June 2009

Beyond the Runway • Model & talent agency’s super fun vs. superstar philosophy fosters self-confidence and self-esteem

Author: Blanche T. Sullivan | Photographer: photography by anne

Were you a kid who desperately wanted to perform in the school play, but heart-stopping stage fright kept you from auditioning? Does your own child shy away from others or from opportunities in the spotlight due to low self-esteem? Whether your child dreams of performing, modeling, singing, pursuing a career in a communications or public speaking-related field, or even raising a hand in class, Tucker Agency | Model • Talent can help your son or daughter achieve greater self-confidence and become the best he or she can be.

Situated in Bluffton’s Bridge Center near Moss Creek, the Tucker Agency, a full service model and talent agency that represents male and female models, actors, singers and dancers of all ages, emphasizes boosting self-confidence and self-esteem and offers so much more than professional representation.
According to Jennifer Tucker, the agency’s down-to-earth owner/president, “Anybody can do our program, and we are always looking for new talent. It’s not just about having a pretty face, but also about having a unique look or personality. Our main goal is to have fun and to help kids become more confident and feel good about themselves.”

An experienced and successful model herself, Tucker does offer a comprehensive intro to modeling program for kids ages 3-18 in a positive and fun environment. “I began modeling when I was 13, and it can be a tough and intimidating industry. I wanted to give people something different, better, less intimidating, a more helpful experience.”

Tucker Agency’s modeling program, designed as a self-rewarding, extra-curricular activity, gives boys and girls an opportunity to learn about the fashion/modeling industry, learn age-appropriate modeling, enjoy interactive in-studio training with kids in their age group and participate in fashion shows. Additionally, the program is available on a “non-agency basis,” which means that agency representation is not required for children to participate.

Some kids are initially a bit reluctant to strut their stuff, but with a little of Tucker’s expert TLC and tutelage, they become comfortable enough to let down their guard and soon become quite fond of parading down a 30-foot practice runway, flaunting their own unique moves and smiles to the sound of an energetic beat.
Local, Kim Ingersoll, mother of daughter, Brittany, age 11, and son, Jesse, age 6, saw an ad in the newspaper and decided to allow her daughter to try a class. Tucker spotted Jesse, thought he had a special something, and suggested Ingersoll bring him along with Brittany.

Brittany, who currently attends one class per week, said, “We learn to stand, how to walk, go with beat of the music. You [kids] should do it because it’s fun.”
Added Ingersoll, “My children love modeling and they have already gotten two job opportunities.” Brittany and Jesse will be featured in a new Hampton lake DVD.
Prior to Tucker Agency’s opening in Fall, 2008, Patsy Nimmer’s daughter, 18-year-old Jordan, was involved with some out-of-town agencies and was glad to find a professional and friendly organization closer to home.

She said, “The thing we like best about Jennifer is that she takes interest in each girl, each student, and treats them as individuals.”
Betsy Scavo, whose daughters Lea, 17, and Stephanie, 13, are involved in Tucker programs, wholeheartedly agrees.

“It’s been a great experience for the girls. They have fun in a small, personal setting and have enjoyed local fashion shows, working on runway modeling and making new friends. Tucker Agency has been great for self-esteem building.”
Angela Adams, mother of 14-year-old Christine, an aspiring model, discovered Tucker Agency by leasing it space within the Bridge Center and is irrefutably one of the agency’s biggest advocates.

Adams, who used to drive four to five hours from Beaufort to take Christine to a reputable agency said, “This location is great, whether you are in Beaufort, Bluffton or Hilton Head, and Christine has gotten a lot more work with Tucker Agency. She has done four-five fashion shows, CH2 magazine and more. Now the Elite agency, in Chicago, has shown interest.”

Tucker, mother of seven-year-old Kailey, is no stranger to nurturing young people and has helped lead numerous talented individuals toward their dream of modeling, acting and singing.

The Georgia native began modeling at the age of 13 and, like many of Hilton Head’s residents, traveled to the island for vacations. She had the pleasure of honing her skills by working with some of the top agents, photographers, and talent scouts in the industry. Yet, in spite of her knowledge and success in the industry, a common compliment shared by her many students, and their parents, is that Tucker is friendly, caring and interactive. Tucker’s husband, Mike, her high school sweetheart, manages marketing, PR and other essentials for the agency.

Diana Donoslovic, 18, recently completed her final year at Hilton Head Prep, but before she heads off to Smith College this fall, to possibly pursue a double major in psychology and theater, Donoslovic will make her acting debut in Dear John, a feature film that will be released in theaters this summer and an opportunity Tucker Agency helped her land.

“Jennifer is really, honestly such a good person,” said Tucker. “She is always on top of things. “I have never met anyone so willing to communicate and work with you.”

Joey Viola, a 20-year-old studying early childhood development and hospitality at USCB (University of South Carolina—Beaufort), credits Tucker Agency with helping him secure a role in Army Wives, a television show that is filmed in Charleston.“I drove to Jalapenos because of a job search,” he said. “I saw the [Tucker Agency] sign. I learned about the Army Wives audition and got a part.”

Both Donoslovic and Viola agree that there are many facets to acting about which many people are not aware and that it is invaluable to have quality representation and training.

Said Donoslovic, “There is a lot to learn and there is a lot of competition out there. You have to rely on good people around you if you want to succeed.”
Tucker Agency will soon offer professional acting and vocal lessons with experienced professionals and is eager to work with those who are interested in exploring new opportunities or expanding existing portfolios.
According to Tucker, the agency also needs models 21 and older and emphasizes that they are not about making super models and doing pageants.
“I want kids to be kids in this industry, not looking ‘pageant-y’ and wearing heavy stage makeup.”

Additionally, Tucker Agency offers opportunities to participate in world-class modeling and talent competitions, summer camp programs, workshops featuring hair, skincare, makeup and nutrition experts, a great birthday party venue and self-esteem building.

Call (843) 836-2540 or visit tuckeragency.net for additional details.

Calendar of Upcoming Events
June
• Modeling and Acting Summer Camps
• American Talent Showcase/Model Jam America rehearsals

July
• July 8-12, American Talent Showcase/Model Jam America in Myrtle Beach, SC
• Modeling and Acting Summer Camps
• Back to School/Fall Fashion Show
• Registration for Fall programs

August
• Modeling Program, Acting Program Begins
Call for open call times for talent and models

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