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THE INTERVIEW PROCESS

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Tiny Rhonda Braun, an identical twin herself, was barely recovering from the birth of her triplets when she was approached by a woman at a local mall who suggested Braun call an agent.

“The next day, they had two assignments,” Braun says. The triplets, who were on “Evening Shade” last season, appear as the baby in CBS’ “Broken Promises,” airing Oct. 26.

Within a month of Chelsea and Amanda Elness’ first job jaunt, “Murphy Brown” began casting for the role of Murphy’s son. “There was a play group of about 30 babies,” recalls the twins’ mother, Nancy Elness. Mothers must feel comfortable enough to hand their babies over to agents, producers and cast members, who will play with the babies and test their personalities.

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Baby actors are paid the same scale as adults, according to Mary Grady of the Mary Grady Agency. But considering their limited time on set and camera, they don’t make enough money for the average parent to hire help, Grady says.

Grady, whose agency has been in operation for 35 years, has a few cautionary words for parents: “Besides making sure that it’s their kid who has the desire to be in the business--and not them--parents must find an agent. There are too many people with seminars which suggest that there is no cost and then they have costs for photographs and lessons and it ends up being $2,000.

“I’m totally against parents spending money before an agent tells them their child has talent or the right quality. They should call the Screen Actors Guild and make sure that the agency is a bona-fide one and legally franchised and bonded by the state.”

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