IMTA produces two five-day conventions ‒ one in New York and one in Los Angeles ‒ which consist of modeling, acting, singing, dancing and songwriting competitions, educational workshops and seminars, awards events, and callback/interview opportunities with the hundreds of invited fashion and talent agents, personal managers, casting directors, network representatives and music producers who judge the IMTA competitions and conduct the seminars, all the while searching for new models and talent to work in the fashion and entertainment industries.
For over twenty-five years IMTA has been the most recognized and respected opportunity for fashion and talent agents, personal managers, casting directors, network representatives and music producers to find the next supermodel or rising star.
Actors perform a Monologue and perform a commercial in the TV Real People competition. Older actors read before a “casting director” during the Cold Read competition while youngsters perform a “show and tell” about their favorite toy in Toys R Us. The On-Camera Host competition allows actors to be themselves on camera while reading from a teleprompter in front of a panel of judges. Actors also participate in the Theatrical Headshots/Screen Test competitions where their theatrical headshot photographs are judged, followed by the actor reciting a one-liner that is both live and on-camera.
Other competitions available are Improvisation — where actors perform a short monologue based on a provided scenario — and Commercial Print, which follows the same format as Fashion Print and Theatrical Headshots where a contestant’s best commercial print photos are displayed and judged. Singers and dancers initially compete in a preliminary round, with the top scorers advancing to perform in the Talent Showcase.
Songwriting is a new competition at IMTA where aspiring songwriters perform their original works before a panel of judges from the music recording and publishing industry. Finalists perform in the Talent Showcase and winners have the opportunity to have their song professionally recorded, as well as the opportunity to audition for a new songwriting reality show.
One additional competition that is highly anticipated at each convention is the Team competition. Contestants from each training center have the opportunity to perform as a group in three different sections: Team Fashion, which is a presentation incorporating wardrobe and a runway routine, Team Singing and Team Dance.
Contestants looking to do high fashion modeling must still meet height and age requirements, but many contestants do both modeling and acting. Actors who do not fit into the height and age requirements for high fashion models can still compete as a commercial model.
IMTA is a “closed” convention, meaning only a select list of companies receive an invitation. This ensures that not only are contestants being scouted in a professional, supportive environment, but they are being seen by “the best in the business” – respected agents, managers and casting directors who each have an established reputation in the modeling and talent industries for finding and promoting new faces.
In addition to the training opportunities at IMTA for contestants, there are also seminars offered specifically for parents. These seminars allow parents to ask questions about the business end of modeling and acting, help them learn their role in their child’s career, and provide tips on balancing a child’s dreams with business realities.
The number one comment we hear from people who have attended IMTA is that they learned so much about themselves, that they grew stronger as a person because of the experience. They also say they learned self-confidence, learned life skills and made long-lasting friendships because of IMTA.
One way many people finance attending IMTA is through sponsorships or fundraising. Sponsors may be family, friends or local businesses who provide financial or other support. Some sponsorships may be tax deductible. Fundraisers might include car washes or bake sales. Information and suggestions on seeking financial assistance through sponsorships or fundraisers is available from your IMTA member.
What is incredibly valuable about attending IMTA is the establishment of professional relationships for aspiring models and talent. For most young people trying to break into the business, they go the route of seeking representation by mailing or dropping off a photo/resume or comp card to an agency, hoping that they will somehow stand out from the hundreds of similar submissions on the same day. If they do not already know someone in New York or Los Angeles, the chances of a face-to-face meeting with an agent—or being able to show that agent who you are and what you can do—are slim. Hopeful models and talent may spend many months, much energy and a lot of their financial resources just trying to get a foot in the door.
What IMTA provides is that opportunity to meet—and be seen by—not just one agent, but several hundred agents, managers and casting directors at one time. It is the opportunity to show that you have the skills and training to be on the runway or in front of a camera, that you have already made a commitment to becoming a professional, and that you have what it takes to succeed.
When someone labels IMTA a rip-off or scam, we rarely know the reason why. It may be because they misunderstood IMTA’s purpose and goal, which is to provide aspiring models and talent the opportunity to showcase their skills in front of agents and scouts…which IMTA does and always has delivered. It may be because they did not get the callbacks or agent interest they thought they should have received. It may be because they attended a search by a member training center, but upon learning that there are costs associated with the preparation, training and attending IMTA, chose to see that as a ripoff rather than an investment. Remember that it is the IMTA member that sets the package price and each training center or agency’s package will vary based on what is included in the package. IMTA’s registration fees are fixed and typically constitute a small portion of a training center’s package. Questions regarding costs and what is included in the package should be directed to your nearest IMTA member.
For those who continue to wonder if IMTA is real, or if it is a rip-off or a scam, we can only encourage them to look at the success stories of the models and talent who began their careers at IMTA. We encourage them to look at the list of previous attendees below and to watch our alumni success video to understand how legitimate IMTA is and how many opportunities are at every IMTA Convention.
Yes, signing with an agent or manager and getting a high profile modeling job or acting role is the dream and end goal of most people attending IMTA. But IMTA can also impact a young person in ways that are much more subtle and long-lasting, ways that have already been mentioned: increased confidence, greater self-esteem, and becoming a stronger person.
Actors you may recognize who got their start at IMTA include Ashley Greene, Josh Duhamel, Jessica Biel, Katie Holmes, Ashton Kutcher, Regine Nehy, Seann William Scott, Adrianne Palicki, Sofia Vassilieva, Eva Longoria, Lyndsy Fonseca, Jeremy Sumpter, Jon Kent Etheridge, Elijah Wood, Jerry Ferrera, Sara Niemetz, Haley Bennett, Drew Tyler Bell, Alyson Stoner, Zach Roerig, Brandon Routh, Riley Smith, Miles Heizer, Raini Rodriguez, Brooke Burns, Jill Wagner, Moises Arias, Tiffany Thornton, Nicholas Purcell, Sean Faris…and the list can go on and on.
Models that were signed at IMTA for runway and print include Tyson Ballou, Jessica White, Branden Rickman, Bradley Tomberlin, Michael Fulfree, Zhanna, Renee Altway, Ryan Locke, Sean Harju, Xiao Wang, Sara Dawson, and Kim Lemanton…to name just a very few. Recent attendees Danielle Veenstra, Greyson Gettys, Alex Angel, Jessica Cambensy, Kaleb Builta, Katrina Hunter, Christian Houge, Shandria Brooks, Meandra, Samantha Hingdon, Erin Burton, Michelle Roos, Alyssa Reinke and Brandy Eargle are among those models that went from IMTA to Fashion Week runways and major ad campaigns across the globe.