Interviews — 5 Min Read

Jocinda Benjamin Created Her Own Business in Hollywood

Interviews — 5 Min Read

Modern Art Exhibition at Avada Galerie

This former talent agent and momager to a teen star took her expertise and created a unique lane from a much needed service in the TV & Film industry.

JoCinda Benjamin hails from the music and entertainment industry with networks: Infinity Broadcasting Corporation and CBS Radio. The brain behind promotional campaigns and events, she traded her 12 year career in radio management for a more personal role: full-time momager to her daughter and actress, Jaida Iman Benjamin. Their first stop turned out to be a consecutive one with the hit Broadway National Tour of Annie.

Since then, Jaida has gone on to gain credits that include television shows such as The Step DaddyMad About YouFamily ReunionStuck In the MiddleAustin & AllyLiv & MaddieDisney Movie SurfersFoursomeCriminal Minds Beyond BordersSouthlandThe FostersInsecure and the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, Christmas Everlasting.

Living the Hollywood Dream

From Talent Manager to Business Owner

With talent management naturally running through her veins, JoCinda expanded her career as a Junior Commercial Agent for Unlimited Possibilities Music & Talent and quickly discovered her flair for actively recruiting great talent while pruning them to succeed. She prides herself in catching her clients in campaigns for Walmart, Ford, Nickelodeon, Old Navy, USO, My Little Pony and Best Buy. After gaining vast experience at UPMT, she later went on to successfully Head the Youth Commercial Department at Littman Talent Group in Calabasas, California.

JoCinda is also the owner of a mobile momager company. 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.

Momager On Set offers transportation to auditions, set-sitting services, coaching and even industry consultations for the parents. Clients have included Niles Fitch (This Is Us, Miss Virginia, Secret Society of Second Born Royals, Mistresses), Mekai Curtis (Power Book III: Raising Kanan, Kirby Buckets), Shannon Brown (Empire, Criminal Minds), Kendall Joy-Hall (Grey’s Anatomy, 911, Good Trouble) and Jeffrey Cade Ross Brown (Schooled, Merrily, The Unicorn, Will & Grace, Sydney to the Max).

MA: Thanks for chatting with us. Can you tell us about what brought you to this specific career path?

JB: As a single mother with a daughter working professionally in the entertainment industry, I found it very difficult getting my daughter to last minute auditions. Once she became an adult, I wanted to start a 

company assisting Industry Parents by “standing in the gap” for times when they couldn’t be two places at once, needed audition transportation, coaching, consultation or work permits renewed for their child performer.

MA: In your field I’m sure you’ve collected some interesting experiences along the way.

One day I had 3 audition runs and a self-tape for 4 different clients all over LA. I woke up early, picked up each child from Burbank, Santa Clarita, Culver City & West Hollywood. Took each one to their respective casting offices, warmed them up before going in, had lunch and dropped each child off in reverse. In short, it was a stressful day syncing the audition & travel times, but I did it! 

MA: When starting a business I think we all make mistakes. Can you share a mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson did you learn?

JB: The funniest mistake I made was when I took 3 kids to an audition all at the same location. You would think this would be a piece of cake? WRONG! I accidentally put in the wrong address and realized it 30 mins into the trip! Once I pulled the car over to compare the address, I literally had 30 mins to get the kids there before casting closed for the day! Let’s just say we made it in the nick of time!

Everyone jumped out my car and ran inside like a killer was chasing them! Lol! Casting was so happy to see everyone and even auditioned one girl for a second part! Lesson: TRIPLE CHECK ADDRESSES before leaving! Sometimes a wrong zip code can take you to the middle of nowhere!!!

MA: Who do you think is most impacted by the work you do?

JB: I have many kids impacted by my work. Several child actors fly into LA and I pick them up from the airport and take them to auditions or coaching they may have for the week. Another client (who lives in San Diego) counts on my business to pick him up for several bookings and projects in LA. And several clients require and give me access to pick their child up from school and drive them to auditions. The needs of the parents all vary which makes Momager On-Set an essential business in Hollywood!

MA: How do you define “Leadership”?

JB: I would define leadership as the art of motivating one or more people to achieving a goal. In my case, it would be to book a role in a TV show/ Film/Modeling Project or Commercial. When I am doing an 

“Audition Run” for a client, I speak nothing but positivity from the time I pick them up, to the time the audition is over. It’s especially important because parents count on me to ensure that their child is comfortable, safe and prepared. I believe my leadership skills is why I have repeat clientele.

 

MA: What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why.

JB: 1. Because of social media, I never thought I’d have to be on-camera or exposed to the public like I’ve been.

2. Because parents count on me, there isn’t any time to get sick or be under the weather. I must be physically fit and alert to drive and keep with up my child performers.

3. My job is 24 hours. No days off. Because I’m a small business I maintain my social media, create my posts, scheduling my rides and bookings for the week.

4. I would have to sacrifice my personal time to make sure my clients are where they need to be.

5. I didn’t know how tedious it would be to obtain a CPS Permit (allows me to work with industry kids), staying on top of vehicle maintenance for the safety of myself and clients as well as staying in compliance with Child Labor Laws for Child Actors and with Set Teachers for education on set.

MA: Thank you for sharing with us!