Certain cities come to mind when thinking of where models and actors go to receive their big break. With New York and Los Angeles tying for first place, the team of Jason and Craig Lyon of Lyon Marketing Group (LMG) is working to ensure that their full-service entertainment, acting and modeling agency and marketing group helps to put Newport News talent on the map. Lyon Marketing Group specializes in custom design and branding for models, actors, businesses and any other entity striving to set itself apart. Through the creation of marketing materials, such as portfolios, headshots, logo designs and more, LMG helps individuals and businesses discover their niche in the marketplace and determine how best to create the appeal necessary to make a mark in their respective industries. Jason is owner and talent director. Craig is owner and creative director.
Jason says Virginia is a good place for inexperienced talent or “new faces,” as they’re called in the industry, to build a platform and get their start. Jason is a Newport News native. At 12 years old, he had dreams of becoming a successful child actor, but was met with an experience that now urges him to uphold the highest integrity as a talent agent.
He was scammed.
Virginia is saturated with scam companies, according to Lyon. However, Lyon Marketing Group is the only agency in the Mid-Atlantic region that is supported by the Better Business Bureau and has received an “A” rating with them as well as five-star reviews from clients online. The application process online also protects LMG by allowing them to screen applicants by requiring prospective clients to submit a recent photo, a short biography and to list their intentions and reasons for entering the entertainment industry.
Some clients want instant stardom or a “quick fix” on life, and those are the types of clients that scamming companies look for. However, researching the company before meeting with them can protect new faces by knowing how to avoid the negative experience of being scammed.
The decision to open the Port Warwick agency came after Lyon tried to continue his acting career. After an internship with the agency that represented him in New York City, he worked to accumulate enough names of casting director and client contacts to start his own company.
“So I decided to return to my Virginia roots,” Jason says, “Give it a fresh start here and offer an opportunity that I didn’t have when I was younger. The industry has changed, and now Virginia is a booming market.”
LMG represents talent in Virginia, New York and Vietnam, with hopes to expand to either Atlanta or Miami by 2019. The company is known for submitting new and experienced talent on castings such as Tyler Perry Studios, Fox, Netflix series, Disney, FX, ABC and more. “We are always looking for new face applicants for both modeling and acting,” Jason says. “Applicants can be eight years old and older, with no experience needed and all sizes welcome.”
When they aren’t preparing their clients for auditions and modeling gigs, Jason and Craig Lyon are visiting New York to enjoy theatre, fashion and sometimes even watching their clients participate in fashion shows and perform in plays.
“When you think of Newport News, Virginia, you don’t think of top booking agencies,” Jason says, “But we are very blessed to have the contacts and clients that we have and the work history and good reputation that we enjoy. I feel like we offer a really good clean service for people—we’re putting the ethics back in the industry.”
TO THE POINT:
Lyon Marketing Group, LLC
Address: 4165 William Styron Square North, Newport News, VA 23606
Contact: Jason Lyon, owner and talent director