the business, but a local agency strives to make it a little less intimidating.
Wilmington-based Maultsby Model & Talent Agency, which also has offices in New York and Charlotte, spends part of its new talent workshop orientation session explaining to actors and models ― which range in age from babies to grandparents ― that things may not always go their way but to persevere anyway.
“In our packet that we give out we give different pages on rejection,” said Patty Strader, president and founder of the agency. “You can be too pretty, or your eyes can be too blue. We tell them there’s so many things that go into this, that there may be rejection. But if you continue and you stay focused, it will work for you. Some successes take a while, but if you’re dedicated and devoted it’ll happen.”
Maultsby accepts about a third of every model and actor who apply to the agency, Strader said. The agency currently represents about 500 people. But even those who don’t get contracts get advice from Strader and her staff, which includes senior booking agents Lyn and Simon Thomas.
“We do help them,” she said. “We give them ideas of who the coaches are in the area where they’re living. That’s the main thing, to get a reputable coach. They’re going to represent themselves, of course, but they’re also representing Maultsby so we feel like we want to send in only the best there is. Our talent have really trained extensively.”
Strader is a former Miss Wilmington, dancer, actor and model, and has been in the industry for more than 30 years. She studied business and drama at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, trained and taught dance, acting and modeling, and has placed actors and models in every facet of the business, from film and television to print.
Her actors’ and models’ credits include roles on such shows as The Last Song, Vampire Diaries, Army Wives, The Secret Life of Bees, Nights in Rodanthe, Dawson's Creek, Indiana Jones, American Gothic, Puff The Magic Dragon and various TV commercials for large brands. Print work has included Belk and Coastal Living, and several catalogs.
Strader first started The Talent Source Training Center, which is open to anyone who wants to study, in 1988, but almost immediately expanded to the separate business of the agency.
“A casting company once called me and said, since so many of your talent are landing so many roles, would you be interested in representing them? So I kept the school, which I still have,” she said. “Then the talent that we represent and give a contract to can move on and join Maultsby Model & Talent Agency, which we can then submit them for jobs.”
Strader credits the company’s longevity and employees for its success, not only with helping to land roles but also for representing some of the talent for more than 20 years.
“I think we've been here so much longer than any other agency, over 25 years,” she said. “We just have the best booking agents any agency could ever have. And those are the ones who spend 24-seven practically submitting these actors and models to every job possible. And I think we just have such a friendly staff, always willing to help anyone that is serious about the business.” 910-509-4008, maultsbytalent.com