Joel Lawrence Gets a Gold Star

Joel Lawrence's Gold Star Modeling is growing steadily, and has been enjoying the benefits of being licensed and bonded by the state of California.

As Lawrence told, "Gold Star is a licensed and bonded agency now, and that puts us into an elite group."

It wasn't an easy path. "It's not a simple process to be licensed and bonded," said Lawrence. "It requires a $50,000 bond which is basically posted to protect the money of the talent. If money is going through my hands to the talent's hands, and if there's some issue between myself and the talent, the bond ends up being posted to create restitution to whatever party might have been injured."

But that was only part of the process. According to Lawrence, "There's a whole series of background checks that go on with regards to my background—like if I had any warrants or felonies in my past. There's also a fairly extensive identification process which includes digital fingerprinting and things along those lines."

Lawrence also explained that the contracts he offers his clients must satisfy the requirement of the state and the labor board. "We have to make sure the state is happy with our contract and that we're in compliance with the laws as they pertain to those contracts," Lawrence told

While meeting all these requirements seemed daunting, there was also a learning curve for Lawrence. He explained, "There's also a little bit of an education process that has to do with what the overall laws are for talent agencies. Mostly what that does is try to create fewer conflicts of interest between my representing the talent and any other interests I might have. "

Asked how long it took to get his license, Lawrence explained, "The state basically gives you a license from the point when you apply, and we applied last September."

Asked if the process was about what he expected when he started out, Lawrence responded, "It was much more involved than what I expected."

However, Lawrence credits his staff for their efforts and looks forward to future successes. "My staff has been extremely hard-working," he said. "I'm confident that the agency will continue to grow and pursue opportunities for our talent. I'm hoping in the years to come that we end up as one off the bellwether companies of the industry."

Gold Star Modeling can be contacted through the agency's website,