- Associated Press - Saturday, March 18, 2017

SHENANDOAH, Pa. (AP) - Nine years old may seem young, but Mia is a bit of a veteran when it comes to being in front of a camera. At the ripe old age of 3, she appeared in episodes of “The Good Night Show” on the Sprout channel in 2011. She also finished as one of 50 runners-up from more than 200,000 children entered in 2010’s “Regis and Kelly’s Beautiful Baby” search and was featured in the December/January 2011 issue of Parenting magazine.

The daughter of Jason and Regina “Gina” Michalik, Shenandoah, Mia attends Trinity Academy in the borough and is in the third-grade class of Kim A. Kringe.

Mia’s latest modeling work will be seen in the spring with the latest release of Learning Resources’ Zoomy 2.0, an all-in-one digital microscope for children ages 4 and up that works with personal computers. When the new version is released, Mia will be featured on the box cover. As part of her photo shoot, Mia learned how to use the device. On March 6, she showed the students in the first-grade class of Sister Sarah Ellen McGuire, IHM, how the microscope worked, showing images of a $5 bill, a quarter, a penny, fingerprints and other items on a whiteboard.

Mia and her mother talked about doing modeling, what has been done and what is coming up. Gina had a few photos of Mia in the makeup room for the Zoomy shoot, but not on set.

“We couldn’t be out on set, so I didn’t get to see what was happening,” Gina said.

From her time on Sprout and some advertising work, Mia took a break for a few years.

“She wasn’t interested for awhile, but when she became interested again, we started it up in 2015 and she did an ad for TOOBYDOO, which is like a clothing line based in New York,” Gina said.

Mia is represented by FunnyFace Today Inc., New York City, and has her professional photos done by Dorothy Shi, a well-known New York fashion and commercial photographer.

Mia’s first work back was for Scholastic classroom magazines.

“It was in a pumpkin patch in New Jersey,” Mia said.

“It’s geared for the kindergarten kids,” Gina said.

In order to get more work in Pennsylvania, Mia also became a client of The Bowman Agency, Lancaster, and was booked to work with Electrolux for home appliances and then with Home Depot. Gina said some of the work is filmed commercials, though they are seen on company websites.

“Electrolux is on their website and also Sears,” Gina said.

“Home Depot was with lights,” Mia said, with Gina explaining it was for lighting that can be controlled from outside the home, such as on a mobile phone.

The next work was for a wooden puzzle game by Pavilion, which is a Toys ‘R’ Us brand. The photo shoot was in Caldwell, New Jersey. That job was followed by another for the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

“We did it at a train station,” Mia said, referring to the Strasburg Rail Road.

“That was a real fun shoot,” Gina said. “They got to ride the train all day. And this was an actual commercial, but it airs in the Lancaster-Harrisburg area. You have to look quick to see her.”

Gina said Mia missed a bank commercial shoot due to sickness.

“Now that she’s going into a size 10, this is the big time,” Gina said. “She’s going to be doing Boscov’s through the Click Models agency of Philadelphia. I don’t know if it’s going to be on TV or in print, but it will be more than one time we’ve been told.”

Mia said she enjoys getting out to do the different jobs.

“I really like it because it’s fun and I like to see a lot of things,” Mia said. “They don’t take long.”

Gina said most photo sessions are about two hours or so, though the Scholastic and the train shoots were about eight hours each.

“People have been so very nice to everything we’ve been to,” Gina said. “Everybody was so nice and accommodating to the kids. They make sure everything is fun and playful. We’ve heard some of the horror stories, but we’ve been so lucky.”

Mia needs child workers permits in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, which are issued for each job. She is getting close to be able to get an annual permit in New York.

“I told her the grades have to be there, so we’re waiting for the next report card, then we’ll possibly do that for the summer,” Gina said. “In New York there is so much availability for jobs there. Now, we basically are just in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.”

Mia is quiet at times and doesn’t bring up her modeling career at school very much.

“Sometimes I tell them, but not really though,” Mia said.

Gina said that Mia has made enough money to require the filing of income tax returns for the first time.

“What does that mean?” Mia asked about the taxes.

“I handle that,” Gina said.

“Do I have to pay?” Mia said.

“Yes, you do,” Gina said with a smile.

“I get all this money and I have to give it away,” Mia said about the matter.

Gina needs to keep track of clothing, mileage and other expenses that are connected to each job.

“It’s a whole new ballgame this year,” Gina said. Mia’s earnings go toward her college fund.

Kringe is glad to have Mia as one of her students this year.

“Mia loves to learn, seems to really enjoy school and takes her studies very seriously,” Kringe said. “Mia shows great humility when it comes to her modeling talent. I was so happy to learn of Mia’s recent modeling accomplishment, advertising the digital microscope. It will be wonderful to see Mia’s picture on the box’s cover. I am so happy for Mia’s success in using so many of her talents for good.”

As for the future, Mia plans to continue in modeling as long as she can.

“I like doing modeling a lot, and maybe even do some acting, but I want to be a model as long as I can be,” Mia said.

Gina said sometimes Mia goes out for auditions and may be shy at them, so she doesn’t get the job. At other times, she fits perfectly for the audition.

“She wants to be a marine biologist when she grows up. She loves animals,” Gina said.





Information from: Pottsville Republican and Herald, https://www.republicanherald.com

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