Of over 10,000 contestants world-wide who tried out for IMTA 2015, held in NYC, fewer than 1,500 made the final roster. Paco was therefore thrilled to be in that exclusive group of singers, song-writers, models and actors who competed at this annual week-long event, held at the Mid-Town Hilton in New York City the entire week of July 20-25th.
No other event anywhere acts quite like the “discovery grounds” for aspiring new singers, models and actors as does IMTA (International Model and Talent Association), as it attracts close to 500 agents (again, from all over the world), casting directors, producers and record companies seeking new clientele for TV, Film, Stage, Musical Stage and Magazine spreads. This is where new talent has literally been discovered and careers have “taken off”, for current stars such as Elijah Wood, Alyson Stoner, Jessica Biel, Seann William Scott, Brandon Routh, Eva Longoria, Katie Holmes, Ashton Kutcher and countless other actors and models.
The IMTA venue looks and feels like something straight out of Hollywood and the Academy Awards, with lighting, cameras, elevated stages and runways, rocking music, competition rooms and TV studios…all under high security for the participants. A formal “black-tie” banquet and awards ceremony concludes the week’s activities…followed the final day with “call-backs” from agents wishing to pursue formal management relationships with “the lucky ones”.
The competition is divided into male and female categories, and by age (which ranged this year from 5 to 68). Paco competed in the male-over 24 grouping. He was out-straight all week as he did both singing and song-writing events, along with the 7 “Acting Talent” events in his group. Singing went very well, resulting in call-backs from two record companies and Acting went even better. Of the 7 major competitions, Paco was first runner up (a “winner” by IMTA standards) in “On-Camera TV Host” and also in “TV Real People – Commercials” and he also received Honorable Mention in “Improvisation” for TV & Film and “Cold Read” for TV & Film. That resulted in ten additional call-backs from agents and casting directors located primarily in NYC and LA. He could not be more thrilled with the end results of IMTA and feels very fortunate to have been given the chance to even attend. In his words IMTA was “an absolute mega week-long blast” and “certainly an experience of a lifetime”.
What was the best part of the week? As a 68 year old competing primarily with guys mostly in the 24 – 35 age range, who all looked like they just fell off the cover of vogue magazine, he found that he could easily play the part of an ever encouraging grand-dad and establish countless new friendly relationships with his peers. He observed that “Sure, the awards were special after the months of preparation and hard work”…”but bonding with truly wonderful guys (& girls) from all over America, China, Australia and many other Countries was a life blessing and something I will never, ever forget”.