Thursday, November 7, 2013

Open Call Nov. 9 for female talent

The Benoit Agency, a female-focused talent and personal development firm, is holding a free, open call for females of all ages interested in modeling, acting and pageantry. It's from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 9 at   Piedmont School of Music and Dance in the University area at 3220 Prosperity Church Road #103. 

I met agency founder Mia Heaston Benoit recently at "The Art of Fashion" a fundraiser for the Mint Museum held at Neiman Marcus. She definitely stands out in the crowd for her beauty and poise. 

The evening was ending and guests were leaving when I spotted her and her husband Dexter, the founding attorney of Benoit Law Firm. I grabbed my photographer Daniel Coston, turned on my video camera and we descended on them. They could not have been more gracious. When I asked her to twirl so we could get a picture of the back of her dress, which had a ladylike cutout, she and Dexter broke into an impromptu dance that became one of my favorite parts of the video of the evening.

Here are the photos of Dexter and Mia from The Art of Fashion:

At The Art of Fashion, Mia gave me her card and I wasn't surprised to find out that she was Miss Illinois USA 2007 since she radiates beauty, intelligence and charisma.

When I talked to her on the phone recently, she told me that she decided to start the agency - the only one in the Southeast founded by a woman for women - to fill the demand of the growing film and entertainment industry in Charlotte, and to help those interested in pageantry.

"We're looking for girls and women of all ages, races, backgrounds and sizes so we can find fresh, new faces interested in the modeling, acting and pageant world," she said. "We want to get as many to come out as possible so we can start working with clients."

She started out as a model at 12 and was recruited into pageantry. Her winning title helped her pay for her MBA, so she knows first-hand the positive side of pageantry.

Attendees should bring a non-returnable head shot and be prepared to demonstrate skills such as walking the runway or performing a monologue that the agency provides. All ages are welcome, from infants to adults. 

"We're not concerned  with what typically books work," she said. "We're looking for people who are unique and have great personalities, positive energy, good attitudes and who want to work really hard."

Because she's been to open calls where she's been there all day, she is planning for her  event to move quickly. After it's over and she and her team have evaluated everyone, they'll call back anyone they're interested in working with.

The agency also offers workshops for professional development that are designed to help empower women and build up their self-esteem.

Details:; 704-900-3475.

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