Purple Giraffe is a boutique talent agency for child actors, based in North West England. The quality of young performers on their books, and positive relationship with parents, earned this agency its place on our list of reputable UK Agencies for Child Actors.
A Northern Agency For Child Actors
The Purple Giraffe Talent Agency opened its doors in 2016. Based in the Cheshire town of Congleton, in North West England, it’s close to the screen production centres in Manchester and Salford.
That said, their Spotlight registered young performers are well used to London castings too.
As Purple Giraffe submits clients for acting work and is not an extras agency for children, every young person they represent must be ready to travel to wherever the casting or work is, at short notice. You must have the funds, organisational skills and household arrangements waiting and ready for a sudden phone call.
Purple Giraffe describes itself as a boutique agency. That means small and select, cutting down the chance your child will face internal competition with another young person with similar looks and skillset. Also, it allows agency staff to focus on a smaller roster of performers, and therefore know them better as individuals when submitting briefs and organising bookings.
The Agency’s Founders
Louise and Andrea built professional careers in other sectors. Given the business acumen and networking skills required to run a talent agency successfully in an uncertain industry, their previous experience is an advantage.
Even better, as mums who met at their children’s acting classes, they know from personal experience about the highs and lows entire households go through when a child actor lives in the family.
A Track Record Of Success
Despite being in business only a few years, the agency has already seen its young performers invited to self-tape and audition hundreds of times, and book high quality work.
Notable successes include:
- Callum Booth-Ford; Butterfly, lead role in 3 part miniseries (ITV) for which he was shortlisted for Best Breakthrough Talent at the Royal Television Society North West Awards. Also Peaky Blinders, Series 5 (BBC).
- Kelcie Atkinson; The Bay, Season 2 (ITV)
- Billie Boullet; The Worst Witch, Series 4 (BBC)
- Amelie Child Villiers; BFI funded feature film Censor
If you are new to this industry, don’t be surprised by the number of castings compared to booked roles. That’s entirely normal, and something you’ll get used to. Even getting into the casting room is a major achievement given the level of competition.
How Do You Apply To Purple Giraffe?
If you want to be represented by the Purple Giraffe talent agency, send your CV and headshot to the address on their website.
If you’re unsure what an acting CV looks like, click on the Spotlight or Mandy profiles of other child performers. That will give you an idea of layout and ways to categorise your experience.
The headshot must be recent, clear and show only your child. Keep hats, makeup, props and diverting backgrounds out.
Also, remember that the child in the photo must look the same as the child walking into the casting room. Children grow quickly, teeth fall out, haircuts change, and these all have a major impact on a child actor’s chances of employment.
Finally, keep the photo size limited, ideally to within 2MB. Most digital cameras produce shots which are much higher and crash email boxes so bear this in mind if you don’t possess compressed professional headshots.
Make the headshot and the CV the best you can. But also make both a true representation of your child at this moment in time. Actors must be reliable and professional at every contact point. Therefore, you can’t make errors and omissions in your initial contact.
The Purple Giraffe team reviews each and every application email that comes in.
If they see a potential place for your child in their books, they will get in touch.
However, agencies are overwhelmed with applications every day of the week. Genuine and successful agencies quickly spot the ones they think are most likely to get work, and focus on those. If they rely on commissions as the main source of their income, then they need performers who book work in a very competitive industry.
Unfortunately, there just isn’t enough time in the day to write to all unsuccessful applicants.
If you don’t hear back from Purple Giraffe, assume your application is unsuccessful and move on. Phone calls and further emails asking about their decision are not welcome.
Realistically, who wants to hear that their child doesn’t have the right look, skillset, experience or personality to be successful in a casting room? Sometimes the decision comes down to similarity with another child already represented, or the knowledge that an inexperienced 14 year old with no unique selling points just can’t book what little work is around for that age group.
But it takes valuable (unpaid) time to explain this to an inexperienced parent, and then deal with further queries from them.
You can therefore understand why most agencies only get in touch with promising applicants and none ever gives a reason why the application is unsuccessful.
Casting directors rarely tell actors they didn’t get a role, even when they made it through the first audition and into the recall, despite the time and money invested into the process by the performer. Being both left in limbo and feeling disappointed are all part of an actor’s life.
If you need closure from a talent agent following your application, this is not the right industry for you to get involved with.
It’s clear from the agency’s social media accounts that Purple Giraffe kids are enjoying invitations to self-tape and audition for high quality roles. Furthermore, the agency limits the number of children on its books, to give more focus to each child represented.
“Our aim as Purple Giraffe Talent is to help, guide and support our actors to be head and shoulders above the rest.”Purple Giraffe website
But it also enjoys great feedback from parents. When each role is so hard to win, and there’s so much expense and commitment required to compete, a positive relationship with your agent is paramount.
As with all talent agencies, Purple Giraffe can’t guarantee getting you in the casting room, never mind booking the job. But if you’re looking for a reputable and well liked agency for your child actor, they should be on your application list.