Today we’d like to introduce you to JoCinda Benjamin.
JoCinda, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
In July 2011, my daughter and I made the cross-country drive to Los Angeles from our hometown, Charlotte, North Carolina in support of Jaida’s professional acting career. I drove 800 miles a day and made it to LA within 3 days! To make a long story short, the rest of our family moves out to LA – and in the span of 9 years and hundreds of auditions, Jaida can now be seen on TV shows and movies such as: Disney’s ‘Austin & Ally’, ‘Liv & Maddie’, ‘Stuck in the Middle’, CBS’s ‘Criminal Minds Beyond Borders’, Hallmark’s ‘Christmas Everlasting’, HBO’s ‘Insecure’, Netflix’s ‘Family Reunion’ Lifetime’s ‘Murder in the Vineyard’ and her most film, ‘The Step Daddy’ that will be released this fall!
Once Jaida became legal 18, this gave me the opportunity to circle back into my professional career goals. Having a natural eye for talent, I briefly worked as a Junior Commercial Talent Agent at Unlimited Possibilities Music & Television, (UPMT), then later hired as Head of Youth Commercials at Littman Talent Group in Calabasas, CA. I absolutely adored agenting! I scouted new talent, built relationships with casting offices, secured many auditions for my roster and enjoyed watching their careers soar! Some of my top talent can be seen in national campaigns for Ford, Jeep, Denny’s, Louis Vuitton, Bennetton, Best Buy, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of California, Marvel, and Walmart – just to name a few!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
What they don’t tell you about Hollywood: “The highs are HIGH, and the lows are LOW!” It’s one thing to move to Los Angeles, but surviving is another, especially as a single parent! If you’re not grounded in your faith and don’t know who you are as a person, it can take you to a dark place. I believe this is why some actors and industry professionals suffer from mental illness and depression! It’s a daily battle between “making it” and “staying relevant” and now with social media it adds another layer of anxiety! It hasn’t been an easy path for our family. The cost of living, dealing with rejection, industry “friends”, being away from family during the holidays, losing hometown friends and loved ones passing away while you’re thousands of miles away can eat at your soul. But, what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. It’s all mental! If you can control your thoughts, you can control your destiny. If you truly believe in yourself, your purpose and what God has ordained for your life, it will happen for you! But you have to do the work! You have to stay in classes and workshops to sharpen your skills. You must be faithful! If you focus solely on the fame, then you’re going to be disappointed. Always remember to count your blessings, no matter how small they seem and don’t give up!
Momager On-Set – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Momager On-Set is a mobile company that provides show biz families on-demand support for their child performers. Services include: Set-sitting, Transportation, Audition Prep and Concierge Services; such as renewing child entertainment work permits and Industry Consultation. It is geared toward minors between the ages of 1 and 17 years, working professionally in the entertainment industry and are legally restricted to use other transportation network companies.
As a Momager myself, I saw a need and filled it! Momager On Set was created to “stand in the gap” for industry parents that aren’t always able to navigate their children through the non-stop hustle and bustle of Hollywood auditions, call times, fittings and production. Now, working parents and those with several kids on separate production schedules can steer their child’s acting career with a little less anxiety. I also have an online store on Shopify & Teespring where I sell aspirational t-shirts, pullovers and accessories for actors, models, production crew and families working show business!
What sets my business apart from the competition? Me. I am Black-Woman CEO of an essential business that is needed in Hollywood, and everywhere for that matter! Parents who can’t be in two places at once, trust my company to make sure their child is not only protected at all times, but also prepared for their auditions and safe when traveling – basically treating their children as my own! It’s a lot of pressure, but it all comes naturally to me because I know that it’s my purpose! I love the craziness of my job because at any given time, I can be anywhere. In a casting office casually chatting with Ethan Hawke about his series, or on location in the middle of the desert watching a client in a kidnapping scene- the unpredictability isn’t for everyone, but for me it’s a rush – and I love it!
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
This present time would be that moment. Momager On-Set has gotten so popular, the time has come for expansion! Right now, I’m a one-woman show, juggling social media, scheduling, set-sitting, audition runs, consultations and more! Once we’re able to flatten the curve of COVID-19, I will be hiring “Industry Drivers” to assist parents in Los Angeles & (surrounding areas) and eventually expand service into other markets such as New York, Atlanta, Texas and Chicago! All drivers will need to have a flexible schedule, a valid driver’s license, current insurance, obtain a Child Performer’s Services Permit, be knowledgeable of casting offices/studio lots, local airports and be comfortable driving in traffic. All personal vehicles will need to pass inspection.
- Audition Transportation (Runs) $25/hour (2-hour minimum. Mileage additional for areas outside the LA
- Work Permit Expedition: $75
- Set-Sitting (On-Set Guardian/Mobile Momager) $25/hour (3-hour minimum)
- Work Permit Renewals $50 for 1, $75 for multiple permits.
- Industry Consultation $150 for 2 hours
- Website: momageronset.com
- Phone: 310-402-9194
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: instagram.com/momageronset/
- Facebook: facebook.com/momageronset
- Twitter: twitter.com/momageronset
- Other: jocindabenjamin.com
- Shop Momager On-Set: teespring.com/stores/
Brandon Tabiolo (my headshot/horizontal)