Have you always dreamed of modeling, acting or doing voiceovers for commercials, if only you had someone to help you get your big break?
A pair of Hinsdale entrepreneurs have opened their own talent agency -- Hinsdale Talent Boutique -- and are holding an open casting call from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 4, in the Fuller’s Home and Hardware building at 35 First St. The casting call is open to both newcomers and experienced talent.
Founders Annie Kiperman and Maureen Grace bring years of combined experience in from the worlds of television, theater, fashion and advertising, as well as a specialty in multicultural advertising.
Between Kiperman’s and Grace’s connections in the industry, they’re confident they can start booking talent right away.
“In this business it’s all about relationships and networking,” Kiperman said. “We have lots of contacts in the industry in Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles, and hopefully a lot of local business. We have people waiting in the wings for us to get up and going.”
Kiperman thinks the Talent Boutique’s suburban location will be selling point for talent and clients looking for a convenient alternative to downtown Chicago agencies.
“There is a ton of interesting talent locally,” she said. “Hinsdale is a wonderful community as are other surrounding communities. People are coming from all over who don’t want to trek downtown.”
The Talent Boutique offers a less daunting approach, by providing education, support and guidance through the talent industry, Kiperman said.
“We can teach models how to walk down a runway or put on makeup correctly,” she said. “We’ll be putting on different workshops, bringing in acting coaches and other talent coaches to help our clients get into the business. If someone is craving something, we’ll look for the right workshop. We’ll give the training that we think would benefit them.”
Industry wise, there is a lot of print and commercial work in Chicago. NBC is shooting on location (“Chicago Fire”), as well as ABC (“Mind Games”). More network and cable network shows are also eyeing Chicago.
“A lot of films are being shot here because the state gives good tax subsidies to work here,” Kiperman said. “If we have the right talent we’ll send him or her on an audition. We offer exclusive and non-exclusive signings. We want what is best for our talent.”
The partners are currently shopping for an office space in downtown Hinsdale within walking distance from the train. Fuller’s, meanwhile, is offering an empty storefront that it hopes to convert into a restaurant for Sunday’s casting call.
“It’s a great white space,” Kiperman said. “We want to partner with local businesses.”
Sunday’s grand opening casting is open to children, teens, men and women of all ethnicities, and ages, experienced and non-experienced. Those interested in signing with the agency should bring a comp card -- headshot and resume. A professional fashion photographer will also be available to take comp card photos for $20.