"I'm obsessed with making my 3-year-old daughter famous," admits Tamiko on videotape. "Kamora has her own makeup artist, photographers, stylists and talent agent. Kamora has been modeling since she was 6 months old. I've been working toward this goal for about two-and-a-half years. Kamora is in numerous online accounts, and she has won several different pageants. I feel that there's nothing wrong with entering Kamora into things that can get her exposure."
"What's your goal?" Dr. Phil asks Tamiko.
"My goal is to make Kamora successful," she replies.
"Successful as what? A movie star? TV star?" Dr. Phil probes.
"A child star," she answers. "She's very outgoing. She has a very good personality." [AD]
"A lot of kids are outgoing and have a good personality. It doesn't mean they're meant to be stars," Dr. Phil points out. "What if she's meant to be an engineer, or a doctor, or a cake baker or something? You said you want her to be a success, but what you mean is you want her to be a star."
"Right," Tamiko responds. She explains how she knew that her daughter was destined for greatness. "We were at home, and Rihanna's video was on TV. [Kamora] started walking on her tippy toes, and she's never even had a dance class. Whenever she's in front of a group of people, she'll perform. She'll do her model walk. She loves to entertain."
"Whose agenda are you running here?" Dr. Phil asks. He lists the lengths Tamiko has gone to get exposure for her daughter. "She's all over the Internet. At 3 years old? That makes me uncomfortable. She didn't want to do a photo shoot because she was sleepy and irritable. You drove around until she fell asleep and took her back to the shoot. You bribe her sometimes when she doesn't want to do the shoot."
"That's only been a few times," Tamiko says.
"You tried to enroll her in acting classes. You spent $7,000 on a photographer, stylist, hair and makeup, clothing, photo shoots, pageant fees," Dr. Phil says, reading from his cards. "Are you concerned that this is your agenda and not hers?"
"I'm not concerned that it's just my agenda. It's just what she does," she replies. "As you can see on her video, she's very confident, and she has a good personality. She can follow directions. As a matter of fact, recently, she got a job with a major retail company, and the photographer told me, â€˜If all kids acted like her, it would make my job so much easier.'" [AD]
Dr. Phil turns to Tamiko's friend, Erica. "What do you think about this?"
"Kamora is very talented, but Kamora knows what she's been taught," she answers. "She's only 3. She's on Tag, Twitter, Facebook, her own Web site. My concern is the safety issue."
Dr. Phil reveals that when Tamiko was younger, her mother wanted her to model. "How'd you like it?" he asks.
"I didn't," she admits. "I was really shy. I was more of a tomboy. I didn't like to dress up."
Dr. Phil sent Kamora's background information and photos to Marki Costello, the owner and president of Creative Management Entertainment Group and a highly respected Hollywood casting director.
Marki turns to Tamiko. "At 3, we don't know if she's ever going to be a model. We don't know if she can read, so we don't know if she ever can act. Right now, she can't even go on auditions because she can't read," she says. "The problem is, people think their kids are cute, and that equals talented, and it doesn't."
[AD]"What do you think about what she's telling you?" Dr. Phil asks Tamiko.
"I'm listening to what she's telling me, and I agree with some of the information," she replies.
"I'm no casting director, but I've dealt with a lot of stage parents, coaches, and people who push their kids in sports, or beauty pageants or acting, and I always tell them, â€˜Introduce the child to something and see if they get traction,'" Dr. Phil says. "Are they willing to go to rehearsal? Are they paid off by the audience? Can they go to a singing contest at the mall and win? You do these little things and see if they have talent. You don't even know that yet. What you know is that she's cute. Let me tell you, cute is not a rare commodity among 3 year olds."