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Little Girl, Big Dreams

A Cinnaminson fourth-grader visits New York City in pursuit of dreams and enjoys "the experience of a lifetime."

Emily Elliott, a Cinnaminson girl with big dreams and a big personality, traveled to New York City this summer for "the experience of a lifetime," as they call it, at the International Modeling and Talent Association (IMTA) competitions in New York City and Los Angeles.

Since 1987, IMTA has been considered one of the most successful modeling and talent training centers in the world. The IMTA competitions provide future actors and actresses the opportunity to perform in front of hundreds of casting agents, managers and directors. This organization has helped many young people realize their dreams of stardom including the likes of Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Biel, Josh Duhamel, Katie Holmes and Alyson Stoner, to name a few.

Emily was competitive in various talent and modeling categories but excelled in the TV Real People Commercial competition. She competed against hundreds of girls from all over the country and won the fourth place spot for her Hubba Bubba Bubble tape commercial audition.

“I like to act a lot better than I like the modeling," she said, "and my favorite part of the trip was getting on stage and being in front of everybody and getting to show my talent.”

In addition to the talent competitions, Emily and her mom Amy enjoyed the sights and scenery of New York City with a cruise around Manhattan, a meal at Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant, lunch at the Carnegie Deli and a black tie event at the Hilton.

Amy said her daughter has a passion for acting and always has.

“In second grade she would make up plays at lunchtime, practice with her friends during recess, and then perform for the teacher and the rest of the class," Amy said. "She’d love to be on television like one of her favorite actresses, Selena Gomez.”

The excitement began last summer when Emily and her older sister Ashley participated in the National American Miss Pageant. Scoring for this pageant is based mainly on communication skills. It is not a traditional beauty pageant and is a great way for girls to build self-esteem and confidence. While participating, Emily won modeling classes to John Robert Powers Modeling School in Philadelphia. 

She enjoyed and excelled in the classes and impressed her teachers so much they asked her to train for the IMTA competitions. This is not something that is offered to everyone. Certain criteria must be met before competing at IMTA and all competitors must be accepted at an IMTA member training center, so this was a privilege for Emily.

Trainers at John Robert Powers worked with Emily for 12 hours a month for six months to get her ready. She practiced walking the runway, speaking in front of an audience and acting. The training paid off as Emily received many callbacks during her competition. She said it was fun to walk the runway and wave to everybody and said she wasn’t really nervous.

After performances and competitions, individual meetings are set up with various casting agents and management companies. Emily met with Divine Management, Delancy Associates and also Shirley Grant Management, whose success stories include the Jonas Brothers and Christina Ricci. Opportunity is all around her and she has been asked to audition for Sprout in December for a new show.

Elliott’s mom said they are “leery parents seeing what we’re getting ourselves into” but feel encouraged by the experience and are proud of what their daughter has accomplished. It has been a whirlwind of excitement which continues this month when both Elliott girls participate in another National American Miss Pageant.

Can’t wait to see where this "experience of a lifetime" takes this little girl with big dreams and the big personality to match.

Michael Winterton September 03, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Well done Emily! Keep up the good work - best wishes from England (Mr W, Caroline, Liz & Caitlin)

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